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30 Mar 2022
30 Mar 2022

2022 ATS Student Personnel Administrators Conference

  • Price: FREE

Overview

By registration; The landscape of theological education has been in a time of rapid change over the past couple of years. All our institutions have learned to adapt, innovate, and reimagine how we educate and prepare our students during a time of great uncertainty. This conference will take place virtually, and will feature plenary sessions with prominent topics and workshops that connect to the theme of Re-Envisioning Theological Education: Balancing Agility and Stability Amidst Rapid Change. #ATSSPAN2022

The deadline to register is Wednesday, March 23, 2022.


Agenda

~ Eastern Time (US and Canada) ~

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2022

11 a.m.–12 p.m. ET
Opening Plenary
Prologue to a Greater Purpose: JEDI Activated in Service to Humanity
Carol Henderson, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion; Chief Diversity Officer; Adviser to the President, Emory University

12:15–12:45 p.m. ET (Optional)
Welcome to ATS for first-time attendees and new professionals 

1–1:45 p.m. ET
Affinity Breakout Discussions based on Opening Plenary
•    Admissions and Recruitment
•    Assessment Personnel
•    Career Services
•    Dean of Students                        
•    Enrollment Management
•    Financial Aid
•    Housing and Student Life
•    Registrars
                                                                                                       
2–2:50 p.m. ET
SESSION 1 WORKSHOPS
Cooperative Economics: Helping Our Students & Institutions Navigate Student Debt
 
Ashly Cargle-Thompson, Founder and CEO, Edvise Consulting, LLC
Fekecia Gunn, Director of Enrollment Services and Professor, Memphis Theological Seminary

Admissions as Spiritual Discernment: Expanding the Role of Seminary Admissions Personnel 
Kevin O’Coin, Assistant Director of Admissions, Associated Canadian Theological Schools of Trinity Western University 

Mind the Gap: Building Awareness and Adaptive Models to Support Student Flourishing
Katherine Smith, Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives, Duke University Divinity School 

Changes in Higher Education: Student Information System  Helps to Stay in Compliance
Devona Sewell, Director of Registration and Records, University of Saint Mary of the Lake
 
3:30–4:20 p.m. ET
SESSION 2 WORKSHOPS
Bridging Theology with Career Goals Objective
Reginald Boyd Jr., Director of Recruitment and Admissions, Hood Theological Seminary
Vernice Randall, Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid and Lecturer in Homiletics, Yale University Divinity School

Today’s Student Loan Program: What Every Financial Aid Professional Needs to Know
Heather Jarvis, Director, Student Loan Expert, LLC

Achieving Strategic Enrollment Health
Tim Fuller, Founder, Fuller Higher Ed Solutions

“If You’re Going through Hell, Keep Going”: A Grounded Theory of Spiritual Struggle among Seminarians
Lee Richards, Registrar and Director of Financial Aid, Methodist Theological School in Ohio 
 
4:20 p.m. ET
Adjourn

THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2022
 
11–11:50 a.m. ET
Plenary
Psychospiritual Health on the Front Lines of Theological Education
Danjuma Gibson, Licensed Psychotherapist; Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care, and Counseling and Co-Director of Doctor of Ministry Program, Calvin Theological Seminary
 
1–1:45 p.m. ET
Affinity Breakout Discussions based on Plenary
•    Embedded Schools
•    Freestanding Schools
•    Denominationally Affiliated Schools
•    Small enrollment schools (<100 students)
•    Medium enrollment schools (100 to 300 students)
•    Large enrollment schools (>300 students)
•    Residential schools and/or majority full-time students
•    Schools with large online programs and/or majority part-time students

2–2:50 p.m. ET
SESSION 3 WORKSHOPS
Retooling Recruiting and Admissions Methods for Continued Enrollment Success
Cameron Schweitzer, Director of Enrollment; International Student Adviser; Jonathan Edwards Center West Research Assistant, Gateway Seminary

Financial Aid: Advanced Topics
Heather Jarvis, Director, Student Loan Expert, LLC

What Are We Learning as We Navigate Challenging Times?
Jeff Sajdak, Dean of Students, Calvin Theological Seminary

"SPANning the Hot Topics!"
Michael Sandner, Chief Business Officer; Acting Director of Human Resources; Title IX Officer, Hartford International University for Religion and Peace

2:50 p.m. ET
Adjourn


Workshops

SESSION 1

Cooperative Economics: Helping Our Students & Institutions Navigate Student Debt
Ashly Cargyle-Thompson, Founder and CEO, Edvise Consulting, LLC
Fekecia Gunn, Director of Enrollment Services and Professor, Memphis Theological Seminary 

Who owns the student debt crisis? Is it a matter of personal responsibility as our institutions suggest? Or, are our students scapegoats for institutional and systemic failures? In reality, both parties play a critical role in the prevalence of student borrowing and, with experience as financial aid officers, we are uniquely positioned to address the issue from both sides. This presentation will explore financial aid personnel’s impact on the micro (student-centered) and macro (policy and finance) levels of our institutions and discuss programmatic, administrative, and financial strategies for effecting sustainable change for our students and our schools.    

