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From category archives: In Trust Blog

News/Trends

Resource roundup: Title IX

In May, the U.S. Department of Education announced new Title IX regulations that go into effect on August 14, 2020. These regulations not only provide more clarity on the responsibilities of institutions in responding to claims, but mandate that schools conduct live hearings in sexual misconduct cases with opportunities for cross-examination. The In Trust Center has assembled a list of resources to help your school stay up to date on the changes.

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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.

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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.

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Statement from the president

I join my colleagues at the In Trust Center in denouncing racism and supporting #BlackLivesMatter. I am personally sad and angry. And yet I am also hopeful.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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How to lead out of a crisis

Leading out of a crisis

As most institutional leaders have been dealing with immediate challenges — moving classes online and the complexities of transitioning staff, faculty, and students into new spaces — the focus has been on leading during a crisis. But how do you lead during a crisis and simultaneously lead out of one? A new post from the Harvard Business Review offers some guidelines and cautions.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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).

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In Trust Center board election results


The chief executives of voting-eligible member schools of the In Trust Center recently elected one new member and reelected two continuing members to serve on its board of directors. The heads of 77 institutions cast ballots, representing 40 percent of eligible voting members of the In Trust Center.

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Your school is likely at risk. What can your board do?

Higher education in North America – all higher education, not only theological education – is in trouble. How can your board be prepared? 

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What should your board be asking?

Reducing expenses, decreasing enrollment, increasing costs, and shrinking revenue. These are the current realities of higher education. Are your board members asking the right questions in response?

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No experience required?

If you have worked on a candidate search, you know the routine. First: a list is made of everything the new hire will have to do. In an ideal world, this newbie shows up on day one with HR paperwork complete, knowing where to hang her coat and whom to avoid in the employee break room, and of course, which reports are due when and how to complete them.

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A board member reflects on the closure of his school

In January of this year, the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (BTSR) closed its doors for good. Mike Clingenpeel, a BTSR board member, wrote an article for the school’s website reflecting on the closure, and his article was reprinted in the Summer 2019 issue of In Trust. Clingenpeel’s honest reflections offer rare insight into the painful realities of closing a seminary.

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A short series on trends and issues in theological education

A series of articles on theological education from EthicsDaily.com recently caught our attention. Here’s a quick summary.

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Apply to participate in the Wise Stewards Initiative during the 2020-21 academic year

Are you an embedded theological school looking to make significant changes at your school — or improve on the good work that you’re already doing?

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Faculty development, with feeling

If you look hard enough, there seems to be research available about every aspect of higher education — most of it concerned with determining what contributes to successful educational outcomes. Inside Higher Ed recently posted an article about some research being done around the emotional lives of professors and how their emotional response to the demands on their time and energies contribute, ultimately, to their ability to teach.

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Disruption can drive change that leads to sustainability

A recent issue of Trusteeship magazine features an article by Peter Smith titled “How Should Boards Respond to Disruption.” The article was written primarily for boards of universities and colleges, but it goes right to the heart of what it will take to lead a seminary through the next 30 or 40 years.

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The leader you need now, at this moment

If your school is in transition now, or if you've recently completed a leadership change – or even if you are not even considering one – the issue of leadership transition ought to be a part of regular board discussions. Organizational succession planning is the board's work.

 

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Two to tango: Insights from a partnership

In the May issue of Colloquy, the online newsletter from the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), two representatives from Andover Newton Theological School and Yale Divinity School offer some reflections on Andover Newton’s transition from a freestanding theological school to an embedded seminary.

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