President’s June Newsletter
Dear Northern Friends,
This month marks historic and heartfelt occasions at Northern Seminary. We celebrate the graduating class of 2020. Among these are students from the first New Testament and Theology and Mission cohorts. Along with our worship students, these pastors and church leaders pioneered the use of the first Northern Live technology. They led the way so that our seminary can teach so effectively today.
As we celebrate their accomplishments, we also grieve the horrible loss of lives, violence, and racism that pervade our country. As a seminary we believe, “Greater is He who is in you than he that is in the world.” We believe that Jesus has the power to defeat the viruses of sin, darkness, injustice, and COVID-19. Our faculty and students are working through the church to turn hearts to the Lord.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Northern has been training congregations to thrive, innovate, and to address racism and injustice. Throughout April and May, I hosted over 100 pastors and church leaders via zoom. We discussed best practices from around the world. We learned how churches were responding to the pandemic, ministering to their communities, and caring on the front lines of the virus. We challenged pastors to take care of their own spiritual and mental well being and shared resources to help churches plan and innovate for the months ahead. We’ve compiled a list of these resources on our blog.
In June, we launched three exciting mission innovation courses. Taught by Northern instructors, these classes are helping churches learn new strategies to address the realities of congregational life through the pandemic. Today, 75 students from across the country are participating through Northern’s distance-learning technology Northern Live.
In June, we sponsored hosted the first-ever virtual Vision Conference in partnership with the R. H. Boyd National Baptist Congress.
PERKINS SCHOLAR MINISTERS THROUGH COVID-19
Tash Steverson is a student in our Master of Divinity (MDiv-2021) program. She is also a recipient of the Perkins Fellowship, named in honor of Northern professor and founder of the Christian Community Development Association Dr. John M. Perkins. This fellowship provides scholarships to students in seminary who are committed to serving under-resourced communities after graduation.
Tash’s graduate studies began with a desire to provide more holistic care to her patients. Recognizing the importance of treating both body and spirit, she asked herself “How do I better do that?” She explains, “I needed more resources. I wanted to better solidify what I had,” referring to her already proven ministry experience and gifts.
The National Baptist Congress (NBC)
The National Baptist Congress (NBC) met virtually, due to the current pandemic, this past weekend. During this annual Vision Conference, attendees learned how National Baptist Congress (NBC) is, in partnership with Northern Seminary, providing essential training in time of COVID 19:
- Provide on-demand, 365 education through the online platform “Seminary Now” to train lay church leaders and those who are unable to seek a degree program.
- Grant adult conference registrants one year of access to Seminary Now platform from time of registration at no additional cost. Access will extend beyond agreement termination between NBC and Northern, if applicable.
- Provide theological and ministerial Master’s degree programs to train professionals and leaders seeking graduate-level education. Admission and financial details to be sent to NBC for dissemination.
Watch for other updates on this partnership in this newsletter.
Meanwhile, be safe as you integrate back into your life of ministry and work for the sake of the Kingdom.
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