President’s May Newsletter

Dear Northern Friends,

Now more than ever, Christians need theological training on their schedule. We’re excited to announce the launch of Seminary Now, a subscription-based platform designed to help you grow in faith and minister in Jesus’ name. We are so grateful for those who have made this learning platform possible, especially the leadership of Dr. Jason Gile, Dean of Program Development and Innovation, and our partners InterVarsity Press.

Seminary Now

It’s here! Seminary Now, the new on-demand educational platform we announced in November, is now ready for you to subscribe.

Seminary Now offers on-demand video courses to educate and enrich the ministry of pastors and lay church leaders. “Our vision for Seminary Now began after church and denominational leaders expressed the need for on-demand training for pastors and church leaders unable to attend seminary,” says William Shiell, President of Northern Seminary.

Courses feature teachers from across institutions who share Northern’s commitment to the church and to theological education while utilizing a unique on-demand format at an affordable price. For some, Seminary Now is a first step into theological education, and for others, it will be continuing education.

For only $19.99/mo or $179.88/year, subscribers get unlimited access to all video courses (with new courses being released every month), as well as access to monthly live Q & A’s with our instructors starting this summer.

Join today and you can watch Scot McKnight teach his class on Jesus and the Gospels!

As a friend of Northern, you receive a 20% discount (pay only $144/year). Visit for a preview of the course offerings. At signup, enter “NorthernFriends20” in the Discount Code section. Feel free to share this opportunity with friends by email, but wait to share Seminary Now on social media until our public launch in July.

For more information about the program or group subscriptions, please contact Jason Gile (; ph: 630-620-2105).


What does the church do now as a result of COVID-19? Northern Seminary is offering three mission innovation courses open to anyone this summer. Churches and church leaders will learn to design creative ministries, stabilize finances, and refresh their preaching. COVID-19 offers the church an incredible opportunity to share the gospel and train people biblically. Click on the links below to learn more.

Hugh Halter, Assistant Director of the Grow Center, will be leading a class on how to respond as the church after cultural changes and life after COVID-19.


Nijay Gupta, Professor of New Testament at Northern, will be teaching a class on Phillipians. How does this prison epistle speak to the church amidst a global pandemic? How does faith and joy flourish during suffering?


How does the stewardship in the Old Testament, the generosity of Jesus, the early practices of the church, inform our current realities?  Join renowned Gary Hoag, President and CEO of Global Trust Partners, as he trains the church in developing a theology of stewardship, how to create a budget, where to invest resources, and how to practice strategic generosity.


Northern Seminary Professor’s Team
Feeding 225,000 People
During COVID-19 Pandemic

Used with permission from University of Chicago.

Water and food donations from UChicago are received and distributed April 15, 2020 at St. Columbanas Church on the South Side. (Photo by Jean Lachat)
Covid-19 food donation.

Christopher Toote manages many things in his life. He has earned a PhD and MBA and now serves as the Executive Director of UChicago Dining services for The University of Chicago in the Division of Campus Life and Student Services.

When Dr. Toote is not busy on University of Chicago’s campus, he also serves people in Chicagoland as the Executive Pastor at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church and as an adjunct faculty member for Northern Seminary in suburban Lisle, IL.



On May 3, 2020, Donald W. Dayton passed away in Huntington Hospital in Pasadena California. His scholarship has made a lasting impact on all concerned with evangelicalism, Methodism, the holiness movement, and Pentecostalism.

In a recent obituary, a news source noted: “Friends and families of the deceased are broken by the passing of their beloved one who has just died. It is with a deep sense of grief that affected individuals mourn and shared the heartbreaking news on social media.”

Northern Seminary’s Betty R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology, Dr. David Fitch, colleague and associate of Dr. Dayton, remembers his long-time friend in a special tribute.


Northern School Year Ending Successfully Despite Pandemic

We are grateful that our Spring Term was not harmed by the COVID-19 outbreak, but the lives of our students and their churches will never be the same. We have already assisted students with financial needs and are adapting our innovative teaching to fit the new realities of ministry.

Those students today represent 48 states and 10 countries around the world where families have been able to stay in their homes, church families and communities as they learn to teach others about God’s love, grace and mercy and how to demonstrate that grace to their neighbors in need.

Today, we are doing everything we can to make sure those students can stay in school, honoring their call to stay in school. We continue programs that make it possible for them to access interest-free funds to help pay for their education, thanks to a generous donor family. We also have researched and found them scholarship and grant opportunities to make ends meet, as many of them have lost jobs during this pandemic.

So, if God has blessed you have the finances to help, we ask that you prayerfully give now to help these students. We need to raise $250,000 by June 30 to assist these students who have no funds for rent, childcare and so much more. Thank you for considering how you can keep these students in school to help them prepare to move to the frontlines of ministry – a calling that is needed now more than ever during these chaotic, historic days we face. These are the days, however, that more people are open the help and comfort only God provides.

Thank you for giving so the Church will be more prepared to extend God’s love to those suffering in this pandemic.


If you have prayer needs, please send them to Marlene will make sure your prayer needs are shared with staff for prayer. If your prayer is confidential, include that with your prayer request, so Marlene and I alone will remember you in prayer.

Grateful for you, your friendship, and support,

William D. Shiell
President, Northern Seminary

Ready to start your seminary Experience?

Apply Now