Blog

Student enrollment by the numbers

If you are a leader in theological education, you are already familiar with overall trends in seminary enrollment. Usually, reports about enrollment are gloomy, with a half-hearted silver lining that suggests, “Well, at least we’re not the only ones struggling.”

Read the rest of entry »

AGB report on the current state of shared governance

In North America, shared governance is a central component of higher education. Yet plenty of research shows that shared governance is not clearly understood by many who are tasked with it.
 

Read the rest of entry »

Resource roundup: Succession planning

Succession planning isn’t just for a school’s presiding officer. Having a plan for transition and succession that applies to the entire institution can reduce stress and avert ad hoc emergency decision making when change inevitably occurs. 

Read the rest of entry »

2nd Annual Conference on Competency-Based Theological Education (CBTE) to be held Oct 22-25, 2019 in Palm Springs, California

Following the tremendous response to the first annual conference on competency-based theological education (CBTE) held last November in Vancouver, Canada, plans for the second annual CBTE conference are well underway.

Read the rest of entry »

Lessons no one wants to learn

Schools are constantly trying to peer into the future, plan for change, and stay one step ahead of (or at least not too far behind) the next big thing – whatever that may be. Wise leaders know that schools, programs, and plans need to be re-invented every so often. 

Read the rest of entry »

Resource roundup: Online learning

The ever-changing landscape of theological education can make adapting to new educational models daunting, but there are resources available to help you.

Read the rest of entry »

Resource roundup: Social media management

With the right resources, it is possible to run successful social media campaigns without hiring a full-time social media marketer.

Read the rest of entry »

Steps for effective board recruitment

How do you go about finding new board members? It’s not as easy as asking friends if they want to serve.

Read the rest of entry »

What are a board's top concerns?

What are the top concerns for the future of higher education as identified by board members serving at private, nonprofit colleges and universities across the United States?

Read the rest of entry »

The ministry of fundraising

I once heard it said that board members find fundraising to be the least appetizing of their responsibilities. Few people are comfortable asking another for money, but without fundraising, few of our theological schools would survive.

Read the rest of entry »

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. Creating a plan is something that every school should consider doing.

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »

Diversifying your board

As the diversity of students entering theological schools continues to grow, many school leaders are challenged with mirroring that diversity within their administration, faculty, and board. 

Read the rest of entry »

Questioning tenure

At some point every board member will hear arguments for and against tenure, the policy that has been called “the most sacred cow munching on the ivy that covers the towers of academia.”

Read the rest of entry »

College-age population expected to decline dramatically

The number of college-age young people is predicted to fall by more than 15 percent within the next decade. The potential effects on theological education are obvious — and daunting.

Read the rest of entry »

Strategy is still the issue

Back in 2012, Christa Klein, then president of In Trust, spoke with Robert Cooley, “the guru of governance,” on the question of strategy and the rapidly changing landscape of theological education. Their conversation remains relevant today.

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »

The right school, the right time, and the right CFO

How does a school find the chief financial officer (CFO) it needs?

Read the rest of entry »

Your top strategic issues

When your board meets, how much time do you spend focusing on strategic issues facing your school? If the answer is less than half of the meeting time, then your board is like many others. 

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »

Resource roundup: Assessing institutional culture

How do your faculty, staff, and administrators experience the culture of your institution? Knowing the answer can help you make improvements that result in lasting benefits and contribute in significant ways to your school’s success.

Read the rest of entry »

Communicating hope amid disruption

The illustration and type on the cover of Fuller Seminary's magazine pretty much says it all. Rather than an evocative photographic portrait, as usually graces the cover, this one sports a photoshopped bird – gold and in flight – which forms the first “I” in the 200-point Century Bold italicized title that reads: DIS RUP TION.

Read the rest of entry »

Visualizing governance systems

The dashboard of a car can tell you a lot — fuel level, speed, air temperature, tire pressure. The one thing it can’t tell you is where you’re going. For that we need another metaphor. Randall Basinger at Messiah College has just the thing: GPS, or governance positioning system.

Read the rest of entry »

Seminary classes in churches: creative experiments and tough questions

 

Is theological education for everyone — or only for those with special vocations? That question is not new. Nor is it new for seminary classes to be held in church basements in order to bring education closer to the people in the pews. Yet it’s worth repeating that seminaries are continuing to experiment with bringing theological education to untapped audiences. One of these new-yet-old experiments is “taking seminary to church” — holding seminary courses in congregational settings with regular church-goers invited to learn along with officially enrolled seminarians.

Read the rest of entry »

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.

Read the rest of entry »