The Vernon S. Broyles, Jr., Leadership Center
We believe that our faculty and students need facilities that are commensurate with their commitment, and surroundings that inspire great ideas, collaboration, and ambition. They need an environment for living and learning that reflects the value that we place on pastoral ministry, of the importance of the pastor as community leader, and of the congregation's significance to community life.
Columbia Theological Seminary was educating church leaders for the 21st century in buildings designed more than a half century ago. Lecture rooms in Campbell Hall could not accommodate Columbia's growing student body of basic degree students for large survey courses. Standard-sized classrooms and seminar rooms were in short supply, creating increased demand for classrooms in the Harrington Center, already strained by the increasing numbers of Lifelong Learning program offerings and students.
Completed in the spring of 2012, the new Vernon S. Broyles, Jr. Leadership Center now accommodates our current need and future growth. Key values of the new facility and its effect on our campus include the following:
- New lecture halls accommodate larger incoming classes as well as continued growth of Lifelong Learning programs for pastors and lay leaders.
- New seminar rooms provide spaces to accommodate the many critical required courses and electives that are taught in small-group settings.
- All classroom spaces are equipped with appropriate technology for learning and designed for future technology needs.
- Spacious faculty offices, with room for preparation and research as well as conversations with students, help Columbia recruit and retain extraordinary faculty.
- Energy efficiency promotes sustainable environmental practices.
- Respects the surrounding architecture and preserves the architectural integrity of the quadrangle.
- A welcoming, pedestrian-friendly design, with outside gathering spaces for conversation and learning.
- A design that takes advantage of the natural beauty of surrounding terrain providing expansive vistas from within the building.
This is more than an educational facility. In short, the new Vernon S. Broyles, Jr. Leadership Center communicates the value that we as a people of God place on the work being carried out on our campus.
Columbia Seminary's awareness of and institutional commitment to the theology and practice of creation care has been growing for many years. With the new residence hall already designed to Gold LEED® certification level, the decision to pursue sustainable design for the Vernon S. Broyles Leadership Center was obvious. The design incorporates environmentally friendly materials and energy-and-water-efficient systems, and other energy efficient systems for heating and air-conditioning needs.
A sustainable design worthy of Gold LEED® certification was a primary goal of the project, and was acheived. The Broyles Leadership Center is the second of two facilities, both part of the Columbia Seminary campus, in the city of Decatur to be Gold certified.