Collaboration: Questions to Consider

Over the past year or so I’ve had a variety of conversations with those who are actively engaged in collaboration, others who are seeking collaboration, and some who are just curious about how seminaries and other organizations can work together for kingdom purposes.

In addition to my role as President at Winebrenner I also serve on the Board for a University in Haiti. About a year ago they were looking at a deep collaboration with another school in the Caribbean. I was tasked with researching seminary-level collaborations and here is a summary of what I learned. As a first step to deeper organizational relationships, it’s good to prioritize why a school may be looking at a deeper collaboration with another partner.

The following are some basic questions to consider. Is the collaborative partnership intended to:

1) Better manage debt load?

2) Better manage operating deficit/surplus?

3) More fully integrate academic programs with an external operating model?

4) Get a handle on policies like tenure and sabbatical?

5) Either strengthen or weaken denominational ties and control?

This list is not intended to be exhaustive but to provide starting points for further discussion. Above all else, the organizations must make sure there is shared understanding of vision/direction, values, and strategy.

In my next post I’ll explore some additional items to consider when looking into a deeper collaborative partnership.

– Dr. Brent Sleasman, President
– Image by photographer Jon Tyson accessed via Unsplash/AdobeSpark