In April 2018, the In Trust Center hosted a symposium in Philadelphia for more than 60 key leaders to discuss the significance of black theological education. The gathering included leaders, faculty, and students from six schools involved in a Lilly Endowment–funded Initiative to build capacity for sustainability in historically black theological schools, as well as African American leaders from other schools. 

Keynote speakers included Dr. John W. Kinney, professor of theology at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, who spoke on “The Gift of Black Theological Education,” and Dr. Frank A. Thomas, professor of homiletics at Christian Theological Seminary, who spoke on “The Gift of Black Preaching.” Other highlights included a student panel and reports from faculty, presidents, deans, and board members on the impact of black theological education and the work of the grant initiative. 

Several of the presentations were live-streamed and were viewed more than 1,100 times. Videorecordings of the presentations can be found at

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