Northern Distinctives

Northern Seminary has a unique personality. We are driven by the Mission of God, broadly evangelical, committed to the authority of scriptures and personal in our approach to education.

Global Ministry

Northern remains steadfast to the dream of its first president, Dr. John Marvin Dean, whose hope in 1913 was that alumni fearlessly spread the gospel far and wide and influence the world for Christ. Our alumni have served around the world in over 30 countries and in all 50 states.


Northern is focused on the authority of scriptures and how they impact and shape your ministry.


Focused on the Mission of God, Northern provides an education that brings together the best of theory and practice. Powerful ministry is based on an understanding of your ministry context and your ability to apply your knowledge.


From the quality of service to the mentoring relationships between our faculty and students, the Northern experience is personal in nature. We also care deeply about holistically developing leaders for ministry. Knowledge is not enough for transformational ministry. You must have knowledge, strong integrity, application and missional skills, self-awareness, and a deep relationship with Jesus Christ.


What do we mean by evangelical? We believe that to be evangelical is to be Christ-centered and to have an intensely personal, but not private, faith—because salvation in Christ compels us to share the Good News with others. It means being personally formed and transformed in holiness, experiencing life together in Christian fellowship with other believers, and having a commitment to the values of God’s Kingdom for social transformation.

Women in Ministry

Did you know that the first student to enroll at Northern Seminary was a woman? Amy Lee Stockton enrolled in 1913, graduated, and went on to become one of the nation’s leading evangelists–reaching thousands for Christ. Today, that tradition continues in the hundreds of women that have attended and graduated from Northern, and lead ministries in growing and vibrant churches.

Spiritual Formation

We believe spiritual formation is an integral part of the education process. Spiritual formation is as necessary to ministry training as theological reflection and practical hands-on experience. Through a process of self and group assessments, internship opportunities, student cohort groups, Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and faculty guidance, students are strengthened personally, spiritually, and practically to understand themselves and others in Christ.


Since 1913, Northern Seminary has welcomed men and women from various Christian faith traditions, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and ministry experiences. Our students have enrolled from almost 30 denominations and alumni have served in over 30 countries. Our students also range in age from recent college graduates to second career and retirees who have answered a call to ministry.

Alumni Impact

Our alumni were influential in founding Fuller, Denver and Moscow Theological Seminaries, Youth for Christ (Torrey Johnson), Christianity Today magazine (Carl Henry), and The Living Bible and Tyndale House Publishers (Ken Taylor). In fact, some of the evangelical world’s greatest names have either attended or graduated from Northern Seminary like: J. Edwin Orr, the international evangelist and revivalist historian; Peter Deyneka, Jr., founder of the Slavic Gospel Association and Deyneka Russian Ministries; V. Gilbert Beers, past editor of Christianity Today and President of “Kidbuilders”; Mel Lorentzen of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College; and Lou Rawls, Sr., of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Chicago. The list goes on! In fact, it’s difficult to imagine what the evangelical world would have looked like without Northern Seminary to provide a sound, evangelical theological education.


All of our faculty have been called to ministry at some point in their lives, and their teaching reflects that calling. In fact, many still serve in churches or para-church ministries. Students can trust that members of our faculty are aware of the challenges and rewards of ministry because they have experienced them firsthand.


Northern Seminary is accredited by Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools.

See Northern Seminary’s ATS profile.

The Commission contact information is:

The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275 USA
Telephone: 412-788-6505

Latest Blog Entry

Pastoral Installations to Celebrate Black History Month

By: Northern Seminary

By William D. Shiell As we celebrate Black History Month this February, I am thrilled to share that four of Northern’s own have pastoral installation services in February and March…

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