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Colleges & Universities

The King’s College Fundraising Appears Stalled

The King’s College, a Christian college in New York City, announced in an email to parents on Feb. 6 that it was experiencing a “funding shortfall of approximately $2.6 million for the spring semester.”

The deadline to raise the $2.6 million was Feb. 15. According to Inside Higher Ed, the college raised only $178,000 by that deadline.

Inside Higher Ed also reported that “in a virtual prayer meeting on Feb. 3, Interim President Stockwell Day—a former Canadian minister of finance—noted that the college wasn’t close to hitting the $2.6 million mark but downplayed the possibility of a closure.”

“Nobody knows the hour,” Day said on Feb. 3, “but I can tell you and you can tell students, parents and others, it is our every intent and goal to get to the end of the semester here. If anything changes, we absolutely will tell you, and yes, we are required to have a plan for a teach-out—that’s actually a requirement of [our accreditor].”

The King’s College accreditor is the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

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Representatives of the school’s executive committee sent a memo to stakeholders on Feb. 14. That email said, in part: “In order to be prepared for any scenario, King’s has been working with a number of colleges and universities to develop preferred transfer agreements. These agreements would be put in place should we need them, and our academic affairs staff would assist students with this process.”

The same email noted that the college intends to hold its graduation as scheduled on May 6, and “at this time, there is no plan to close the College before the end of the [spring] semester.”

The problems at King’s have been compounded by the recent deaths of donors Richard DeVos and his wife, Helen DeVos. Another donor, Bill Hwang, had given millions of dollars to the school through his Grace & Mercy Foundation. But, as MinistryWatch reported, Hwang was charged with racketeering and fraud in 2022, and his contributions to King’s dried up.

The King’s College has a long history of Christian education in the New York area. Evangelist and Billy Graham associate Percy B. Crawford founded The King’s College in 1938 in Belmar, N. J.  The school grew, reaching nearly 1000 students by 1980.  But it then went through a period of decline, and in 1994 the school shut down. The school re-opened as a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ – now called Cru — in 1999 with just a few dozen students.  It grew to more than 500 students by 2018.

Experts say that while The King’s College is down, it is too early to count it out. It has thousands of alumni, and its story is unique: It is the only Christian liberal arts college in the nation in Manhattan, one of the cultural centers of the world. It is literally a block away from the New York Stock Exchange, where billions of dollars trade hands every day.

Bill Stanczykiewicz, director of the Fund Raising School at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, told Inside Higher Ed that this proximity gave King’s an advantage: “Candidly, on Wall Street, somebody could write a $2.6 million check out of their desk drawer. And maybe they’re talking to some of those folks who can write a six- or seven-figure check,”

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.