The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology is excited to announce that our campus location will be moving 3 miles southeast from 2501 Elliott Avenue to 1130 Rainier Avenue South with the goal of beginning the 2024 Winter term (January 2024) in our new location. As we’ve celebrated and marked our 25 year anniversary, the Board of Trustees and Executive Council have been discerning where the Spirit is leading us to call home and invest for the next 25 years. We believe wholeheartedly that we have found a location in 1130 Rainier Avenue South that will allow us to grow further into our mission of serving God and neighbor through transforming relationships.

While we are looking forward to our future in our new neighborhood, we acknowledge gratitude along with loss as we imagine moving from the space that has been part of our identity and held our community well for the past 15 years. The “red brick building” in Belltown has hosted many milestones in the story of The Seattle School, and its walls have witnessed the joy, grief, and growth in our journey since 2006. We are grateful for the years our community has had at 2501 Elliott Avenue, a time of expansion for our graduate school and seminary with the additions of the Allender Center, the Center for Transforming Engagement, and The Other Journal, and our appreciation of our home in Belltown after the school’s early days in Bothell.

Our new location brings new possibilities and imagination as well as a grounding and rooting in Seattle history and neighborhoods. As a learning community that honors story, we recognize the many stories already held by the space at 1130 Rainier Avenue South. Known as the Black Manufacturing Building, the structure received Historic Preservation status from the City of Seattle in 1987 to reflect the value of its heritage and architectural style. Designed by Andrew Willatsen, an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, it was once described as the “finest and largest exclusive working men’s garment factory building in the United States.” The Black family’s values for state-of-the-art and habitable working environments continue to be represented in the higher ceilings and 15,000 square feet of windows that provide natural daylight. From 1914 to 1981, Black Manufacturing produced shirts, overalls, pants, overcoats, and waterproof garments sold under the Black Bear label. In 1984 the building was remodeled as a corporate headquarters for Darigold LLC, a local dairy agricultural marketing cooperative. The current owners, Nitze-Stagen, hold a vision for creating vibrant, resilient, and equitable communities with deep respect for history, community, and culture. Their plan for development at neighboring 900 Rainier Avenue South will create affordable multifamily housing as well as a community plaza adjoining The Seattle School campus.

Our new home sits at the intersection of three Seattle neighborhoods: the Central District, Northern Rainier Valley, and Beacon Hill. President and Provost J. Derek McNeil, PhD, shares the hope and excitement around The Seattle School’s move: “When the Executive Council first began considering 1130 Rainier Avenue South, a task force comprised of students, staff, and faculty gathering information came back with this hopeful curiosity: What possibilities and opportunities could come through us and to us in this new space? I believe God is leading us into new possibilities and a sustainable future at 1130 Rainier Ave South–to be a school that trains people to be healers and rebuilders in the communities they have been called to love and serve.”

With credit and gratitude to the following sources:
Nitze-Stagen (including photo credit)
City of Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board, Report from March 4, 1987
Black Manufacturing Company (Seattle)