Thank you for publishing Matt Hufman’s interview with David Heetland (Winter 2022). I respect Heetland greatly and consider him a mentor to all of us who understand fundraising as a ministry.

I serve a seminary that has been through dramatic changes in recent years. Convincing our constituents – not to mention, occasionally, ourselves – that we will be around for the long-haul has taken some demonstrated wins and a lot of persuasion.

I suspect that many worry about arranging planned gifts to institutions that are in-flux. But here are two of many lessons Covid is teaching us: (1) All institutions are in-flux, and (2) the next generation’s churches are going to need spectacularly well-prepared leaders.

Sarah B. Drummond
Founding Dean Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School



Building a culture of committed evaluation (Winter 2022) does not come naturally. One of the reasons is the lack of in-depth board members’ active participation in our board history.

Among other improvements our board has made after returning from In Trust’s Wise Steward Initiative Conference in 2019 is an emphasis on the importance of its members’ participation on designated board committees. We also revised our bylaws to include a Governance Committee to implement board assessments and development. This has greatly impacted our board members’ awareness of board operations and strengthened interactions with our presiding officer, faculty, and staff.

A highly involved group of board members forms a good culture base for board evaluation.

Elder Sonny Gan
Board of Trustees Logos Evangelical Seminary



The Ten Accrediting Commandments (Autumn 2021) is an insightful precis of the new ATS standards. With a self-study in the works at our school, Sebastian Mahfood’s article is timely. In it he shares the terrain each standard covers with astute attention to rationale and integrity. The clarity around the telos of self-study and accreditation is apparent in this playful and important article – the mission of the school. What’s more Mahfood’s attention to care and trust as the ambience within which a mission is pursued is beautiful. I loved this article as a sort of Cliffs Notes on the revised Association of Theological Schools’ standards. I have drawn it to the attention of our Board of Governors.

Richard R. Topping
President, Vancouver School of Theology



In Trust magazine welcomes your letters! Please email them to

Top Topics
Roles & Responsibilities
Board Essentials

Back to Issue  Read Previous Article Read Next Article

Advertise With Us

Reach thousands of seminary administrators, trustees, and others in positions of leadership in North American theological schools — an audience that cares about good governance, effective leadership, and current religious issues — by advertising in In Trust!

Learn More