The President’s May Newsletter

Dear Friends,

The pandemic has become a catalyst for calling new pastors to serve in ministry. This spring, Northern Seminary will graduate the largest class in over 20 years. We have admitted 20% even more students this Spring than the same time last year. We praise the Lord for this trend. When the world’s needs are greatest, God’s call is the loudest.

That’s not the case for every pastor, of course. Some trends suggest that nearly 25% are planning to leave full time ministry as a result of the pandemic. If that’s true, then why are so many people saying yes to God’s call and coming to Northern to confirm that calling.

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Commencement week marks historic celebrations

Join us June 10-12 for a historic week of celebration and blessing.

Virtual Lombard Campus Celebration, June 10
Northern completed the sale of the Lombard campus in April. A full announcement is available on our website. To mark this “Ebenezer moment,” join us for a virtual celebration ceremony on June 10 at noon CST at the Lisle Center. You may register here  for the celebration service.

Virtual Student Convocation June 11
Via Facebook Live, 4:00 p.m. CT
Our student speaker will be Garrett Black, graduating with his Master of Arts in Theological Studies. Garrett is the Student Ministry Pastor at Hobson Road Community Church and a freelance photographer and videographer.

Commencement June 12
The commencement service will take place on Saturday, June 12th, at 10:00 AM in the main sanctuary of Christ Church of Oak Brook, located at 501 Oak Brook Rd. Oak Brook, IL 60523. There will be signs to help you find the parking.

The 2021 Commencement speaker will be Dr. John Upton, executive director of the Baptist General Association of Virginia.

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the african american network: embracing christians who work in the marketplace

Historically, black churches have been incubators for black professionals. Black men and women have encountered God through spirit-filled Sunday services and have been inspired by the Holy Spirit to do greater works of service. Most commonly, we hear about men feeling called to be pastors and women feeling compelled to serve within the church as lay members. Not often do we hear about the countless number of individuals who feel called to serve God in the marketplace. From classrooms to hospitals, men and women have found the faith and inspiration from church to live out their purpose at companies, universities, banks, public offices, stores and more. Many black men and women work hard in their field of choice under the theological presumption that God is with them and because of His sacrifice they too must lay down their lives for a greater cause.  READ MORE>

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ALS Family of Faith Needs Chaplains 

Thanks to the incredible response from our alumni, we have already served more than 20 people affected by ALS. As a Northern alum, are you interested in providing pastoral care while earning a stipend for your ministry? Northern alumni have a unique opportunity to continue to grow their ministry and serve those in need by serving as a Care Partner for the ALS Family of Faith. To learn more, please contact Sarah Lee at smartel@thegrowcenter.com.

VISIT THE FAMILY OF FAITH WEBSITE > 


 

NORTHERN STUDENTS PUBLISH BOOK ON FORMING A CULTURE OF WISDOM

For several Northern Seminary students, finishing a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program involves more than earning a degree. It also includes becoming a published author. The DMin in New Testament Context cohort that began in 2017 has just published Wise Church: Forming a Wisdom Culture in Your Local Church, edited by professor of New Testament Scot McKnight and Daniel J. Hanlon.

“The very prospect of writing a chapter that will get published motivates students,” says Dr. McKnight. “Add to this the challenge of living up to their peer evaluations and responses and we have a good mixture of ingredients that challenge students to do good work.”

Each cohort focuses on a  topic of interest to the professors, the students, and the church. A previous cohort published in 2018 Conflict Management and the Apostle Paul, edited by Scot McKnight and Greg Mamula. For the newest book, McKnight suggested the theme of wisdom. “Increasingly we are a youth-icized church culture and increasingly we are devaluing the wisdom of the gray hairs and bald people who have so much to give to our churches. So we worked on wisdom.”

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EVANGELISM BEFORE AND AFTER THE PANDEMIC

What does evangelism look like in this season of the church? Pastor Jeff Banman, who graduates in June 2021, shares his reflections and offers direction for the church engaging the world.

“The first thing I remember about meeting Mike was the tattoos.  The entire back of his bald head was covered in howling wolves.  He was built like a tank, and I felt he could break me in two if he wanted.

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NORTHERN PARTNERS WITH THE BGAV TO TRAIN PASTORAL LEADERS

Through BGAV Callie Jo (CJ) found a connection to Northern Seminary, where she is currently enrolled in the Master of Divinity program. “I love that BGAV has partnered up with Northern,” Revere says. “It makes me feel comfortable about attending.”

In 2019, BGAV and Northern Seminary formed a partnership for distance education. Through interactive live-streaming classes and local intensive gatherings, Northern delivers accessible theological education to students in Virginia. Students can choose a Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, or Certificate program, plus one of several specializations.

The partnership has also allowed her to pursue further education while continuing to serve and lead at her church.

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MAE ELISE CANNON WANTS TO HELP CHRISTIANS SEEK COMPREHENSIVE JUSTICE

Northern alumna Dr. Mae Elise Cannon has used her experience at Northern to “enter deeply into theological questions while also putting spiritual formation and disciplines into practice.” Her studies also connected with her work, including elements explored in her new book.

“In writing Beyond Hashtag Activism, I felt like the words represented the cry of my soul,” Cannon says. “The church has never been more divided politically, and I wanted to write about real issues facing the church in the 21st century—from theological debates around sexuality, to struggles related to racial justice, to questions concerning Middle East peace. In that regard, I think the subtitle, ‘Comprehensive Justice in a Complicated Age,’ is very appropriate.”

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