The number of full-time students at the evangelical seminary has dropped 44 percent in 20 years. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) has cut nearly $1 million in spending, hoping to head off financial disaster as the seminary’s enrollment numbers decline. President Nicholas Perrin told faculty and staff on Thursday that the suburban Chicago seminary has to make some “pretty fundamental changes in how we go about our business plan and mission.” Trinity International University (TIU)—which includes an undergraduate school with two campuses, a graduate school, and a law school, in addition to the influential evangelical seminary—is concluding the first part…

The pandemic intensified existing economic challenges for churches—and catalyzed new ones. Salem Baptist Church of Chicago got creative with ministry funding in 2020. The predominantly Black megachurch served 15,000 meals to needy Chicagoland residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, funded in part by government grants received through a nonprofit organization affiliated with the church. Giving from church members held strong, said pastor of ministries Shaun Marshall, but increased ministry necessitated new funding streams. Now with the pandemic continuing to fluctuate, Salem has realized its new funding model probably is here to stay. Among COVID-19’s lessons: “The church cannot be dependent upon…

After 20 years, the ambitious biblical theme park is closed for good. The dream of a Bible theme park died in Florida last week, after 20 years of innovation and renovation—not to mention cash infusions, cost cuts, and rate hikes—failed to make the Holy Land Experience financially sustainable. The 15-acre park in was once conceived as Christian competition for Walt Disney World. Evangelical visionaries imagined a family entertainment experience that could pull at least a portion of Orlando’s annual visitors from the mouse’s magic kingdom to the kingdom of God. But the reenactments of resurrection, theatrical productions, scale miniature model…