Frontier Mission Champions Announce Sale of Campus in Forward-Looking Move

William Carey International University Board says EF Education First purchase helps further founding vision in a changing world.

The board of directors of William Carey International University (WCIU, has announced the planned purchase of its long-term missions campus by EF Education First (EF,, the world’s largest private international education organization. The near-15-acre campus in Pasadena, Calif., is also home to Frontier Ventures (, formerly known as the U.S. Center for World Mission.

PASADENA, Calif. — The board of directors of William Carey International University (WCIU) has announced the planned purchase of its long-term missions campus by Education First (EF), the world’s largest private international education organization.

The pending sale positions WCIU for a new chapter in its research and preparation of men and women to work at the roots of human problems, while also helping to ensure that the legacy of Frontier Ventures (FV), the former U.S. Center for World Mission, continues. The two groups will retain a significant presence adjacent to the near-15-acre site in Pasadena, Calif.

EF is planning to renovate and redevelop the campus primarily for its private international boarding school, EF Academy, which enrolls international high school students ages 14-19 from 80 different countries. As an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, EF Academy currently has campuses in Thornwood, N.Y., and Oxford and Torbay, England.

EF Academy’s mission is to prepare students for the 21st century through a rigorous global curriculum, multilingual education and community service-centric approach to learning. The school will eventually enroll approximately 1,000 students and create more than 150 new full- and part-time jobs. It is expected to open in summer 2020.

Since the WCIU campus was founded in 1976 by the late missions statesman Dr. Ralph Winter, it has been credited with playing a major role in inspiring and equipping the church to focus more efforts on taking the gospel to unreached peoples around the world. Most recently, the unique approach to international development promoted through WCIU’s academic programs has helped equip dozens of scholar-activists globally, and hundreds more through a growing network of associated schools that use WCIU’s core curriculum as a key component in their own programs.

In light of increasing globalization and the strategic decision to align its programs closer to frontline work in the Global South, WCIU leaders felt the time had come to sell the property and use the funds to better further their work and that of FV around the world in more decentralized ways.

“The board of WCIU is very pleased to be able to announce the agreement that has been reached with EF for the purchase of the property,” said Dr. Kevin Higgins, president of WCIU. “Our board believes this is a forward-looking move that will enable WCIU and FV to better fulfill the vision that has driven our efforts all these years.

“At the same time, we are glad the property will continue to be used to give students a broader view of the world and their part in it, and retain its educational character and purpose.”

With 580 offices and schools in more than 50 countries, EF shares with WCIU some aspects of the same commitment to cross-cultural education as a part of preparing international students for the future. Founded in 1965, EF has more than 46,500 full- and part-time staff offering language training, educational travel, cultural exchange programs and international study.

“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 Shawna Marino, vice president for EF Education First. “This campus has been a landmark in the Pasadena community for many years. We look forward to preserving its historic beauty and redeveloping the campus into a world-class international high school that will benefit the community for many years to come.”

WCIU and EF are currently under agreement, and EF expects to close on the property in July 2019 after it undergoes a Master Plan/Conditional Use Permit entitlement process with the City of Pasadena.

EF will host its first community open house and information session on Thursday, April 19, from 7 – 9 p.m., at Franson Hall on the WCIU campus.

William Carey International University

Named after William Carey, a pioneer British missionary to India in the late 1700s and early 1800s, WCIU was established in 1977 at the former U.S. Center for World Mission to equip international cross-cultural workers for overseas service. The distance-learning school has equipped students in 20 countries.

EF Education First

EF Education First is a privately held, family owned company established in 1965 with the mission to open the world through education. With 580 schools and offices in more than 50 countries, EF offers every imaginable way to see the world, experience another culture, learn a language, or earn an academic degree.  

Frontier Ventures

Based in Pasadena, Calif., Frontier Ventures promotes the cause of missions among the world’s unreached people groups through research, education, and mobilization. Founded in 1976 as the U.S. Center for World Mission by the late missionary statesman, Dr. Ralph D. Winter, its subsidiary ministries include the acclaimed “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” course.

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