Full Hands, Grateful Hearts

By: William D. Shiell

When the people ordained Aaron to be a priest, the book of Exodus says that the people literally “filled his hands,” to serve the Lord. Anyone who serves in vocational ministry knows that the church can be a “handful.” This past week, however, our seminary has been overflowing with the abundant blessings of another year completed at Northern.

On Saturday, June 8, Northern Seminary graduated 26 pastoral leaders, most of whom are already serving in rural, urban, and suburban congregations. The Seminary’s 104th commencement ceremony marked the second cohort graduating from the Master of Arts in Worship track and the first graduates who are Baugh scholars for women in ministry. After starting an urban leadership program in 2017, Rebecca Richmond received the first graduate certificate in Urban Leadership from Northern Seminary.

Over the past year, we’ve made great headway toward accomplishing our 2021 strategic vision: to lead the church and engage the world, we will provide sustainable resources, train successful students, and strengthen churches.

With your help and God’s provision, we’ve experienced:

  • We have increased enrollment 25%, over the past three years
  • Opened the Greater Cincinnati Center
  • Relocated the South Side Center for Urban Leadership to New Life Covenant Southeast Youth Center
  • Awarded $276,000 in scholarships, an increase of 40% over last year
  • Awarded most of our scholarships to women (51%) and persons of color (53%)
  • Decreased the number of students in federal student loan debt to 16%

In the next year, we continue to focus on student success, access, and affordability.

  • Our scholarship awards will continue to increase.
  • All M.Div. and MACM tuition costs will decrease, and current M.A. students will remain the same.
  • Any student will be able to complete the M.Div. and MACM via Northern Live, and our new curricula in both programs will allow students to be supervised by the congregation or ministry site wherever they are located around the world.
  • We will begin a new church planting residency in Lansing, Michigan, in partnership with ABC of Michigan and Christ Community Church of Greater Lansing.
  • We will launch a new Doctor of Theological Ministry degree program. This program will allows students without a Master of Divinity degree to begin doctoral work at Northern.

The work of the seminary happens one person at a time. Your recommendations, prayers, and gifts make it possible for us to fulfill the high calling of theological education. Thank you for joining hands with us. Continue to pray for wisdom, God’s abundant provision, and the sale of the Lombard campus. With God’s help we will continue to lead the church and engage the world for generations to come.

To learn more about our degree programs or to assist one of our students to fulfill their call to ministry, please contact Greg Armstrong in our enrollment office.

June 11, 2019

William D. Shiell

President, Professor of Pastoral Theology and Preaching

ABOUT William



Ready to start your seminary Experience?

Apply Now