Annual Preaching Forum

The Preacher as Community Builder

Thursday, October 12, 2017 from 8:30am to 5:30pm

  • 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. — New Kind of Preacher Forum (morning session)
  • 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — Founders Day Luncheon (separate registration required)
  • 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. —  New Kind of Preacher Forum (afternoon session)
  • 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. — Tours of the Lisle Center
  • 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. — Dedication of the Lisle Center and Fall Convocation
  • 5:30 p.m. — Reception honoring Dr. Karen Walker Freeburg

Register Now >

(For hotels, please use this link to get the Northern group rate.  Hotel is ½ mile from the Lisle Center and rate includes wifi and full hot breakfast buffet)



Dr.-Gary-Hayles-profileDr. Gary Hayles:

Dr. Gary Hayles is the director of Northern Seminary’s New Kind of Preacher Program and the pastor of Tabernacle Bible Church in Cincinnati. He has received many notable awards including recognition by the Cincinnati Enquirer as one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans in Cincinnati. He was selected as Cincinnati’s Pastor of the Year, as well as one of the Top 50 Preachers from Cincinnati by Cincinnati Christian University. As an accomplished author, Dr. Hayles’ sermon “Can a Brother Get a Hand” appears in the book, “Voices From the Hill” which was released in October 2003.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Hayles received his undergraduate degree from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. He holds advanced degrees from both Cincinnati Bible Seminary and San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He completed his studies and received a Doctorate of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in 2011. Dr. Hayles is a 2012 graduate of the 35th Class of Leadership Cincinnati. He is a 2013 graduate of Proclaimer’s Place expositional preaching program under Dr. Joel Gregory at Oxford University England. Gary will continue his service as Lead Pastor at Tabernacle and office from Northern on Tuesdays each week.


Dr. William Shiell:

Dr. William D. Shiell is the eleventh President of Northern Seminary. A native of Pensacola, Florida, Dr. Shiell holds degrees from Samford University (B.A.) and Baylor University (M. Div., Ph.D.). He was named Outstanding Student of the first graduating class of George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University in 1997.

Dr. Shiell and his wife Kelly met while in college at Samford. They have two sons, Parker (15) and Drake (9). Prior to coming to Northern, Dr. Shiell served as a Pastor of Baptist churches in Texas (McGregor and San Angelo); Tennessee (Knoxville); and Florida (Tallahassee). As Pastor, Bill led these churches through successful capital campaigns, administered disaster relief during Hurricane Katrina, and started a new church for Latino people. His churches have adopted two at-risk public elementary schools, renovated homes among the urban poor, engage in racial reconciliation work in violent neighborhoods, and ordained women and men to the pastorate. He has served as an instructor for Howard Payne University; adjunct professor at Carson Newman University; and is currently Professor of Pastoral Theology and Preaching at Northern.

As a Pastor, Dr. Shiell served in denominational leadership on boards and committees of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and Baptist News Global.

Dr. Shiell has published four books, primarily in New Testament. His pioneering work on the book of Acts combined the best of New Testament rhetoric with ancient Greek and Roman art. His research interests are in the areas of the oral interpretation of scripture and the interaction of audiences with the speaker. He continues to research and write in the area of Performance Criticism as a member of the Society of Biblical Literature. His forthcoming book on Acts is a volume in a sermon-based commentary series called Contextualizing the Gospel.

Bill’s love of scripture can be seen whenever he preaches. He is widely known for his public readings of scripture from memory and has performed the Gospel of Mark in its entirety from memory.

An avid runner, Bill enjoys timing his boys when they swim competitively and occasionally has time for a round of golf. Bill loves Christ, his family, and the church. Dr. Shiell came to Northern because of his deep call to address racial reconciliation, to assist women and men in their callings to serve Christ, and to help Northern train pastors and leaders even more effectively for their call.


Rev. Tara Beth Leach:

Rev. Tara Beth Leach is the Senior Pastor at First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena (“PazNaz”) in Southern California. She is a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University (B.A. Youth Ministry) and Northern Theological Seminary (M.Div.).

She is a regular writer for Missio Alliance and has contributed to other publications such as Christianity Today, Christian Week, The Jesus Creed, The Table Magazine, Reflecting the Image Devotional, Renovating Holiness, and most recently a chapter in The Apostle Paul and the Christian Life: Ethical and Missional Implications of the New Perspective with other contributors including N.T. Wright, James D.G. Dunn, Scot McKnight, and Bruce Longenecker. Her chapter is entitled “The Symphonic Melody: Wesleyan Holiness Theology Meets New Perspective Paul.” Tara Beth is also the author of the forthcoming Beacon Hill Press book, Kingdom Culture (late 2016) and the InterVarsity Press book, Emboldened: A Vision for Empowering Women in Ministry (2018).

She has two beautiful and rambunctious children, Caleb and Noah, and has been married to the love of her life, Jeff, since 2006.


Rev. Dr. Dennis Edwards:

Rev. Dr. Dennis Edwards is the senior pastor of Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis, MN. He has also ministered in Brooklyn, NY as well as Washington, DC. Rev. Edwards holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University and has been a high school science and math teacher. He also earned a Master of Divinity degree in Urban Ministry (from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), a Master of Arts degree in Biblical Studies, and a PhD also in Biblical Studies (both from the Catholic University of America).  He has been an adjunct instructor of Bible and New Testament Greek at various seminaries.

Dennis has been married to Susan Steele Edwards for 34 years. They have four adult children and one grandchild. Dennis enjoys playing his flute and saxophone, as well as playing racquetball as much as possible.

Latest Blog Entry

New Beginnings for the New Kind of Preacher Program

By: Gary Hayles

The impact of the New Kind of Preacher program touches beyond the walls of the context of Northern Seminary. It is designed to reach pastors and preachers at various levels…

Read Post View All Posts

Ready to start your seminary Experience?

Apply Now