News & Insights

The Newsletter for Chairs of Theological School Boards
Vol. 2 No. 7

Taking care of one another

In an essay for In Trust magazine, Ted Smith, Ph.D., notes that while the issues in theological education are well known, some additional analysis can provide more understanding. In his thoughtful piece, he says that one of the key issues facing the field is also facing society – the rise of individualization. Smith's essay, which you can find here, is well worth the read and worth sharing with your board.

As we consider what the rise of individualism means to society, I think it's worth asking what it means to us as leaders in theological education. It's not only an issue of how students are trained to address it but it's also an internal issue. How do we build up teams and governing boards in a society that seems to be moving toward greater individualism? Boards and board chairs tend to the care of the president and also to the care of one another. It's important to look at how we develop ourselves – not just as individuals but also as leadership teams and governing boards – when we consider the health of our institutions.

To that end, there are two things you should know about:

  • The Wise Stewards Initiative: We've been running this initiative for several years, and it has helped many schools build their governing boards and their sense of teamwork. The initiative provides a coach to lead a school through a process of self-study and through a cohort of peer learning to sharpen the board and institutional governance. We're now accepting applications for the coming year. It's no cost for In Trust Center members who are selected. I'd encourage you to consider this and apply. You can learn more and apply here
  • The Governance Initiative: This spring, we're going to survey the field to understand current board demographics, structures, and wise practices of high-functioning boards. We'll soon send out a survey. Please participate and encourage your advisory or governing board members to do the same. We're really excited about this initiative because it will give you new insights and tools into governing better. The In Trust Center will share more in coming months.You can find out more 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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