Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

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Presidential Position Profile

The Board of Regents and its Presidential Search Committee have begun to search for the 16th president of Trinity International University. Our desire is to announce a new president in June 2019.


  A Time of Great Opportunity

The search for the next president of Trinity International University is launched from a foundation of five years of dedicated and successful presidential leadership from President David S. Dockery, who will transition to the role of Chancellor.

In February 2015, the Trinity Board of Regents unanimously approved Heritage and Hope: Trinity 2023. This wide-ranging strategic plan features 125 initiatives within 12 overarching priorities. As of fall 2018, more than half of the initiatives are in place or stand near completion.  Student enrollment has stabilized during this time and the number of degree-seeking students in fall 2018 is at its highest point in five years.

Innovative programs added in the past five years have aided in enrollment growth. Examples include a bachelor’s degree program for prisoners at Wisconsin’s Waupun Correctional Institution; a Korean-language Doctor of Ministry program taught in Seoul; and Master of Arts in bioethics degree classes taught in India, China, and Kenya. About 440 students this fall study in programs that did not exist on the TIU campus in 2014, programs that are giving TIU a true international reach and focus.

TIU will participate in the reaffirmation of accreditation process with the Higher Learning Commission and the Association of Theological Schools in 2019. A serious commitment to academic quality and continuous improvement is a part of the culture of TIU.

Faculty and staff participation in Trinity Fund giving more than doubled in 2015 and two of the best-ever Trinity Fund giving totals have come in the past five years. There is 100 percent Trinity Fund participation from the Board of Regents.

Challenges remain in Christian higher education, but building on a strong foundation, there is great opportunity for the next president of Trinity International University to advance its mission of academic excellence, Christian faithfulness and lifelong learning.


More about TIU

With nearly 100 faculty and nearly 2,700 students, we at Trinity International University are committed to the same vision with which we were founded in 1897 and determined to follow in the footsteps of the great universities of the past that were founded on the cornerstone belief that all wisdom lies in Jesus Christ. Our task, if we are to be salt in the world of our day, is to build institutions where we can think like Christians and learn to live as Christians in a culture in which both have become equally hard. Whether preparing to be pastors or missionaries or attorneys, teachers, counselors, scientists, corporate leaders, homemakers or public servants, whatever our calling under God, we need excellence in education, grounded in the lordship of Jesus Christ. That is the goal and task of Trinity International University.


Our Mission, Our Motto, and the Trinity Vision

Our university mission statement presents a broad view of what we are about: Trinity educates men and women to engage in God’s redemptive work in the world by cultivating academic excellence, Christian faithfulness, and lifelong learning. But this mission is informed by a distinctive theological vision.

Our university motto points to the heart of our vision: we are “entrusted with the gospel” (1 Thess. 2:4). For that reason, we boldly declare ourselves to be “Evangelical”—not in the vague sociological use of that term, still less as a partisan political label. We are Evangelical in the historical, biblical sense as those who hold to the evangel, the gospel of Jesus Christ. We stand in the shadow of the sixteenth-century Reformers who rediscovered the Bible’s good news of God’s gracious saving work in Christ and were consequently called “Evangelicals” before they were called “Protestants.”

The biblical gospel entrusted to us is not a mere declaration that God is love, but the theologically robust truth that encompasses the grand story of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. God’s gospel, grounded in his eternal character and purpose, is authoritatively revealed in our inerrant Bible. It is centered in the incomparable person of Christ; it is accomplished through his unique redeeming work; it is applied by the Holy Spirit’s divine power; and it is embodied in a new community, the church, which is to shine as a light to the world. And this gospel gives us an ultimate hope in the glorious coming of our Lord when he will act as judge of all and finally bring his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. We believe the God of the gospel stands over us, always calling us to repentance and reformation into a new way of life—a life of radical love and an all-encompassing mission: to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to all nations in both word and deed.

