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An agreement signed Thursday will move Andover Newton Theological School into Yale Divinity School, completing a process started in 2015 that reflected the financial and enrollment pressure faced by many mainline Protestant seminaries.

The agreement will create the Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School. Plans are to make the seminary “essentially tuition-free” by 2022 for students with demonstrated need.

Andover Newton had been confronted by declining enrollment, substantial recurring budget deficits and deferred maintenance at its campus outside Boston when it decided to explore an affiliation with Yale in 2015. It formally announced affiliation plans in in 2016, beginning the process of relocating to Yale’s campus in New Haven, Conn. The two institutions have been moving forward since then, with a visiting arrangement bringing some Andover Newton faculty, staff and students to Yale in the 2016-17 academic year.

Faculty members from the two institutions will work on educational program design next year, planning to have a formal program in place for the fall of 2018. Andover Newton’s campus was sold in a deal finalized in June. But it will continue to operate in Massachusetts for the time being so that current students can complete their studies in the upcoming academic year.