Where did the phrase “Mission fulfillment with economic vitality” come from?

           
         




We recently asked consultant Rebekah Burch Basinger about the origins of the phrase "Mission fulfillment with economic vitality." She explained that it's a summary statement about economic equilibrium.

   

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A law school is closing after facing enrollment and job placement challenges

           
         




Theological education is not the only sector of higher education facing the combined pressures of high costs and flat enrollment. Law schools have seen enrollment drop over the last decade, due in part to a difficult job market coupled with high tuition costs. Now, for the first time, a law school is shutting its doors.

   

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Check out our Spring 2017 issue, available now

           
         


The Spring 2017 issue of In Trust is now online. Click "Read the rest of entry" for highlights! 

   

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Moving past the stigma of mental illness

           
         


I’m a pastor with depression. For years I thought I had to hide it. That was an eye-catching headline in a recent News & Ideas newsletter from Leadership Education at Duke Divinity. The headline was a link to a Sojourners article, and I read it with interest because we recently published an article in In Trust on theological schools partnering with psychology and social work programs. 

   

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Canadian theological school governance

           
         




For those outside of Canadian theological education, and even for some inside it, the organization of Canadian theological schools can seem complicated. Higher education in Canada encompasses a wide variety of governance structures, due in part to the provincial (rather than national) oversight of education.

   

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In Trust wins Associated Church Press awards

           
         




In Trust was recognized with four “Best of the Christian Press” awards at the Associated Church Press annual awards banquet, held on April 28, 2017, in Chicago. 

   

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Need a succession plan? The In Trust Center can help!

           
         


In an ideal world, institutional leaders know well in advance when they plan to step down from their positions. After a long, successful presidency, boards and administrators have ample time to plan for the departure of a leader and the arrival of a highly qualified successor. But what if a president unexpectedly takes another job or falls gravely ill?

But what if a president unexpectedly takes another job or falls gravely ill?
But what if a president unexpectedly takes another job or falls gravely ill?
But what if a president unexpectedly takes another job or falls gravely ill?

   

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Rider University planning to sell choir college

           
         



Rider University in New Jersey has decided to sell nearby Westminster Choir College, which the university first acquired in 1992. The possibility of a university selling one of its constituent schools suggests that mergers can be temporary. Could the similar situations be in the cards for seminary-university partnerships? 

   

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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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