Shannon Beaudry's Articles

How (and why) to do board assessment

As part of the ongoing work of the In Trust Center’s Wise Stewards Initiative, participating schools are completing board self-assessments, which their faculty coaches are using to create board development plans. Conducting a board assessment is something that every school should consider doing.

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Resource roundup: Institutional financial health

The fiscal responsibilities of seminary boards, presidents, and administrators are vast and complex. And for those who want to maintain or improve their school’s financial health, it's sometimes hard to know where to start. Here are resources that may offer some guidance in tending to institutional financial health.

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Leveraging the power of Facebook

By now, we all know the vast reach that Facebook has across the globe, and many are aware of how powerful a tool Facebook can be for nonprofits and educational institutions to engage with constituents and potential donors.

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In Trust Center board of directors election results

The leaders of member schools of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools recently cast ballots to elect one new member and re-elect one continuing member of the Center’s board of directors.

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A challenge to find the time

A recent informal survey conducted by In Trust found that of the 92 seminary presidents and chief executives who replied, 24 percent had taken a sabbatical. Both those who had and those who hadn’t said that it was hard to find the time to take the leave that they had been granted. In Trust followed up with telephone interviews with several presidents and found that they had worked with their boards to create a wide variety of arrangements.

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Why do university presidents lose their jobs?

In a recent article in Inside Higher Ed, William G. Tierney, professor at the University of Southern California, posits the question of why university presidents resign or are fired. Using examples of recent high-profile presidential resignations, Tierney argues that commonly blamed factors are not the true cause of presidential downfalls. 

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How can a seminary react to financial stress?

Unanticipated financial setbacks sometimes become little deficits. And the response to little deficits can shape the course of a school’s future. What are the options? 

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Human formation, a key to ministry preparation

In the Catholic context, preparation for priestly ministry is guided by the Program of Priestly Formation. Theological educators of any denomination can benefit from reading this document, especially the section outlining the four elements of formation – spiritual, intellectual, pastoral, and human.

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Administrators strive to serve international students

Students from Africa and East Asia come to study in North America because theological schools in the United States and Canada offer top-quality education. However, immigration and financing systems don’t always prepare these students for the hurdles they inevitably encounter.

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The board's role in spiritual formation

Theological school boards are responsible for all aspects of the school they serve, including the spiritual formation of their students. But how can boards know for sure whether spiritual formation is being adequately addressed?

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Unleashing your inner leader

Becoming an effective leader in theological education -- whether as a president, dean, or board member -- usually requires intentional study and practice. Rarely does someone become a great leader through sheer instinct and natural talent. Rather, great leaders combine their natural gifts with the wisdom they gain from experts and real-world experiences.

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Instructional design

Instructional designers and instructional technologists are often confused, but the titles aren’t interchangeable,” says Sue Ann Husted, who has held both positions at various institutions during her 24-year career.

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Tools for board improvement

Do you have new (or existing) board members that require orientation? Interested in conducting an assessment of your board's efficacy? Feel as if your board could be communicating or collaborating better? 

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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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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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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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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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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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In Trust Center board election results

Members of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools recently cast ballots to elect three new members and re-elect two members of the Center’s board of directors.

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Financial woes across the pond

The Church Times, a London-based Anglican newspaper, recently published an article about the apparent financial crisis facing Anglican theological education in the United Kingdom.

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A case study in mission-driven publishing


For seminaries, coming up with sustainable revenue-generating ventures is often imperative. But schools must consider whether those venture support their mission and values.

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Highlights from In Trust's Autumn 2017 issue, available now

The Autumn 2017 issue of In Trust was recently mailed  to subscribers and is now available online. Click "Read the rest of entry" for highlights.

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For resources on shared governance, contact the In Trust Center

The Resource Consulting team at the In Trust Center often receives questions about shared governance and points theological school leaders to the most pertinent resources from both inside and outside the field of theological education.

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