Rider University planning to sell choir college

           
         



Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, has decided to sell nearby Westminster Choir College, which the university first acquired in 1992. This may be indicative of future trends in theological education. 

   

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Ready or not.

           
         



"People act shocked when the usual crises occur and they have no adequate plan." 

Why? Perhaps it's because of where we as leaders invest our time. Many of us are so focused on deadlines and day-to-day obligations that we never take the time to plan for crises that may or may not take place.

   

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Technological solutions for board collaboration

           
         



At your school, how do board members communicate between meetings? How are board documents relayed and important decisions made ahead of meetings? Is it sometimes challenging to collaborate with your board members, who are busy and scattered across the country (or globe)? If so, take heart -- there are technological solutions that may help.

   

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Board leadership for rainy days or sunny skies

           
         



During tough economic times, theological school boards may wonder what they should be doing to weather the storm. According to Rebekah Burch Basinger, the answer is “what you should have been doing all along.”

   

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Executive committees and governance

           
         


 

Executive committees can serve a useful purpose in board governance, but they have the potential to create division within a board. Executive committees, writes Rebekah Burch Basinger, can become overly powerful and cliquey, keeping all important decision making for themselves and expecting the board at large to approve any decisions they make. And that can cause trouble.

   

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Calculating the "public value" of your school

           
         


Sometimes a theological school must communicate its worth to a larger community -- perhaps as part of an outreach effort or in an appeal to donors. In these instances, it’s helpful for school leadership to make the case for the institution's value to the community. A few years ago, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary conducted an economic impact study and was subsequently able to quantify its value after local residents expressed concern that the seminary was not giving enough to the community. In addition to actual dollar amounts given, the seminary also calculated the value of residents employed by the school, hours volunteered, and benefits not easily quantified, such as diversity. As a result, not only was the school able to communicate its worth, but they also developed stronger town-gown relationships.

   

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Article highlights family-leave policies at evangelical seminaries

           
         




A recent Christianity Today article examines the parental leave policies of several evangelical seminaries and what these policies inadvertently say about the value of women and families to these institutions. 

   

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The president or the board: Who decides?

           
         


Noses in, fingers out.” That’s what we’ve suggested to boards in the most simplistic way when discussing the board’s role and responsibilities – a perennial topic for In Trust magazine, In Trust Center webinars, and our Resource Consulting work. Considering a board’s continual development cycle, board education must always include attention to the clarity of roles and responsibilities.

   

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Strategic framework resource available from BoardSource

           
         


Does your school have a strategic plan? Or have you chosen a less formal planning strategy? BoardSource has recently released an infographic that explains the differences between strategic plans and strategic frameworks -- and why boards are increasingly moving towards the more flexible framework model.

   

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How one school is integrating field education into clerical training

           
         


 

A recent article in The Christian Century by Celeste Kennel-Shank features Bexley Seabury Seminary’s revised M.Div. program, which integrates field education throughout seminarians’ education. The Chicago seminary's newly relaunched M.Div. program requires students to work with faculty, pastors, congregational leaders, and parishioners in a real-world context as they simultaneously take courses, both online and in person.

 

   

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Reaching seminarians and communities alike through congregational partnerships

           
         




The challenges for modern theological schools and the needs of seminarians are great and ever-changing. Among these include the rising costs of obtaining seminary degrees and many seminarians’ desire to remain close to their homes and families. In a February article in The Christian Century, Jason Byassee and Ross Lockhart highlight how some schools are meeting these challenges by partnering with flourishing megachurches.

   

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The board's role in cultivating generosity

           
         



When institutional mission and individuals’ calls converge, the miraculous happens,” says Rebekah Burch Basinger in her 2010 In Trust article, “Giving as a response to God’s call.” Basinger was referring to the role theological school boards can play in reframing giving as a calling from God.

   

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Presidential evaluation resources

           
         




Is your board planning a presidential evaluation soon? In any evaluation process, it is important to consider what you hope to gain -- including the board's (and the president's) priorities and plans. Are you unsure of where to start? The In Trust Center can help!

 

   

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Pacific School of Religion withdraws plans for senior living community

           
         





Back in October, we shared the news that Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, planned to develop senior living housing on campus. Since then, the school has announced plans to withdraw their application for developing the proposed senior community. 

   

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In Trust magazine - New Year 2017 issue

           
         



The New Year 2017 issue of In Trust was recently sent out to members and subscribers. Click "Read the rest of entry" for highlights! 

   

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