What goes into making a Best in Class entry in our Denominational or Other Special Interest Magazine contest category? Here’s a look at 2021’s winner In Trust magazine.
The judges have spoken, and we’ve decided to take a peek into some of our Best in Class winning entries from the 2021 Associated Church Press Best of the Church Press awards contest.
Our third category is Denominational or Other Special Interest Magazine, and this year 15 publications entered in hopes of receiving top honors. Our panel of judges ultimately chose In Trust magazine for this year’s Award of Excellence.
Published for more than 30 years, In Trust is a quarterly magazine for decision makers at seminaries in the United States and Canada. It provides authoritative coverage of trends and issues relating to effective educational governance and leadership. In Trust reaches more than 8,000 readers in every issue.
Judges remarked on “clear editing,” “relevant articles” and the inclusion of many voices and perspectives as key characteristics of In Trust’s overall effectiveness.
From a design perspective, judges noted the publication’s “creative layouts and use of colors” and praised its use of “high quality graphics on nearly every page,” with one judge concluding, “The publication is beautifully designed and carefully focused on a unique audience. It looks smart and polished.”
In the Autumn 2021, issue submitted for judging (free to read online) cover articles addressed topics of restoring trust with Gen Z students, the importance of Black testimony in theological education and purposeful governance for seminary trustees. Additional articles looked at the long term effects of COVID on theological education, financial and endowment management, and the trend of theological schools “embedding” in other institutions, among others.
Publisher Matt Hufman, who also serves as vice president for communication at the In Trust Center for Theological Schools, is entering his second year in this role at In Trust. He’s been a journalist with secular and religious publications and recognizes the importance of membership in the ACP and its annual awards.
“The ACP Awards are a great barometer and affirmation of work for those of us in religious publishing,” he says. “In Trust magazine is an ecumenical publication aimed at a niche field – leaders in theological education – so to win the best-in-class award in our category is like a Pulitzer Prize for us. There are excellent publications in the ACP contest, so it’s humbling and gratifying.”
As important as receiving the award is to Hufman, he’s also appreciative of the judges’ work and comments that help to refine his publication’s content.
“The feedback we received from the judges showed that it was clear that they understood the nuances and challenges in religious publishing,” says Hufman. “I’ve been involved in journalism awards and associations for three decades, and I’m grateful at the care that the ACP awards judges show and the breadth of work that the ACP honors in its contest. It’s truly reflective of the great diversity in an ecumenical organization and a credit to the organization and its commitment to supporting and recognizing those in the field.”
Congratulations to the staff of In Trust magazine and to all the publication that entered the Denominational or Other Special Interest Magazine category.