The country’s oldest nondenominational seminary has agreed to lease three of its buildings to Columbia University for 49 years as the seminary struggles to shore up its income.
Union Theological Seminary, which has seen its endowment drop from $79 million to $60 million over several years, will also transfer its million-volume library collection to Columbia.
“Most institutions are having to reassess their income and expenditures,” said the Rev. Dr. Joseph Hough, the seminary’s president. “We saw this as a possible way of converting excess space to income.”
Columbia said it would use the buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side for extra classrooms or offices.