Rev. Dr. John Bowling Named Acting President of Northern Seminary

LISLE, IL, March 6, 2023 – The Board of Trustees at Northern Seminary officially announced its unanimous decision to name Rev. Dr. John C. Bowling as Acting President of Northern Seminary. The announcement comes while Dr. William Shiell, Northern’s current President, remains on administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations concerning his leadership and management style.

Bowling served as President of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL, from 1991-2021 before stepping down to retire. Before that, he served as Senior Pastor of College Church of the Nazarene in Bourbonnais and as Senior Pastor of First Church of the Nazarene in Dallas. Bowling holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and a Master of Arts in Theology from Olivet Nazarene University, a Master of Religious Education and Doctor of Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Southern Methodist University. He also completed post-doctoral work at Harvard University. Bowling is the author of multiple books, including Grace-full Leadership: Understanding the Heart of a Christian Leader.

“Northern Seminary has a distinguished history of service to the Church and its present-day programs are rooted in scripture and designed to meet the needs of a diverse student body,” Bowling said. “I am honored to serve alongside its nationally recognized faculty and dedicated staff.”

Fay Quanstrom, Vice Chair of the Northern Board of Trustees added this of Bowling’s appointment: “In addition to his impressive resume, Dr. Bowling brings a dynamic and warm interest and understanding of a theological education that is needed for today.”

Bowling’s official tenure is effective immediately.


About Northern Seminary

Northern Seminary was founded in 1913 to educate Christian leaders to be personally whole, spiritually mature, biblically grounded, theologically competent, pastoral, evangelistic, and prophetic. Since that time, over 4,000 students have graduated; today, alumni serve in 50 states and 30 countries. Northern offers Masters and Doctoral degrees to students through live-streaming classes and on-site intensive classes.


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Northern Seminary