The board of directors of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools has announced that the Center’s president, the Rev. Dr. Richard H. Bliese, is stepping down to explore new ministry opportunities.

A time for celebration

The In Trust Center for Theological Schools has just completed a successful season of service to its 230 member institutions, which include seminaries, divinity schools, theological colleges, and related support organizations.

Bliese has guided the organization during a period of growth and transition. In late 2012, a $5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. expanded the longstanding work of In Trust Inc., which had focused on the education of seminary boards, to a broader mission — helping the leaders of theological schools find appropriate resources and use these resources strategically to strengthen the governance and institutional capacity of their institutions. The In Trust Center’s Resource Consulting program has provided direct advice to more than 100 schools since the new program’s launch. The Center also publishes the award-winning In Trust magazine, now in its 28th year, which focuses on shared leadership and governance in theological schools.

In December 2015, Lilly Endowment renewed this support with a grant of $5 million, which will empower the Center to expand its programs over the next few years.

Further support from the Henry Luce Foundation has recently bolstered the Center’s communications initiatives, enabling the education of new writers and the creation of new written resources in languages other than English.

A time for transition

The Center’s president, the Rev. Dr. Richard H. Bliese, has decided that this moment of strength is the right time to explore other ministry and vocational opportunities. His last day at the Center will be January 29, 2016. “Recent achievements have put the In Trust Center in a strong position,” Bliese said. “This provides me with a great opportunity to explore other vocational interests, and to do so with gratitude.”

The board of directors of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools has noted with appreciation the milestones achieved during Bliese’s tenure as president and has expressed its thanks. “My fellow board members join me in wishing Rick every blessing as he pursues new avenues of service,” said the Rev. Msgr. Roger McGrath, chair of the In Trust Center’s board.

McGrath added that the board has pledged to support Bliese during the transition while also cultivating and identifying new leadership. “The In Trust Center’s board and staff have many reasons to celebrate, and we look forward to many more years of service to theological schools,” said McGrath.

The board of directors is beginning a search for a new chief executive. Questions about the transition can be directed to the Rev. Msgr. Roger McGrath, chair of the board, at rmcgrath@intrust.org.