Grand Canyon University, a for-profit Christian university based in Arizona, has received 217 acres of historic land in western Massachusetts in order to build an extended campus, the school announced.
The land was granted to the university by the owners of craft megastore Hobby Lobby, who three years ago purchased the land that once was home to a seminary founded in 1879. The seminary was founded by D.L. Moody and the campus is home to the gravesites of Moody and his wife—a destination for some evangelical Christians.
The owners have already renovated the campus, knowing they intended to give it to an evangelical Christian college. The campus is home to 43 buildings, and is located in Northfield, about 90 miles west of Boston.
According to the university’s news release, the school plans to open the campus to approximately 500 students in fall 2014, offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The campus will initially employ approximately 50 people, but will eventually employ 600 faculty and staff members by 2018.
Over the next five years, Grand Canyon plans to invest $150 million in the campus, and hopes to turn it into a liberal arts institution.
Grand Canyon offers a variety of online degree programs and is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Follow Anna Schumann on Twitter at @ASchumannCMN.