Unbeknownst to most people, an accredited university has come to Southlake. The King’s University at Gateway began offering classes September 2012 in a temporary facility at the former Carroll Intermediate School. A partnership between Gateway Church and The King’s University, which has its main campus in Van Nuys, California, and four other teaching sites throughout the U.S., the Southlake campus offers several undergraduate and graduate degree programs for men and women seeking a theological education or ministry training.
The King’s University came to Southlake as a result of a longtime relationship betweenGateway Senior Pastor Robert Morris and Dr. Jack Hayford, founder andChancellor of The King’s University and founding pastor of The Church On The Way in Van Nuys.
“Pastor Robert came to Gateway Church leadership a few years ago and said, ‘It’s time to train the next generation,'” says Dr. John Spurling, director of The King’s University at Gateway. “With Gateway’s previous facility becoming vacant, it helped us make a decision to bring The King’s University to Southlake.”
According to Dr. Spurling, the school is unique in that it combines higher education with practical experience.
“Ths partnership allows us to integrate a classroom experience with hands-on training, similar to a teaching hospital. It creates the opportunity to develop a model that can be implemented in other large churches around the country,” he adds.
For example, a significant component of the undergraduate degree program for full-time students includes participation in a ministry training program at Gateway Church. Areas include pastoral leadership, kids ministry, counseling and small groups. This practical weekly involvement allows students to experience ministry firsthand and expose them to the diverse ministry challenges found in a dynamic, healthy, growing church.
The University’s spring semester began March 23 with 130 students, a nine-person administrative staff, and 12 faculty members at the Southlake campus. Currently, there are six academic concentrations offered:
A doctorate program is expected to be offered within two years.
Another important distinction of The King’s University is that it is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools and by the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education. In addition, The King’s University at Gateway anticipates approval in the near future to enroll international students.
Renovations are well underway inside Gateway’s former location at 2121 E. Southlake Boulevard and The King’s University is expecting to move in mid-August.
According to Doug Sluiter, Gateway’s executive director of building operations and development, the building is being repurposed for the school’s needs and the auditorium downsized from 1,700 to 800 seats. Nine classrooms, a library, café, and administration offices are being built. The facility may also be used to host weddings and other special events for Gateway Church.
Wanting to manage its growth, the University is limiting its local marketing efforts primarily to Gateway’s four campuses in Dallas Fort Worth. A commercial is airing nationally on Daystar Television and a recent college day brought prospective students from as far away as Maine and New York.
“The King’s University coming to town is great for our city and I really like the faith-based aspect of it,” comments Southlake Mayor John Terrell, noting an official welcome will take place once the new campus is open. “It will be great to see that building come to life.”
For more information about The King’s University at Gateway, go to www.Gateway.KingsUniversity.edu.