Microcourse Trains Pastor for Prison Ministry in the Pandemic

Because of the faithful support of our donors, Northern Seminary is able to offer life-changing classes and experiences like the microcourses. To donate, visit https://www.seminary.edu/connect/donate/ or call (630) 620-2180.

Even in the midst of a pandemic, Northern Seminary is equipping pastors to preach in federal prison. Russell Graham will tell you that Northern Seminary’s microcourses are designed for those with extreme schedules—people like him. He is a husband, works full-time, preaches, and leads a prison ministry at New Pasadena Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago. In addition, he is pursuing a Master of Divinity from Northern Seminary.

“Microcourses allow me the great opportunity to commit to meet only four to five times and then the workload is on me to finish in my own timing,” explains Russell. And when you speak with him, you believe he will accomplish his God-given dream of an MDiv—regardless of any obstacles. Russell believes that “some dreams are your own and some God gives to you.”

The Lord gave him this high reach of a goal in the humblest of places: jail. Even before he was sentenced to federal prison, God used very specific people to give him a very specific message—that though he was about to go through a cloud of darkness, he was called to preach the Word. While incarcerated, he began to proclaim the gospel and minister to others. It is there he also sat under the teaching of godly men, fellow inmates who studied the Bible day and night.

Though there were tremendous challenges before him, as he puts it, “I could see the end from the beginning.” Upon his release from prison, having served seven years of a nine-year sentence, Russell began looking at graduate programs that could fit his needs. “When I called Northern,” he recalls, “it was such an explosive, overwhelming experience—so welcoming. Being part of the Northern community is one of the best things that God has brought into my life.”

Northern Seminary’s microcourses are open to current seminarians, alumni, and the general public in partnership with the Grow Center for Church and Mission. For more information visit https://www.thegrowcenter.com/classes.

Because of the faithful support of our donors, Northern Seminary is able to offer life-changing classes and experiences like the microcourses. To donate, visit https://www.seminary.edu/connect/donate/ or call (630) 620-2180.

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