National Christian Foundation Transfers Ownership of Historic Northfield Campus
Thomas Aquinas College and The Moody Center Pledge to Continue Legacy of Founder D.L. Moody
NORTHFIELD, Mass., May 3, 2017 – The National Christian Foundation (NCF) yesterday officially signed overpossession of the historic Northfield Campus in Northfield, Massachusetts, to Thomas Aquinas College and The Moody Center during a press conference and public celebration event.
The campus has a rich legacy. Evangelist Dwight L. Moody established it in the 19th century for the purpose of education and evangelism. For more than 125 years, it was the original home to the Northfield Mount Hermon School, which was founded as two institutions, Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies in 1879 and Mount Hermon School for Boys in 1881. The schools became a single coeducational institution in 1971 and consolidated to the Mount Hermon campus in 2005.
The Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, purchased the property in 2012 and subsequently charged NCF with finding new owners dedicated to continuing Moody’s legacy and passion.
According to Northfield Campus LLC Property Manager Larry Edge, throughout the five-year search process, approximately 153 inquiries were made about the campus, which resulted in 75 interviews and 36 due diligence investigations. Ultimately, three letters of intent were presented.
“This has been a labor of love for all of us that have been involved with the campus,” said Edge. “We’re excited about the outcome. Sometimes it takes a while to see things happen the way they should, but we feel very confident that we are headed in the right direction as we pass the campus on to Thomas Aquinas College and The Moody Center. Both of those organizations will work well together and be a part of this community.”
The property itself will be divided between the two institutions, with one quarter of the buildings going to The Moody Center and three quarters of the buildings going to Thomas Aquinas College.
NCF representative Emmitt Mitchell, who served as the overseer of the selection process, explained they wanted to find owners with a mission similar to Moody’s of educating young people so they could make a difference in the world, and owners who had the means to carry on that mission.
“When we went through that process, it [Thomas Aquinas] met every test…,” stated Mitchell. “There is no way they will ever let that campus [Northfield] go backward. It will be successful.”
Mitchell, who will now act as President of The Moody Center, and Thomas Aquinas College President Dr. Michael McLean were onsite to participate in Tuesday’s signing ceremony and press conference.
“This is a monumental day for Thomas Aquinas College,” stated McLean. “We are very grateful to the National Christian Foundation and its leadership for shepherding us through this process… we look forward to working and collaborating with The Moody Center, and we think this is an important moment in terms of the working relationship between evangelicals and Catholics as we join together to spread the gospel and evangelize our culture.”
Pending final approval from the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, Thomas Aquinas plans to open its doors to the first Northfield Campus freshman class, which will consist of 36 students, in the fall of 2018.
The Moody Center will utilize the campus to preserve Moody’s legacy and heritage for both scholars and the public in order to inspire another generation to spread the gospel, including building a museum.
“D.L. Moody poured out his heart that people would come to know Christ personally and receive the gift of salvation. That was his motivation; that was his life’s work,” said Dr. Erwin Lutzer, famed writer and Pastor Emeritus of The Moody Church in Chicago. “Why would we want to build a museum? We want to show there is a disconnect. There is no relationship between Moody’s background and what he was able to accomplish. By all metrics, he should have failed. Through this museum, we want to give God the glory … we want people to leave impressed not with Moody, but with Moody’s God.”
Approximately 400 people attended a public celebration service in the afternoon, which featured Lutzer as the keynote speaker.
“I really believe that in this generation, we’ve got ‘Moodys’ all around, we just don’t know where they are yet,” Mitchell stated. “We need to find them and train them, give them a platform and a microphone, so that they can go out and do the great work of God’s servant, D.L. Moody.”
For more information, visit themoodycenter.org.
National Christian Foundation (NCF) is a nationwide organization helping givers simplify their giving, multiply their impact, and experience the joy of sending more to their favorite causes than they ever dreamed possible. Founded in 1982 with a mission to mobilize resources by inspiring biblical generosity, NCF has become America’s largest sponsor of donor-advised funds for Christian givers with over $7 billion to more than 40,000 churches, ministries and nonprofits. For more information, visit ncfgiving.com.
The Moody Center is a 501c3 Nonprofit organization whose purpose is to preserve the legacy of D.L. Moody at Northfield and to continue his evangelistic mission. The Center will develop a museum that will collect and preserve archives to honor the heritage of Moody. The campus will serve as an event center and host scholarly programs for Christian organizations. For information, visit themoodycenter.org.
Thomas Aquinas College has developed a solid reputation for academic excellence in the United States and abroad and is highly ranked by organizations such as The Princeton Review, U. S. News, and Kiplinger. At Thomas Aquinas College all students acquire a broad and fully integrated liberal education. The College offers one, four-year, classical curriculum that spans the major arts and sciences. Instead of reading textbooks, students read the original works of the greatest thinkers in Western civilization — the Great Books — in all the major disciplines: mathematics, natural science, literature, philosophy, and theology. The academic life of the college is conducted under the light of the Catholic faith and flourishes within a close-knit community, supported by a vibrant spiritual life. For additional information, visit http://www.thomasaquinas.edu/newenglandpr.
NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information about National Christian Foundation, please visit https://heartland.ncfgiving.com/home. To arrange an interview with a representative from NCF Heartland, The Moody Center or Thomas Aquinas College, please contact Heidi McDow at 972.267.1111 or via e-mail at Heidi@alarryross.com.