From category archives: In Trust Blog

Vocation

   
                

Seminaries and a theology of work

           
         

Most ministers who want to engage the working world will find that their theological school left them unprepared,” argues Chris Armstrong in “The other 100,000 hours,” an article in the New Year 2013 issue of In Trust. 

   

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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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A dissertation review: “Work-Life Balance of Women Leaders in ATS” by Kelly Campbell

           
         





“Work-Life Balance of Women Leaders in the Association of Theological Schools,” Kelly Campbell’s 2015 doctoral thesis, addresses an important question: how do female seminary administrators handle the relationship between their profession and their personal lives? This is a question often raised about professional women in particular, a fact that has generated some controversy.

   

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Calvin College offers inmates a second chance

           
         

 

“To have this opportunity is an answer to prayer and an opportunity to fulfill my calling,” says David. He's pursuing a bachelor of arts in ministry leadership degree offered by Calvin College. He's also an inmate at Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia, Michigan. 

The Calvin Prison Initiative offers 20 inmates in the Michigan correctional system the chance to pursue a B.A. while incarcerated. The initiative, which accepted its first class in August, has been positively received by inmates, prison staff, and Calvin faculty alike.


   

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Changing demographics at Catholic seminaries

           
         

 

Since the '70s, the number of priests in the United States and Canada has dramatically decreased, while the number of Catholics has grown. The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate reports that in 1965, 549 U.S. parishes did not have a resident priest pastor. By 2010, that number had increased to 3,496. Nevertheless, a recent story from NPR highlights some good news for U.S. Catholics.

 

   

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Trends in church-going hint at a more diverse future for seminaries

           
         



The fact that with each generation, Americans seem less interested in religion has been sort of an assumed given. A recent article in OnFaith points tells us the reality doesn’t quite match up with the accepted narrative. The numbers are dropping among white millennials, but for non-whites, the story is very different...

   

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Seminaries are launching pads

           
         



Barrett Owen works in the admissions office
 at the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University. He’s 29 years old, has two master’s degrees, and has been working as a bivocational pastor for six years. If you know anything about today’s seminarian, you know that Barrett is not alone. Thousands of theological school students are like him.

   

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News on demographics, essential skills, and more

           
         



Last year, In Trust published a report
 by Barbara Wheeler titled “Sobering Figures Point to Overall Enrollment Decline.” That article’s influence continues to grow. Most recently, it was cited in “Seminaries Continue to Attract Older Students,” an article that award-winning journalist Yonat Shimron wrote for the website Insights into Religion.

   

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A bit of winter inspiration

           
         

Snowshoers in a snowstorm

John Coleman’s short essay for the Harvard Business Review Blog Network, “Leadership is Not a Solitary Task,” should inspire presidents, board chairs, board members, and anyone who cares about the direction of an institution.

Coleman notes that . . .

   

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On a C. S. Lewis anniversary, honoring theological educators

           
         



One of my favorite characters in the C. S. Lewis canon is the Anglican bishop 
in The Great Divorce. Along with the other characters in this parable, the bishop has taken a bus from a vast purgatorial city to the very gates of paradise. Once at the gate, he can accompany his appointed guide into heaven if he simply lays down his burdens and follows. Easy! But the bishop waffles. 

   

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Seminarians need spiritual support too

           
         



Seminary board members give a lot — their time, their money, their expertise.
But one thing they don’t expect to be asked for is spiritual support. 

Why not? 

   

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Pope Benedict XVI's 1990 address to U.S. seminarians

           
         


In 1990, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
was the keynote speaker at a conference on priestly formation held at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. His remarks were published in a collection by Ignatius Press, The Catholic Priest as Moral Teacher and Guide.

   

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Student loan forgiveness for employees of religious nonprofits? Maybe

           
         



Student debt cartoon

In January, the U.S. Department of Education released new rules on "loan forgiveness for public service employees."

Some seminarians have borrowed money under the assumption that working in a parish setting or chaplaincy would make them eligible for student loan forgiveness under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, but the new rules say no.

"Your employment at a non-profit organization does not qualify if your job duties are related to religious instruction, worship services, or any form of proselytizing," the new rules say.

   

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