In Trust's short primer on theological school governance, available as a PDF at http://www.intrust.org/WiseStewards, was released earlier this year. Anyone can view and print it, whether or not they are part of an In Trust member school.
"Wise Stewards: The Roles and Responsibilities of Boards in Theological Education" outlines the essential components of governance in theological schools. It addresses board members in various settings -- governing boards of freestanding seminaries, advisory groups that oversee university-related theological schools, and boards assisting church authorities.
The document begins with an outline of the context of theological education today:
- A shifting religious landscape
- Student uncertainty
- An epidemic of personal debt
- A more diverse, more tech-savvy faculty
- The high cost of an expanded curriculum
- Enhanced public scrutiny
- A need for new financial models
Next, six sections outline the chief elements of wise governance. Taken as a whole, the document can serve as a guide for assessing both formal mandates and informal practices. It also clarifies the relationships among boards, presidents, other administrators, faculty, and other constituents.
"Wise Stewards" is designed for board education, and discussion questions follow each of the six essentials -- questions that can be revised to fit an institution's unique circumstances.
Presidents, board leaders, and others may find "Wise Stewards" useful for orienting new members or committee chairs, or for reviewing and repositioning the board's work. It may also be used to prepare for accreditation reviews, helping to identify strengths and weaknesses in governance.
The full text is available here.