News & Insights

In recent conversations, the In Trust Center has seen a growing interest among theological schools in developing networks and partnerships with other schools. The reasons for this are complex: Resources at many schools are simply too tight, but schools and other ministries can thrive if they find the right partners and collaborations.

Collaboration?, not mergers

How should a school identify strategic partners? First, throw out the “M-word.” Mergers scare people, so most schools are approaching partnerships in terms of new models of collaboration. A merger gives people the perception that there are winners and losers, but collaborations open up space for creativity and exploration: “If we were to imagine a future together, what might that look like?” 

Partnerships don’t have to be limited to schools. More theological schools are looking to their communities and church-related associations to discover rich networks and new kinds of partnerships. They're asking questions like these:

  • How can we use our facility for the good of the community? 
  • How can we use our faculty better to prepare leaders for the church and world? 
  • What assets do we bring to the table? 
  • Which assets from outside the school might serve as a catalyst for expanding our mission?

There are many ways to test and discern whether a potential partner might be a good collaborator. The following resources may be helpful :

If you are interested in further conversation about this topic, please contact our Resource Consultants at 302-654-7770 or

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Upcoming Events

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

Strategic Partnerhips


In this on-demand webinar, Rick Staisloff, senior partner of rpk GROUP, will discuss essential aspects of strategic partnerships. He will explore current trends, identify partners, navigate the due diligence process, and addresses common challenges. In addition to technical components of partnerships, he will also examine the intangible – yet critical – elements of partnerships, such as building trust and managing relationships.

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.

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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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