Facing enrollment declines, the Illinois university ends in-person and residential learning, except for Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and its law school in California.

When hundreds of college students at Trinity International University (TIU) pack up their dorm rooms at the end of the semester in May, they won’t be coming back to the suburban Chicago campus. Athletes won’t suit up in their white and blue Trojan uniforms anymore. Undergrads won’t get to study together in the library, share meals in the dining hall, or experience other rhythms of campus life.

TIU announced on Friday plans to move its undergraduate program fully online following the end of the semester, among the first Christian colleges to shut down in-person learning as a result of the “new reality” facing higher ed.

“We know this new direction will be unwelcome news for some, but we believe this course of action will enable us to better serve the global church more effectively,” said TIU President Nicholas Perrin and Board of Regents chair Neil Nyberg in a statement announcing the change.

The Deerfield, Illinois, institution—which includes a graduate school and law school in addition to an influential evangelical seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS)—will continue to offer in-person education through its divinity school in Illinois and law school in California.

TIU’s media release characterized the discontinuation of its residential undergraduate program as a “transformational strategy” that will “position the University for long-term growth, industry leadership, and continued academic excellence.”

Like higher education institutions across the country, TIU–and its seminary–have seen consistent enrollment declines over the last 20 years. As of last fall, the school had 356 full-time undergrad students on campus.

Friday’s …

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