News & Insights

The Newsletter for Chairs of Theological School Boards
Vol. 2 No. 10

Thinking about leadership and the future

Not long ago, Frank Yamada, the executive director of the Association for Theological Schools, raised an alarm about the rate of turnover at ATS-accredited schools. The average tenures of top theological school leaders – the president and chief academic officer – have been shrinking.
Recently, David Gyertson, a longtime leader in theological education, raised a concern about what he called a “crisis” in leadership, and he discussed this in our Good Governance podcast.
It’s worth a board’s time to consider his thoughts. He suggests that boards should reflect on their roles, not just in times of leadership turnover. Boards are the institution’s fiduciaries, and as a result, need to examine how they ensure long-term, missional fidelity.
As well, it’s worth considering a podcast with Wesley Theological Seminary's president, David McAllister-Wilson, one of the longest-serving current presidents of an ATS school. He offers some good advice and thoughts about a long tenure, as well as the future of theological education.
Thinking about leadership and the board’s role is vital to the continued health of the institution. It could be well worth the time to forward these links to your board for a discussion to think through leadership and the future. 
On another note, let me ask for your help. We've undertaken the first survey of theological school governance in over a decade, and we’ve sent surveys to executive leaders and board members of every ATS-accredited school. If you or your team hasn’t done so already, would you take a few minutes and complete it and encourage your board and your executive leader to do so as well? You can find our webpage and pick the appropriate survey here.

With gratitude for all you do in theological education,
Amy Kardash

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Upcoming Events

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

I See That Hand


Board members are typically recruited for their leadership, business acumen, and networks. Dr. Rebekah Basinger, project director of the In Trust Center’s Wise Stewards Initiative, will discuss how strategic questioning and interrogation skills are essential for effective board stewardship.

Strategic Partnerships in Higher Education


In this on-demand webinar, Rick Staisloff, senior partner of rpk GROUP, discusses essential aspects of strategic partnerships. This session delves into current trends, identification of partners, navigating the due diligence process, and common challenges.

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.


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