Admissions as Spiritual Discernment: Expanding the Role of Seminary Admissions Personnel
Kevin O’Coin, Assistant Director of Admissions, Associated Canadian Theological Schools of Trinity Western University
Considering the possibility of pursuing graduate theological education can be daunting and confusing. Seminary admissions personnel can help people discern their next steps by extending an invitation for them to reflect on and employ their own spiritual resources. This session will explore specific care practices that all admissions personnel can incorporate into their interactions with students in order to move beyond a transaction-based approach to one founded on care and discernment. Based on soon-to-published research for a Doctor of Ministry degree at ATS member school ACTS Seminaries of Trinity Western University (Langley, BC).

Mind the Gap: Building Awareness and Adaptive Models to Support Student Flourishing
Katherine Smith, Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives, Duke University Divinity School
Amidst the turbulence of pandemic and accelerating changes in higher education, how can theological schools build on strengths, identify challenges, and adapt their practices to support not just student persistence, but student flourishing? This session will address practical and cost-efficient strategies to foster student well-being, strengthen collaboration among those who support them, and realize meaningful outcomes for both students and schools.

Changes in Higher Education: Student Information System Helps to Stay in Compliance
Devona Sewell, Director of Registration and Records, University of Saint Mary of the Lake
The one constant in higher education is that change is constant. In today’s never-ending university, local, state and federal changes, it is essential to have technology that assists with the ability to keep our colleges and universities in compliance with these changes. One important technology in this endeavor is the Student Information System (SIS).  

SESSION 2

Bridging Theology with Career Goals Objective
Reginald Boyd Jr., Director of Recruitment and Admissions, Hood Theological Seminary
Vernice Randall, Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid and Lecturer in Homiletics, Yale University Divinity School

This session will explore questions about why students chose their particular degree, the benefits of chosen degree program, and tying theology and career objectives together with degree program selection. The session will also touch on how to think about recruitment approaches for students seeking theological degrees for non-traditional career paths.

Today’s Student Loan Program: What Every Financial Aid Professional Needs to Know
Heather Jarvis, Director, Student Loan Expert, LLC
In spite of high student loan balances and low clergy salaries, a typical theological school graduate can successfully manage his or her student loans. Federal student loan programs provide flexible repayment options that set monthly payments at an affordable percentage of income and offer loan forgiveness for responsible borrowers. But the details are tricky and can be difficult to navigate. Bring your toughest questions because the expert is in the house!

Achieving Strategic Enrollment Health
Tim Fuller, Founder, Fuller Higher Ed Solutions
Finding enough of the right students, those students who will thrive as they pursue their calling to theological education, is an important task for every enrollment leader. This workshop reviews the keys to meeting enrollment goals with the right focus, data, and campus mobilization.

“If You’re Going through Hell, Keep Going”: A Grounded Theory of Spiritual Struggle among Seminarians
Lee Richards, Registrar and Director of Financial Aid, Methodist Theological School in Ohio
As they prepare for careers in vocational ministry, academic teaching, or other forms of social and public service, some seminarians endure one or more periods of intense spiritual struggle – that is, an experience of disequilibrium, disturbance, and/or disillusionment as it relates to their own spiritual identity. For some students, this experience of spiritual struggle leads them to abandon their studies, their vocation, and even their faith; for others, it leads to transformation, deepened spiritual identity and a renewed sense of vocation. Through theory and narrative, this workshop will explore the phenomenon of spiritual struggle among seminarians and outline practical approaches that student affairs personnel use to aid and equip students to successfully navigate their way through these crises.

SESSION 3

Retooling Recruiting and Admissions Methods for Continued Enrollment Success
Cameron Schweitzer, Director of Enrollment; International Student Adviser; Jonathan Edwards Center West Research Assistant, Gateway Seminary
Despite some of the challenges seminaries have faced the last several years, both pre and post Covid, Gateway seminary has been able to achieve consistent new student enrollment growth. And our office has done so without the use of a CRM. In this session I will discuss some of the strategies we have employed (personnel, technology, and office culture) to achieve this success.

