Janiva’s Blog


How is the BA doing…really?


Janiva's blog logoThe story of the BA’s progress toward sustainability (also known as our financial transformation) is as much about what we have learned as it is about the tangible progress itself. Prayer, humility, and a deep love for God and man continue to be at the heart of all aspects of our work and of our efforts toward transformation.

So here’s the inside track on transformation at the BA. I’ve included a short recap of the transformation which started in 2014 for those who may be new to our story. And none of this progress would be possible without the sustained and extraordinary support of our donors, volunteers, and staff.

Summary of the four phases of our transformation to solvency

PHASE 1: ANALYSIS (January-June 2014)

Untitled-1This was a period of deep analysis of the BA’s financial underpinnings. How do we stop consuming $80,000 in cash monthly? How do we increase capacity to full utilization of the campus across all of our services? And is our physical facility here in Chestnut Hill an asset or a liability?

The foundational findings were that the demand for Christian Science nursing, our core mission, was great and not being fully met. And that the demonstration of
meeting this demand would bless those in need of healing while also resulting in solvency.

PHASE 2: PLANNING (July-December 2014)

Untitled-2The plan was simple. Expand our Christian Science nursing staff to meet patient demand, broaden Christian Science nurses training while continuing to increase the quality, and lease the remaining senior living apartments through increased marketing and upgrades to the apartments.

PHASE 3: EXECUTION OF PLAN (January-June 2015)


  • Recruit additional available Journal-listed Christian Science nurses as well as members who have a readiness to enroll in the Christian Science Nurses Training School (CSNT)
  • Add more CSNT classes to meet the demand for those entering the ministry
  • Evaluate Original Building improvements
  • Rethink management
  • Raise awareness of the BA


Untitled-4We’ve learned so much in the last 20 months about what works and what doesn’t. And we’ve all been transformed along the way. Here’s where we are currently:

  • We now know that the demand for Christian Science nurses is greater than what is being met by those currently listed in The Christian Science Journal. That there is an unmet need for Christian Science nursing in the US and beyond our region. We’ve learned that to meet the demand for Christian Science nursing at the BA, the answer includes more members entering this holy ministry.
  • Our Christian Science nursing productivity has increased by 25%, which helps the BA meet the requests of patients for these services.
  • By hiring additional Christian Science nurses, both regular and temporary, we are currently able to admit patients without maintaining a waiting list. To continue to meet the demand for Christian Science nursing care, we must hire and train more Christian Science nurses.
  • Our Christian Science Nurses Training School is expanding.
  • Our organizational structure is being streamlined.
  • Management practices are being strengthened.
  • We see transformation becoming a part of every department and staff member at the BA.

Specific and tangible signs of progress

  • Benevolence is still a key point and we are so grateful for those contributions.
  • Gains in Christian Science nursing productivity have helped meet demand for care.
  • Christian Science nurse wages have been increased and restructured.
  • There is continued demand for Christian Science nursing care.
  • Increased activity for the Christian Science Nurses Training School is seen in year over year statistics
    • 2 additional level one classes taught
    • 36% increase in participants
  • We have received funding to again support international Christian Science nurses in our Training School.
  • Professional agent retained to lease remaining senior residential apartments.
  • Recruiters retained to fill open positions. Master landscape design plan funded by donor and to be completed by 12/31/2015.
  • Revenues exceeding costs.
  • Cash reserves improving. Reduced loan debt from original $15M in 2005 to $10.5M in mid-2015, with a fixed-rate loan from Citizen’s Bank, currently the 13th largest bank in the US.

Outlook for the BA and SustainabilityIMG_6263

  1. We expect to reach sustainable solvency in 2016. Our original plan was to reach sustainability by year end 2015. We have been slowed primarily by the lack of available Journal-listed Christian Science nurses.
  2. Transformative process actively committed to and supported by staff, trustees, donors and other stakeholders in our mission.
  3. With additional Christian Science nurses we will be able to serve more patients, support more healings, and meet the consistent demand for the ministry of Christian Science nursing.
  4. Gains in facility utilization in Christian Science nursing, residential, Rest & Study, and meetings such as Christian Science student associations.
  5. Continued increased enrollment in our Christian Science Nurses Training School.
  6. Restoration of buildings and grounds.
  7. A strong contribution to the Christian Science movement

So the answer to the question, “How is the BA doing…really?” is that there is steady progress toward financial sustainability and we now expect to reach that goal in 2016. And 2016 is truly significant for the BA as it marks a century since the Christian Science Board of Directors announced the formation of the Christian Science Benevolent Association, as we were originally known.

To meet the demands of financial sustainability in 2016 we continue to need your prayers, support, and gifts. It speeds our progress to know that the goal of financial sustainability is attainable in 2016 and that the tangible signs of progress are so strong. We are grateful for the progress to date and the demonstration of inspired sustainability and what it means for the BA and for our movement.

Untitled-6Please let me know if you have any questions. You can use the comment section below or reach me directly at jtoler@chbenevolent.org or 617-975-2524 (my direct in dial).

4 Responses to Janiva’s Blog

  1. David Long says:

    Hello Janiva,

    This may be brief, but it’s sincere… Thank you for the straightforward report. It’s very valuable for embracing the BA at all levels of thought.



  2. Sarah O'Brien says:

    Dear BA staff, Thank you for this very informative letter about the progress of the BA. I am sincerely grateful for the work and care of each of you in continuing this mission.
    Sincerely and with much love, Sarah O’Brien

  3. Robert C. Cowen says:

    Thank you for this update. You guys know that I consider what you provide to be most valuable. It is very much worth supporting.

  4. Marilyn Crowley says:

    A clear summary. Thanks.

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