As I’ve been telling people, there are a number of reasons I’m enthusiastic about Fuller’s move to Pomona. They include its missional affordability for students, staff, and faculty, and the bright potential of the city itself.
One advantage of Pomona that I’ve not heard people talk about as much as I’d expect is its proximity to intellectual resources and partners: Pomona borders Claremont—their centers are about three miles apart, and this is surely the densest gathering of great liberal arts colleges in the western United States. That means scholarly peers, libraries, lectures, etc. Like most Fuller faculty, my work is interdisciplinary, and I’m so enthu- siastic about being part of that. (I love you, USC, UCLA, HUC, and AJU—but thanks to LA traffic, we too rarely see each other.)
Make no mistake, this is a big change. There’s work ahead, and not a few challenges. One evening recently, as I walked back to my office from dinner on Colorado Boulevard, I walked past the David Allan Hubbard Library, named for a beloved professor of Old Testament who wrote a book on the prophets entitled Will We Ever Catch Up with the Bible? I walked past lovely old houses built more than a century ago and palm trees planted not long after, in the golden glow of a Pasadena sunset. For all my optimism about Fuller’s future, I mourned a little.
I comfort myself by remembering that the mission of God does not depend on location. As Jesus told the Samaritan woman: true worship is “neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem . . . but in spirit and truth.”
Having been allowed an inside look at the whole process, I feel very good about where it’s led us, and about our future. There are big waves coming. I’m grabbing my surfboard to ride them—and I hope other people will, too.
+ Christopher Hays is the D. Wilson Moore Associate Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Church Studies. He is pictured above in Israel, where he leads a two-week trip as part of the immersion course Experiencing the Land of the Bible. He was also a part of the Faculty Relocation Committee that searched a variety of possible futures for Fuller’s new campus.