From category archives: In Trust Blog

News & Trends

New Vice President for Communication (9/23/20)

The In Trust Center for Theological Schools is pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew J. Hufman as the new vice president for communication.

Read the rest of entry

Beyond the pandemic: Articles from the Summer 2020 issue of In Trust magazine (8/21/20)

A list of articles from Beyond the Pandemic and a featured article from the Summer 2020 issue.

Read the rest of entry

Updated partial list of theological schools' fall semester plans

List of theological schools that have posted their fall academic plans online.

Read the rest of entry

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.

Read the rest of entry

What should you do about the fall semester?

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. 

Read the rest of entry

Evidence of the struggle

For employed academics — especially with those who have school-age children — working from home can be hard. Here are two items that came across my desk this week.

Read the rest of entry

New COVID-19 resources

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.

Read the rest of entry

Curated resources for the COVID-19 pandemic

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.

 

Read the rest of entry

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.

Read the rest of entry

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.

Read the rest of entry

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.

 

Read the rest of entry

Still questioning the effectiveness of online education?

One of the questions that admissions officers regularly field from potential students is, “Do you have an online program?” And it’s not just younger, presumably more tech-savvy students who are asking the question either — nor is it just students who live in other cities or on other continents. At the non-residential seminary where I work, most students live locally. But the idea of fighting traffic after work to take classes a couple nights a week is a hard sell. So they ask: “Do you have an online program?”

Read the rest of entry

An ATS update on the standards redevelopment

In the May 2019 issue of Colloquy, Sarah Drummond reflects on the labor of the task force that is working on the redevelopment of the accrediting standards of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). 

Read the rest of entry

Student enrollment by the numbers

If you are a leader in theological education, you are already familiar with overall trends in seminary enrollment. Usually, reports about enrollment are gloomy, with a half-hearted silver lining that suggests, “Well, at least we’re not the only ones struggling.”

Read the rest of entry

AGB report on the current state of shared governance

In North America, shared governance is a central component of higher education. Yet plenty of research shows that shared governance is not clearly understood by many who are tasked with it.
 

Read the rest of entry

Resource roundup: Succession planning

Succession planning isn’t just for a school’s presiding officer. Having a plan for transition and succession that applies to the entire institution can reduce stress and avert ad hoc emergency decision making when change inevitably occurs. 

Read the rest of entry

2nd Annual Conference on Competency-Based Theological Education (CBTE) to be held Oct 22-25, 2019 in Palm Springs, California

Following the tremendous response to the first annual conference on competency-based theological education (CBTE) held last November in Vancouver, Canada, plans for the second annual CBTE conference are well underway.

Read the rest of entry

Lessons no one wants to learn

Schools are constantly trying to peer into the future, plan for change, and stay one step ahead of (or at least not too far behind) the next big thing – whatever that may be. Wise leaders know that schools, programs, and plans need to be re-invented every so often. 

Read the rest of entry

What are a board's top concerns?

What are the top concerns for the future of higher education as identified by board members serving at private, nonprofit colleges and universities across the United States?

Read the rest of entry

College-age population expected to decline dramatically

 

The number of college-age young people is predicted to fall by more than 15 percent within the next decade. The potential effects on theological education are obvious — and daunting.

Read the rest of entry

In Trust Center board of directors election results

The leaders of member schools of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools recently cast ballots to elect one new member and re-elect one continuing member of the Center’s board of directors.

Read the rest of entry

In Trust Center board of directors election results

The leaders of member schools of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools recently cast ballots to elect one new member and re-elect one continuing member of the Center’s board of directors.

Read the rest of entry

Communicating hope amid disruption

The illustration and type on the cover of Fuller Seminary's magazine pretty much says it all. Rather than an evocative photographic portrait, as usually graces the cover, this one sports a photoshopped bird – gold and in flight – which forms the first “I” in the 200-point Century Bold italicized title that reads: DIS RUP TION.

