College of Education in talks to move to CTS

Photo courtesy of Desmond Tutu Center’s website.


Butler’s College of Education might move from Jordan Hall to the Christian Theological Seminary campus.

CTS is located southwest of Butler’s main campus, just past the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house on the west side of Haughey Avenue.

According to the seminary’s website, it is a fully accredited graduate school related to the Christian Church with nine graduate degree programs containing a “rich history of biblical scholarship, theological openness and spiritual discernment.”

This wouldn’t be the first time the university and CTS have worked together. The two schools currently have a housing partnership which places 31 Butler students in CTS apartments across the street from CTS’s main campus.

Both Butler and CTS confirmed that this move has been discussed since the fall of 2016. Butler is still considering whether or not to leave Jordan Hall and determining what would be the best possible outcome.

The move would include all of the current COE faculty and a large percentage of the college’s curriculum, said Bruce Arick, Butler’s vice president for finance and administration.

COE houses three majors: elementary education, middle/secondary education and human movement and health science education. The college also has an exploratory major and graduate degree programs.

COE Dean Ena Shelley declined to conduct an interview, but provided the Collegian with an email statement.

“The COE is very pleased with the possibility of moving to the building, and we look forward to collaborating with our CTS colleagues,” Shelley said.

Arick said the intention for a possible move by the COE to CTS was one that was decided on by both sides mutually.

“We’ve actually been talking to CTS for some time about ways to collaborate in a number of ways,” Arick said. “One of the things they have is space, and on our side, the College of Education was certainly looking for an opportunity for a different space that would be better than what they currently have.”

CTS also shared with the university their perspective on a possible move, said their director of strategic communications, Christina Summers.

“We have recommended what we would like to see happen,” Summers said. “We have also discussed how we would structure the space if this move is happening.”

The university is still assessing the feasibility of this move. After the evaluation is completed, the university will then sit down with Shelley, her leadership team and other faculty to decide whether or not to make this move.

“I will say that on the front end, the perception is that the space and the configuration of classroom space and so forth for the college would be better,” Arick said. “But that’s now what the assessment is trying to firm up.”

If a move would be feasible for both the university and CTS, both sides would take the time to determine a time to move that would mean the least amount of disruption for students, faculty and overall curriculum.

“It’s not just a matter of securing a moving company and physically moving,” Arick said. “There’s going to need to be some facilities adjustments. You know there’s operational things we are going to have to consider in a move. It’s actually a project that’s taking some time to make sure we capture all these aspects.”

Summers said CTS is excited for the possible move as it would provide advantages to their current and prospective students.

“I know from our perspective, [the move] would offer a benefit to our students,” Summers said. “It would make education more affordable and acceptable and continue the spirit of good stewardship. To use the space fully would be ideal, and we would love for other people to use the space.”

The current CTS campus only utilizes 50 percent of its available building space. If COE were to make the move, the other 50 percent of the space would be fully used.

“We worked out with CTS what spaces they have available,” Arick said. “So, we are going space by space and thinking about what types of things we would need to do to accommodate the college to come over. We’ve looked at it higher level, as far as could the courses and the coursework and the curriculum actually fit in the spaces. At a high level, it looks like it could.”

The university’s assessment of the available spaces in the CTS campus is set to be completed by the end of this semester. The timetable of the move has not been determined if it were agreed upon.

The Butler Collegian will continue to follow this story throughout the semester as more updates are made available.