President’s February Newsletter

Dear Friends,

As the season of Lent begins, I want to encourage you with stories of sacrifice, generosity, and ministry of our alumni and students. One person walked in this month and donated anonymously to reduce the student loan debt of five current students. When I asked him what motivated him, he said that he and his wife had “completely redone” their finances as a result of the Faith and Finances seminar we offer each year. He wanted to give back to those who need assistance with the burden of debt.

Rev. Jonathan Brooks, a former Perkins Scholar and Northern Class of 2015 was recently featured in a powerful story and video of his work in West Englewood. He is Senior Pastor of Canaan Community Church, and they are active in the Christian Community Development Association. Current Urban Leadership student John Netherly is a one-man movement ministering to the homeless in Forest Park. Praise the Lord for these Jubilee moments.


Our enrollment team hosted a fantastic “Taste of Northern” event. Despite the snow and inclement weather, over forty prospective students participated in person or via Northern Live. Here are just a few of the comments we received.

“I wanted a little taste of what classes would be like, and that is exactly what I got. I am a big fan of the way you are doing online learning!”

“Connecting through the online platform was very smooth, and I enjoyed how interactive and intimate an online style could be.”

“When I first logged in to Zoom, [the professor] walked to the front of the classroom and started shooting the breeze with me as if we were sitting in the same room. He seemed very down to earth and approachable. During the second class, I was able to interact with the students in a group. And it felt like I was sitting in a living room with friends from church.”

“Having the opportunity to sit in on classes during the week of A Taste of Northern gave me a chance to see firsthand how engaging the professors are, how rigorous the content is and most of all, what the student-body is like as fellow-learners. From a missional standpoint, Northern Seminary has an exceptional depth of diversity. I observed a rich tapestry of age, race, gender, vocational and ministerial diversity.”

“In all of my study, both personally and at the undergraduate level, I have never heard of Paul in such harmonious fashion. . . The time spent in your class has aided me in seeing how Paul was one who looked to the inclusion of the women and the marginalized into the arms of the church family – living out the faith that he speaks of so richly, thus voiding any kind of hypocrisy.”


Under Dr. Gary Hayles’s leadership, the New Kind of Preacher program offers peer learning groups for working pastors throughout the Midwest and now Southeast.


To commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day, Dr. Lee Spitzer, the new General Secretary of American Baptist Churches, U.S.A. will join us for a special lecture entitled “Baptists, Jews, and the Holocaust: Extending the Hand of Friendship.” Dr. Spitzer will be signing his new book of the same title following the presentation.


On Monday, March 5 at 7:00pm, The City of Promise will be hosting “A Night at Northern” informational session at 1260 Hicks Blvd, Fairfield, OH, to preview our new Greater Cincinnati Center. We will be offering Northern Live Streaming classes here this fall.

Please contact City of Promise Church administrator, Olivia Smith at 513-829-8221 or email for further information and details.

Continue to pray for us by joining the Northern prayer team. We send out updates monthly. Have a meaningful season of Lent.


William D. Shiell
President, Northern Seminary

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