Thriving, growing, and flourishing – that’s what is happening in many theological schools. As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, this news is exciting, encouraging, and inspiring.
How refreshing to invite you into this issue of In Trust with that opening. Too often we read stories about scarcity of resources, decline of religious affiliation or enrollment, or a lack of collaboration between seminaries and Churches or amongst theological schools themselves.
We are delighted to share the good news: Seminaries are growing. We asked the leaders of seven seminaries who have effectively navigated challenges and increased enrollment over five consecutive years to share their strategies along with their intentional practices and commitment to mission that resulted in this consistent growth.
Opportunities are abundant. Boards are prioritizing their own growth and development to better support the schools they serve. The M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust is committed to board governance and its continued investment in our Wise Stewards Initiative has resulted in wise practices, accessible resources, and a new opportunity for you to participate in an upcoming cohort. We share why a board governance initiative makes sense now, what you can learn from those participating, and how you can apply for a future cohort.
The Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative is a gift to theological schools marking a deep commitment by Lilly Endowment Inc. What resources, partners and expertise are you seeking? The In Trust Center is eager to support you through our Resource Consulting, our expanded webinars and online resources, and by developing community conversation spaces around focused projects and topics.
Summer offers a fresh opportunity to reflect and prepare, to anticipate the year on the horizon while reflecting on the complex year amidst the pandemic. Appropriately, Rod Wilson challenges us to deem the pandemic as an interim time in which faithful leaders consider the three-legged stool of theological education – quality, accessibility, and affordability – and where you may invest time to stabilize it.
I pray that summer provides moments for restoration and reflection. May God bless you and your school communities.