In the latest step toward becoming a sustainable and energy-efficient campus, MTSO has begun work on a geothermal energy system that will heat and cool Gault and Werner halls, the school’s primary academic and administrative buildings.
Eighteen wells are being drilled as part of a vertical closed-loop system, through which heat exchangers will capitalize on differences between ground and ambient temperatures throughout the year. Energy.gov offers an in-depth explanation of geothermal heat pumps, including the vertical closed-loop system MTSO will employ.
The wells are just east of Gault and Werner halls, adjacent to the photovoltaic solar array that was installed in 2015 to provide electricity to Gault Hall. President Jay Rundell recently announced plans for a second phase of the solar project.
These projects reflect a broad commitment to environmental stewardship that is integral to the identity of MTSO. A campus-wide conversion to high-efficiency LED lighting is nearly complete, and motion-sensing switches help ensure that many campus rooms are illuminated only while they are in use.
MTSO’s Seminary Hill Farm grows farm-to-table, USDA-certified organic cuisine for Dunn Dining Hall and also provides locally sourced produce to area markets, restaurants, charitable organizations and participants in community-supported agriculture.
“Taken together, our reduced energy usage, solar electric power, and geothermal heating and cooling will have a significant impact financially and, more important, help MTSO do its part to address environmental pollution and climate change,” Rundell said. “We are one of just a handful of seminaries that can make this happen.”
Methodist Theological School in Ohio prepares leaders of many faith traditions for lives of lasting significance in service to the church and the world. In addition to the Master of Divinity degree, the school offers master’s degrees in counseling ministries, theological studies and practical theology, along with a Doctor of Ministry degree.