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Updated partial list of theological schools' fall semester plans

Princeton Seminary (photo taken in 2017)

A partial list of theological schools that have posted fall academic plans online.

Anti-racism resources for schools, organizations, and individuals

Faces of diversity

Many schools, organizations, and individuals are now seeking to address systemic racism. To spur hard conversations and to help institutions to address the work of justice and inclusion, the In Trust Center has been curating resources from peer organizations.

ATS publishes information about proposed accrediting standards

In the Ashland Seminary sculpture garden, a depiction of Jesus washing a disciple's feet

The Association of Theological Schools and Commission on Accrediting have published information about proposed accrediting standards in the May 2020 issue of the ATS monthly newsletter. Members of the Commission will vote on the proposed standards at the organization’s Biennial Meeting on June 24-25, 2020.

What should you do about the fall semester?

Empty classroom at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary's Charlotte campus

It’s the big question school decision makers are asking: What to do about reopening school in the fall? Some theological schools have already made a decision, while others are waiting for more information.

To help school leaders and faculty make sense of the complex issues surrounding the decision, Inside Higher Ed has published an article by Edward J. Maloney and Joshua Kim, “15 Fall Scenarios,” that lays out many of the options. 

Evidence of the struggle

Suckling mother dog

For employed academics — especially with those who have school-age children — working from home can be hard. Here are two items that came across my desk this week.

Is higher education returning to normal this fall?

The Chronicle of Higher Education has been asking individual schools to submit their fall education plans, and the periodical is compiling a list indicating which schools are returning to face-to-face learning. As of the end of April, most schools on the list are planning to return to face-to-face learning in time for the fall semester, but some are delaying the decision until May or June.

New COVID-19 resources

The John Bulow Campbell Library at Columbia Theological Seminary

The In Trust Center continues to collect resources that may be helpful to the administrators and boards of theological schools during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some that have come across our desks in recent weeks.

Curated resources for the COVID-19 pandemic

Wesley Theological Seminary library

The staff of the In Trust Center has been collecting resources, and directories of resources, to help theological schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a curated list of what we have discovered.

 

Principles for our new reality

Old Well, University of North Carolina

A list of “Principles” written by Professor Brandon Bayne of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has begun circulating online over the last few weeks. The In Trust Center reached out directly to Professor Bayne for permission to share his principles more broadly. His “Principles,” though written for university students, can apply equally well to staff, faculty, and even boards of theological institutions.

Resources for moving classes online

 

In light of the coronavirus outbreak, many seminaries, colleges, and universities have decided to switch from in-person classes to online instruction.

Here are some online resources that may be helpful.

 

Two seminaries to close

The 2019 entering class at Christ the King Seminary in Buffalo, New York.

Two seminaries will close this spring.

Earlier this month, the board of trustees of Christ the King Seminary in Buffalo, New York, and members of the seminary corporation voted to close the school at the end of the current academic year.

Also this month, the board of trustees of Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, voted to close Logsdon Seminary, which offers the school’s graduate programs in theology.

Seminarians in b-school

Graduation at Andover Newston Seminary. Dean Sarah Drummon is at center in blue suit.

In the February 4, 2020, issue of the Christian Century, Sarah Drummond explains why Andover Newton Seminary requires students who are preparing for ministry to take at least one course from the Yale School of Management (SOM).

Continuing education: Advance your mission

Dr. Helen Blier, director of continuing education at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, recently led a webinar on what continuing education is, why institutions should offer it, and how schools can dive in.

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.

The value of interim presidents

The Autumn 2018 issue of In Trust magazine includes an interview with William Crothers, interim president at Ashland Theological Seminary. Crothers has served as an interim CEO five times since he retired in 2002 as ninth president of Roberts Wesleyan College. He was happy to share with In Trust readers some of the wisdom that he’s gleaned over the years.

Help with the Carver Model of governance

Most authors, researchers, and support organizations agree that no one-size-fits-all template dictates how boards should function. Rather, governance gurus urge boards to shape the way they work to the contours of their specific organizations.

An American icon that fell victim to the “competency trap”

The New York Times has run an obituary of sorts for Xerox, the American corporation that is merging with Japanese behemoth Fujifilm Holdings. The company prospered and innovated for decades, but then they began to fall behind. What lessons could we in theological education learn from their example? 

Small religious colleges are struggling



A recent Religion News Service article chronicles the struggles of small religious colleges, saying that lacking substantial endowments, many are teetering on a financial cliff.

A good example of a presidential search update letter


When a school is looking for a new president, rumors fly and questions abound. The search process takes many months, and often confidentiality is paramount.

Survey reveals shared concerns of college presidents

Earlier this year, the Gallup Organization and Inside Higher Ed teamed up to survey 2,890 college and university presidents about a host of topics. Although the survey sample did not include Bible colleges, seminaries, or institutions with fewer than 500 students, several of the questions asked relate to issues that theological schools are facing as well.

Where did the phrase “Mission fulfillment with economic vitality” come from?




We recently asked consultant Rebekah Burch Basinger about the origins of the phrase "Mission fulfillment with economic vitality." She explained that it's a summary statement about economic equilibrium.

Reaching seminarians and communities alike through congregational partnerships




The challenges for modern theological schools and the needs of seminarians are great and ever-changing. Among these include the rising costs of obtaining seminary degrees and many seminarians’ desire to remain close to their homes and families. In a February article in The Christian Century, Jason Byassee and Ross Lockhart highlight how some schools are meeting these challenges by partnering with flourishing megachurches.

New members of the board of directors

Voting-eligible member schools of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools recently elected three new members and re-elected two members to serve on the In Trust Center’s board of directors. The new and re-elected members include (above, from left) Marsha Foster Boyd, Charisse L. Gillett, Kathryn Glover, David Jennings, and Msgr. Roger E. McGrath.

What people are saying about the In Trust Center's new president



"The In Trust Center is in the best possible hands with the leadership of Amy Kardash!  In my experience, she brings a profound professionalism and integrity to her every endeavor."

Amy L. Kardash named president of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools




The board of directors of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools has named Amy L. Kardash as the organization’s new president. 

In her new role, Kardash will oversee and direct all the In Trust Center’s work in resourcing seminaries and theological colleges. These programs include Resource Consulting, a service that connects the leaders of theological schools to resources that enable them to make transformative changes within their institutions; In Trust magazine, periodical for seminary trustees, administrators, and faculty members published since 1988; and the In Trust Center’s webinars and other educational programs.

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