This gospel is the historic center of our faith, and it serves as our theological anchor. Our unflinching commitment to the first-order doctrines of this biblical gospel while appreciating our differences on secondary issues allows Trinity to occupy a unique position and provides a distinctive vision. This theological focus aligns with the ethos of Trinity’s partner denomination, the Evangelical Free Church of America, which offers Trinity as a gift to the broader Evangelical world. Because the gospel creates a new people, diverse yet united in Christ, we believe that we can learn from other theological traditions and denominational distinctives while remaining true to our Lord. Thus, we seek to be an intercultural, international, and transdenominational Christian institution entrusted with the gospel in service to the church.

With this vision, we seek to be a learning community with high academic standards drawing together an eclectic Evangelical faculty—men and women from numerous racial, ethnic, socio-economic, national, international, denominational, and even doctrinal groups—bound together by our commitment to the Lord, our core theological convictions, and standards of conduct that conform to the Word of God. Reaching this goal will take both strong conviction and persevering intention. But anchored in the biblical gospel while drawing on the rich and varied resources of historical Evangelical witness to it, we believe we are well positioned to engage the many ethnic and ecclesial cultures of this country as well as the manifold expressions of Evangelical faith found in the global church. From this perspective, we seek to be on the cutting edge of the church’s mission to the world, both in training pastors, missionaries, and educators and in forming students for Christian faithfulness and fruitfulness in all walks of life.


Our Values

As an institution committed to inerrant Scripture, given by God as our final authority for faith and life, we hold ourselves accountable to it and to each other with regard to our four core values:

Christ Centered
We are here to model and to engender Christ-centeredness in all that we do. The lordship of Christ should affect and be evident in every aspect of education, relationship, and endeavor at Trinity.
Community Focused
We seek to be a learning community that operates by the ethics and values of the Kingdom of God. The makeup of the community should be a reflection of the breadth and diversity of the family of God. The way we treat people should be consistent with the morals, justice, compassion, humility, and love of our Lord. Interaction with students should both reflect an attitude of service to them as individuals and take advantage of opportunities for mentoring and modeling and personal development.
Church Connected
We value service to the Church because we believe that the Church is God’s central vehicle to accomplish his work in the world. Our vision for serving the Church is a global vision, just as God’s vision for his Church is global. A particular value affecting Trinity’s work is to identify and meet the educational needs of the Evangelical Free Church of America.
Culturally Engaged
We seek to bring faith, life, and learning to bear on the issues facing our world. Our perspective is one of engagement with culture from a Christ-centered and biblically rooted foundation. We are committed to high standards of research, scholarship, thinking, and living as a means of preparing students to engage the world and to respond honestly and earnestly to those in a pluralistic society.

Trinity’s purpose is to enable its graduates to think and live like Christians in the twenty-first century. We believe that God calls his people into many kinds of service; Trinity’s calling is to prepare them to serve for his glory.


TIU History: A Strong Heritage

Trinity International University traces its roots to 1897 when the Swedish Evangelical Free Church began a ten-week Bible course in the basement of a Chicago church. This soon developed into the Bible Institute of the Swedish Evangelical Free Church of America. In 1910, the Norwegian-Danish Free Church established the Norwegian-Danish Bible Institute and Academy. It was first located in Rushford, Minnesota, and then later in Minneapolis with the name Trinity Seminary and Bible Institute. Between 1946 and 1949 the Swedish school merged with the Norwegian-Danish school to form Trinity Seminary and Bible College, located in Chicago.

During the 1960s, the seminary (renamed Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) and the college (renamed Trinity College) moved to their present Deerfield Campus. In 1992 the college established a regional center in Davie, Florida, where the former Miami Christian College became Trinity College at Miami. In 1995, Trinity College, Trinity College at Miami, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School were united to form Trinity International University. With the inauguration of the university, Trinity College in Deerfield became the College of Arts and Sciences and Trinity College at Miami became Trinity International University–Florida Campus. In 1997 the first class entered Trinity Graduate School. Trinity Law School, located in Santa Ana, California, incorporated into Trinity International University in January 1998. Trinity Law School is accredited with the State Bar of California. The residential undergraduate program in Miami closed in 2000 and the undergraduate and graduate programs were renamed the Trinity International University–Florida Regional Center. In 2002 the College of Arts and Sciences was renamed Trinity College.


