Erskine trustees discuss need for growth

Posted on February 10, 2016

The Erskine College and Theological Seminary Board of Trustees met Thursday, February 4 for the first meeting of the 2016 calendar year, their third of the 2015-16 fiscal year. The board’s deliberations were summarized in a statement provided by Chairman Ron Vigus:

Since our last meeting we have celebrated the reaffirmation of our accreditation. God has honored the work done to increase our enrollment and revenues, the sacrifices made to decrease our expenses, the generosity of donors, and a great amount of prayer. Now we must turn our attention to growth for Erskine.

Enrollment growth will be a key component in achieving sustainability and our goals in the coming years. With leadership from Dr. Kooistra, we are currently generating and evaluating ideas that seek to stimulate growth across the institution. This includes academic programs, enhancements in student life and development, and athletics. Our objectives as we gather and evaluate these ideas are to ensure Erskine’s mission continuity, strengthen our offerings to students, and improve our long-term financial viability.

As Erskine Seminary continues to deal with the difficulties posed by national enrollment trends and transitions in leadership, the board is committed to a viable seminary and will explore all opportunities to achieve this.

With the recommendation of the president, the Seminary Committee presented and the trustees approved a recommendation that Erskine not exercise its option on the remaining two years of a five-year contract with U.S. Army MEDCOM program that provides doctorate level education for Army chaplains. After close evaluation over the past several years, we believe continuing this program will no longer be compatible with the seminary’s mission. The discontinuance of this contract will create a revenue issue that will need to be addressed in seminary strategic and budgetary planning.

The trustees began the day with an extended time of prayer and heard a student testimonial of personal and spiritual growth during her time at Erskine.