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Kings College is located in a New York skyscraper. Photo: King's College.

The King’s College in NYC cancels classes, may lose accreditation

The King’s College in New York City once was considered an important Christian institution in an influential cultural center. Now it is expected to lose its accreditation.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education announced that the college, which already had opted to cancel its fall semester classes, had failed to fill out the “required substantive change request for institutional closure,” The commission went on to note that King’s College had “failed to update public disclosures pursuant to commission policy and procedures” and “failed to meet its membership responsibilities” and as a result, “accreditation will cease on August 31, 2023.”

The college, which severed its partnership with Primacorp, a Canadian investment company, in April, has been seeking a strategic alliance since January. In July, the college’s board of trustees announced that because of financial issues, they would not be holding classes in the fall semester, though they stressed that they were not planning to close the campus permanently.

In late July, students, staff, parents and faculty were informed by the board. “Following months of diligently exploring numerous avenues to enable the College to continue its mission, the Board of Trustees has determined King’s will not be offering classes for the fall 2023 semester. … Further, it is with regret that we share that our faculty and staff positions will be reduced or eliminated, as was addressed in respective faculty and staff meetings earlier today.”

Now the school is looking at all its options.

“The Board of Trustees and senior administration will continue to navigate the college’s next steps and continue to contend for King’s future over the coming months,” a statement from the board said. “The board is committed to continuing our efforts to pursue strategic alliance opportunities. We are also moving forward in the appeal process regarding our accreditation status with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and are deeply grateful for the steadfast prayer and support of the King’s community.”

The college, which had relied on the generosity of billionaires such as Richard DeVos and Bill Hwang, had turned to another billionaire, Peter Chung, for help Chung provided a $2 million loan to the college, and his for-profit education company, Primacorp Ventures, was hired by the college to launch an ambitious online program. However, employees believed the partnership with Chung had exacerbated the college’s financial troubles, with failed efforts including the online expansion.

The college’s online program, which was expected to bring in thousands of students and boost the bottom line, failed to materialize. The college’s deal with Primacorp, which would collect 95 percent of the online enrollment revenue, had been described as “absolutely unheard-of in the online program management world.”

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According to Metro Voice’s sister publication, Tri-State Voice, which serves New York and New Jersey, this is the fourth time in its history the college has closed or relocated. “King’s originally opened in Belmar, New Jersey, in 1938 before being relocated to New Castle, Delaware, in 1941. In 1955, the Tidewater Oil company requested that the campus be removed for industrial use, and King’s was forced to relocate to Briarcliff Manor, New York, in 1955 after losing its appeal in court,” the paper reported.

College closures are rapidly increasing across America, especially among Christian colleges. Christianity Today reported that at least 18 Christian colleges have closed in the last three years.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

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