Statement of Educational Effectiveness

Northern Seminary’s mission is to “to educate leaders who will be personally whole and spiritually mature, biblically grounded and theologically competent, pastoral, evangelistic and prophetic.”

Northern has over 1,800 alums serving the Church across the United States and in 30 countries around the world. They work in local churches, missional communities, homeless shelters, prisons, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, gang ministry, hospices, social service organizations, denominations, church networks, church planting initiatives, and much more.

Northern Seminary is dedicated to offering quality theological education and ongoing formation for ministry leaders who are preparing for, or are already engaged in ministry, in the United States and around the world. Our Administration, Faculty, and Board of Trustees are tasked with oversight of quality assurance, academic integrity, and relevant ministry training. Each program of study is assessed by learning outcomes that identify and measure academic and ministerial competencies.

Educational effectiveness is measured by students’ ability to succeed in ministry positions which fit their desired goals for ministry and through a rigorous Comprehensive Assessment program which enables the faculty to evaluate students’ achievement of learning outcomes for each academic degree program.

In the most recent survey, our graduates indicated that as a direct result of their Northern Seminary educational experience they were stronger in all 15 areas of personal growth defined in the Association of Theological School’s Graduating Student Questionnaire. In addition, our graduates rated their satisfaction with the progress they made related to ministry skills while attending Northern Seminary 4% higher than the average of graduates from all other ATS schools.

Master’s Programs

Among 2016 and 2017 graduates of the Master’s programs, 86% (38) reported that the educational experience at Northern Seminary was “excellent” or “good.”

In a 2015-16 survey of all Master’s students, 100% of those surveyed reported the overall quality of teaching at Northern was “excellent” (63%) or “good” (37%). In the same survey, 96% of Master’s students reported they were “very happy” (72%) or “happy” (24%) they selected Northern as their seminary.

Doctor of Ministry Program

Among 2016 and 2017 graduates of the Doctor of Ministry program, 83% (19) reported that the educational experience at Northern Seminary was “excellent” and 17% (4) reported “good.”

When asked “how effective was the DMin program to make you a better practicing theologian and Christian leader for leading the church in a changing cultural context,” 91% (21) answered “very effective” and 9% (2) answered “effective.”

When scoring the educational effectiveness of the program in its four learning outcome goals, 100% of graduates answered “very effective” or “effective”:

Learning Outcome

Very Effective


Ability to think biblically and theologically in context about critical issues related to ministry.

91% (21)

9% (2)

Ability to integrate theological, cultural, and missional perspectives with ministry.

91% (21)

9% (2)

Ability to analyze issues relevant to ministry in order to develop skills in ministry.

70% (16)

30% (7)

Ability to integrate enhanced knowledge with growth in my ministerial capacity and spiritual maturity.

87% (20)

13% (3)


Northern Seminary’s health and vitality is contingent upon our ability to offer quality, accessible, and effective programs for those seeking theological and ministerial training. To this end, we take seriously the need to continuously monitor, evaluate and enhance our programs to ensure they meet standards for academic and pastoral excellence.

For questions and inquiries about Northern’s educational mission, assessment and effectiveness efforts, please contact the Northern Seminary by phone at (630) 620-2180.

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