Annual Report 2023

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Legacy Giving

Love as the Loudest Voice

Over the course of Ellen Annala’s career, most recently as CEO of the United Way of Central Indiana, she’s dedicated herself to serving the community. She’s witnessed all types of endeavors to lift up those who need help.

But, in her career, she’s come to realize that the most impactful ministries come from a place that gives people dignity and celebrates their inherent worth.

And that’s exactly the place she sees Christian Theological Seminary coming from.

“The loudest voice too often in Christianity today is a very exclusive and judgmental voice. And CTS is a voice that proclaims a gospel of love, inclusion, and justice. That voice needs to be heard.”

…CTS is a voice that proclaims a gospel of love, inclusion, and justice.

Amplifying love as the loudest voice isn’t easy work. But, as a former trustee of Christian Theological Seminary, Ms. Annala sees it as a central part of the mission of the institution—and one that needs constant support. She gives both to the annual fund and has included CTS in her estate, making her a member of CTS’s Legacy Society.

“I’m not a wealthy person, but I think it’s important to give both to the annual fund—which continues to assure that CTS is fulfilling its mission and redefining its mission as the world continues to change—and to invest in the sustainability of CTS,” says Ms. Annala of her yearly giving and her estate gift.

And while she’s happy with how CTS is fulfilling its mission—thanks in part to her and others’ yearly giving—she has high hopes for how CTS might evolve as a result of planned giving.

“I want CTS to be developing leaders and disciples in the community,” she explains. “I want it to be a voice that is heard.”

While there are other seminaries that are progressive and loving, they are not in the majority of seminaries in her mind. Christian Theological Seminary’s open and affirming stance makes them unique in Central Indiana.

“I’ve been in Indiana now for 52 years,” she explains. “This is a message in Central Indiana that is very important—it’s a message that is both progressive and grounded in the gospel.”

One way Ms. Annala hears Christian Theological Seminary’s voice today is through the Counseling Center.

“It’s a highly respected counseling center,” she says. “And because of the way it works, it makes mental health services available to people who otherwise could not afford them. Mental health services are not as widely available as they need to be, and issues are increasing.”

And the center’s presence on campus helps amplify that voice of love.

“CTS is preparing not just counselors and therapists, but it’s preparing other professionals to recognize mental health needs and serve those needs. It’s a very unique service in Central Indiana.”


If you would like to discuss establishing a legacy gift to Christian Theological Seminary, please contact Dr. Kristin Champa at (317)931-2310 or