Black Theological Education

The In Trust Center for Theological Schools is the coordinating organization for the Lilly Endowment-funded initiative on Building Capacity for Sustainability in Historically Black Theological Schools.

The Building Capacity for Sustainability initiative was launched in 2017 as a continuation of the work established in the Strengthening Fundraising in Black Theological Schools Initiative (2014-2016). Through this work, the In Trust Center provides consultant engagement, convenings, and resources in support of each participating schools’ work, connecting school leaders to expertise and helping to facilitate learning community space. The participating schools have, as a group,developed community and commitment statements, which are listed below. Lilly Endowment, Inc. generously provides funding for this initiative.

Contact Us

Interested in learning more about Black Theological Education? 



(302) 654-7770

Our Community

We are the six ATS accredited historically Black
Theological institutions in the U.S.

We are the stewards of nearly two centuries
of Black Theological Education.

Our outcomes

One important outcome of the initiative has been an intentional focus on the unique Gift of Black Theological Education. The presidents and deans together crafted a commitment statement, created a logo, and began to partner in collaboration with a broader network of Black leaders, Church leaders, community members, faculty, scholars, and peers to share the Gift.

Our Commitment

We are boldly committed to Black Theological excellence.
We are boldly committed to the wholeness of people,
institutions and communities.

And we are boldly committed to liberation and freedom
of all God’s creation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in this initiative?

As the coordinating organization for the Lilly Endowment-funded initiative to Build Capacity for Sustainability in Historically Black Theological Schools, the In Trust Center has been funded to work with six schools, including Hood Theological Seminary, Howard University, Interdenominational Theological Center, Payne Theological Seminary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, and Shaw University Divinity School.

At this time, the grant does not allow for us to enroll additional schools, but there may be opportunities and convenings in the future in which those outside of the initiative can participate. The In Trust Center is committed to sharing its learnings from the initiative with its members.

Can I use the resources (videos) shared below?
Yes, In Trust Center members and affiliates have permission to use and share
these resources. For additional information, please contact

Schools Participating in the Initiative

Senior Consultant

Delores Brisbon
Delores Brisbon

Delores Brisbon is a Christian servant, mother, grandmother, seasoned executive, community leader, and mentor. Currently she is an elder in the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia and a senior consultant for the In Trust Center. She served the Monumental Baptist Church for 36 years, 10 of which she was chairperson of the Board of Trustees. For eight years, she served Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church where she established a foundation and raised $1 million.
Mrs. Brisbon is a retired chief operating officer of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Her tenure at the University of Pennsylvania began in 1959 and expanded 26 years ending in 1987. Her responsibilities included the management of a budget of just over $300 million, 4,000 employees, and a medical school faculty of 700 physicians. Her leadership guided the operations, providing an administrative structure and systems to effectively deliver health care services to persons served by the hospital.
Shortly after retirement from the University of Pennsylvania, Mrs. Brisbon founded a management consulting business which had as its clients, medical school hospitals, foundations, municipal unions, municipal funding, and the Department of Health of the City of Philadelphia. A volunteer community leader, Mrs. Brisbon has served over 40 organizations as a director or trustee over a period of 45 years. Currently, she is the president of Presbyterian Community Ministries of Delaware Valley, a trustee of Presby’s Inspired Life, and a trustee and chairperson of the mission and ministry committee of Mercy Health System. She is a former trustee and chairperson of strategic planning at Eastern University. She is often sought as an advisor, speaker, and leader to facilitate and mentor governance and leadership development.

Keynote Presentations