News & Insights

June 28, 2024

Last call for survey; make your voice heard

The In Trust Center's Governance Initiative survey is about to close! If you or your team hasn't answered yet, please do so today. Your response will help shape our work and benefit the field! If you haven't already filled out a survey, please go here to complete it. You can also learn more about the initiative at the link. 

Modeling the future of ministry 

Borrowing from the training models used in aviation and medicine, Mundelein Seminary is creating simulation labs to strengthen compassion and emotional maturity among seminarians. Mark Kelly writes about how Mundelein and five other Roman Catholic seminaries are exploring ways to help prepare seminarians for the type of work they'll see as they seek to create "shepherds after my own heart. Also in the spring issue:
  • Better together: For Kathy Patrick, chair of the Wartburg Theological Seminary Board of Directors, boards should take a clear role in supporting women in leadership. In this piece, Patrick outlines an argument not just for why women should be supported, but also for how they can be supported, which starts with the board chair. She writes: "(The board chair) sets the agenda for the meetings and guides the discussions. She has a responsibility as chair to call out the 'double-bind' dilemma and to guide the discussion back to issues of substance and effectiveness, away from gendered concepts of leadership 'style.'" Read more about the how and why of supporting female leaders here.
  • The art of a seminary: Washington, D.C., is known for its museums, but one stop that may be overlooked is the art at Wesley Theological Seminary. In this piece, Heather Grennan Gary considers the collection, which includes the work of Marc Chagall.
Full issue: You can read the magazine on the In Trust Center website. 


In Trust Center office closed for the Fourth

The In Trust Center will be closed Thursday, July 4, and Friday, July 5, for the Fourth of July holiday in the United States. If you are looking for resources immediately, please go to our website. You can find Resource Consulting here, which is a great place to start. You can also go to the magazine and the podcast. As well, you can email us here, and we'll get back to you upon our return. 

The power of strategic questions for boards

Board members are generally recruited for their leadership expertise, business acumen, and/or social and ecclesial networks. However, when institutional mission effectiveness and financial vitality are on the line – as is the situation of many theological schools these days – board members’ willingness to ask strategic questions may be a more useful qualifier for board service. Join Dr. Rebekah Burch Basinger, project director of the In Trust Center's Wise Stewards Initiative, as she makes a case for strategic questions and interrogation skills as necessary characteristics of boards that have been formed and informed for wise stewardship. Click here to register.  The webinar is at 1 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2024

The importance of the religious mosaic 

The Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative gathered grantees in Atlanta ahead of the ATS Biennial. The meeting, which included a number of learning sessions, highlighted the energy and enthusiasm in the field around the Lilly Endowment Inc.-funded work. In Episode 72 of the Good Governance podcast, Jo Ann Deasy, Ph.D., the ATS Director of Institutional Initiatives who is overseeing the coordination work, and Amy Kardash, president of the In Trust Center, the co-coordinator, discuss the event and the trends in the initiative. Other recent episodes include:

  • Governance and ... holiness?: In Episode 71, author, writer, and editor Karen Stiller considers board work – she's a board member, too! – and how it can be holy. She also reflects on her new book, Holiness Here: Searching for God in the Ordinary Events of Everyday Life, and how it applies to theological education. 
  • The "invisible balance sheet": In addition to the balance sheet that boards spend plenty of time considering, governance expert Rebekah Burch Basinger wants boards to consider the "invisible balance sheet" – the important things behind the numbers. Listen to Episode 67 here.  
  • The religious mosaic: The Academy for Jewish Religion used a Pathways for Tomorrow grant to create a thoughtful series of videos to introduce Christian seminarians to Judaism. Ora Horn Prouser, Ph.D., discussed the project in Episode 65 here.  
You can find more episodes on the In Trust Center's website. 

Learn the essentials of strategic partnerships

In the changing field of theological education, strategic partnerships can be an innovative way forward. In the webinar, "Strategic Partnerships in Higher Education," Rick Staisloff, senior partner of rpk GROUP, walks through the essential aspects of strategic partnerships, going into current trends, identifying partners, navigating due diligence, and finding common challenges. Watch this on-demand webinar and get a free briefing on strategic partnerships here.
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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.


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.

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