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Sermon Resources from In Trust

In Trust Center For Theological Schools

    In Trust Center for Theological Schools, a nonprofit membership organization supports North American theological school boards and administrators through various services. 
   How To Hire Consultants. Contributors to this resource guide are: Rebekah Burch Basinger, independent consultant; Anthony Ruger, interim co-director of the Auburn Center for the Study of Theological Education and the Center’s senior research fellow; and Barbara Wheeler, past president of Auburn Theological Seminary and founding director of the Auburn Center for the Study of Theological Education. Because faith-based institutions are unique, they rarely benefit from consultants who offer prepackaged presentations that feature generic data and lead to predictable conclusions.   In Trust created this resource to help you think through the critical questions that must be considered as you consider embarking on the process of finding and hiring a consultant. 
   In Trust Topic Resources. Excellent archive of the In Trust magazine’s articles with a searchable index to find just the article and resource you might need to assist in guiding your Seminary’s governance.  This resource might also be helpful for thinking about improvements to Church, Mosque and Synagogue governing boards as well.  Topic areas include: Board chairs, Dashboards, Financial health, Strategic planning, Fundraising, Mergers / partnerships / affiliations, Orientation, Presidential evaluation, Shared governance, and Board evaluation.
   The In Trust Blog Resources can be found here.A few of these blog topics might be good resources. 
   Roger McGrath, Interim President, [email protected]  Jay Blossom, Vice President for Communications, [email protected]  Amy Kardash, Director of Programs, [email protected]

