Dr. Brad Howell
Just two decades ago many churches were lucky if they had a single computer for the entire staff to share. Today, churches seek to balance relevant ministry in a world of digital relationships.
Two decades ago, Fuller Northern California was looking for a new home for the growing number of students attending classes in Sacramento. They found it in Fremont Presbyterian Church, and for the next 18 years, Fremont became a great ministry partner with Fuller Seminary.
Almost two decades later, the number of students in Sacramento has quadrupled from just over 30 regional enrollments to more than 120, and like the churches of the 21st Century, the digital world is transforming the geo-physical one.
With online learning and courses offered in a variety of formats, being close to a Fuller campus is no longer the prohibitive factor it was even just a decade ago: Sacramento based Fuller students are spread across the region - from Redding to Fresno, from the East Bay to Lake Tahoe and well into Nevada.
When students are on campus, they are often here longer: combining study, research and collaborative projects with other Fuller students and ideally close to a class time. They need a space that flexes with their needs and the technological infrastructure required for contemporary learning.
Any new space had to have easy access to multiple freeways, restaurants and coffee shops for a quick bite to eat or a leisurely visit with faculty and fellow students. The new space would require an ability to offer courses in a variety of times and ways, and for those traveling to the campus from across the country, convenient access to the airport and close in housing options. And all of this needed to fit nicely with flexible, at home learning options and geo-physically available opportunities.
We are excited to say that our brand new location meets that new reality: conveniently located just north of downtown Sacramento, the location has direct access to I-5, I-80 and Hwy 99, the airport is 10 minutes from the campus, restaurants are abundant and within walking distance of the new site, hotels are just a couple of blocks away.
Fuller Seminary is now conveniently centralized in the transportation hub of the Sacramento region.
The site we chose does not feel like a traditional classroom space, the library has room to grow beyond the current 5,300 volumes with quick plans to reach more than 7,000 volumes, boasts a dedicated exegesis and resource room for quite study, and easy access to Fuller staff for help, assistance and prayer.
We worked directly with the creative folks at Herman Miller to design a collaborative workspace for students that will push the envelope beyond the traditional classroom via armchair style seating clusters and counter height table groups. Once completed, the new space can be configured in any number of ways: as individual student workspaces or to seat classes ranging in size from 14 to 40.
We invested heavily in classroom technology, glass white boards, large-screen TVs, in-ceiling speakers and the digital infrastructure to connect students with top faculty both locally and across the country and provide everyone with the best geo-physical class experience we can.
As you can imagine, we are very excited about this new resource to serve Fuller’s students and alumni in the region, and with this growth comes infrastructure changes too:
Starting April 1, Lanaea Schiavone moves into the role of Program Manager; this new role still exists to be the primary contact for students in the Sacramento region, but allows Lanaea a more prominent voice in the development of course options for students and the administrative guidance of the local Fuller site.
Also, beginning July 1, 2014, Sacramento will be spinning off from Fuller Northern California and two inter-dependent Fuller campuses will be created: Fuller Bay Area and Fuller Sacramento.
I am honored to have been appointed as the new Director of Fuller Sacramento and look forward to continuing in the legacy of Dr. Art Patzia and Dr. Curt Longacre in this part of the region.
Dr. Longacre will continue leading the Bay Area campus until his retirement in August of 2014; certainly you will be hearing more news about that in the months ahead.
These are exciting and fun times to be at Fuller Sacramento.
And of course, through it all, God and one other thing remains constant:
Dr. Brad Howell is the Director Elect of the soon-to-be Fuller Sacramento, an Adjunct Professor of Youth, Family and Culture and researches, writes and provides seminars of the adult-adolescent social media divide. You can contact Brad via email or g-chat at: firstname.lastname@example.org by Facebook at bradfrdhowell or Twitter @howell_brad.
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