This summer, Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS)-Atlanta opened the doors to its new campus, expanding the seminary’s resources and extending its presence.
From its inception in 1996, RTS-Atlanta was based out of the Church of the Apostles located in north Atlanta. In recent years as the seminary grew and the need for additional space increased, RTS-Atlanta president John Sowell began scanning the city for a more permanent facility.
“We grew to the point where we needed more and more [room],” said Sowell. “We didn’t have many faculty offices. We didn’t have space for a library.” For two years, Sowell searched for a property that would meet the seminary’s needs and price range.
What he found was a facility the seminary couldn’t afford. “We kept looking, but soon realized that we were comparing everything to the Venture building.” The former corporate headquarters for Venture Homes offered 25,000 square feet, a secluded setting, and an ideal location in the city—meeting all of RTS-Atlanta’s requirements.
The RTS board began a capital campaign to raise funds for a new RTS-Atlanta campus. The Venture building initially remained out of the seminary’s price range, but following extensive negotiations, a deal was reached. “The Lord is the only one who has made it happen. One hundred percent,” Sowell said.
RTS-Atlanta is now located in Marietta, just outside I-285. “It’s in the big city and yet it’s tranquil and scenic,” said Sowell, noting that the property includes a creek and creekside pavilion. “It’s urban, not suburban, and is surrounded by an excitingly diverse community. It appeals to those both within and outside the city.”
The new facility allows for permanent office space for staff and faculty, as well as room for a chapel. The additional space also means the seminary can host convocations. “Over the past month or so, we have offered three special assemblies featuring noteworthy scholars,” said Sowell. “What a blessing it has been to have our own facilities where such events may be held.”
Perhaps the biggest benefit of the move, from Sowell’s perspective, is space for a long-awaited library. Years prior, the seminary started collecting materials, eventually gathering thousands of books that were kept in storage in anticipation of a future library.
“We’re developing a robust library with space for research and study areas,” said Sowell. “There’s a library reading room that’s more like a coffee shop environment. There’s space for students in ministry to set up an office.”
This fall RTS Atlanta saw record enrollment, especially for its MDiv program. Sowell attributes this growth to the new campus, explaining that the purchase of the property raises the profile of the Atlanta campus.
RTS-Atlanta’s facilities are available for use by PCA agencies or ministries. For more information, contact the seminary office at (770) 952-8884. For more information about RTS-Atlanta, visit www.rts.edu.