“We looked at every variable,” Chapman said.
NCF hopes to find a suitable recipient for the campus within a year, he said.
Hobby Lobby purchased the campus in 2009 for $100,000 and poured millions of dollars into the property for renovations. The company has said the campus is worth about $20 million.
The campus was built by influential 19th Century evangelist D.L. Moody in 1879 and was formerly the home of the Northfield Mount Hermon School, which moved to consolidate its presence in the area in 2005.
Hobby Lobby first had plans to gift the property to the C.S. Lewis Foundation for the founding of C.S. Lewis College, but plans for the school never moved forward. After engaging in a national search, Hobby Lobby announced in September that it had selected Arizona-based Grand Canyon University as the new recipient of the 217-acre campus.
Grand Canyon University backed out of taking over the campus just five weeks later, after receiving negative feedback from Northfield, Mass., residents on its plans to bring 5,000 Christian college students to the area.