LifeWay spokesman Marty King told the paper that a National Association of Evangelicals report on Olivet’s theological compatibility with the Southern Baptist Convention’s resources arm, commissioned by LifeWay and Olivet, was completed last week.
“LifeWay Christian Resources has reviewed the report from the National Association of Evangelicals, and decided not to go forward with the sale of Glorieta Conference Center to Olivet University,” said a statement given to the paper by King. “We are appreciative of our relationship with Olivet’s leadership, and indebted to NAE for their thorough work. We will now renew our pursuit of viable options for the sale of the property.”
Olivet University, based in California, was founded by David Jang, who has been under ongoing scrutiny in Korea for his teachings, and who was the subject of recent investigative reports by Christianity Today. Jang has several business interests in the US, his involvement with the World Evangelical Alliance has also been questioned.
Olivet University failed in a bid to buy Bethany University, a defunct Assemblies of God college in California, and also lost its bid for a campus property in Massachusetts. Olivet has been leasing space at the conference centre.
The National Association of Evangelicals inquiry results will not be made public. Olivet U President and Christian Post chairman William Wagner hopes that the school and Lifeway Christian Resources can still make a deal:
“Olivet University leadership has been made aware that Lifeway Christian Resources plans not to proceed with the transfer of the Glorieta Conference Center,” wrote Wagner, a former Baptist missionary who ran for president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2008. “Olivet intends to further discuss the decision of LifeWay Christian Resources’ leadership in moving forward and continuing negotiations in hopes an agreement can be reached regarding the purchase of the Glorieta Conference Center in Glorieta, N.M.”