TIU Today

Trinity International University (TIU) is composed of a liberal arts college, a divinity school, a graduate school, and a law school in California. Its main campus is located in Deerfield, Illinois, with extension sites in ChicagoIllinois, Kendall, Florida (Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area), and Santa Ana, California.

Undergraduate Studies

Trinity educates men and women for faithful participation in God’s redemptive work in the world by cultivating academic excellence, Christian faithfulness, and lifelong learning. Founded in 1897 with roots in the Norwegian-Danish Free Church, the Swedish Evangelical Free Church and the Evangelical Free Church of America, we have a longstanding reputation for Christ­-centered higher education.

As a Christian liberal arts college, Trinity grounds undergraduates in biblical knowledge, a Christian world and life view, and a broad understanding of the humanities and sciences. Upper­ level study and experience, in close collaboration with a small and dedicated faculty, prepares our students to serve God’s world in this generation.

The college is known for strong programs in education, Christian ministries, business, and music, among others. The dual degree BA/MA program in bioethics is truly unique. With about 1,000 students, Trinity College is primarily a residential school with an active campus life­ including vibrant athletics programs, music, drama, missions, and service activities. Faculty and staff are committed to helping students learn in all areas to think and live maturely in and for Christ. In all these ways the college fosters an intimate face-to-face Christian community.

Trinity College serves more than 320 students through adult degree programs in Deerfield, South Chicago, and at its South Florida campus. In recent years we have launched online programs in several majors.

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) exists to serve the church of the living God by equipping servants for the work of the gospel of Christ worldwide. One of the largest seminaries in the world, it enrolls more than 1,187 graduate students in professional and academic programs, including nearly 390 in its doctoral programs, and more than 236 in extension sites throughout the Midwest.

At the heart of the Divinity School is the Master of Divinity degree, preparing pastors, teachers, and missionaries for many kinds of service. TEDS also offer a range of more focused Master of Arts programs in counseling ministries, Christian thought, New Testament, Old Testament, church history, and several other disciplines. The school offers the ThM and DMin as well. Three academic PhD programs cover six departments: Educational Studies, Intercultural Studies, and Theological Studies (Old Testament, New Testament, Systematic Theology, and Historical Theology).

TEDS is a learning community dedicated to the development of servant leaders for the global church, leaders who are spiritually, biblically, and theologically prepared to engage contemporary cultures for the sake of Christ and His kingdom. Many TEDS faculty are widely recognized scholars and Christian leaders. The Woodbridge Reading room in Rolfing Library houses about 500 books written by TEDS faculty through the years. The respected Christianity Today Book Awards have gone to TEDS authors in three of the past four years.

Faculty bring a high level of scholarship and life experience to class, ensuring that their students understand how to apply the material to real­ world contexts. They are dedicated to the development of the men and women who will shape the future church worldwide.

Trinity Graduate School

Founded in 1997, Trinity Graduate School equips students with a transformative understanding of their disciplines so that they can engage culture from a biblically based Christian worldview.

Trinity Graduate School serves nearly 200 students, offering Master’s level programs in Bioethics, Teaching, Diverse Learning, and Leadership. In partnership with the college, Trinity Graduate School offers four dual-degree programs that enable students to earn a BA and MA in as little as five years.

Trinity Law School

Trinity Law School champions a Christian theory of jurisprudence in the marketplace of ideas and equips students to articulate a biblical view of human law and government, for the benefit of Christ’s church and the world at large. Graduates include attorneys, scholars, public servants, statesmen and stateswomen, nongovernmental organization leaders, teachers, and other advocates.

Strategically located in Southern California, the full and part-time faculties of the law school reflect Trinity’s commitment to faithfulness to the gospel while engaging culture with the gospel’s profound and far-reaching implications. Trinity Law School currently serves more than 225 students pursuing a Juris Doctor degree. This 90-unit degree can be taken as a three-year full-time program or as a four-year part-time program. It offers students flexible course schedules, affordable tuition, and most importantly, the unique opportunity to study law from a Christian perspective. Graduates may sit for the Bar examination of the State Bar of California.

