An update on the PLTS move to downtown Berkeley

Centered in the heart of Berkeley

Many seminary constituents are aware that plans are underway to move the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary of California Lutheran University campus to downtown Berkeley this summer.  The seminary has been located on the crest of the Berkeley hills since 1950, when two estates were purchased by the California and Pacific Synods of the United Lutheran Church in America to serve as a new venue for the Pacific Theological Seminaries once located in Portland and Seattle.

PLTS “re-opened” in the fall of 1952 under the leadership of President Charles Foelsch who had followed in the footsteps of Lutheran church pioneers James Beasom and John Sawyer.  Over the next 15 years, the seminary grew from 24 to 100 students and added three buildings -- a dormitory, an administrative building and a chapel.  Enrollments waxed and waned over the next 40 years, until a gradual but marked decline in the parent Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was reflected in the number of students who came to PLTS and other ELCA seminaries.

In 2010, PLTS and California Lutheran University began to explore the benefits of merging the seminary with the successful Thousand Oaks-based Lutheran higher education institution. After much planning and consideration, that dream became a reality in 2014.  Since that time, per-student costs continued to rise until it became apparent that a move would make sense financially as well as geographically. PLTS would be able to save on the increasing costs of property maintenance while moving closer to the Graduate Theological Union.

Last summer, a highly suitable property became available on the central downtown block of Berkeley, near the BART station, Berkeley City College, City Hall, Berkeley High School, and the UC Berkeley campus.  The site is 1.2 miles away from the seminary’s housing complex and 0.8 miles from the Graduate Theological Union.

The 11,000-square-foot facility is on the second floor of the four-story office building at 2000 Center Street.  It is large enough to provide adequate classroom, office and auxiliary room space for the successful functioning of the seminary.  Most of the space renovations were completed by April 6 when the seminary took possession of the facility.  However, further renovations, including the addition of furnishings and upgraded electronic connectivity, will be done this spring.

The seminary staff, faculty and students will move to the new campus in June. The official start of operations at PLTS in the heart of Berkeley will be on Aug. 1.

This move will bring about improvements in intra-seminary communication and collaboration. It will allow us to have greater involvement in urban activities and more opportunities for local mission work.  Center Street is the busiest pedestrian corridor in the East Bay.  We believe with all our hearts that this is a move guided and enabled by God’s Holy Spirit and that we will receive rich blessings beyond our expectations.

If you have any questions about the move, you may address them to Brian Stein-Webber, Director of Seminary Relations, at bsteinwebber@plts.edu.

More

  • An update on the PLTS move to downtown Berkeley
    Thu April 20, 2017

    The seminary staff, faculty and students will move to the new campus in June. The official start of operations at PLTS in the heart of Berkeley will be on Aug. 1.

  • Rector named to help guide seminary
    Mon March 13, 2017

    A Chicago professor, ordained pastor and community organizer will serve as the first rector of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary of California Lutheran University.

  • Seminary to come down off hilltop
    Wed December 14, 2016

    Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary is coming down off the hilltop into downtown Berkeley.

  • PLTS Move Frequently Asked Questions
    Wed November 30, 2016

    Answers to many FAQ regarding the upcoming campus move.

  • Great work of our time
    Wed November 30, 2016

    As the Reformation turns 500, some see the climate crisis as cause for a new one.

  • 3 alumni focus of Cal Lutheran ceremony
    Wed October 12, 2016

    California Lutheran University will highlight three alumni during its Founders Day Convocation – the founder of a Haitian relief organization, an advocate for the LGBTQ community, and an ordained minister who spent nearly two decades supporting Lutheran higher education.

  • Announcement
    Thu August 18, 2016

    A letter from Rev. Brian Stein-Webber, Interim Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Seminary Relations.

  • Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda Response to Shootings
    Tue July 19, 2016

    I have felt a visceral sense of terror, a tightening in my guts, when I imagine how  I would feel if my two precious sons were Black and, therefore, in danger of their lives every day and night at the hands of police violence and other manifestations of institutionalized white supremacy.

  • Message on Orlando Shootings
    Mon June 13, 2016

    PLTS is the western-most seminary in the ELCA, but we keenly feel for those on the other end of the country, in Orlando, who suffered and are suffering from just the latest, and also the largest, mass shooting in our nation’s modern history.  

  • Prof. Luis Menendez-Antuna to join PLTS faculty
    Mon June 13, 2016

    Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that Prof. Luis Menéndez-Antuña will be joining the faculty as Assistant Professor of New Testament.  

©