LSTC chosen for Wise Stewards Initiative

June 17, 2021

The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) has been chosen to participate in the Wise Stewards Initiative of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools. The Wise Stewards Initiative encourages boards of theological schools to “step beyond the usual approaches to governance” towards governance as a “change agent and engine for innovation.”

In its proposal to In Trust, LSTC wrote that participating in the Wise Stewards Initiative will “. . . allow us to gain additional insight and skills related to becoming a strategically diverse institution with deep concern for equity and inclusion. We see this as not only improving how the board leads but also passing that leadership insight on to the communities and congregations from whom the Board is drawn. In this way, the board can be a model of governance to its constituents as we prepare our students to be leaders in churches.”

Kristi Ferguson, chair of the board of directors, said, “This initiative will help us build on LSTC’s strategic plan, its public church curriculum, and its partnerships with community agencies, to develop a model for strategic diversity and innovation to help us fulfill our mission – raising up diverse and innovative leaders for the church.”

Based on a self-assessment submitted by all members of the board, the president, board chair and a governance coach assigned to the school will develop a custom learning plan for the board. The initiative has a three-pronged approach to board learning. One day of individualized coaching will be provided at the school’s fall board meeting. A four-member team from LSTC (president, board chair and two board members) will interact with and learn from teams from other schools at a Wise Stewards Seminar in March 2022. A follow-up day of coaching will take place with the board within six months of the March seminar.

In addition to on-site work with the governance coach, members of the board will be invited to participate in monthly facilitated Zoom conversations, Sept. – May.

LSTC is one of 10 theological schools in the U.S. chosen to participate in the first year of the Wise Stewards Initiative funded by a grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. There is no cost to the school to participate in the initiative.

Learn more about the Wise Stewards Initiative.


Patti DeBias

Assistant to the President


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