Who We Are
By registration; Designed for new academic deans who began service in 2020, 2021, or 2022, this event will provide an important boost to those in the early stage of that vocation. The event will acquaint participants with the resources available to theological schools through ATS, facilitate connections among academic deans serving within the distinctive world of theological education, continue the process of formation into the vocation of the academic deanship, and provide an opportunity for academic deans to step away from their offices for a time of learning, reflection, and refreshment. #ATSNewDeans2022
Welcome, Openings, and Introductions
Stephen R. Graham, Strategic Director of Context and Continuity; Director of Accreditation, ATS
Deborah Shadd, Director of Leadership Development, ATS
The Context of Your Work: An Overview and Trends in the Schools and in the Association
Stephen R. Graham
(breakfast on your own)
Accreditation: What New Deans Need to Know
James R. Moore, Director of Accreditation, ATS
Financial Issues and the New Dean
Chris Meinzer, Senior Director and COO, ATS
In Trust Center for Theological Schools
Amy Kardash, President, In Trust Center for Theological Schools
New Program Development (including Capacity-Based and Non-traditional Programs)
Stephen R. Graham
A. Shared Governance: What is It and How is the Dean Involved?
Matt Hufman, Vice President for Communication, In Trust Center for Theological Schools
B. The Dean’s Role in the Care and Formation of Students
Janet Clark, Dean Emerita, Tyndale Seminary of Tyndale University
C. The Dean's Working Relationship with the CEO
Tom Tanner, Former Director of Accreditation, ATS
D. Adjusting to the Online and In-Person Workplace
Debbie Creamer, Senior Director of Design and Organizational Learning, ATS
The Vocation of the Academic Dean
Adjournment and Free Evening
(breakfast on your own)
The Academic Dean and Developing the Faculty
Deborah H. C. Gin, Director of Research and Faculty Development, ATS
The Academic Dean and the Work of Evaluation
Hotel Reservation Deadline:
October 14, 2022, on or before 4 p.m. ET
The Renaissance Orlando Airport Hotel is located at 5445 Forbes Place, Orlando, FL 32812-9010, (407) 240-1000; approximately one mile from the Orlando International Airport (MCO).
A block of rooms is being held at a group rate of $169 for single/double occupancy (first-come, first-served basis), which includes complimentary airport shuttle service and complimentary Internet in guest rooms. There is complimentary Wi-Fi in the meeting rooms.
During the conference, breakfast vouchers are available at the hotel front desk for $18.00, which can be used at restaurants including Fresco Moderne Brasserie at the Renaissance Orlando Airport Hotel.
Click the hotel link above to make your room reservation online to get the group rate. (24-hour cancellation policy or a cancellation fee will apply)
Check-in: 3 p.m.
Check-out: 12 p.m.
On-site parking is discounted at $8 USD daily
The Renaissance Orlando Airport Hotel provides a complimentary shuttle service from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m., available upon request.
The Renaissance Airport Hotel asks that, after collecting your bags at the airport, you call the hotel for pick-up at 407-240-1000 and select option 2 for airport pick-up. You will be connected to the shuttle service that will give you an approximate wait time and location for pick-up. Depending in which terminal you are located, the pick-up spot is either A42 or B39.
Return shuttle service to Orlando International Airport from the hotel is provided 24 hours per day, every 30 minutes on the hour and the half hour. The hotel asks that you be in the lobby five minutes before departure.
Janet Clark has extensive experience as a theological educator and executive leader. Most recently she served as senior vice president and academic dean at Tyndale Seminary of Tyndale University in Toronto, and before that, as vice dean at McMaster Divinity College. She is a former president of the ATS Board of Directors, a former chair of the ATS Chief Academic Officers Society, and has chaired numerous ATS evaluation committees. Her background in international work has shaped a lifelong interest in intercultural competence and global engagement. She currently serves as dean emeritus at Tyndale Seminary and has an active teaching, speaking, and consulting ministry.
