Board Governance Training


To advance the sustainability and missional success of biblical higher educational institutions by instructing and mentoring board leaders with regard to essential principles and practices for effective board governance. Participants will grow in their understanding and experience of . .

  • Appropriate board roles and fiduciary responsibilities ‹
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for effective institutional oversight ‹
  • Prudent board engagement in strategic thinking and planning ‹
  • The vital partnership with the board and president‹
  • Purposes and essential elements of a sound Board Policy Manual


All participating institutions will collaborate with their Board Governance Coach to create a strategic institutional board development plan that facilitates ongoing board development toward sustained excellence beyond the completion of this training journey.


2020-2021 Cohort

Fall Training Dates:

  • September 21-22, 2020
  • September 23-24, 2020

Spring Training Dates:

  • March 22-23, 2021
  • March 24-25, 2021`

ABHE has received a significant grant from the Murdock Charitable Trust to help fund a major initiative in board governance training for ABHE member institutions.

Download the comprehensive Board Governance Fact Sheet that describes the details of this strategic training program and the requirements for participating institutions. This program represents an investment of over $10,000 per institution provided by the Murdock Charitable Trust and ABHE.


Each participating institution will bring five of their leaders including the board chair, president, and three other board leaders to engage in four days of training provided during two separate training events:

  • Virtually in the Fall of 2020
  • On Site in Orlando in the Spring of 2021

Each institution will be assigned a coach to assist in their training journey and in the development of a Five Key Strategic Action Plan flowing from their assessment of key board development points observed during the training. Within six months of the second training event, the coach will meet with the entire board to review the training principles and assist with follow up accountability on the action plan.

Complete the Registration Form HERE to engage in this 2020-2021 Excellence in Board Governance training cohort. I will respond with confirmation or follow up to any questions. Confirmation of engagement will be based on a first-come, first-serve basis for available training dates.

There is a limit of 16 institutions (8 per training date) engaging per year and the program will be offered over the next two years. For questions, contact Project Manager, David Medders –


The program includes 4 days of training provided during two events. ‹

  • The 1st two-day training conference will be offered virtually this Fall, 2020. Institutions may choose either Monday & Tuesday, September 21-22 or Wednesday & Thursday, September 23-24. ‹
  • The 2nd two-day training conference will be offered in the Spring of 2021, on-site at the ABHE Weber Center for Leadership Development in Orlando, Florida. Institutions may choose either Monday & Tuesday, March 22-23 or Wednesday & Thursday, March 24-25.
  • Training sessions will include presentations (including handouts and worksheets) on issues vital to effective board governance along with structured and facilitated discussions by the respective board leadership teams assessing their own areas of needed board development.
  • Results: By the conclusion of the four days of training, each board leadership team will have crafted their own Five Key Strategic Action Plan based on insights gained during the training.


  • Personal: For each institution — engagement must include the president, board chair, and three other leaders from the board; a total of five from each institution participating in all four days of training as outlined above along with the follow up meeting of the coach with the full board. ‹
  • Financial: Each participating institution will be responsible for their participants’ travel expenses to the Spring 2-day training event, the onsite expenses for their coach’s meeting with the full board along with a modest $250 non-refundable registration fee. All other expenses are covered by the program partners — ABHE and the Murdock Charitable Trust, a total investment of up to $10,000. If travel expenses will present a significant financial hardship, some scholarship assistance is available.


Within six months of the final 2-day training event in February, each participating institution will host their coach for a full board meeting – to provide an overview of the entire training curriculum and specifically assist with follow up on the board’s Five Key Strategic Action Plan developed during the four days of training. Institutions will only be responsible for the onsite expenses of their coach for this event.


Thanks to the sustaining commitment of the Murdock Charitable Trust and ABHE, the Excellence in Board Governance training program will be offered for three years, 2019, 2020 & 2021 – allowing for up to sixteen institutions to engage each year for a total of 48 institutions being trained over the coming three years.

Certification is based on successful engagement by the 5-member board leadership team in the four days of training, subsequent meeting of the coach with the full board, and appropriate steps being taken to accomplish the Five Strategic Action Plan.  Qualifying boards will be recognized at the subsequent ABHE Annual Meeting with the Excellence in Board Governance certificate.

Each institution will be assigned a coach with extensive experience in higher educational governance effectiveness. The coach will work with the board leadership team (BLT) and will be available for consultation throughout the entire training process — resulting in the crafting of a Five Key Strategic Actions plan. Institutions may request a preferred coach from the following list of coaches who have helped design this program.

JAMES BARNES – Former President, of Indiana Wesleyan University, ABHE Senior Fellow



JOHN DERRY – Retiring President of Hope International University




SCOTT RODIN – Former President of Eastern Seminary, ABHE Senior Fellow




PETER TEAGUE – President Emeritus  of Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School