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Weekly Review

IRS Deadlines Extended, Nebraska Christian College Closes, Cameron Strang Returns, and MinistryWatch Ratings Changes

Warren Cole Smith

IRS Deadlines Extended.   Most people know that April 15, Wednesday of this week, was “Tax Day.”  What a lot of people may not know – but ministry leaders do – is that filings for Form 990s was also extended until July 15.  That means we will likely not be getting new financial information from Christian ministries as quickly as we have in the past.  For a complete list of corporate forms that ministries typically file, forms for which they got an extension, click here.

Nebraska Christian College Closes.  Hope International University of Fullerton, Calif., plans to close Nebraska Christian College at the end of the spring semester, just a few years after acquiring the Nebraska institution in 2016 through a merger.  This news comes to us from “Inside Higher Ed.”  The move is a result of the same financial pressures bearing down on small, private, Christian institutions nationwide, according to a statement from the chair of Hope International’s Board of Trustees, Toby Yurek.  The Nebraska location was operating at losses deemed unsustainable.  Nebraska Christian College added intercollegiate athletics and online offerings, and enrollment grew 27 percent to 140 students after the 2016 merger. But enrollment since plunged to 85 this spring, a 30-year low.   Students will have the option of transferring to Hope International’s campus in California or finishing their degrees online.

Cameron Strang Returns To Relevant.  Cameron Strang, the founder of the evangelical Christian media company Relevant, has returned as CEO more than six months after criticism of his leadership and allegations of “spiritual abuse” induced him to step away.  Relevant, based in Orlando, Florida, announced Strang’s return in a blog post on Mon. Apr. 13, saying that Strang had engaged in an “extended period of counseling and introspection” and that his team has worked “to internally address the criticisms in substantive and tangible ways” and “pivot to a new direction as a healthier organization.”  Among the reforms is the creation of a new five-person executive board tasked with advising on “all aspects of business, culture and mission,” reviewing the magazine’s leadership and serving “as a direct resource to the staff should any situations need guidance or intervention.”  The announcement of Strang’s return, which took effect Wednesday, said that the move comes with “the consent and support of the executive board.”

ECFA Changes.  The following organizations have had membership status changes in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.  ADDITIONS:  Park Hill Church (San Diego, Calif.), Open Hands Legal Services (New York, NY), Hope’s Path (Spring, Tex.), Children’s Hope (Montgomery, Ala.)  REMOVALS:  Vanguard University of Southern California (Costa Mesa, Calif.), Unlimited Grace Media (Peoria, Ill.),

MinistryWatch Rating Changes.  The following ministries have their profiles updated with the most recent year’s financial data.  The Financial Efficiency rating of each ministry is in parenthesis.  If this rating represents a change from the previous year, that change is noted:  Haven Ministries (4 Stars, Transparency Grade:  C), India National Inland Mission (5 Stars, Transparency Grade: A), Institute in Basic Life Principles (2 Stars, Transparency Grade:  C)Interact Ministries (3 Stars, Transparency Grade:  A), Love Worth Finding (2 Stars, Transparency Grade:  A), Mission Eurasia (Up from 3 to 4 Stars, Transparency Grade:  A), World Renew (3 Stars, Transparency Grade:  A)TCM International Institute (2 Stars, Transparency Grade:  C)World Reach (3 Stars, Transparency Grade:  A) 

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Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren previously served as Vice President of WORLD News Group, publisher of WORLD Magazine and has more than 30 years of experience as a writer, editor, marketing professional, and entrepreneur. Before launching a career in Christian journalism 20 years ago, Smith spent more than seven years as the Marketing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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