Deborah H. C. Gin joined the ATS staff in August 2014 as director of research and faculty development. In addition to launching the Association’s new research initiative and directing programs for faculty, she contributes to the ongoing dialogue about educational models that will have future viability and sustainability. Gin came to ATS from Azusa Pacific University, where she served as a senior faculty fellow in the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment and as associate professor of ministry at Azusa Pacific Seminary. She previously served as director of assessment analysis and education and as director of diversity studies at Azusa.
Gin's areas of research include pedagogy, higher education administration, multicultural education engagement, and diversity inclusivity. Prior to coming to ATS, she received a research grant to pursue Asian American faculty perspectives on the pursuit of administration in higher education and presented at an international conference on multicultural education in Seoul, Korea. Her articles have appeared in To Improve the Academy, Theological Education, and Multicultural Education Review. Chapters she has published include “Ruth: Identity and Leadership from Multivocal Spaces,” in Mirrored Reflections: Reframing Biblical Characters; “Loving My Neighbor,” in Strength to Be Holy; and “Asian American Ethnic/Racial Identity Development,” in Asian American Christianity: A Reader.
Gin is a regular blogger on leadership issues related to Asian American women, has been a frequent invited speaker on topics related to race, excellence, and inclusion, and is a member of the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ VALUE initiative Intercultural Competence rubric development team. She earned an MDiv from Haggard Graduate School of Theology, a master’s of music degree in vocal performance from the University of Southern California, and a PhD in higher education from Claremont Graduate University.
Stephen R. Graham joined the ATS staff in January 2008 as director of faculty development and initiatives in theological education, was named senior director of programs and services in 2013, began assisting as a director of accreditation in 2020, and was named strategic director of context and continuity in 2021. Prior to joining ATS, he served as the dean of faculty and professor of American church history at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago. A member of the American Academy of Religion and the American Society of Church History, he was active in the Chief Academic Officers Society of ATS and now provides staff leadership for the ATS School for New Deans.
Graham oversees the Association’s work of leadership education with presidents, is currently directing the ATS Organizational and Educational Models in Theological Education project, and provides the historical perspective of who ATS is and what it has been as an organization. He works to contextualize the Association's past legacy and its present, and studies how the two contribute toward the future. He has published two books—Cosmos in the Chaos: Philip Schaff’s Interpretation of Nineteenth Century American Religion and Come to the Table: North Park Covenant Church, 1898–1998, A Century of Heritage and Hope—as well as numerous articles on the history of Christianity in the United States and theological education.
Matt Hufman joined the In Trust Center for Theological Schools in 2020 as vice president for communication. Previously, he served as chief marketing and communication officer for Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, where he reimagined its magazine, leading it to achieving the Evangelical Press Association's award for best Christian higher education publication in 2019. An award-winning journalist, Hufman spent more than two decades in secular newspapers and media organizations as a reporter, writer, and editor. He was part of the Las Vegas Sun's team that won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. He served as president of the Nevada Press Association, was a founder of the Nevada Freedom of Information Coalition and has taught college journalism as well as presented to professional groups. Hufman is a credentialed minister and has worked in a variety of settings, including recovery and jail ministries in Las Vegas. He holds a master of divinity degree from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.
Amy Kardash has been the president of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools since 2017, serving as director of programs for eight years prior. She oversees and directs all the In Trust Center’s work in resourcing over 230 seminaries, theological schools, and affiliate organizations. In 2012, she helped launch Resource Consulting, offering a new way of connecting leaders in theological education with resources they need to make transformative changes at their institutions. In addition to Resource Consulting, she oversees the organization’s work in In Trust magazine and in building learning communities via focused initiatives and through the In Trust Center’s popular webinar series, which she initiated in 2011. Before joining the In Trust Center, Kardash enjoyed a ten-year career in corporate banking and marketing at PNC Bank and Wilmington Trust Company. She holds both a BS in marketing and management and an MBA from the University of Delaware.