Sermon Resources from In Trust Center for Theological Schools

     Thirst is one of the elemental metaphors of the Bible, and for good reason. For large stretches of the year in most places, the land of Israel is hot and dry. Anyone who has walked through that land knows that by the time you feel thirst, you have already been too long without water. [Read the Sermon]. Ellen Davis is professor of Bible and practical theology at the Duke University Divinity School. This is taken from a sermon delivered in the school's new Goodson Chapel on September 14, 2005. [More].
      The Reformed theologian Karl Barth said that people come to church with only one question: Is it true? The providence of God, the saving power of Jesus Christ, the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit, the resurrection from the dead, the forgiveness of sin: Is it true? When we come to church on a Monday afternoon for a memorial service for two people who died untimely deaths, the question is even more compelling. [More]
      Luke tells us that Paul began preaching almost immediately, as if he had a fully developed grasp of the gospel. He began first in Damascus, until his own life was threatened, and then in Jerusalem—the very place from which he had begun his journey. Ah! Isn’t that the stuff of our dreams! We receive the call to ministry and immediately begin to share that experience with others. Then the board of ministry tells us to go to seminary. [More].
     Ichabod? Or Ebenezer? Diminishing Bible knowledge has made it difficult for us to see anything profound in the choice between these two weird-sounding names. It’s been a long time since Presbyterians could sing “Here I raise my Ebenezer,” that line from the hymn “Come, thou fount of every blessing,” without laughing. But it strikes me that the 100th birthday party of Austin Seminary is a grand occasion to take a fresh look at Ichabod or Ebenezer. To face again the huge question about the freedom of God. This is the watershed question that confronts the church of Jesus Christ in our time and place. [More].
     Just because great preachers tell you that they owe their most memorable sermons to the Holy Spirit’s inspiration does not mean that they failed to flip through the commentaries or agonize over their diction. Although a few great preachers may owe more to direct assistance from other-worldly powers than to heavy research and drafting, these paragons should not be imitated when a seminarian prepares for her first sermon. [More].
      I wonder if the first year as the senior leader of a theological school nurtures the same kind of struggle that I had with my first sermon as a new faculty member. On the one hand, you want to be good—be respected and appreciated, maybe even be liked occasionally. On the other, you want to do good—to accomplish the agenda that was set out for you by your analysis of the needs of the school at this time and the perspective the board shared with you about future hopes and directions. In the end, we probably can both be good and do good, but if they had to choose, I think good leaders would probably come down on the side of being do-gooders. I want to talk with you tonight about doing good. [More].
     "Do you know the differences between hymns and praise choruses?" he asked. I shook my head.  "Hymns have 200 words and you sing them once. Praise choruses have seven words and you sing them 200 times."  Not that there's anything wrong with that. I've sung a chorus or two, and some Taizé chant besides, and the repetition does sink one into a certain meditative state. Hymns require a bit more attention, sometimes a great deal more. And they can surprise you, sometimes break you open. [More].
      Can people be fed, clothed and housed? Can medical care be extended to all? Can we provide education and training? With so much poverty and suffering in the world, do we have sufficient resources to meet people’s needs? Are we stuck with deficits? What will the cost of war do to our world and us? Are we in a historical period where only the rich and privileged will survive? [More].
      An important chapter traces the development of Bonhoeffer’s call to pacifism, particularly related to his involvement with the ecumenical movement. In the early 1930s, he became attracted to Gandhi, wanting to learn more about nonviolent resistance. He made plans to visit India, securing letters of introduction and a personal invitation from Gandhi. At about the same time, however, he was called by the Confessing Church to head a seminary at Finkenwalde. This community became a significant experience, about which he was to write in Life Together, yet one cannot help but wonder how his life, and perhaps the resistance in Germany, might have been different had he made that trip to India. [More].
The Ideal Church starts when we worship together and is reinforced when we practice forgiving love in the name of Christ. The Ideal Church takes shape when we shift the emphasis from talking about our faith to practicing it. [More].
     When her visitor shook her head in wonderment at experiencing back-to-back worship in a Presbyterian church where the choir sang in Latin and a Roman Catholic church where the mass included an altar call, Sandra Evans, director of the African American Ministries Program at McCormick Theological Seminary, just nodded sagely. “That’s Chicago,” she said. [More].
Faith should make a difference by William R. MacKaye  http://www.intrust.org/Magazine/Issues/Spring-2000/Faith-should-make-a-d...
      Some church institutions, including theological schools, seem to have gone along with this assumption that they have nothing to do and nothing to say that is of any concern to anyone outside their own constituencies. I say “oddly” because historically Christianity is a profoundly public, socially involved way of life. Those touched in the past by the gospel message were almost inevitably moved to share the good news with others as widely as they could. They were moved to extend hands of healing and comfort to those in trouble regardless of their religion or lack of it. Sometimes that involvement was plainly beneficial to society, as is witnessed in North America and elsewhere by the extensive system of church-sponsored hospitals and social agencies. [More].
     Accept chaos. Methodist pastor Will Willimon once joked that the worst preparation for ministry is a prior career as a photographer. Pastors, he said, need to give up on any hope of getting people to turn in the same direction, stand still, and hold that smile. Life isn’t static. Everything changes. Order lapses into disorder. When you get up in the morning, you can never expect that what you nailed down yesterday has remained fixed overnight.  That’s why the key to a good meeting isn’t preparing the agenda but preparing ourselves. We do this not by anticipating the arguments that might erupt, but by entrusting ourselves and the group to God’s care. This means asking God to lead according to his will — which may not mirror the will of those gathered around the table. [More].
       Imagine planning to preach 48 Sundays a year if you’ve only preached five sermons in your life. Imagine leading a church that has diverse ministries when you’ve never served as primary leader of anything. To help prepare seminary graduates for their first call, CrossWay Community Church in Bristol, Wisconsin, where I’m a member of the pastoral staff, has crafted a pastoral training program that supports, rather than replaces, the master of divinity degree program offered by our neighbor, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Now in its fourth year, the CrossWay Pastoral Training Course (CPTC) was developed in partnership with Trinity, and a written agreement spells out how the program fulfills field education requirements. [More].
A President's Voyage: Neal Fisher, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Advice not taken by Neal F. Fisher  http://www.intrust.org/Magazine/Issues/Summer-2005/Neal-Fisher-Garrett-E...
A colleague and noted author warned me before I accepted the presidency at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary that I should never take the job. His warning was not based on a low opinion of the seminary. Rather, it reflected his conviction that the role of a seminary president was too stressful and demanding to recommend to anyone. [More].




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