Seminary Now Expands to Train More Church Leaders

Northern Seminary is honored to announce that, starting in 2022, the streaming video platform Seminary Now will reach more pastors and lay leaders than ever before. With the support of Lilly Endowment funds, Seminary Now will develop new courses on the topics most needed by church leaders today.

This partnership also enables Seminary Now to collaborate with other ATS accredited seminaries to produce and distribute high-quality courses. The expanded network will create a robust and integrated platform to impact the lives of 7,500 users and 400 congregations in North America alone.

So far, six seminaries have signed on as collaborators in the project: Calvin Theological Seminary, North Park Theological Seminary, Ambrose Seminary (Calgary), Western Theological Seminary (Michigan), B.H. Carroll Theological Institute, and the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. The Lilly Endowment grant is a multi-year project through the year 2025.

By providing non-degree video courses directly to church leaders and lay ministers, Seminary Now has proven to be an effective way to equip congregational leaders whom seminaries do not traditionally reach. With an affordable $20 monthly subscription, users get unlimited access to dozens of streaming video courses taught by leading professors and authors. Seminary Now’s innovative approach offers quality academic content to equip churches to thrive.

Dr. Thomas Tanner, Association of Theological Schools (ATS) Commission Director of Accreditation and liaison to Northern Seminary, observed about Seminary Now: “I have been privileged to see many different creative approaches to seminary education among ATS member schools, and Northern’s Seminary Now is one of the most distinctive I’ve seen. . . Seminary Now’s course content, quality instructors, delivery methods, and economic model are a wonderful blend that brings the best of graduate theological education to a larger constituency.”

Funds from the Lilly Endowment will be used to (1) increase Seminary Now’s capacity to reach more church leaders and congregations, (2) develop 16 new courses on the topics most needed by congregations and pastoral leaders, including content that addresses the unique challenges of ministry today as well as courses relevant to congregations of color, (3) partner with other ATS-accredited seminaries to produce 32 new video courses, (4) develop on-ramps to seminary degree programs, and (5) provide access to under-resourced churches and congregations of color.

Jason Gile, Executive Director of Seminary Now, commented: “Through partnerships with collaborating seminaries, we’re excited to expand the reach of Seminary Now, both to the many church leaders for whom a degree program is out of reach and to those who may find Seminary Now a first step into deeper education.”

Dr. Bill Shiell, President of Northern Seminary said, “We are so grateful to the Lilly Foundation for their partnership to expand theological education through churches. Under Jason Gile’s leadership, in just two years, Seminary Now has become a platform for over 1600 people and churches to grow in discipleship and deepen their walks with Christ. We are excited to share this initiative with more seminaries and create multiple training pathways.”

Here is what others have shared regarding Seminary Now’s unique model:

“We are excited about how Seminary Now will bring together the resources of schools and other organizations . . . to reach a much bigger and broader audience than each of them would be able to on their own. In the process, we think the Seminary Now project will build up the church by offering quality educational resources.” -Felix Theonugraha, President of Western Theological Seminary (Michigan)

“Seminaries learn and adapt best when they are rooted in the life of local churches and connected to church leaders. . . Calvin Seminary is excited to be involved in Seminary Now as we recognize that it is only together that we will be able to meet the challenges of the current church context and equip more leaders for God’s kingdom ministry.” -Julius Medenblik, President of Calvin Theological Seminary

“The design of courses, ease of accessibility, and broad application of the Seminary Now program will appeal to both seminary educated, non-seminary educated, and seminary-curious leaders in the church. The courses produced through this collaboration will have multiple applications and serve multiple constituencies at the same time. . . Through the high-quality courses being developed in Seminary Now, more church leaders, both lay and clergy, will have the opportunity to enrich their ministry through the knowledge and instruction they will receive through the courses. These individuals can in turn share this knowledge with others in the church.” -David Kersten, Dean of North Park Theological Seminary

To celebrate this momentous occasion, we are sharing a special holiday offer! Learn more and subscribe to start learning today. You can also help provide free and subsidized resources to under-resourced pastors, ministry leaders, and churches who need it most by sponsoring a subscription today! Your charitable gift may be tax deductible.

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