Mission Activation Plan

The Next 125 Years

Single-minded Mission

Since 1897, Trinity’s mission has been to educate men and women to engage in God’s redemptive work in the world by cultivating academic excellence, Christian faithfulness, and lifelong learning. Its goal is to prepare students to lead others, as they are entrusted with the gospel to think and live as Christ-followers in the twenty-first century.

The Process

Since the beginning of his tenure in 2019, President Nicholas Perrin has been taking steps to address the challenging market realities. And now, over the course of the 2021–22 academic year, the University has been seeking to draft a Mission Activation Plan—a hard but necessary step to a stronger financial future and the eventual outcome of our yearlong Mission Activation Plan Process (MAPP). Trinity’s strategy for achieving mission vitality and financial sustainability will depend on reallocating resources to mission-critical priorities while aligning expenses with revenues.

A data-driven, strategic approach

Trinity took a transparent and collaborative approach to the Mission Activation Plan Process that would seek to align its mission, strategic priorities, and core values within a financially sustainable model. Over the course of the 2021–22 academic year, two outsourced partners gathered and analyzed data never before available. Select staff representing a cross-section of Trinity have also participated in a survey and interview process, imparting new insights into the University’s capacities and resources. Under the president’s leadership, administrators, deans, and select faculty and staff have also been convened. All the while, President Perrin has sought to keep faculty and staff informed of and engaged with developments.

Mission Activation Plan Process timeline

The following timeline documents key moments and benchmarks throughout the MAPP—beginning with the arrival of President Perrin. The MAPP is not a static process, but a framework in which Trinity will be able to monitor and manage our ongoing financial and enrollment health. This timeline will be updated as Trinity continues to evaluate and  implement outcomes of the Mission Activation Plan. 

2019-20 Academic Year

June 1 Nicholas Perrin begins his role as the 16th president of Trinity International University.

September – $1.6 M in operational savings was realized through the elimination of redundancies and consolidation of academic programs and the Bannockburn staff workforce by 9 percent.

  • Dissolution of the Division of Biblical, Religious, and Philosophical Studies, and within it the Department of Biblical Studies and the Department of Christian Ministries.
  • Philosophy Department moved under the Division of Humanities.
  • A reconstituted Bible, Theology, and Ministry major moved under the auspices of a newly formed TEDS Undergraduate Teaching Department.

2020-21 Academic Year

President Perrin integrated Trinity’s University entities through representative Cabinet leadership and matrix reporting structure.

Two innovative and collaborative 5-year bachelor’s and master’s dual degrees programs were launched in 2020–21 as a result of the deeper integration of the University’s various entities:

  • BA in Bible & Ministry / Master of Divinity
  • BA in Criminal Justice / Master of Legal Studies

August 14  President Perrin presented his vision for Trinity’s future, focusing on the long-term strategic priorities of worshiping in faithfulness, mentoring in hope, and building bridges in love. There were also a few difficult changes announced in the short-term—that the following programs will no longer be offered at Trinity:

  • Music, Worship, and Music Education (K-12)
  • TEDS – South Chicago Regional Center
  • MA in Urban Ministry program

February  Trinity College’s curriculum revision began, resulting in “One Mission, Many Stories” (implemented Fall 2021)

March – Master of Divinity degree launched as a fully remote option (implemented fall 2021)

2021-22 Academic Year

October 25  University-wide town hall lays the groundwork for the Mission Activation Plan Process and how the Trinity community will be participating in that process.

November 8–December 14  The Trinity community began gathering together weekly to saturate this process in prayer.

November – BKD Consulting and Advisory Services was hired to complete an assessment of academic programs and services. They pulled market data regarding student demand and competition, as well as identified Trinity’s relationship and its competitors’ relationships to the market. In addition to a market analysis, a course-level margin analysis was conducted, reviewing the prior three years of course enrollments across academic programs.

December 7–9  Fuller Higher Ed Solutions met with staff in order to better understand capacity and resources across the University. Representatives from various levels and every department on the Bannockburn campus were selected to participate in this assessment process. These representatives also completed a survey in advance of the interviews.

January  BKD delivered its completed data, which was then analyzed by finance, as well as the president and provost offices.

February – Fuller Higher Ed Solutions delivered its final report, which was then analyzed by finance, as well as the president’s office. Presentations of the BKD and Fuller data were made to Cabinet.

February 2–3 – The president, provost, financial managers, and academic deans from Trinity College/Graduate School and TEDS met to carefully review the BKD data, prayerfully contemplate Trinity’s mission, and shape a tentative plan for achieving the twin goals of mission and sustainability. This tentative plan continued to develop until it was presented to the faculty working groups on February 28.

February 7–8 – The president and provost met with Trinity faculty not only to present the finance and enrollment data collected by BKD, but also to announce two faculty working groups—one for TEDS and one for TC. These faculty were chosen through a collaborative effort between deans and provost. Equipped with key data gathered by BKD, their purpose is to wrestle with a proposed plan developed by finance, the president, and the provost and approve, refine, or offer a counter-plan to achieve the twin goals of mission and sustainability.

February 15–17 – The president and provost updated the Board of Regents regarding the BKD data and progress of MAPP, with the board reaffirming its position that the president should take all necessary measures to achieve the sought-after convergence of mission and sustainability.
February 21 – The president presented an update to Bannockburn staff on MAPP, as well as latest enrollment and financial information.

February 28 – The president, provost, and deans took their recommended plan, which had been developing since the BKD data was delivered in January, to the faculty working groups. These two groups are now engaging the proposed plan with a view to either refining it or offering a counter-plan that equally or more effectively achieves the twin goals of mission and sustainability.

March 14 – The TEDS faculty working group completed its negotiations on an initial plan, which was then finalized by the president and provost. Implementation of that plan began, and a TEDS faculty retreat took place on March 18–19 in which the findings and actions were summarily conveyed.

March 23 – Presentation of the TC faculty work group report/recommendations, delivered to the president and provost.

April 6 – The first results of MAPP were announced through the launch of Trinity’s Mission Activation Plan web pages, which included both the initial outcomes for TEDS and the creation of Trinity Global.

April 13 – New MAPP results were announced via a live streamed town hall and on Trinity’s Mission Activation Plan web pages, which included the initial outcomes for Trinity College.

April 29 – Trinity’s administration approved a provisional budget that is balanced for 2022-23. The Mission Activation Plan Process has been the primary way this balance has been achieved.

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