Read the rest of entry

Communicating hope amid disruption

The illustration and type on the cover of Fuller Seminary's magazine pretty much says it all. Rather than an evocative photographic portrait, as usually graces the cover, this one sports a photoshopped bird – gold and in flight – which forms the first “I” in the 200-point Century Bold italicized title that reads: DIS RUP TION.

Read the rest of entry

A challenge to find the time

A recent informal survey conducted by In Trust found that of the 92 seminary presidents and chief executives who replied, 24 percent had taken a sabbatical. Both those who had and those who hadn’t said that it was hard to find the time to take the leave that they had been granted. In Trust followed up with telephone interviews with several presidents and found that they had worked with their boards to create a wide variety of arrangements.

Read the rest of entry

Nontraditional presidents must exercise “enterprise leadership”

In Trust recently published an article titled “Promising Professor vs. Prominent Pastor,” which pointed out that most theological schools hire CEOs who have moved up through the faculty ranks, while a third hire CEOs from leadership positions in their denomination or from the business world.

Read the rest of entry

The cost of free speech

Freedom of speech is a big deal on university campuses these days. A recent spate of decisions by university administrators to permit (or forbid) various speakers to make speeches on campus has generated newsworthy controversy. Invariably, free-speech advocates argue that a university is a place for learning, critical thinking, and critical listening. Silencing an offensive viewpoint.

Read the rest of entry

Why do university presidents lose their jobs?

In a recent article in Inside Higher Ed, William G. Tierney, professor at the University of Southern California, posits the question of why university presidents resign or are fired. Using examples of recent high-profile presidential resignations, Tierney argues that commonly blamed factors are not the true cause of presidential downfalls. 

Read the rest of entry

Sobering statistics, paths to the future

In the New Year 2014 issue of In Trust, Greg Henson and Gary Hoag provided data on charitable giving. Their conclusions, and their advice to schools, are still timely.

 

Read the rest of entry

Must you let people know that you're closing?

Every institution runs on confidence. Startups need investors to believe that their money won't be wasted. Banks need customers who trust that their savings won't be lost. Schools need students who are confident that the school will be around long enough for them to graduate. And the donors to these schools need to feel confident that their contributions are not being tossed into a black hole.

Read the rest of entry

Must you let people know that you're closing?

Every institution runs on confidence. Startups need investors to believe that their money won't be wasted. Banks need customers who trust that their savings won't be lost. Schools need students who are confident that the school will be around long enough for them to graduate. And the donors to these schools need to feel confident that their contributions are not being tossed into a black hole.

Read the rest of entry

Understanding the (stained) glass cliff

After a female faculty member was promoted into seminary leadership, a colleague stopped by her office to congratulate her. But he also asked, “Does this mean the school is in trouble?”  

It didn’t — but the colleague was assuming the theory of the so-called “glass cliff” might be at play.

Read the rest of entry

How can a seminary react to financial stress?

Unanticipated financial setbacks sometimes become little deficits. And the response to little deficits can shape the course of a school’s future. What are the options? 

Read the rest of entry

Human formation, a key to ministry preparation

In the Catholic context, preparation for priestly ministry is guided by the Program of Priestly Formation. Theological educators of any denomination can benefit from reading this document, especially the section outlining the four elements of formation – spiritual, intellectual, pastoral, and human.

Read the rest of entry

The board's role in spiritual formation

Theological school boards are responsible for all aspects of the school they serve, including the spiritual formation of their students. But how can boards know for sure whether spiritual formation is being adequately addressed?

Read the rest of entry

Seminaries and a theology of work

Most ministers who want to engage the working world will find that their theological school left them unprepared,” argues Chris Armstrong in “The other 100,000 hours,” an article in the New Year 2013 issue of In Trust. 

Read the rest of entry

Accreditation and the forces that shape the standards

The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) is in the midst of an ambitious project – the first redevelopment of its accrediting standards in nearly a quarter-century. The work will eventually affect every theological school -- perhaps as soon as 2022, when the new standards may go into effect.