Financial Aid: Advanced Topics
Heather Jarvis, Director, Student Loan Expert, LLC
Join Heather Jarvis, student loan expert, for an overview of the latest information on federal student loans including:
•    The big picture: student debt as part of a total financial picture
•    Understanding the eligibility requirements of the income-driven repayment plans
•    What's different for married folks
•    Loan forgiveness that is not tied to employment                       
•    Public Service Loan Forgiveness
•    Tax issues specific to student loan borrowers
•    Proposed rule changes: what they are and how they could affect your students

What Are We Learning as We Navigate Challenging Times?
Jeff Sajdak, Dean of Students, Calvin Theological Seminary
Pandemic, political battles, racial division, Zoom, masks, vaccines. We’re all weary. We won’t be going back to the old “normal,” and we’re not sure what’s ahead. Let’s step back to see what we’ve been learning to help us balance agility and stability amidst rapid change. This workshop will be a chance to pause, pay attention, and ponder what we’ve learned for our life and work.

"SPANning the Hot Topics!"
Michael P. Sandner, Chief Business Officer; Acting Director of Human Resources; Title IX Officer, Hartford International University for Religion and Peace
Here is your chance to join in with your peers and discuss some current hot topics for theological education administrators.


Accommodations

Presenters
Reginald Boyd Jr.

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Reginald Boyd Jr.

Reginald Boyd Jr. works as the director of recruitment and admissions at Hood Theological Seminary and serves the Cottonville African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Norwood, North Carolina. He has served five congregations in the itinerant ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Boyd received the DMin and MDiv degrees from Hood Theological Seminary.

Ashly Cargle-Thompson

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Ashly Cargle-Thompson

Ashly Cargle-Thompson is the founder and CEO of Edvise Consulting, LLC, a higher education consulting firm specializing in strategic planning, program development, and equity impact assessments for student affairs departments and professionals. She has more than decade of experience in student programming, admissions, and financial aid at post-secondary institutions. Most recently, she served as the associate director of admissions and financial aid at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, where she developed financial aid policies and awarding strategies that closed Candler’s racial funding gap by 93% in five years. Cargle-Thompson has been an active participant in the Economic Challenges Facing Future Ministers (ECFFM) initiative and a vocal leader on the impact of systemic inequities and institutional accountability. She completed her undergraduate work at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and later received an MA in the sociology of religion/Islamic studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Tim Fuller

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Tim Fuller

Tim Fuller has spent his entire career thinking about and working on enrollment, first at his alma mater, Houghton College, and since 2007 as a consultant. His consulting work has included projects at many ATS member institutions, and both of his sons are seminary graduates, giving him a unique perspective on theological education. Fuller earned his MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Danjuma Gibson

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Danjuma Gibson

Danjuma Gibson is professor of pastoral theology, care, and counseling and co-director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Calvin Theological Seminary and works as a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in the state of Michigan. In addition to studying the impact of psychological trauma on individuals, groups, and culture, Gibson’s research examines the intersection of urban transformation, black religious experience, social psychology, and economics. Gibson earned a master’s in business administration from DePaul University, a master’s in urban ministry and a master’s in Christian studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a PhD from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Fekecia Gunn

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Fekecia Gunn

Fekecia Gunn is the director of enrollment services at Memphis Theological Seminary, where she also teaches financial leadership for ministry. She and her team collaboratively work with departments and students to catalyze engagement and excellence. She earned a bachelor's degree with a concentration in accounting from the University of Tulsa and an MDiv from Memphis Theological Seminary. 

 

Carol E. Henderson

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Carol E. Henderson

Carol E. Henderson is vice provost for diversity and inclusion, chief diversity officer, and adviser to the president at Emory University. She is focused on addressing climate and culture practices, professional development and educational awareness, and better accountability mechanisms. Prior to this appointment, Henderson served as the inaugural vice provost for diversity at the University of Delaware. She also served as the university’s associate director/director of undergraduate studies of then Black American Studies. She is the author/editor of five books, the special issue editor of four journals, and has published numerous essays in critical volumes and journals. Her recent article, “All Eyez on Me: On Being Black, Female, and a First-Gen Leader in the Academy,” is published in a special issue on black women’s leadership in higher education in Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International. Henderson received a master’s in English from California State University, and her doctorate from the University of California. She is professor emerita of English and Africana Studies at the University of Delaware.

