During the past few months, the In Trust Center staff has been hosting conversations with you, our members, to learn about your school’s unique challenges and to provide a meeting place for you to discuss with colleagues the issues you are confronting.

These conversations also highlighted many ways in which we can assist you as you think strategically about your school’s future, particularly as you think “beyond the pandemic.” As we listened to the challenges many of you are facing, we began assembling a trove of resources. A crisis can be a powerful accelerant for needed change — and this change can often benefit from the perspectives of outside voices and new resources. To help with this, our Resource Consulting team has developed a new set of resources on governance, board responsibilities, educational models, strategic planning, and more. Some topics addressed include:

  • How to engage a consultant when you don’t know where to start.
  • How to write monthly board updates.
  • How to start an alumni program.
  • How to start thinking about mergers and partnerships.

We have also recently hosted a four-part COVID-19 webinar series on subjects such as strategic thinking, collaboration, communications, and fundraising strategies. For more information, or to watch recorded webinars, click here.

For information on guides and resources, email us at resources@intrust.org.

LETTERS 

To the editor:

I was delighted to read David Sumner’s article on ministry and disability. In 37 years of practicing pediatric and adult neurology, as well as being medical director for a statewide program for children with special healthcare needs, I encountered quite a few parents and children who had been essentially rejected by their churches. One mother was told that her son was an “object of prayer” but he was too disruptive to be in worship or be anywhere else in the church.

The church must find a way to be church for everyone. I have seen changes over the years, but more changes and understanding are needed. I hope the article is widely read. I am calling it to the attention of our board and faculty.

 

J. William Holmes, M.D., M.Div.
Member, Board of Trustees 
Baptist Seminary of Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky

To the editor:

Thank you for the article “Preparing for Ministry to People with Disabilities,” which was published in the spring 2020 issue. It’s a great article, but I must take issue with the phrase “ministry to people with disabilities” on the cover of the magazine. 

It seems like a small thing, but language is important. When we say ministry to people with disabilities, we imply that people with disabilities are passive recipients of our work. On the other hand, when we say ministry with or ministry alongside people with disabilities, we imply that we are co-laborers together in God’s work. Two quotations in the article carefully use “ministry with” language, but both the text on the cover and article headline jump out at me as needing a rewrite. 

For several years in the early 2010s, when I worked at Friendship Ministries (a ministry with adults who have intellectual disabilities), there were two volunteers who traveled on our behalf, working to convince seminary deans that teaching students how to do disability ministry well should be an important part of a seminary’s curriculum. Maybe the In Trust article will do even more to help the idea catch on. 

LaVonne Carlson
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Publisher’s note: For other In Trust articles on ministry and disability, see “Disability on Campus: The Board’s Role in Assessment and Planning” (New Year 2009) and “Our Condition: Americans with Disabilities Act, 25 Years Later” (October 1, 2015).

 

Longtime publisher of In Trust magazine stepping down at the end of 2020 

 

Jay Blossom

 

Jay Blossom, the In Trust Center’s vice president for communication and the driving force behind 15 years of In Trust magazine, has decided the time is right to move on to a new chapter in life. He will be transitioning from his role at the end of 2020.

Jay will leave behind an impressive legacy. 

By the end of December 2020, he will have published 64 issues of the magazine — hundreds of articles imagined, assigned, written, rewritten, and edited, countless interviews with theological school leaders, thousands of images chosen, and pages proofed. Under Jay’s leadership, In Trust has won 30 “Best of the Christian Press” awards from the Associated Church Press. 

During his tenure, Jay assembled a talented and dedicated team of writers from across the United States and Canada. In 2007 he launched the popular annual Writer Workshop, taking In Trust Center staff members and magazine writers to the campuses of theological schools in different states and provinces. The Writer Workshop has offered In Trust writers and staff a unique inside look at theological schools and has provided the opportunity for writers to talk to leaders and students and to see what is happening on the ground in our member schools.

As a member of the In Trust Center leadership team, Jay visited dozens of schools and represented the In Trust Center at numerous events, including seven ATS Biennial Meetings — always intent on understanding issues from all stakeholders’ points of view.

With his exhaustive knowledge and deep understanding of theological education and church and religious history in general, Jay has served as a valuable thought partner and advocate for theological educators. 

In this past year, Jay has been overseeing the redevelopment of In Trust magazine, which will be unveiled in the autumn 2020 issue. 

Through his work at the In Trust Center and his care and concern for theological education, he has made a profound contribution to the field and has made countless friends along the way. 

The In Trust Center is grateful for Jay’s contributions to and passion for our mission. He will be missed.

To send a personal communication to Jay, write to jblossom@intrust.org.

Search for a new In Trust Center vice president for communication has officially started

The In Trust Center for Theological Schools is excited to partner with the Dingman Company in the search for its next vice president for communication. The vice president creates, oversees, and executes the communication plan for the Center by delivering insights, resources, and strategies to stakeholders, stewarding brand management, curating multiple media platforms, and cultivating external relationships.

A graduate degree in journalism or communications is preferred. An earned degree with significant media experience is necessary. Candidates should have 10 years of experience in publishing and editing; demonstrated success in storytelling, research, and audience engagement within a variety of communications media; exceptional oral and written skills; and an appreciation for the breadth of Christian theological education in North America.

The opportunity profile is available online.

For more information, contact David Dingman at david@dingman.com.

 


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