Read the rest of entry

Learning from the past: Schools that thrived during the lean years

In 2014, the Auburn Center for the Study of Theological Education published Through Toil and Tribulation: Financing Theological Education 2001-2011, an analysis by Anthony T. Ruger and Chris A. Meinzer of revenue and spending of theological schools during a period that encompassed the Great Recession as well as declining levels of formal religious affiliation. The fifth in a series of studies of revenue in theological education, this report told a tale of hard times and the ways in which some schools were able to strengthen their financial position in spite of a poor economy and changing religious environment, and it outlined best practices in the institutions and leaders who saw improvements during these years.

Read the rest of entry

Learning from the past: Schools that thrived during the lean years

In 2014, the Auburn Center for the Study of Theological Education published Through Toil and Tribulation: Financing Theological Education 2001-2011, an analysis by Anthony T. Ruger and Chris A. Meinzer of revenue and spending of theological schools during a period that encompassed the Great Recession as well as declining levels of formal religious affiliation. The fifth in a series of studies of revenue in theological education, this report told a tale of hard times and the ways in which some schools were able to strengthen their financial position in spite of a poor economy and changing religious environment, and it outlined best practices in the institutions and leaders who saw improvements during these years.

Read the rest of entry

A community-based leadership “creed”

Boyung Lee is the first Korean American woman dean at an ATS school. She cites the work of a group called Pacific, Asian, and North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry (PANAAWTM) as pivotal to her development as a leader. Here she shares her 13-point "Leadership Creed," an embodiment of the lessons she's learned in PANAAWTM.  

Read the rest of entry

Strategic planning = spiritual discernment

Leaders of theological schools routinely navigate the nuances of Torah law; Trinitarian controversies; the oeuvre of Rahner, Barth, and Marion; not to mention the subtleties of shared governance. Yet we can still be intimidated by the occult mysteries of strategic planning — not just planning, mind you, but strategic planning.

Read the rest of entry

An American icon that fell victim to the “competency trap”

The New York Times has run an obituary of sorts for Xerox, the American corporation that is merging with Japanese behemoth Fujifilm Holdings. The company prospered and innovated for decades, but then they began to fall behind. What lessons could we in theological education learn from their example? 

Read the rest of entry

An American icon that fell victim to the “competency trap”

The New York Times has run an obituary of sorts for Xerox, the American corporation that is merging with Japanese behemoth Fujifilm Holdings. The company prospered and innovated for decades, but then they began to fall behind. What lessons could we in theological education learn from their example? 

Read the rest of entry

New Year 2018 issue is now available


The New Year 2018 issue of In Trust magazine was recently mailed and is now available to read online.

Read the rest of entry

New Year 2018 issue is now available


The New Year 2018 issue of In Trust magazine was recently mailed and is now available to read online.

Read the rest of entry

Trustees seek change amid public scrutiny of higher education

According to a recent poll, more than half of trustees agreed that public perception of higher education has deteriorated in the United States over the last decade. They are not all in agreement, however, on the causes of and solution to this problem. 

 

 

Read the rest of entry

Small religious colleges are struggling

A recent Religion News Service article chronicles the struggles of small religious colleges, saying that lacking substantial endowments, many are teetering on a financial cliff.

 

Read the rest of entry

Small religious colleges are struggling

A recent Religion News Service article chronicles the struggles of small religious colleges, saying that lacking substantial endowments, many are teetering on a financial cliff.

 

Read the rest of entry

In Trust Center board election results


Members of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools recently cast ballots to elect three new members and re-elect two members of the Center’s board of directors.

Read the rest of entry

In Trust Center board election results


Members of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools recently cast ballots to elect three new members and re-elect two members of the Center’s board of directors.

Read the rest of entry
Pages: Previous123456NextReturn Top