President’s June Newsletter

Dear Northern Friends,

For most institutions, June means a slower month—not at Northern. Our students are launching into mission and learning even more about their faith. Our team is on the road sharing the good news of God’s work this year.


On June 8, Northern Seminary graduated 26 pastoral leaders, most of whom are already serving in rural, urban, and suburban congregations. The Seminary’s 104th commencement ceremony marked the second cohort graduating from the Master of Arts in Worship track, the first graduates from the Baugh scholars for women in ministry, and the first graduate from the Master of Arts in Urban Leadership program.


The Doctor of Theological Ministry (DTM) is a professional doctoral degree designed to equip current ministers for advanced ministerial practice through advanced, applied theological instruction for ministry in a selected area of concentration.
The DTM is designed to deepen the student’s capacity for service and leadership within their self-selected context and area(s) of ministry, through rigorous academics, interpersonal growth via intensive seminars with colleagues from diverse backgrounds, and personal and professional growth.


For the past 9 years, 26 students have had the opportunity to study at Jerusalem University College. Pray for two more students who are in the Holy Land in June.


MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2019
Think of a community that is divided, xenophobic, arrogant, challenged by a corrupt culture, and backbiting. If you’re thinking of the churches in first century Rome, you’re right. Paul wrote his most famous and significant letter to a community with all sorts of challenges. It’s a shame we often neglect the community and the people behind this very important letter.
There may be no more helpful letter that churches need to hear about and understand than Paul’s letter to Romans. Join Dr. Scot McKnight as he unpacks how Paul’s letter to the Romans was more than something to be argued about. Romans is a persuasive letter to a group of people that took its message and changed the course of history.


June also marks the end of the Northern fiscal year. Your commitment to Northern has made it possible for God to provide and move in awesome ways. We have increased enrollment 25%, over the past three years, and this year we have:

  • Opened the Greater Cincinnati Center
  • Relocated the South Side Center for Urban Leadership to New Life Covenant Southeast Youth Center
  • Awarded $276,000 in scholarships, an increase of 40% over last year
  • Awarded most of our scholarships to women (51%) and persons of color (53%)
  • Decreased the number of students in federal student loan debt to 16%

In the process, our students have grown in their love for the Lord and for God’s word. As Julie Close, current MANT student writes:

“The MANT program has expanded my understanding of scripture by teaching and underscoring the importance of the context of scripture. Too often, the Church (me included) has taught scripture from a modern, Western mindset: we interpret it through the lens of our culture and our time. But our culture, our thinking, our writing is so vastly different from the ancient cultures of either the Old or the New Testaments. Immersing oneself within these ancient contexts (to the extent that it’s possible) offers a richer, fuller, more authentic interpretation of the story of God. Understanding what was happening in the first-century Church is important to understand why Paul, for example, said what he said. Context is everything.”

Next year promises to be even more exciting:
  • Our scholarship awards will continue to increase
  • All MDiv and MACM tuition costs will decrease, and current MA students will remain the same
  • Any student will be able to complete the MDiv and MACM via Northern Live, and our new curricula in both programs will allow students to be supervised by the congregation or ministry site wherever they are located around the world
  • We will begin a new church planting residency in partnership with ABC of Michigan
  • We will launch a new Doctor of Theological Ministry degree program. This program will allows students without a Master of Divinity degree to begin doctoral work at Northern

Help us finish the fiscal year by making your gift to the Northern fund by June 30. Your gift will assist students who are unable to pay their tuition bills this year.

Becky Castle Miller has just recently released a study guide to Scot McKnight’s book Following King Jesus.

Becky writes: “Following King Jesus offers 24 lessons in a workbook format. Each lesson has a section for personal study and a section for a small group experience. The lessons begin with a short reading from one of Scot’s books, followed by reflection questions on the reading, a personal Bible study, a prayer time, a way to put the learning into action, and a journaling prompt to process the lesson. In the small group guide, there are questions to discuss the reading and Bible study together, an activity to do as a group, and a suggestion for a creative way to pray for each other. At the end of each lesson is a reminder to rest, a vital part of healthy discipleship.”

Yes, we do rest around here, but we also recognize that the work of the church never stops. We’re praying for you this summer as you embark on the important work of sharing the gospel. Let us know how you are seeing God at work this summer!

Your friend,

William D. Shiell
President, Northern Seminary

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