Campus Update

William Carey International University Closes Sale
of Southern California Campus to Education First

 Purchase heralds new era

PASADENA, Calif.– A Southern California university campus that has played a leading role in Christian missionary work around the world has been sold, it was announced today.

Geneva-based Education First (, the world’s largest private international education organization, has completed the purchase of the 15-acre William Carey International University (WCIU) campus in Pasadena, Calif.  The campus is also the home to Frontier Ventures (FV), formerly the U.S. Center for World Mission.

Education First, known worldwide as EF, plans to redevelop the campus into a private international boarding school – EF Academy – housing approximately 1,000 teenage students from up to 80 countries. The school, expected to open in the summer of 2020, will create more than 150 new full and part-time jobs, according to EF.

Dr. Kevin Higgins, WCIU President, said the sale of the Pasadena campus is pivotal to  “decentralize” the work of WCIU and its missions arm Frontier Ventures, enabling them to launch smaller-scale hubs worldwide, so they can more effectively focus on key regions in the “Global South,” where billions of people have not heard the gospel message.

“Frontier Ventures is launching hubs in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and other locations closer to ‘where the action is’,’’ said Higgins, who also is director of Frontier Ventures. “This decentralized approach will bring our innovation, mobilization and training expertise nearer to the pioneering organizations working among those who’ve yet to hear about Jesus Christ.”

The sale included the bulk of the stunning 15-acre campus, 20-plus housing units and a soccer field. The campus was once the home of the former Nazarene College.

“As the world leader in international education, EF is excited about the potential to grow our footprint in California and spread our mission of opening the world through education,” said EF Vice President Shawna Marino. “This campus has been a landmark in the Pasadena community for many years, and we are grateful to have been selected as the purchaser. We look forward to preserving its historic beauty and redeveloping the campus into a world-class international high school that will benefit the community and students for many years to come.”

William Carey International University ( and Frontier Ventures ( are well-known in evangelical missions circles. Founder Dr. Ralph D. Winter established the private, faith-based university in 1977, one year after launching the U.S. Center for World Mission (USCWM), now Frontier Ventures, on the same campus at East Elizabeth Street, Pasadena. Both WCIU and FV will continue to have scaled-down administrative operations and staff housing in Pasadena, next-door to the EF campus.

Time Magazine named Winter one of the top 25 most influential evangelicals in America in 2005, four years before his death.

For more than 40 years, the university and USCWM/Frontier Ventures have equipped cross-cultural workers for overseas Christian service, focusing on “frontier missions” to parts of the world where the Christian gospel is unknown. In recent years, WCIU and its network of partner schools around the world has spearheaded innovations in faith-based international development.

WCIU will continue to focus on distance-education and equipping a network of associated schools across South Asia and other regions with innovative curriculum.

William Carey International University

Named after William Carey, a pioneer British missionary to India, WCIU ( was established in 1977 at the former U.S. Center for World Mission in Pasadena, Calif., to equip international cross-cultural workers for overseas service. The distance-learning school continues to equip and train students in 20 countries.

EF Education First

Founded in Sweden in 1965, Education First ( is a private company with the mission to open the world through education. With more than 600 schools and offices in dozens of countries, EF offers opportunities for students to experience another culture, learn a language, or earn an academic degree.

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William Carey International University (WCIU) has completed the sale of its Pasadena, Calif., campus to Geneva-based Education First (EF).

William Carey International University (WCIU) has completed the sale of its Pasadena, Calif., campus to Geneva-based Education First (EF).