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Jang-Related Religious Group Buys Former Temple University Art School Campus

A division of World Olivet Assembly has bought Temple University’s former Montgomery County art school campus.

The division, Creatio International, plans a “new center for artists and architects” at the former Tyler School of Art campus in Elkins Park, Penn., according to an online announcement shared late Wednesday by a World Olivet Assembly spokesperson and first reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The sale price was reported as $3-million.

The area is already home to a campus of California-based Olivet University and to U.S. offices of the Olivet Assembly ministry, both founded by Korean American pastor David Jang.  As MinistryWatch has reported, other organizations and individuals with associations to Jang have been involved in illegal activities.   

On Feb. 14, 2019, former executives from two Jang- affiliated enterprises pleaded guilty to a $35 million money laundering and fraud scheme after long denying any guilt and claiming that their companies were not connected to each other or to Jang. 

Pleading guilty were Etienne Uzac, who was a co-owner of IBT Media, which purchased the magazine Newsweek in 2013 after it had fallen on hard times, and William C. Anderson of Christian Media Corporation, owner of the Christian Post, which claims to be the world’s top Christian website. 

The fraud charges came from a lengthy investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, which in November 2018 charged four individuals and four organizations that are part of Jang’s network with a range of financial violations. 

According to the Inquirer, “Jang founded the Olivet Theological College and Seminary in 2000 in Seoul and Los Angeles.  The school was reconstituted as Olivet University in 2004, when it relocated to Northern California, eventually moving onto a former University of California-Berkeley continuing-education campus in central San Francisco.”

World Olivet Assembly claims to be “a global denomination of evangelical churches and para-churches,” according to the group’s website. Creatio, “an international Christian art and design fellowship,” is a ministry under World Olivet Assembly.

World Olivet Assembly was founded by alumni of Olivet University, a faith-based college established by Korean American pastor David Jang, who remains the school’s international president, according to the California-based university’s site.

Ronn Torossian, an Olivet University spokesperson, told the Inquirer that Olivet University and World Olivet Assembly “are two separate organizations.”

“Olivet University is a private, Christian university based in California, which operates extension sites and campuses in various states,” he said. “It shares the statement of faith of the World Olivet Assembly.”

Warren Cole Smith

Warren previously served as Vice President of WORLD News Group, publisher of WORLD Magazine, and Vice President of The Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He has more than 30 years of experience as a writer, editor, marketing professional, and entrepreneur. Before launching a career in Christian journalism 25 years ago, Smith spent more than seven years as the Marketing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.