At most theological schools, the board visits the campus two or three times per year. Those few hectic days are typically filled with meetings at which senior staff deliver reports and answer questions.
But boards that are working at maximum capacity receive information in a variety of ways — sometimes through the president's cabinet members, but not always. They hear regularly from the president's office, but they also connect with one another through committee meetings and at social events. Most board members see their work as an act of service to God and to the church. Some even see the president as a spiritual leader. Board members typically want to feel both connected and nourished.
In Trust asked Byron D. Klaus to explain how his board stays connected and inspired. Klaus is president and professor of intercultural leadership studies at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri.
The board of directors of Assemblies of God Theological Seminary includes members from across the United States. Since time at our board meetings is tightly planned, we try to ensure that they gain a good understanding of the breadth of seminary life.
Outside of the board room, we employ a number of strategies to ensure that board members get a good feel for the seminary.
The board of directors of Assemblies of God Theological Seminary meets twice a year — in February and October. It is always a challenge to educate busy people, so continual communication of several varieties is necessary to give the board the full picture of the seminary.
The board is divided into an executive committee and four subcommittees, including academic affairs, business, resource development, and student life (which comprises spiritual formation and enrollment services). Each subcommittee is chaired by a board member and is staffed by an administrator. The administrator serving each subcommittee communicates regularly with the subcommittee members through phone calls and electronic communications, alerting them to current issues.
All necessary documents are sent two weeks before each board meeting. Board members respond to regular electronic communication and timely mailings by participating fully and sharing their expertise. We have found that board members are ready to take ownership of the seminary's most pressing issues.experience for me."
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