Bachelor of Arts – Master of Divinity Program

“My dad was a pastor. That’s not something I ever wanted to be when I was growing up. But God got hold of me my senior year of high school, I knew I had to follow God into ministry. That’s why I’m here,” stated one of the students in our first BA-MDiv cohort.

These words adequately summed up the excitement in the room as we gathered our first cohort of students, faculty and staff for the new BA-MDiv Program, funded in part by the Kern Foundation. This partnership between Northern Seminary and Trinity Christian College allows students to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Theology or Biblical Studies and a Master of Divinity in just five years.  The program was created in order to achieve four major outcomes: equip younger leaders for pastoral leadership, eliminate course redundancy, minimize student debt and collaborate on a deeper level with other institutions and churches.

One of our new students is called to inner city ministry because he had been part of a gang but came to Christ in high school. Now he wants to become equipped to go back to have an impact on lives and communities broken by sin and poverty.  Our new Mentor and Recruiter for the program, Jonathan Brooks, known as Pastah J, is already connecting this student with Northern’s pastor in Lawndale and other pastors, to help merge this student’s academic preparation with practical ministry experience. This is part of the beauty of this new BA-MDiv program.

Another new student served in the Navy, and now she has become part of the program with the call to serve in pastoral care as a military chaplain. We will be connecting her with chaplains, and especially with female chaplains serving in these much needed roles.

Gathered around the table were our seven initial committed students whose interests were as diverse as they were.   Mentor and Recruiter for the BA-MDiv program Rev. Jonathan Brooks affectionately Besides displaying diversity around gender, culture, age and experience they were also interested in various aspects of ministry such as senior pastoral leadership, chaplaincy, youth and sports ministry.  Also, at the table were the amazing theology professors Dr. Ben Ribbens, Dr. Yudah Thianto and Dr. Ken Starkenburg along with Dr. Bill VanGroningen, Chaplain and Dean of Spiritual Formation.  Rounding out the table were Dr. Aaron Kuecker, Trinity Provost, Dr. Ingrid Faro, Dean of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Old Testament for Northern Seminary and Jonathan Brooks, mentioned above. 

“Gathering with this first cohort of students in our BA-MDiv Program, we heard the distinct calling on each life, and recognized that the coming together of this program is something that God has done,” stated Ingrid Faro

We are excited about the academic potential of these students as well as the opportunity to connect them with local churches and ministries in order to increase their practical experience. By connecting with institutions with a heart for transformational leadership, a passion for the church and a connection to the city these students will be better prepared as the next generation of church leaders.


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