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InTrust-now-logo.jpg September 30, 2010

Should boards oversee grant-writing? 

In the early years of Lilly Endowment's youth theology initiative, many seminaries saw the low-hanging fruit from a friendly foundation and acted quickly to apply for grants. Some of these may have neglected to give deep consideration to how a major grant would affect their mission and whether the grant-funded program would integrate into longstanding institutional goals and values.

Youth 3

Board members are right to resist the urge to micromanage administrative decisions such as those related to foundation cultivation. But what if a funding opportunity -- such as pursuing a major grant or accepting a major gift -- gets to the heart of the institution's mission and vision? When should a board get involved?

Here's a list of questions that boards should ask when a school is considering a major source of funding .   

Read more... 


More on mergers and alliances 

Mergers and other forms of partnerships are on the minds of seminary leaders these days. Over at the Nonprofit Finance Fund, Tom McLaughlin has been writing about this topic, and several of his articles are well worth reading:

  1. "Secret Sauce Of Backroom Collaborations."
  2. "Merger Myths: Six Reasons the Package Really Is on the Truck." 
  3. "Determine Your Goal Before Seeking Partners for an Alliance."
  4. "Who Are You? Mergers Don't Mean Lost Identity."



Keeping your school in alignment  

The changing nature of the pastorate is evident everywhere we look, and not only in mainline denominations. For many small congregations (whether urban or rural), pastors are bivocational, and many part-time pastors lead congregations even without a theological degree under their belt. If ministerial education -- and the M.Div. in particular -- is the bread and butter of theological schools, then what do these changes mean for the future of our institutions?

Governing boards need to continue asking senior administrators hard questions about how well their schools are aligned to the professional climate for which they are educating.

Here are some starting questions for boards. 



More news and comment for leaders in theological education

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