December 2022 President’s Newsletter

God Did Much Through Northern in 2022


➢ Pastoral Endurance in 2022

by Dr. William D. Shiell

When we look back on 2022, we will mark it as the year that many pastors chose to endure as faithful witnesses of the gospel. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “God has put us, apostles, on display…. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure” (1 Cor. 4:9, 12). This year, Northern Seminary students and alums are living examples of endurance. Our seminary has accompanied them on this journey with relationships, resources, and research. Read the full blog post

God Reshapes Lives in Nairobi

“I was trying to re-shape my career rather than re-shape my theology about work.” That was the realization Kaiza Ochola came to after taking a faith and work integration training class from the Grow Center Nairobi. A pastor at Nairobi Baptist Church, Kaiza is both passionate about evangelism, but is also gifted in design, music, and drama. Her hope is to use these passions as avenues to reach people who may never enter the doors of a church. For Kaiza, the training helped her to realize that all facets of her life are work for God’s glory, whether it be her work as a mother, as a pastor, or in the arts.

Tov for Women Ministers to Women Leaders

The second annual TOV for Women event on October 21 brought together a roomful of sincere, engaged learners with four esteemed speakers for a discussion of how to bring more tov (“goodness”) into our ministry and leadership spaces. The one-day event featured Dr. Scot McKnight, Dr. Lisa Bowens, Vivian Mabuni, and Dr. Marshall Hatch. TOV for Women provided ample opportunity for the speakers and attendees to connect and enjoy one another. During a Q&A session with the panel of speakers, attendees shared their experiences of being stuck and alone. At TOV for Women, they received empathy, kindness, and practical steps for developing goodness into their little pocket of the world.

Theological Integrity Takes Centerstage

On July 1, under the leadership of Dr. Mark Quanstrom, Northern launched the Center for Theological Integrity (CTI), which helps pastors and churches understand the relationship between doctrine and practice, and encourages practices/activities in alignment with a church’s theological commitments. CTI will be launching a course through Seminary Now on “Pastoral Ministry: Calling and Resilience” in early 2023 and establishing mentored cohorts to provide pastors a safe place to talk with other pastors about the challenges of ministry in the 21st century. Preview the course here.


Northern Graduates Publish


Gospel Portraits: Reading Scripture as Participants in the Mission of God
by K. Rex Butts, lead minister/pastor with the Newark Church of Christ in Newark, DE

Butts earned his DMin in contextual theology from Northern. Gospel Portraits addresses the intersection of mission and hermeneutics for churches within their local contexts. Believing the gospel calls the church to follow Jesus and bear witness to the kingdom of God, Butts proposes that churches should read the Bible as a Christ-centered and kingdom-oriented narrative.


Light as Air: Practicing Authenticity, Depth, and Purpose in a World of Empty Promises by Jonny Morrison, a church planter, pastor, writer, and podcaster

Morrison earned his PhD in contextual theology from Northern. Light as Air offers readers freedom from unmet desires, a way to disrupt broken systems, and an invitation into a life of depth and creative action by exploring the story of Jesus and the way his kingdom engages our dissatisfaction and invites us into the life we were made for. Morrison shows us how to live into and out of Jesus’ kingdom in a way that gives hope to a dissatisfied world.Join us in person or virtually on January 16-17 as the Grow Center for Church and Mission at Northern Seminary brings together a diverse group of speakers from church, ministry, and marketplace areas to reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. King and what they mean for us as Christ-followers. The theme for the event is “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” and focuses on Dr. King’s last public sermon.


Coming in January 2023


The Center for Theological Integrity is launching a new podcast on January 2. The Pastor’s Table, hosted by Dr. Mark Quanstrom and Rev. Tara Beth Leach, will bring you conversations with pastors working out deep theological convictions in their churches. The podcast launches with Mark and Tara Beth talking with Dr. Beth Felker Jones about incarnation followed by conversations with pastors Jay Y. Kim and Jennie Wong Clayville.


Northern Seminary will begin offering a Graduate Certificate in Baptist Leadership that provides practitioners and pastors a robust and accredited education on the distinctives of Baptist theology, formation, and ministry.



Want to Finish 2022 Strong in Your Faith?


It’s not too late to engage with our Advent video and Bible plan resource! Advent is a time when we focus on the coming of Jesus, and the hope and anticipation surrounding His birth. To help you engage deeper in this season of expectation, Seminary Now, in partnership with Northern Seminary, has produced a 5-part video series along with a companion reading plan.

Watch the Advent series OR Read the 5-day devotional on the YouVersion Bible App (you can also access it on your mobile device through the Bible app by clicking on “Plans” and searching for “Advent”)


The Center for Women in Leadership Has a Matching Grant Opportunity!


Through the generous support of an anonymous donor, the Center for Women in Leadership (CWL) is offering a dollar-for-dollar donor match up to $25,000 through December 31, 2022. Please click on the link below and choose “1190 Center for Women in Leadership” from the drop-down menu. If you do this, you can double your impact through a one-time or monthly gift supporting CWL before December 31.

The CWL equips women to thrive as leaders in the church, the workplace, the academy, and the public square. CWL provides a variety of opportunities to engage in conversation and creative problem-solving around challenges and obstacles to women in leadership. We are committed to elevating ethnic and global voices and partnering with men. A gift to CWL will help the Center continue its great work through 2023.

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