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Shannon Beaudry's Articles

Pacific School of Religion withdraws plans for senior living community





Back in October, we shared the news that Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, planned to develop senior living housing on campus. Since then, the school has announced plans to withdraw their application for developing the proposed senior community. 

In Trust magazine - New Year 2017 issue



The New Year 2017 issue of In Trust was recently sent out to members and subscribers. Click "Read the rest of entry" for highlights! 

The “whys” and “hows” of strategic planning



Robert S. Landrebe wonders: “Is strategic planning a waste of time?” And then he answers with a resounding “no.” The Association of Theological Schools and other accrediting bodies require strategic planning, but they're only required because they're essential. Good strategic planning practices “ensure that all parts of a complex institution are aligned and moving ahead.”

How can you foster board engagement?



“No school can afford a board that is unaccountable, uncreative, and uncooperative.” This was the driving idea behind Eugene F. Roop’s article “Board governance can be accountable, creative, and cooperative: three ways of understanding the board’s work,” published in a 2011 issue of In Trust.

Autumn issue highlight: Teaching Islam in Christian seminaries




Teaching Islam in Christian seminaries,”an article in the Autumn 2016 issue of In Trust, focuses on the growing number of Christian seminaries that are adding programs or courses in Islamic Studies.

ATS Graduating Student Questionnaire Webinar available



On October 4, the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) presented a webinar titled “GSQ Webinar: Highlights from the Total School Profile.”

A financial vocabulary lesson for board members



Are you a board member with fiduciary responsibilities but little experience with financial matters? Do you find yourself lost or confused by the financial jargon that comes up in budgetary or investment discussions? Have no fear. 

Practical implications of board diversity



With the exception of schools that primarily serve people of color, most theological school boards do not reflect the diversity present in their schools. Many schools have made great strides in serving their diverse student populations by hiring faculty and adjusting their curriculum to better serve a variety of student experiences. However, this diversity has not made its way into the makeup of school boards.

Seminary rector interviewed by Crux magazine



Bishop Timothy Senior, rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, recently gave an interview for Crux magazine. During the interview, Bishop Senior offered his reflections on priestly formation one year after Pope Francis’ 2015 visit to Philadelphia.

Recently published from CHEA: A board member's guide to accreditation




Accreditation for institutions of higher education is a multifaceted and often confusing process. For governing boards in particular, it can be challenging to learn the ins and outs of accreditation and what the role of the board is in that process. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) has recently published a resource to address this challenge.

Webinar on five-year B.A./M.Div. programs now available



The In Trust Center recently presented a free webinar sponsored by the Kern Family Foundation on five-year pastoral degree programs, which are currently underway at 19 institutions. During the webinar, Josh Good, program director of the Faith, Works, & Economics program at the Kern Family Foundation, presented the history of the foundation's support for five-year programs

Special section on mergers, partnerships, and alliances in Autumn 2016 issue




The Autumn 2016 issue of In Trust, recently sent out to subscribers, features a special section on mergers, partnerships, and alliances. This special section features an interview with Tom Ingram, president emeritus of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, on how to conduct a merger, plus eight case studies of mergers and partnerships.

Theological school plans to build senior center on campus


Written by Stephen Butler Murray

Our friends at Pacific School of Religion (PSR) have announced plans to build 265 apartments for seniors on their campus in Berkeley, California. Here are my thoughts.

If your fiscal year ended June 30, your 990 is due in November -- if you must file at all




To remain in compliance with IRS reporting requirements, theological schools and seminaries must know exactly what is required of them by law. This can sometimes prove difficult, as tax laws can yield ambiguous answers to common questions trustees have.

Creating an emergency transition plan



If a school’s chief executive departs, the board, administration, and staff will know well in advance, right? And they'll prepare for a smooth leadership change, and everyone will remark on how well the transition went, and the next year will be the institution's best year ever. Right?

One Jesuit's perspective on theological education



As the Jesuits are currently reviewing their approach to theological education, one of the order's former educators is offering his perspective on changes needed to prepare clergy for a modern context.

Protect yourself from cyber threats




Staff of the In Trust Center recently attended a webinar on cyber security for nonprofit organizations. The webinar was provided by the Delaware Small Business Development Center and presented by Michelle Wang, assistant director of information security administration for the Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church. Although the webinar was presented for an audience of Delaware nonprofits, the information provided is pertinent to any organization that would like to improve their cyber security efforts.

Dallas seminary to require sexual abuse prevention class



As of this fall, Dallas Theological Seminary is requiring ministry students to take an entry-level certification course on preventing and addressing child sexual abuse.

Saying "no" to a donor gift




Sometimes it makes sense to turn down a gift. That's what Dorothy Ridings warned in a 2010 article titled "Recipient beware!" that appeared in In Trust.

"Farminary" provides agricultural context to ministerial formation




Princeton Theological Seminary is offering a unique take on the recent interest in sustainable farming. Their agricultural project, known as the Farminary, is offering students a chance to learn theological concepts and to develop their ministry in the context of farming. 

The standard in academic governance



“Shared governance is a long-time feature of American higher education, yet it remains a frequently misunderstood and often maligned aspect of academic life,” states Rebekah Basinger in a 2010 In Trust article. In her article, Basinger acknowledges that board members, administrators, and faculty of theological schools often express doubt or confusion about shared governance and the way it works. However, if done properly, shared governance allows theological institutions to further their missions and “advance God’s purposes for the church.” 

Adaptation may help declining enrollment



Among the difficulties many theological schools face today is the decline in student enrollment. The answer to this problem may well be in a school’s ability to adapt to the needs of today’s potential seminarians.


Leadership is shaped by our faith traditions


As David Tiede put it in a 2009 In Trust article, “Effective leadership . . . has become the test in a growing number of schools, and some track their results by how well communities are led by their graduates.”

Quoting Daniel Aleshire, executive director of the Association of Theological Schools, Tiede states that “theological education is leadership education.” In addition to intellectual and spiritual formation, seminaries typically include leadership education in their models of good theological education.

Pokemon GO and the theological library



Cross-posted from the ATLA Newsletter, the blog of the American Theological Library Association. Article submitted to the ATLA by Keegan Osinski, public services assistant, Vanderbilt University Divinity Library.

Much of theological librarianship lies at the intersection of church and library. And as of July 8, 2016, something else has popped up at that intersection: the mobile gaming app Pokémon GO. Based on the popular video game and anime from the late ’90s and early ’00s, Pokémon GO is a location-based game that uses Google maps to bring Pokémon into the real world. Players explore their neighborhoods and cities looking for monsters to catch and battles to fight. The important landmarks in the game — PokéStops and Gyms — are often located at public art, historical markers, and churches and libraries. Both libraries and houses of worship are finding that Pokémon GO can be a fun way to interact with their communities.

Assumptions underlying board culture



The latest issue of Trusteeship magazine features an article by Richard Chait on the topic of board culture and how it affects board efficacy. In the article, “The Bedrock of Board Culture,” Chait argues that, too often, boards do not examine the underlying assumptions that define their board’s culture.