News & Insights

In January of this year, the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (BTSR) closed its doors for good. Mike Clingenpeel, a BTSR board member, wrote an article for the school’s website reflecting on the closure, and his article was reprinted in the Summer 2019 issue of In Trust. Clingenpeel’s honest reflections offer rare insight into the painful realities of closing a seminary.

In the piece, Clingenpeel offers five factors that, in his view, contributed to the closure:

  1. The deregulation of seminary education among Baptists in the South.
  2. Competition.
  3. Insufficient funding at the outset.
  4. The fact that BTSR was a freestanding instead school rather than one connected to a college or university.
  5. Bigger trends in American theological education.

Despite the painful decision to close, Clingenpeel asserts that BTSR's founding was a courageous, necessary move during a time of unease. He concludes that “the fact that BTSR ultimately could not overcome all the factors that threatened its existence from the start is no reason not to celebrate its nearly three decades of fruitfulness in God’s Kingdom.”

Read his full reflections in “After voting to shut the doors, a seminary trustee reflects on the reasons behind the decision.”

Top Topics

Roles & Responsibilities



Board Essentials

Upcoming Events

The In Trust Center hosts learning community spaces throughout the year. Check out our upcoming events below.

Closing the Trust Gap


The current and very troubling condition of trust is a clarion call to action. But despite the dismal data showing pervasive organizational distrust, every organization can assess their current level of trust, learn and adopt a proven trust building framework, and then develop a meaningful and long-lasting plan of action. This webinar details the knowledge and practical next steps to strengthen workplace culture as a result of closing the trust gap.

In Trust Center Resource Grants


An In Trust Center Resource Grant offers member schools a chance to explore innovation at their institutions through a matching grant opportunity of up to $15,000. Listen to this 30-minute information session, including Q&A, as we provide details on eligibility requirements, funding priorities, application process. Previous grantees are eligible to apply as long as they are not within our current funding cycle.

Conflict + Crisis: Navigating the Shoals, Part 2 – A Deeper Dive


Presenter Donna Alexander, President & CEO of Advoxum Global Strategies, offers best practices for navigating conflict and crisis. She examines the crucial elements of defining conflict and crisis, identifying, and prioritizing affected stakeholders, utilizing effective communication strategies, and ultimately, executing a plan of action. Click here to view.

Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?

In Trust Center provides Resource Consulting to our members at no charge. Contact us today and let us guide you to the most helpful resources for your situation.

Contact Us