January Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Northern Seminary students have adapted to the challenges of ministering through a pandemic. Despite the physical, mental, and political stress that pulls at churches, Northern students are leading as Pastor Kyle Trigg writes, “to become the kind of church we were meant to be.” 

How is that possible? Northern’s cohorts and virtual classrooms engage the problems of our world through a biblical, evangelistic lens. We discuss and address racial injustice, partisanship, and insurrection with the understanding that Jesus is Lord. By surrendering to his reign, we create a context for building character, innovative solutions, and sound theological perspectives.


BECOMING the church we were meant to be

By Pastor Kyle Trigg, Family Pastor at First Alliance Church, Calgary, Alberta
Student in the Master of Arts in New Testament program 

When the government implemented gathering guidelines for churches and asked us to “walk a mile,” we asked what it would look like for us to walk two. As a result, we made the choice to go online before we had to. Of course, this was not an easy choice! Who wants to be responsible for breaking an 82-year streak of weekend gatherings? But only the Lord could orchestrate how this decision became a transformative pathway for our community.





For five days, Bible expositors from around the country gathered virtually each evening to look at sections of Dr. King’s historic speech and what those truths still mean today, in the context of a year fraught with pain, injustice, persecution and loss. More than 35 speakers, teachers, civil rights activists and witnesses joined the Grow Center and a host of other partners to educate, encourage and admonish listeners who tuned in from around the globe.



Vancouver Church Offers Online Christian Education Using Seminary Now

Lord’s Grace Church in Vancouver, BC, has always placed an emphasis on Christian education. Every Sunday the church offers services in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese, as well as children’s ministry, youth ministry, and adult Sunday school classes. Avery Choi, Associate Pastor for Youth, Cantonese Young Adult, and Family Ministry, is one of the pastors responsible for developing adult classes’ content.

Choi learned about Seminary Now, the educational video streaming platform launched in 2020 by Northern Seminary and eight partner organizations, through the Facebook pages of Northern’s faculty. Choi introduced the platform to the rest of the pastoral team at Lord’s Grace Church. In September the leadership agreed to endorse an annual Seminary Now subscription for the church.



REgister now for taste of northern
February 22

Taste of Northern is a one night event created for those who are considering attending seminary but need more insight before making the big decision.

Attendees will experience class discussion, student testimonies and faculty interaction. They will also have the opportunity to talk with our admissions staff and sit in on one of the courses currently being held at Northern via Northern Live.



SAVE the date for the resource conference

May 20, 3:30 PM – May 21, 7:00 PM
First Baptist Church at Savoy,
1602 S Prospect Ave, Savoy, IL 61874, USA

Small Church Pastors and Leaders Conference
Co-Sponsored by Northern Seminary, Judson University, and the Great Rivers Region of American Baptist Churches, U.S.A. and American Baptists of Indiana and Kentucky.




We grieve the loss of three members of Northern’s community, two emeritus faculty, and one staff member. 

Dr. Al Jenkins died December 16, 2020. Dr. Jenkins was emeritus professor of education and ministry. While at Northern, he served in various roles from 1964 until his retirement in 1990: Associate Professor, Director of Admissions, Professor of Christian Education, Director of Doctoral Studies, and Dean of the Seminary.

Dr. Reidar Bjornard died December 16, 2020. He was Emeritus Professor of Old Testament at Northern Seminary. Dr. Bjornard joined the Resistance as a Norwegian Military officer in 1940 until the end of World War II in 1945. After completing his divinity degree, he and his wife Karin moved to Louisville, Kentucky to complete his Doctorate of Theology. Reidar had a long career teaching Old Testament at Northern from 1968 until his retirement in 1988.

Carol (Bowman) Billow died December 30. She served as Executive Assistant to Presidents Ian Chapman, Chuck Moore and Alister Brown and Interim President John Kirn.



Today, we stand on the shoulders of these who have gone before us. They cheer us on from the “cloud of witnesses.” By giving to Northern Seminary you are able to pass the baton to the next generation of pastoral leaders.



Thank you for considering Northern in your trust, will, and estate planning.

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

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