Northern Seminary was founded in 1913 with the purpose of training leaders for the church.

Now, 110 years later, we are still focused on that goal. Northern’s vision is to lead the church and engage the world, igniting Spirit-led innovation; forming and graduating resilient, mature, and joyful students; and delivering personal, accessible, and affordable biblical training to disciples. 

Our History

Our first student, in 1913, was Amy Lee Stockton who went on to become an effective evangelist and Bible teacher. Nine years later, in 1922, Miles Mark Fisher, became the first in a distinguished line of African-American graduates from Northern. Respect for the diversity of God’s people is in our DNA.

Read more about Northern's history


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

Visit Northern's ATS profile

Our Mission

Northern Seminary educates Christian leaders to be spiritually mature, biblically grounded, theologically competent, pastoral, evangelistic, and prophetic. We deliver a multi-denominational educational experience that is international, interracial, and intercultural to prepare women and men called by God and empowered by the Holy Spirit to advance and nurture the ministries of the Church. We teach the gospel of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the authority of Scripture.

Our Vision

Our vision is to lead the church and engage the world by igniting Spirit-led innovation; forming and graduating resilient, mature, and joyful students; and delivering personal, accessible, and affordable biblical training to disciples.

Our Core Values

Northern’s core values can be shared through the acronym DESIRE. We value the diverse calling of God—he extends his invitation to people of all backgrounds; educational excellence, scriptural leaders, innovative mission, relational community, and being economically affordable so that many can receive a seminary education.

Our Students

Northern students are enthusiastic, embracing celebration and joy as part of the Christian journey and witness. They are curious, always seeking to better understand God and his work on our world. They are diverse, reflecting the reality that the kingdom of God is made of people from all backgrounds and that all have an equal seat at the table. Finally, they are relational, living as though we are always better together and that as we pursue life together, we grow as individuals and as Christ’s Church.

Our Statement of Faith

Northern’s full-time faculty, administrators, and trustees have affirmed this statement as a testimony of their common commitment to Christ and to the advancement of His Church.

While students need not sign the statement, they are encouraged to give special heed to the biblical teachings that form its foundation. Our life of worship, instruction, prayer, and fellowship together centers on the shared commitment to Christ.

The doctrinal basis of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary is and shall be:

The Bible is the revealed Word of God, given by the Holy Spirit through chosen authors, and so is fully inspired, authoritative, and the sufficient rule of faith and practice for the believer.

God exists eternally in three persons who are revealed in Scripture as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While these three are one, each has special office and activity: God the Father is the source, support, and end of all things; God the Son, born of the Holy Spirit and virgin Mary, is the means of revelation and redemption by virtue of his incarnation, life, death and resurrection; God the Holy Spirit is the one who inspires people, reproves the world because of sin, regenerates and sanctifies the believer, and now represents the Son on earth.

Creation is the act of God by which the universe and all that is in it was brought into existence; the universe is preserved by natural law which is an expression of God’s will; at the same time, God’s miraculous working is not excluded from nature, as a means of making known the plan and purpose according to the pleasure of God’s will.

Humanity was made in the image of God and originally sinless. Men and women are fallen in Adam and are now by nature and choice sinners, living in revolt against God their Creator, and are unable to escape from their sinful state on their own.

God’s only way of reconciling sinful humanity is provided in the work of Christ, the incarnate Son, fully human and fully divine; in His sinless life, His sacrificial death on the cross, His resurrection, His ascension, and His present intercession, He reveals at the same time God’s grace and loving provisions for humanity. Humans are reconciled unto God only as they by faith receive salvation and follow Jesus as Lord.

The Church is that universal and spiritual body which includes all the redeemed of which Christ the Redeemer is the head; the church in the local and visible sense is a group of believers, who make a profession of faith in Christ, united under the direct, personal, undelegated lordship of Christ, voluntarily joined together for the worship of God, service to others, and for carrying out the work of the Great Commission as given by Christ.

The ordinances include Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Jesus commands us to make disciples of all nations, teaching them, and baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19-20). Baptism symbolizes the death of the old life and the rising of the new. Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper symbolizing His atoning death, and Himself as the Bread of Life, the one through whom we have spiritual life and vitality.

The second advent of Christ is His personal return by which the present age will be terminated. The ultimate hope of the believer is not in history but in the great eschatological event by which the present age is brought to its conclusion. The culmination of history takes place in the final judgment in which the unredeemed will suffer eternal separation from God, and the redeemed will enter into a state of eternal peace and righteousness, worshiping God.

Our Community Standards

Every Christian believer is called by God’s grace into sanctified living to become more Christ-like in holiness. Especially because a seminary seeks to develop leaders for the Church, we hold one another to high standards in our work, study, relationships, and ministry, seeking to develop spiritual maturity that evidences the fruit of the Spirit. Commitment to right living in Christ produces a radical common witness to God’s power at work to redeem, restore, and empower God’s people in God’s mission to transform the world.

Christian formation and community are core values of Northern Seminary and are, therefore, foundational to these Standards. All members of the community — employees, students, board members, and residents — are called to respect one another in regard to diversity of denomination, ethnicity, culture, and calling. All members are expected to refrain from behavior which Scripture forbids, including sexual misconduct (sexual relations outside of marriage, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, same-gender sexual relations, use of pornography), theft, academic or personal dishonesty, substance abuse, misuse of property, threats to health and safety of others, physical or emotional abuse (including intimidation or bullying), misogyny, financial irresponsibility, disrespect to seminary employees and students, or violation of housing rules and campus regulations. These behaviors destroy community and the personal wholeness which Christ purchased through his life, death, and resurrection.  

The Seminary may deny admission, place on probation, suspend, expel, withhold a degree, terminate employment, or take other action in response to personal conduct outside of these Standards. Please refer to the Northern Seminary Catalog, Faculty Handbook, Employee Handbook, or Student Housing Manual for policy statements governing institutional disciplinary processes.

Our 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.

Our Alumni

Since our founding, we have graduated over 4,000 students. Our alumni serve in all 50 states and in 30 countries around the world.

Our alumni were influential in founding Fuller Seminary, Denver Seminary, Moscow Theological Seminary, Youth for Christ (Torrey Johnson), Christianity Today magazine (Carl Henry), and The Living Bible and Tyndale House Publishers (Ken Taylor).

Some of the evangelical world’s greatest names have either attended or graduated from Northern Seminary:

  • Torrey Johnson, founder of Youth for Christ
  • Carl Henry and Kenneth Kantzer, first editors of Christianity Today
  • J. Edwin Orr, international evangelist, historian, revivalist
  • Kenneth Taylor, publisher of The Living Bible
  • Amy Lee Stockton, evangelist and Bible teacher
  • Louis S. Rawls, former pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Chicago
  • Ruth Haley Barton, founding president of The Transforming Center, author, spiritual director
  • Trinette McCray, former president of American Baptist Churches USA