The COVID-19 pandemic has added considerable stress across every aspect of the theological school, including the community’s spiritual and emotional well-being. As leaders, we not only provide vision and management for the institution, but we also contribute to creating an environment of care for the school community and its members.

Caring for the Community

  1. What opportunities for fellowship have faculty/staff had during the pandemic? How have faculty/staff participated in those opportunities?
  2. As the school moves toward the coming term, what opportunities for peer-to-peer counseling do you see for faculty/staff?
  3. In particular, how might faculty benefit from peer counseling as they face the coming term? Are any faculty/staff members especially talented or experienced at educating online, and how could they communicate their expertise to others in the school?
  4. Have students had opportunities to counsel one another?  
  5. How have faculty/staff been mentoring students (spiritually and emotionally, not just academically) during the pandemic? How will these needs develop in the coming term?
  6. What avenues for bringing the school’s whole community together do you have (online worship services, small groups, prayer messaging, etc.)? Are these needs ongoing and expanding, or will they taper off naturally?

Caring for the Whole Person

  1. As the school leader, have you made time to talk to individual faculty/staff members?
  2. How have you praised and encouraged faculty/staff/student efforts to help the school sustain during the pandemic?
  3. How has the school been meeting unforeseen needs in its community – physical, spiritual, and emotional? Will these needs continue in the coming term, or will the school’s emergency role naturally come to a close?
  4. Looking ahead to the coming term, who will meet physical needs for individual students/faculty/staff?
  5. Again, looking ahead, who will meet spiritual needs for individual students/faculty/staff?
  6. How will spiritual and physical needs of students/faculty/staff change in the coming term?

Caring for Yourself

  1. As the school leader, you also need physical and spiritual care. Who is caring for you physically? Spiritually?
  2. Who in your community can you thank for supporting you personally?
  3. How will your personal needs change as the coming term approaches? Do you need to block time off, or do your responsibilities need to evolve so that you can sustain your own leadership productively and realistically?

Emmanuel Bellon

Prof. Emmanuel Bellon is the former Vice Chancellor of Nairobi International School of Theology/International Leadership University and former President of five other institutions in four African countries. He is Vice President (Executive Network) of ScholarLeaders and Director of the Vital SustainAbility Initiative, designed to guide theological institutions in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Asia to plan strategically for institutional sustainability.

Evan Hunter

Evan Hunter has worked with ScholarLeaders International since 2004. He is currently Vice President for Integration and Executive Editor for the InSights Journal. Through SL, he has had the opportunity to serve hundreds of theological leaders across the Majority World. He holds a PhD in Educational Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He and his family live near Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Evelyn Reynolds

Evelyn Reynolds directs the ScholarLeaders LeaderStudies program and serves as Editor for the InSights Journal for Global Theological Education. She joined ScholarLeaders in 2019. She has a PhD in medieval English literature and an MFA in poetry, and she and her husband live in Indiana.

Linzay Rinquest

Linzay joined ScholarLeaders in 2020 to help lead the Vital SustainAbility Initiative. From 2006 to 2019, he was Principal/CEO of Cape Town Baptist Seminary in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2018, he was also President of the Baptist Union of Southern Africa. He continues to minister as a member of the National Executive of the Baptist Union of Southern Africa. He lives in Cape Town with his wife and three children.

Marcos Orison de Almeida

Marcos has served with the ScholarLeaders Vital SustainAbility Initiative since 2016. Since 1998, he has worked at South American Theological Seminary in Londrina, Brazil as a full-time teacher and in many administrative positions, including as President from 2006 to 2010. Marcos is also an Evaluator of Theological Institutions and Courses for the Brazilian Department of Education. He is an ordained Presbyterian minister. He received a LeaderStudies scholarship for his PhD at Fuller. He and his wife Patricia have two children.