General Information

Job Title:

Chief Development Officer

Job Description:

About the Office of Development: The RTS Development Office builds relationships that leave legacies. The RTS Development team facilitates the philanthropic goals of friends and alumni by listening well and providing opportunities that help donors share their time, energy, and financial resources in support of the mission of Reformed Theological Seminary.

About the Chief Development Officer: The Chief Development Officer (CDO) will maximize complex, life-long relationships between principal gift donors, prospective donors and Reformed Theological Seminary. The CDO will engage principal gift donors and prospective donors as partners, according to their interests and expertise, with the mission and strategic priorities of Reformed Theological Seminary. As the key leader of all RTS Development Initiatives, the CDO will also direct and provide key analytic, project management, and strategic writing support. Reporting to the Chancellor, the CDO works closely with other RTS leadership and assists leadership in the management of, assisting and advising on management issues and strategic planning for the development and outreach of RTS friend raising and fundraising initiatives.

Strategy – 50%

  • Direct the execution of prospect/donor strategies for cultivation, proposal development, solicitation, and stewardship, and serve as strategic thought partner for all RTS development officers and team leadership;
  • Partner effectively with staff throughout the RTS system to obtain appropriate research/information for proposals. Assist the Development team to ensure donors receive proposals and fundraising materials tailored to their areas of interest and respond to donor requests in a timely manner;
  • Demonstrate an eagerness to delve into RTS’s body of faculty work and research;
  • Collaborate frequently with campus presidents/faculty to stay abreast of the current issues and work that may be of interest to donors. Build relationships to better understand the work of the RTS faculty in order to match donor and research interests
  • Interact with donors in person, by phone/video call and/or written communication;
  • Draft and edit a range of high-quality, custom materials important to advancing relationships with high-level donors and prospective donors including proposals, briefings for donor meetings, talking points, stewardship reports and materials, presentations, and draft correspondence on behalf of the Chancellor and other RTS leaders;
  • Work closely with RTS Communications team to direct the design and format of principal gift proposals and assist in ensuring the consistent use of campaign messaging and branding from a fundraising perspective;
  • Collaborate on case statements for the Chancellor and other leadership on RTS priorities;
  • Contribute to the development department’s success in supporting RTS’s mission by engaging with Presidents/faculty, sharing experiences and ideas, and by having a collegial and can-do approach with others;
  • Direct the creation and deployment of Principal Gift communications to prospective donors assigned in key geographic regions.

Management – 30%

  • Create accurate budgets and projections for fundraising proposals and reports;
  • Develop fundraising projections and forecasts in coordination with major gift fundraising teams;
  • Report periodically to leadership about ongoing fundraising progress
  • Manage and develop Development support staff, creating pathways for growth for team members, and providing regular feedback and coaching.

Logistics – 20%

  • Work closely with leadership and other RTS Development officers to provide logistics support for principal gift donor and prospective donor visits through collaboration with colleagues in the Academic and Communications divisions of RTS;
  • Direct the preparation of Principal Gift visit and event schedules and briefing materials for internal and external stakeholders;
  • Direct donor correspondence and written content for events as needed;
  • Direct preparation and follow up for events and individual prospect/donor meetings with the Chancellor, RTS Board of Trustees, RTS senior leadership, and RTS faculty;
  • Maintain the RTS’ master Principal Gifts calendar to maximize Principal Gifts cultivation events;
  • Direct the compilation of invitation lists for all RTS development events;
  • Serve as the primary development staff member working with RTS Communications team on content and dissemination for all pre- and post-event guest electronic communications;
  • Direct all digital giving initiatives.

Position Qualifications:

Education/Experience Requirements:

A Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, organizational leadership, education, history, political science, or a related area is required; a Master’s degree in a relevant field is preferred. Minimum 10 years of development/fundraising work experience including major gifts, corporate/foundation relations, planned giving, and communications in a targeted fundraising campaign. Editorial experience, familiarity with various modes of publication (written work, videos, podcasts, etc.), a background in strategizing and agenda-setting, and staff management is required. Experience with digital giving is required.

Must be authorized to work for any employer in the U.S.

Knowledge/Skills Requirements:

Topical knowledge: Knowledge of theological education and ecclesial organizations/churches, obtained through education and professional experience, is required. Familiarity with operations and priorities of fundraising/development and ministry organizations is required.

Professional and Management Requirements:

Possess a sincere and enthusiastic belief in the mission of Reformed Theological Seminary. Exhibit strong analytical and critical thinking skills and an ability to think strategically about donor engagement at the highest level. Exceptional interpersonal skills and an ability to manage sensitive and confidential information. Execute excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills. Demonstrate an ability to write clear, concise, and compelling content in both long and short forms. Possess a high degree of organization and attention to detail. Demonstrate an ability to prioritize and manage multiple, varied, and on-going projects simultaneously. A sustained ability to conduct research and analysis through databases/online information systems. Proficiency in financial analysis and demonstrate professional integrity, intellectual curiosity, and an ability to collaborate across teams.

Application Deadline

Job Type:

Full Time

Salary Range:


General Information

Church/Organization Name

Reformed Theological Seminary

Contact Name & Contact Info

(601) 923-1643




Not Applicable

City, State

Jackson, MS

Description of Organization

The mission of Reformed Theological Seminary is to serve the church by preparing its leaders, through a program of graduate theological education, based upon the authority of the inerrant Word of God, and committed to the Reformed faith.

Why RTS?
Our goal is for RTS employees to have a sense of deep alignment between their work and who they are as an individual. We want each employee to feel a personal connection to their work and a true sense of purpose and calling. Your career at RTS is where your gladness and satisfaction meets our need. Additionally, the relocation of the Jackson campus represents a renewed investment in our faculty and staff, providing a more spatially efficient and unified campus experience with upgraded accessibility and infrastructure.

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