Heather Jarvis

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Heather Jarvis

Heather Jarvis has practiced public interest law for more than a dozen years. Beginning in 2005, she focused her advocacy work on reducing the financial barriers to practicing public interest law. Jarvis has contributed to student debt relief policy for the House Education Committee and others in Congress, and has dedicated her professional efforts to advancing public service loan forgiveness, which allows recent graduates to dedicate their careers to the greater good. She leads efforts to establish and expand student debt relief programs and to inform borrowers, schools, and employers about how to benefit from available debt relief programs. Jarvis has trained thousands of students and professionals and is sought after for her legal knowledge and accessible teaching style. Jarvis holds a Juris Doctor degree from Duke University School of Law.

 

Kevin O'Coin

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Kevin O'Coin

Kevin O’Coin serves as associate director of enrollment at the Associated Canadian Theological Schools of Trinity Western University, where he has worked since 2016. His work allows him the opportunity to be involved in various areas, such as recruitment, admissions, student retention, and academic planning and policy. He previously served as discipleship pastor at a Mennonite Brethren church in Winnipeg, Manitoba. O’Coin earned his MDiv degree and will complete the DMin in spring 2022.

 

Vernice Randall

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Vernice Randall

Vernice “Hopie” Randall is associate dean of admissions and financial aid and lecturer in homiletics at Yale University Divinity School. Randall earned her MDiv from Yale Divinity School and a ThM in homiletics and pastoral care from Princeton Theological Seminary.

 

Lee Richards

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Lee Richards

Lee Richards serves as the registrar, director of institutional research, and director of financial aid at Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Previously, he worked at Phoenix Seminary, with experience in admissions, academic services, enrollment management, assessment, institutional research, information technology, and teaching introductory spiritual formation courses as an adjunct faculty member. Richards holds an MDiv in biblical communication from Phoenix Seminary and is a PhD candidate in the Higher Education Administration program at the University of Toledo. His dissertation research focuses on the phenomenon of spiritual struggle among seminarians and better outcomes for students who encounter spiritual crises amidst their theological studies.

 

Jeff Sajdak

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Jeff Sajdak

Jeff Sajdak is serving in his tenth year as dean of students at Calvin Theological Seminary. Previously, he served as a parish pastor for 20 years. His earned a DMin in spiritual formation with a focus on church leaders. Sajdak leads retreats and workshops for pastors, missionaries, and church leaders.

 

Michael P. Sandner

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Michael P. Sandner

Michael P. Sandner has served as chief business officer, director of human resources, and Title IX Officer for Hartford International University for Religion and Peace (formerly Hartford Seminary) in Hartford, Connecticut since 2015. Sandner has been serving on the conference planning committee for SPAN for the past four years. He presented at the 2017 ATS SPAN Conference, hosting a Title IX 101 workshop. Previously, Sandner worked in the performing arts industry for 11 years, doing finance and development work for several regional theatres and the Cathedral Choral Society. In his spare time, he teaches group fitness and spinning classes to balance his sanity from wearing multiple hats at the university.

Cameron Schweitzer

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Cameron Schweitzer

Cameron Schweitzer has served as the director of enrollment at Gateway Seminary since 2019. Previously, he worked for the seminary as an enrollment specialist. He performs a litany of roles, including recruitment, admissions, academic advising, and student affairs. He earned the MDiv from Gateway Seminary and is currently a PhD candidate.

Devona Sewell

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Devona Sewell

Devona Sewell is director of registration and records at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake. Previously, she served as college registrar at the College of Central Florida. She has an MBA and a master’s in accountancy from the University of Phoenix. Sewell is currently completing a Doctor of Education at Capella University.

 

Katherine Smith

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Katherine Smith

Katherine Smith is associate dean for strategic initiatives at Duke Divinity School, where she develops and aligns programs and initiatives to advance the school’s mission, sustainability, and institutional effectiveness. Prior to Duke, she served as assistant dean for admissions, vocation, and stewardship at Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee. She previously served as director of the Duke Youth Academy for Christian Formation at Duke Divinity School and as managing director of Princeton Project 55, Inc., a nation-wide nonprofit organization that seeks to mobilize civic leadership for the public good. Smith holds a BA in English literature from Princeton University, an MDiv from Duke Divinity School, and an EdD in higher education leadership and policy from Vanderbilt University. 


Other

Registration Deadline: Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Feel free to test your Internet connection for Zoom ahead of time: https://zoom.us/test

CONTACT:
Meghan Niskach
niskach@ats.edu

Date & Time
Wed, Mar 30, 2022 , 11 a.m. ET
Thu, Mar 31, 2022 , 3 p.m. ET

Location
Online

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