Who We Are

The Mission of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools is to strengthen theological schools by connecting their leaders to essential resources for mission vitality.

Our Values

  • Excellence
  • Service
  • Trust

Our Vision

To be a center for change and renewal in theological education

  • A critical partner and leader in theological education
  • A major innovative and coordinating organization
  • A collaborator on transformative initiatives

Our Publications and Services

The flagship publication of the In Trust Center is In Trust magazine, first published in 1988. More recently, the In Trust Center has expanded its work into several areas: Resource Consulting, learning communities, and special grant-funded initiatives.



How We Are Supported

Our Schools

  • 232 members and affiliates

Our Donors

  • 58 individuals

Our Foundations

  • Generous program and organizational support from Lilly Endowment Inc.
  • Major program support from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust
  • Additional support from the Kern Family Foundation




Annual Report

  • 4 issues of In Trust magazine, with 49 articles
  • 30,158 magazines mailed
  • 4 awards from the Associated Church Press
  • 12 e-newsletters
  • 42 blog posts
  • 1 Writer Workshop in New York City



Resource Consulting

Most requested topics for help

  2019 All Time
Boards 16 109
Presidents 4 72
Governance 29 68
Fundraising 7 59
Technology 15 37
Strategic Planning 5 35
Educational Models 9 28
Assessment 7 25
Partnerships/Mergers 1 24
Faculty 1 20
Marketing 5 16
Financial Health 2 15
Administration 6 14
Enrollment Management 4 10


Locations of schools helped in 2019

Annual Report

The Growth of Resource Consulting

Annual Report




Annual Report



Three Funded Initiatives

1. Resource Grants

Funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., the Resource Grant initiative provides matching support of up to $10,000 to In Trust Center members seeking to use external resources in creative ways. In 2019, we awarded grants to 24 schools.

2. Building Capacity for Sustainability in Historically Black Theological Schools

Funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., the Building Capacity initiative provides historically Black theological schools with opportunities for mentoring, mutual learning, and collaboration.

Annual Report

3. Wise Stewards Initiative (WSI)

Funded by the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, the WSI a three-year program focusing on improving board governance in order to help schools make significant adaptive changes. Up to 11 schools participate each year.

New WSI schools in 2019

  • Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
  • Calvin Theological Seminary
  • Catholic Theological Union
  • Covenant Theological Seminary
  • Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico
  • Nashotah House
  • New Brunswick Theological Seminary
  • New York Theological Seminary
  • Northwest Baptist Theological Seminary (BC)
  • Phillips Theological Seminary (OK)
  • Western Theological Seminary (MI)

Annual Report

In March 2019, leaders from 10 theological schools gathered in Vancouver, Washington, for the first Wise Stewards Initiative seminar on “Governance as an Agent for Change.”


The impact of the Wise Stewards Initiative

“The chief benefit to the board has been a renewed attention to its own functioning and the role that it can play in the present and future of the school.”

“The Wise Stewards Initiative helped me see the essential value of how a school not only sustains itself but thrives through the relationships of the president/administration, board, and faculty.”

“The board is much more aware of, and intentional about, its generative and strategic responsibilities. The WSI gave us permission to break with the usual and focus more on ‘canoeing the mountains.’”

Top Topics
Roles & Responsibilities
Board Essentials

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