December Newsletter 2021

This past year has stretched pastors, churches, ministries, and seminaries. We’ve all used muscles that many of us have not flexed since the 1920’s. It appears that 2022 will continue to challenge us even more.

Many are fatigued, frustrated, and close to burnout based on what we are learning about ministry trends today. Ironically, Christians address these conditions by stretching further. We don’t take a break or quit. We do something in 2022 that counters our fears, improves our resilience, and strengthens our faith.

We embrace the coming year by stretching further toward God’s call.



New DMin in doctrine and ministry

Northern Seminary is please to announce the launch of a new DMin in Doctrine and Ministry, led by Dr. Beth Felker Jones.

Christian doctrine is vital to the life of Christian faith and to Christian ministry. To faithfully minister in both church and world, Christian leaders must prepare for the many ways ministry challenges and forms doctrine for the future of the Church. In an age of deconstruction of faith, we need leaders who can build constructive, faithful, and life-giving theology for a variety of contexts.


Spotlight on church and culture






June 2022 Brady Theology & Mission Lectures

Northern Seminary is pleased to announce Dr. Willie Jennings as the lecturer for the 2022 Brady Theology & Mission Lectures. The lectures will take place in the historic New Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church on the west side of Chicago.

Registration for these lectures is currently open and free to the public. Panelists will include Drew Hart, Beth Jones, David Fitch, Marshall Hatch and many more more esteemed guests. We look forward to another spurring one another on through this inspirational time together. To register for in person or Livestream visit the link below.


Dr. Christopher Dodd’s New Release

This past October, Dr. Christopher Dodd (Northern class of 2007 and 2015) Pastor of New Community Church in Dolton, Illinois, published The Trauma in Transition: A Manual for Organization Revitalization. Follow his personal pastoral journey as Dr. Dodd teaches congregations how to address conflict and change. Helpful questions for discussion & reflection are provided for each chapter.


Northern’s big give

Thanks to you, we have trained 2,000 people through our graduate programs, Seminary Now, and the Grow Center in this past year! While the Barna Institute reports that nearly 37% of pastors are currently considering leaving ministry, we are thankful that Northern Seminary has become an anchor for the Church.

Northern Seminary, along with the Grow Center and Seminary Now, provides an abundance of tools and resources to help pastors and ministry leaders prepare for vocational sustainability and resilience. We graduated our largest class in over 60 years in June and currently have our largest incoming class ever in our 100+ year history. We have more students, subscribers, pastors, and missionaries in decades, but we need your support to strengthen their call. 

Tuition only provides 40% of the cost of seminary education.  In addition, many of our Grow Center students live on less than $3/day., so resources and training are provided free of charge. Will you help us provide affordable access to biblical, theological and practical ministry education?
Thanks to an anonymous giver, every gift up to $5,000 will be doubled through December 31 up to a total of $250,000. Your gift may be designated to any area of need. Help us spread the Good News this Christmas season and all throughout the year!







If we reach the challenge of $250,000, the Grow Center will directly benefit from an additional $250,000 designated gift. Help Northern locally & globally for a stretch goal of $500,000!


Join the challenge, give today


MLK Jr. Remembrance event

January 17-18, we host our annual event to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., featuring a virtual roundtable from 7:00 – 8:30 PM CST.

This year’s conference theme: Letters from a Birmingham Jail: A Response to the Words and Dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. strives to engage in meaningful discussions to spur efforts around race and culture. As we cultivate a network of Christian African American leaders, these resources will support the integration of faith and work.


Seminary now expands to train more church leaders

We are honored to announce that, starting in 2022, Seminary Now will reach more pastors and lay leaders than ever before.  With the support of Lilly Endowment funds, Seminary Now can develop a wide variety of new courses.

Most significantly, this partnership enables Seminary Now to collaborate with up to 10 additional ATS accredited seminaries.  The expanded network will create a robust and integrated platform to impact the lives of 7,500 users and 400 congregations in North America alone.

Seminary Now’s innovate approach offers quality educational content to equip church leaders to thrive despite today’s challenging ministry demands. So far, six seminaries have signed on to collaborate: Calvin Theological Seminary, North Park Theological Seminary, Ambrose Seminary (Calgary), Western Theological Seminary (Michigan), B.H. Carroll Theological Institute, and the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. The Lilly Endowment grant is a multi-year project through the year 2025.


To celebrate this momentous occasion we are sharing a special holiday offer! Our low cost subscriptions help provide free and subsidized resources to the pastors, ministry leaders and churches who need it most. You can also directly contribute to Seminary Now’s efforts in under resourced communities by sponsoring a subscription today! Additionally, your charitable gift may be tax deductible.

Gift a subscription, get one free





Your friend,
William D. Shiell
President and Professor of Pastoral Theology and Preaching, Northern Seminary

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