Learning communities

Leaders in theological education continually navigate challenges, address issues, and explore opportunities for change and growth. Your work demands your best leadership skills and the wisdom gleaned from a community of peers and experts.

Much of our work here at the In Trust Center focuses on creating opportunities for broadening learning communities. This has been a primary goal of ours for the more than 30 years that we have been publishing this magazine. 

This past April, we invited you to participate in our In Trust Center evaluation — thank you to those who did! We want to learn how we can best meet your needs as you lead and serve your school. What issues are critical to your work? What would you like to learn more about through our magazine, webinars, and initiatives? Throughout 2019, we will be considering ways to incorporate your feedback into what we offer—with the single goal of providing better service to you, our members and affiliates. 

One noteworthy change that is already in effect: In Trust Center webinars are now free to everyone at our member schools and affiliate organizations. We heard you when you said you want to learn from expert-led webinars in a learning community, but that you don’t necessarily have the budget to support these webinar registration fees. Now, webinars are a part of your school’s In Trust Center membership or affiliation fee. We look forward to offering new webinars and learning community opportunities on issues you have indicated are essential to your work.

Building a culture of leadership continuity is an important topic that we covered in our May webinar. More than succession planning, leadership continuity means planning for the future of the organization and all of its leaders. Consider sharing the article about the webinar on page 18 with your board as you discuss your leadership continuity plan (or your need to create one).

In this issue, we invite you to tap into other learning communities as well: 

The Network of Theological Entities (ReDET) was recently launched by the Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana (AETH). You may read more about the network and a portion of an address by ReDET’s coordinator, Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier. 

Gateway Seminary offers insight into how it provides online education and designs online courses, as well as what it has learned in the process while benefiting from an innovation grant from the Association of Theological Schools (see "Training faculty for online and blended learning"). 

Read an account of a seminary that recently ended operations, and how and why some of its stakeholders decided the time had come for the school to close its doors.

And finally, we know that enrollment management is an area of concern for most theological schools. Learn about some fundamental principles that can help your institution begin a conversation about enrollment management and retention with faculty, administration, and board members, each of whom plays a critical role in both of these matters (see "A lesson in enrollment management").

What issues are you facing, and who do you need to be in community with as you exercise leadership in your own institution or organization? Contact us at resources@intrust.org to start a conversation, connect with peers, or consult with experts.

May God bless you with opportunities for restoration and renewal this summer within the many communities in which you participate and flourish. 

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Article from: Summer 2019

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