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Trinity International University Cuts Programs and Transitions Leadership

Changes seek to address “season of significant challenge and change”

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Trinity International University is changing presidents and cutting programs in an effort to address continuing enrollment declines and budget pressures at the school, which is affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America.

Kevin Kompelien, the current president of the EFCA, will begin his tenure as the 17th president of TIU on April 1. Current TIU president Nicholas Perrin announced his resignation on Feb. 15.

Trinity International University / Photo via social media

“To make it possible for TEDS (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) to flourish, the Board of Regents acted on recommendations offered by the TIU administration to address immediate budget challenges,” said TIU in a March 5 statement.

“The Board of Regents has established a plan for the institution’s next steps and is steadfast in its commitment to deepening relationships with local churches and renewing its focus on Trinity Evangelical Divinity School as TIU’s top priority,” said the school.

The statement outlined plans for addressing “immediate budget challenges,” including closures and staff reductions at Trinity College Online, Trinity Graduate School, and the TIU-Florida regional campus.

The changes do not affect Trinity Law School in Santa Ana, California.

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The EFCA Board of Directors granted the TIU Board of Regents’ request and released Kevin Kompelien from his role as EFCA President to help TIU.

“Answering the request to serve at Trinity allows me to continue investing in the EFCA as we train the next generation of biblically grounded, theologically prepared leaders for the local church,” said Kompelien in a statement. “What TEDS offers is truly unique, and I look forward to rethinking ways to make our education a meaningful resource for churches.”

The current cuts are a continuation of belt-tightening measures MinistryWatch reported on in 2022. Those measures included cutting the budget by $1 million, significantly decreasing operating expenses and “reshaping” its faculty while streamlining program tracks.

In 2023, TIU announced that all undergraduate programs would move entirely online, ending in-person classes.

The latest changes at TIU, which was founded in 1897 and is based in the Chicago suburbs, are designed to help sister organization Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, which is facing its own challenges. Christianity Today previously reported that enrollment at TEDS had fallen from 870 full-time students in 2003 to less than 500 by 2022.


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Steve Rabey

Steve Rabey is a veteran author and journalist who has published more than 50 books and 2,000 articles about religion, spirituality, and culture. He was an instructor at Fuller and Denver seminaries and the U.S. Air Force Academy. He and his wife Lois live in Colorado.