Chris A. Meinzer, senior director and COO for The Association of Theological Schools (ATS), is a CPA with more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Since joining the ATS staff in 1999, he has provided oversight of ATS financial and business affairs as well as the ATS institutional database—a repository of institutional, enrollment, personnel, financial, and development data provided by ATS members. Meinzer has done extensive analysis and research of this data and presented his findings in a variety of settings to administrators and boards of theological schools.
In addition, he has provided counsel to ATS member schools on issues of finances, organizational planning, and strategic thinking. Through discussions with theological schools and their leadership, Meinzer has encouraged reflection on intergenerational stewardship and its impact on both academics and economics within these schools. He has designed and implemented a revision of the ATS Strategic Information Report, a useful strategic tool that provides ATS member schools with peer and industry data on a variety of market fundamentals.
Meinzer holds an accounting degree from The Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Divinity degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
James R. Moore was named director of accreditation for ATS in 2021. He is responsible for facilitating accrediting reviews, providing education and support to member schools about the process of accreditation, and providing staff support to the work of the Board of Commissioners of the ATS Commission on Accrediting. Moore comes to ATS after 26 years at Trinity International University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He most recently served as associate professor of educational ministries at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School of Trinity International University. Moore’s other roles have included associate dean of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, assistant dean of Trinity Graduate School, and director of administration for doctoral programs. He has been an active accreditation visitor and provides experience in the Commission’s work with accreditation and with the schools. In 2020, he was elected vice chair of the ATS Board of Commissioners.
Moore also previously served as assistant pastor and director of Christian education at Lifeway Wesleyan Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and he was a public school teacher in Indiana and Illinois. He is an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church and a member of the Wesleyan Theological Society. His articles appear in the Baker Dictionary of Christian Education, Theological Education, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, Wesleyan Theological Journal, and Trinity Journal. He recently contributed “Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi: Advocate for Child-Centered Education” to A Legacy of Christian Educators, edited by Elmer Towns.
Moore earned his MA from Indiana Wesleyan University and his PhD from Trinity International University.
Tom Tanner joined the ATS staff in August 2012 and worked there for ten years, after serving for 33 years in various academic leadership roles at Lincoln (IL) Christian University. As a director of accreditation for ATS, his work included facilitating accrediting reviews, providing education and support to member schools about the process of accreditation, and providing staff support to the work of the Board of Commissioners of the ATS Commission on Accrediting. He was also instrumental in contributing to the redevelopment of the ATS Standards of Accrediting that were approved in 2020.
Tanner served on many accreditation visits for decades before joining the ATS staff—for the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) since 1984 and for ATS since 2006—as well as serving on several joint regional accreditation visits with SACS and HLC. He has presented numerous self-study workshops for ATS, ABHE, and HLC. He also served as a board member and commission member for ABHE. Tanner is a licensed minister among Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, having served as resident and visiting minister for several congregations in Illinois. His published works include two books (What Ministers Know and Verses and Voices), numerous articles for various journals, and former editorship of the Journal for Biblical Higher Education. In addition, he has published numerous articles in Colloquy Online, the Association’s newsletter.
A graduate of Lincoln Christian University (BA and MDiv) and the University of Illinois (MA, MLIS, and PhD), Tanner holds degrees in ministry, New Testament, classical philology, and library and information science.
Registration Deadline: October 14, 2022
Discounted Registration Fee: $200.00
Spouse/Guest Fee: $75.00 (includes only Monday’s welcome reception and dinner)
Participants will need to cover the costs of lodging and transportation to and from Orlando.
A block of rooms has been reserved for a group rate of $169 for single/double occupancy at the Renaissance Orlando Airport Hotel.
Dress is business casual.
Date & Time
Mon, Nov 07, 2022 , —
Wed, Nov 09, 2022 ,
Renaissance Orlando Airport Hotel