Enrollment Increases at Northern Seminary

Northern Seminary began the 2016 academic year with the highest masters and doctoral enrollment in nine years and an 83 percent increase in new student enrollment from a year ago.

A number of factors contributed to the increase including the launch of two new programs offered via interactive live streaming, the Master of Arts in New Testament and Master of Arts in Theology and Mission. The delivery of these programs via Northern Live makes them accessible all over the world and appealing to students who are already invested in ministry contexts.

In response to the news, Northern’s President, Bill Shiell, shared, “Northern’s enrollment increase reflects the hard work of our faculty and staff to train pastors. I’m so grateful to work with these colleagues who are committed to renewing the church and starting new churches. These new degree programs and innovative live streaming classes respond in real time to the needs of local church leaders.”

Northern has a more than 100-year history of preparing leaders for the Church. Like many seminaries, it has seen its ups and downs in enrollment over the past few decades. Northern has worked diligently to remain true to the message and purposes of seminary while evaluating the method. In doing so, it has made seminary more affordable and accessible to ministers who wish to stay in their ministry contexts while studying and growing.

“In a period of time where the church is struggling to respond to the challenges of culture and many denominations are experiencing deep decline in active membership, seeing the passionate faith and energy of our entering students has been exhilarating.  An 11 percent enrollment increase reminds us that the church is the body of Christ and the Holy Spirit is active in calling new leaders to serve her.  Simultaneously, we have begun friendships with individuals and foundations eager to share of their resources so that women, urban leaders, and mission-focused pastors may receive significant financial support which will decrease the student debt load of pastoral leaders upon graduation.”

As stated by Dr. Shiell earlier this year, “It’s a bright new day, here at Northern.


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