Navigating the Early Stages of the Pivot

Dr. Kenneth Barnes, Project Manager

It’s tempting to think of our Pivot as one big project, but it’s actually a combination of several complex, inter-related projects.

For instance, there is the move of our main campus from Hamilton to Metro Boston. This project alone entails many different stages from finding a suitable location, to negotiating a lease, to preparing design and build specifications, to the procurement of equipment and furnishings, to the actual relocation of staff from our existing facilities to our new facilities. All of these projects depend on contingencies, which are themselves other projects.

It all starts, however, with finding the right location for the new campus. To that end, we engaged the services of a specialist real estate consultancy with whom we developed a project brief that takes into consideration the needs of all Gordon-Conwell stakeholders. The consultancy regularly sends us information on potential properties, and we pare them down before deciding which ones the Transition Committee will visit. Once on site, each property is rated according to criteria that are consistent with the project’s “master playbook” that the Board commissioned. Criteria include:

  • Available space
  • Price per square foot
  • Location and accessibility (including parking and security)
  • Flexibility (with an emphasis on community life)
  • Nearby amenities
  • Renovation requirements (and costs)
  • Infrastructure (including IT)
  • Aesthetics

Each element is rated on a scale of 1-10, and a consolidated report is presented to President Sunquist for his consideration. Some sites turn out to be more suitable than others, but each is given careful consideration. At the end of the site search when the Transition Committee and Cabinet have done their due diligence, Dr. Sunquist will make a recommendation to the Board.

Another critical project is selling significant portions, or all, of the Hamilton campus. This may involve the sale of more than one parcel to more than one buyer; each sale involves finding suitable purchasers, agreeing on prices, exchanging contracts, doing site surveys, working with the town and our neighbors to ensure a smooth transfer of ownership, and, of course, “closing” on each sale. Because these dispositions affect our cash flow, they will also affect our timelines.

Then there are other projects such as the relocation of our library and the relocation of non-teaching staff, as well as all of the public-facing projects (admissions, communications, etc.) that will significantly impact the success of the Pivot going forward.

Happily, we are making significant progress and all of these inter-related projects, but it’s too soon to say where or when we will be moving. We are still in the early stages of a multi-stage process. However, we can share that the next two academic years will likely be unaffected and that we will post updates as they become available. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to please share their thoughts and ideas on these topics with the Transition Committee via the Project Manager tab in the FAQ section of the Pivot webpage. Lastly, we ask that you continue to pray for us as seek God’s will in the process.



Dr. Kenneth Barnes is a Gordon-Conwell alumnus and the Mockler-Phillips Professor of Workplace Theology and Business Ethics. In his role as the Project Manager for the Pivot, he will lead the Transition Committee, oversee the sale of the Hamilton campus, assess Boston-area campus options, and work with Gordon-Conwell leadership to facilitate the purchase or lease of those options deemed to best align with the mission of the seminary.


Visit for FAQs, videos, and more.