These four schools (along with Camp Timber-lee in East Troy, WI) combine to form TIU, with the potential to be a powerful kingdom force, equipping students comprehensively to think and live as Christians with global impact. In addition, some of the most thoughtful, engaging, and exciting work at Trinity takes place through the work of the various Centers, including the work of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, the Carl F. H. Henry Center, the Center for Transformational Churches, the Center for Global Theology and World Christianity, the Jonathan Edwards Center, and the Center for Human Rights.


TIU’s Partnership with the EFCA

Trinity International University is partnered with the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA), an association of some 1,500 autonomous yet interdependent churches and church plants united by a mutual commitment to serve the Lord Jesus Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in obedience to the Word of God. The growing ministry of the EFCA currently extends to some 50 countries around the world.  This denominational connection provides Trinity with ecclesial accountability, as TIU holds to the EFCA statement of faith. We desire to foster and strengthen this connection.

Trinity began as the primary institution for training EFCA pastors. That purpose continues, but at the same time the EFCA regards Trinity as its gift to the wider evangelical community, making its educational offerings accessible to students from a wide variety of denominations. Indeed, the majority of Trinity students represent non-EFCA churches. The nature of the university allows breadth for Christians from many different backgrounds to study, worship, and serve together.


A New President and the Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

We are looking for a new president who can build on our rich heritage and strong foundation. Christian higher education faces new challenges in our day—financial, cultural, and pedagogical. But with those challenges come new opportunities. Our internationally renowned Divinity School provides a robust theological environment for the entire university, and its world-wide reach offers a strong platform for Trinity’s global influence for the gospel.

With its broad but solidly Evangelical theological convictions, TIU can embrace a diversity of orthodox Christian traditions in a positive and enriching way, which makes it well positioned to reflect the ethnic and ecclesial variety that increasingly characterizes this country and the global church. Its student population across its various schools is currently over 40% minority, and 17% of our students are international. We want a president eager to see us take advantage of the exciting opportunities before us in our ever-changing globalized culture.


The Kind of Person We Seek

Our Presidential Search Committee is praying that the Lord will guide us to a candidate who fits the following description:

A Faithful Follower of Christ
First, the candidate must embrace the preeminence of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life, and demonstrate the fruits of godliness—especially, a spirit of humility, a submission to the authority of the Holy Scriptures, a dependence on the Lord in prayer, and healthy interpersonal relationships. He or she must be strongly committed to the local church and to God’s mission to the world, while affirming the geographical, ethnic, and denominational diversity of the Trinity community.
Academically Accomplished
In a theologically-driven academic environment it is important that the candidate hold an earned doctorate, have at least one graduate theological degree, and appreciate the value of scholarship in the service of Christ. Faculty and/or administrative experience is also desirable.
Theologically Grounded
The candidate must affirm without mental reservation the TIU Statement of Faith and must display the theological acumen needed to engage our world wisely. Anchored in historic Evangelical theology represented in the EFCA, he or she must relate well to various denominational and theological traditions
Financially Aware
As our chief executive, the president of TIU must guide the university toward an effective, efficient, and sustainable operation, faithfully stewarding the resources God has entrusted to us. Thus a candidate for this position must exhibit a working understanding of finances and budgets and must embrace the role of chief development officer.
A Proven Leader
Finally, we will be looking for a candidate who is experienced in organizational leadership and in building a healthy organizational culture. This person must think strategically and innovatively, work collaboratively, make decisions wisely, and be able to communicate the vision of TIU compellingly in spoken and written communication. It is also important that this person have inter-cultural competency to engage the world globally and our own diverse domestic cultures sensitively.

The search committee will continue to accept resume submissions until January 1, 2019. Committee members are seeking God’s guidance in this selection process, and it welcomes input from all those interested in the work of TIU. Please pray for us and share your thoughts and comments here: