Good Governance: What Boards Need to Know

Registration for New Participants
Registration for the Conversations in Governance course is required only one time. If you have registered before, please do not register again. 


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updated 09-16-21

2021 Sessions

October 24, Sunday

Effective and Efficient Board Meetings
8:00 to 9:30 a.m.
Pacific Time (PST)/Loma Linda time - convert to your local time zone here.
Course Announcements: here

September 19, Sunday

The Board's Role in Planning Part I

In order to receive credit for participating in this session, you must complete the following:

  1. September 19 Class Post-test:

Presentation power point: The Board's Role in Planning Part 1

August 15, Sunday

Ecclesiastical and Institutional Relationships

In order to receive credit for participating in this session, you must complete the following:

  1. August 15 Class Post-test:

Presentation power point: Ecclesiastical and Institutional Relationships


July 25, Sunday


In order to receive credit for participating in this session, you must complete the following:

  1. July 25 Class Post-test:

Presentation power points: Top Reasons Why Boards Underperform and Finance

June 27, Sunday


In order to receive credit for participating in this session, you must complete the following:

  1. June 17 Class Post-test:

Presentation power point: here

May 23, Sunday


In order to receive credit for participating in this session, you must complete the following:

  1. May 23 Class Post-test:

Presentation power point: here

April 25, Sunday

In order to receive credit for participating in this session, you must complete the following:
  1. April 25 Class Post-test:

Presentation power point: here

March 28, Sunday

Fiduciary Obligations of Trustees
In order to receive credit for participating in this session, you must complete the following:
  1. March 28 Class Post-test:

Presentation power point: here

February 28, Sunday

Governance Structure and Authority
In order to receive credit for participating in this session, you must complete the following:
  1. February 28 Class Post-test:

Presentation power point: here

January 31, Sunday

In order to receive credit for participating in this session, you must complete the following:
  1. January 31 Class Post-test: 
  2. Homework due February 19:


Class Schedule

Session Dates

January 31, Sunday
February 28, Sunday
March 28, Sunday
April, 25, Sunday
May 23, Sunday
June 27, Sunday
July 25, Sunday
August 15, Sunday
September 19, Sunday
October 24, Sunday
November 14, Sunday
December 5, Sunday
January 23, Sunday
February 13, Sunday
April 24, Sunday
June 26, Sunday
August 21, Sunday
October 30, Sunday

Course Details


Conversations on Governance - This course will equip board members and institutional leaders, including church officers, lay professionals and institutional representatives, with the knowledge and resources to serve effectively on institutional boards. Because the principles of effective governance are common to various types of institutions, this course is appropriate for those engaged in other types of organizations, such as schools, to also participate, though the examples used will largely focus on health care. Participants will learn about governance principles, fiduciary responsibilities, differences and boundaries between governance and management, and the importance of seeing beyond personal interests and local political pressures. Participants are encouraged to actively participate by sharing examples of their own successes and failures, and provide feedback and ideas to others in the class. 


Classes meet live each month, via Zoom or Livestream.  Participants who attend at least 11 classes will earn a certificate from Loma Linda university.  


  • Governance Structure and Authority
  • Board Procedures
  • Mission, Vision and Values
  • Planning
  • Finances
  • CEO Selection and Evaluation
  • Quality and Patient Safety
  • Legal Issues
  • Risk Management


  1. Attendance Policy: Participants may choose to attend the modules and topics that are of interest, and are encouraged to complete the reading and assignment ahead of time to facilitate participation and discussion in the live session. A Certificate in Board Development will be issued by Loma Linda University to those participants who attend all 12 sessions.
  2. Class Preparation: Some preparation will be required. Not all information will be provided in the lectures.
  3. Participation: During the live Zoom sessions, participants are encouraged to engage and participate in the discussion, group breakouts, and chat feature. Video cameras are expected remain “on” for the duration of each class. 

How to Participate in the Sessions

1.  View Schedule
Take a look at the schedule below. Click on the "Down" arrows to expand the section for each date. Convert the Pacific Standard Time (PST) to your local time zone here.  
2.  LIVE Sessions by Zoom
The sessions will be offered via Zoom Meeting. Click on the Zoom link at the designed time. *Please plan ahead and make sure you have a free Zoom account and have downloaded the latest desktop version here and/or mobile app version for iphone/apple here or android here.
3.  Language Channels
Once you have logged into the Zoom session, click on the Interpretation button at the bottom of your screen. If you speak English, select the English channel. If you speak Spanish, select the Spanish channel. It is important to select either the EnglishSpanish or French channel to hear the interpretation. The recorded live interpretation via video and audio (including any interpretation via an audio and video channel) are intended to facilitate communication and do not constitute an authentic record of the event.



Canadian-born Lowell Cooper holds a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in Michigan, a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Loma Linda University School of Public Health, and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Loma Linda University in 2011. He is the former general vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists — a position he held since 1998. Lowell’s 22 years (1994-2016) of service at the General Conference includes 17 years as a General Vice President. In this role he traveled extensively in all parts of the world consulting and teaching on leadership life within the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its institutions. Lowell has served on numerous governance level boards and committees at the General Conference as well as at General Conference institutions. He chaired the Board of Loma Linda University Health (15 years), Adventist Development and Relief Agency (10 years) and Pacific Press Publishing Association (10 years). Prior to his employment at the Church’s world headquarters, Lowell held pastoral and departmental leadership roles in Canada followed by over 16 years of service in Pakistan and India.  

Dr. Honoré graduated as a Medical Doctor August 5, 1969 from the College of Medicine and Pharmacy of the State University of Haiti and completed a two-year specialty in Obstetric-Gynecology in August 1971. He earned in 1985 a Master’s degree in Public Health, MPH, from Loma Linda University, Loma Linda California, and in 1999, a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration, MHA, from the same institution. 

He entered denominational service as physician at the Adventist Polyclinic of Haiti, (1970-1972), then was appointed medical director (1972-1976), and he became one of the first administrators of the newly built Adventist hospital of Haiti (1982-1985). During that same period, from 1973-1986, he also served as Health and Temperance director of the Franco-Haitian Union. From there, he was called to serve as Medical Director of the Davis Memorial Adventist Hospital in Guyana (1986-1990). From 1990 to 2010, he was the Health Ministries Director of the Inter-American Division of SDA. Throughout the years, he has worked untiringly, organizing and supporting Adventist health professionals associations throughout the division territory, with the purpose of spreading an integral health message both inside and outside the church, in order to help our members and the community to glorify God in their body, mind and soul, while adding years to their life and life to their years. He was ordained minister of the gospel in April 2003.

In 2021 he retired as President of the Adventist Healthcare Services Inter-America (AHSIA), a position he held since June 2010.  This is an association of all the healthcare institutions of the Inter-American Division territory, 14 hospitals and 21 clinics. Dr. Honoré has always been during his fertile ministry, passionately involved in the process of improving every aspect of the mission and operations of our healthcare institutions. 

Bob Kyte is a lawyer who has worked with nonprofit organizations over his career both as legal counsel and as a chief executive officer.  Bob’s legal practice included serving as a private practice corporate attorney working with numerous church and other nonprofits. He served the Church as General Counsel for the General Conference and as CEO of Adventist Risk Management that provides risk management services and litigation defense for church organizations around the world.  Bob recently retired but continues to work with nonprofits currently serving on the Board of two nonprofits – one for the Church and one in the community where he resides.

Donald Pursley is an experienced health care administrator. He has BSEd degree from Chadron State Teachers College, a MS degree is Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Doctorate in Business Administration from George Washington University.

He spent 23 years in the United States Air Force as an aircraft pilot and as a faculty member and administrator at the United States Air Force Academy, retiring as a colonel. Upon retirement from the United States Air Force, Dr. Pursley became the Chairman of the Division of Business and Vice President for Finance at a College in Nebraska, USA. He also was the President of Union Housing Inc. and the Treasurer for the Midwest Foundation for Higher Education.

In 1990, he became the Vice President for Finance at Loma Linda University. He spent 14 years at Loma Linda and served as the Chief Financial Officer. He is currently is a Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Antillean Adventist Hospital in Curacao, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Davis Memorial Hospital in Guyana and a member of the Board of Trustees for The Community Hospital in Trinidad. 

He has been a board member for Christian Record Services and the Lusaka Eye Clinic in Zambia and chaired the boards of hospitals in Guyana and Malawi. He currently is on the governing board of Adventist Health International and the Community Hospital in Trinidad. Dr. Pursley is a sought-out speaker, and has made presentations on hospital and educational administration in 10 different countries. 


Dr. Richard Hart currently serves as President of Loma Linda University Health. Dr. Hart has served Loma Linda University since 1972, including serving as Chair of the School of Public Health’s Department of Health Sciences, Director of the Center for Health Promotion, Chair of the School of Medicine’s Department of Preventive Medicine, Dean of the School of Public Health, and President (previously Chancellor) and CEO of the University. Dr. Hart’s vision extends beyond the walls of Loma Linda University not only to the local communities, but to the villages and towns, the hospitals and mission clinics, in the farthest reaches of our globe. Dr. Hart also serves as president of Adventist Health International (AHI), a management corporation established to restore Adventist mission hospitals worldwide.