Büsingen, Germany – Based on the success and growth of European Nazarene College’s (EuNC) 15 learning centers serving more than 300 students in 17 countries, EuNC has made the decision to put its residential campus property up for sale.
The decision is being processed in consultation with the Eurasia Region, Board of General Superintendents, Global Mission director and education commissioner. A formal proposal will be considered in the next meeting of the General Board of the Church of the Nazarene.
In 2006, EuNC followed its own strategic plan to decentralize its theological education among the four fields it serves across the Eurasia Region. As a result, attendance at the learning centers expanded while attendance at the central campus in Büsingen gradually declined. In June 2011 the residential program closed.
“The administration and government of EuNC have explored various scenarios on the use of the EuNC property and facilities in Büsingen,” said Rector Klaus Arnold. “After much consultation and prayer, the EuNC board of trustees voted unanimously in January 2014 to sell the property and facilities.”
“As a result of that important meeting we will prepare a business plan based on the scenario of a sale of the campus to be proposed to the General Board,” said Regional Director Arthur Snijders. “We want to move forward in a way that ensures we use our entrusted resources to support our mission.”
When the property sells, part of the proceeds will be used to pay off the remaining mortgage, and part will build an endowment to help finance the enterprise of EuNC in fulfilling its mission.
Snijders projects an additional year, following a positive vote, to make plans for the sale and identify potential buyers.
The campus, which EuNC purchased in 1965, consists of four main buildings and accompanying structures. An apartment building has 10 apartments and currently houses six missionaries who are associated with the campus and the Eurasia Regional Office, which is just down the village’s main street from the property. The administration center includes dormitory rooms, classrooms, offices and a dining hall. The third building holds a church sanctuary, a library, a fellowship hall and more dormitory rooms. A fourth building is a historic home that was renovated to serve as a welcome center and office space.
The Büsingen International Church of the Nazarene – an English-speaking congregation – meets in the church sanctuary and fellowship hall for services on Sundays, and uses the facilities throughout the week for a Mothers of Preschoolers Group, a Bible study, and an English as a Second Language class that serves the surrounding community. Currently running an average worship attendance of 58, it has been steadily growing in young families of various nationalities in the past few years. The church attracts people from many surrounding villages and communities outside Büsingen, but is separated by several buildings from the main street, preventing its easy visibility to passersby.
The church board and pastor are beginning to discuss options for the congregation, now that the sale of the building has been decided.
Pastor Ludwig Duncker said the news of the property sale came at a time when the staff had been contemplating the future of the church, because attendance was at the maximum of what the sanctuary can comfortably hold.
“It seems like God is saying, ‘Look ahead.’ We trust He will lead us in the international church, which in the future might not be called ‘Büsingen’ anymore. God is in charge, of that we are sure,” Duncker said.
Arnold acknowledged that many people who have spent time on the former EuNC campus have emotional connections to the property.
“The sale of the property and facilities creates a feeling of loss,” said Arnold. “Many have memories of Büsingen as a place where people experienced God, good education, friendships, marriages, where children were born – it was an important time in the lives of many. However, the God who has been blessing us in Büsingen is still blessing us. He has guided us and shown us that the blessing is now on the learning centers.”
“We are optimistic about the results of a collaboration of the college, region and General Church, to ensure high quality accredited education for Nazarene leaders within their context,” added Snijders.
EuNC continues in its mission: One School in Many Nations Enabling Christlike Disciples for Ministry.