Seminaries struggle to build community with affordable dining services

           
         

 

Declining enrollment and increasing numbers of distance education and off-campus students are making the economics of providing food increasingly unsustainable for theological schools. Yet everyone agrees that shared meals build community. What's a seminary to do?

   

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The importance of the executive session

           
         

Executive sessions should be a regular agenda item for every board meeting. Are they at yours? If your board is like many others, perhaps your honest answer is no. Why have an executive session if no pressing issues need to be addressed?

   

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Strategic planning = spiritual discernment

           
         

Leaders of theological schools routinely navigate the nuances of Torah law; Trinitarian controversies; the oeuvre of Rahner, Barth, and Marion; not to mention the subtleties of shared governance. Yet we can still be intimidated by the occult mysteries of strategic planning — not just planning, mind you, but strategic planning.

   

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When it comes to development, the personal touch might just be the Midas touch

           
         




What can board members, who have a big role to play in development, do to make fundraising more productive and, dare we hope, less onerous?

   

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The gift of a learning community

           
         

An interview with Tim Shapiro, president of the Center for Congregations and author of How Your Congregation Learns: The Learning Journey from Challenge to Achievement.

   

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Get merger discussions started by reviewing a document required by ATS

           
         



Schools accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) that are considering a merger should download and peruse a key ATS petition early in the process.

   

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Embedded seminaries: How they thrive

           
         

An "embedded" theological school is a seminary or divinity school that is part of a college or university, as contrasted with a "freestanding" seminary, which is an independent graduate-level institution. Embedded schools face unique challenges, according to Mark Markuly, dean of the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University. One of these is that “you’re kind of off the grid in the ways people traditionally look at governance boards."


   

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Where do the “best” seminarians come from?

           
         

Why are some seminarians more successful than others? What is the background of these star students? Is there such a thing as a "best" seminarian? 

 

   

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Accreditation: What board members need to know

           
         


Some board members may think that accreditation is for the administrative office, but boards play an important role.

   

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The value of successful interim presidencies

           
         

According to a 2014 In Trust article by Heidi Schlumpf, "...interim or 'acting' presidents...can be valuable to a seminary, offering stability and continuity, achieving specific – often financial – goals, and providing time to reexamine mission and vision while searching for the most appropriate permanent leader." 

   

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An American icon that fell victim to the “competency trap”

           
         

The New York Times has run an obituary of sorts for Xerox, the American corporation that is merging with Japanese behemoth Fujifilm Holdings. The company prospered and innovated for decades, but then they began to fall behind. What lessons could we in theological education learn from their example? 

   

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Hispanic Theological Initiative helps students thrive

           
         

Ninety-seven percent of scholars who participate in the Hispanic Theological Initiative (HTI) complete their doctoral degrees within 5.5 years. 

   

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New Year 2018 issue is now available

           
         


The New Year 2018 issue of In Trust magazine was recently mailed and is now available to read online.

   

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Trustees seek change amid public scrutiny of higher education

           
         




According to a recent poll, more than half of trustees agreed that public perception of higher education has deteriorated in the United States over the last decade. They are not all in agreement, however, on the causes of and solution to this problem. 

   

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Small religious colleges are struggling

           
         



A recent Religion News Service article chronicles the struggles of small religious colleges, saying that lacking substantial endowments, many are teetering on a financial cliff.

   

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