An Ohio seminary opening a satellite campus in Scotland, Pa., hopes to have 500 students there within five years.
Winebrenner Theological Seminary initially will hire about five people for the campus, which could employ 30 people if enrollment goals are met, according to David B. Newell, director of the Pennsylvania campus.
Winebrenner Theological Seminary is working on a sale agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of General Services for the former Scotland School for Veterans Children. The state-operated boarding school closed in 2009.
Details of the sale agreement have not been released.
Winebrenner Theological Seminary, which had its start in 1942, expects to use the education building and some of the housing. It is seeking partners to offer classes, activities and services in other spaces on the 185-acre campus.
A midget football team already is using athletic fields, and a 10K will cross the campus soon.
Winebrenner officials addressed about 10 people who attended a Wednesday presentation about their plans. The information session at Quincy Village mirrored others being conducted in the area.
The seminary is affiliated with the Church of God denomination, but recruits students from other backgrounds.
“It’s still a relatively small denomination,” Advancement Director Dennis Koontz said of the Church of God.
The 154 students in Ohio come from about 35 denominations, Koontz and Newell said. Winebrenner offers doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and nondegree classes, they said.
In its history, the fully accredited seminary was both autonomous and connected to Findlay University outside Toledo, Ohio. Newell said the school works to prepare servants to lead a church in a changing world.
Now, school leaders are looking to better serve the mid-Atlantic region.
“Part of the blessing of Scotland School is its location,” Newell said.
Most Scotland School buildings need cosmetic upgrades, but are intact, Newell said. One will be designated for use by alumni from the veterans children school, he said.
Winebrenner Theological Seminary hopes to have the Scotland School campus operational by fall 2013.
The Ohio campus holds special events such as symphony concerts and Super Bowl parties. Koontz said they hope similar things happen in Franklin County, Pa., and already are talking about opportunities to host conventions.
“The impact on the community, to me, is something that is very important. ... We want that (campus) to be used by the community,” Koontz said.