The Interdenominational Theological Center Board of Trustees has declared financial exigency, effective immediately.
The historically Black, ecumenical Christian graduate theological school will remain open but is “performing a hard reset in order to ensure the sustainability of the institution,” according to press release posted on the website Monday afternoon.
Declaring financial exigency will allow the Atlanta-based institution to take steps necessary to stabilize its finances, such as reducing faculty and staff positions, temporarily suspending academic programs, and restructuring administrative functions and governance.
“It’s important to note that ITC is not closing,” President Matthew Wesley Williams said in a statement. “This is a difficult and challenging time for everyone in the ITC community. However, we are committed to transparency and open communication throughout this process and will provide regular updates as we move forward towards creating an institutional strategy that is fully sustainable, with the plan to ‘REBOOT’ as a strong, fiscally healthy, and responsible institution. We must, at last, bring an end to an unsustainable model which has generated a spin-cycle of institutional crisis.”
The memo cited the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which exacerbated ITC’s long-standing challenges of falling enrollment, reduced revenue, increased costs and pre-existing debt, among others. Despite recent gains in fundraising and a concerted effort to cut expenses—through such measures as salary reductions and building closures—ITC continued to struggle financially.
After careful review, the board determined that declaring financial exigency would provide the best path forward to continue educating “‘Prophetic Problem Solvers’ who facilitate transformation in the pulpit, parish, and public square,” the press release said. “We are confident that, with the support of our community, we will emerge from this period stronger and more resilient.”