The President’s October Newsletter

Dear Friends,

October is pastor appreciation month. The Barna Institute reports that 29% of pastors are thinking about resigning from church ministry because of COVID-19.
 So what do pastors need at this moment to show they’re supported? Usually, it’s not a hallmark card or a casserole. Depending on how they’re wired, your pastors will appreciate personal, relational, and holistic ways to pour into them. 



Northern Enrollment: Growing Fast

There is much to be celebrated at Northern Seminary! We’ve reached the end of another enrollment season and by God’s grace and the collective teamwork of Northern’s enrollment team, staff and faculty we’ve achieved another year of growth. In the summer of 2021 Northern Seminary graduated 65 students, which was the largest graduating class the institution has seen in many years. In the Fall of 2021, we received one of largest incoming classes to date with over 100 students admitted.

A successful season of new enrollment is largely due to the Seminary’s commitment to relevant and engaging programming and personnel. We’d like to celebrate the launch of our Center for Women’s Studies program which welcomed a group of motivated leaders looking to dive deeper into how women have shaped theology and the church. Our new faculty members Dr. Lynn Cohick, Dr. Beth Felker-Jones and Dr. Marshall Hatch have played a tremendous role in the attraction of students and commitment to Northern Seminary’s mission.

As we look ahead, we are confident that Northern’s innovation, consistent degree offerings and commitment to Leading the Church and Engaging the World will continue to increase the number for students that will call Northern home or many years to come.


Ann Louise Scholarship

Under the direction of Northern President, Dr. William D. Shiell, and Northern Provost, Dr. Lynn H. Cohick, we are proud to launch the Ann Louise Scholarship to provide training for women in pastoral leadership positions.

Over the next four years, we will award the new Ann Louise Scholarship to at least 25 students in our MA in Women’s Studies program, the women’s studies concentration for the MDiv program, and the future DMin program focused on women in theology to offset the cost of theological education. These scholarships will provide $200,000 in financial assistance to students in these programs.

Launched just over one week ago at Northern’s annual Founders Day celebration we have already raised $137,000 toward our goal of $200,000 in scholarship! Will you please help us reach this audacious goal? You can give online at, select “Founders Day” in the drop down. Together we will raise high the banner of women in ministry – Thank you!



In Honor of Dr. Scot McKnight

In mid-September, Dr. Nijay K. Gupta surprised Dr. Scot McKnight (over Facetime) with a tribute book written in honor of McKnight’s illustrious career. The book is called Living the King Jesus Gospel, and offers essays on discipleship and ministry. Editors and contributors of the book include Northern alum Tara Beth Leach and Derwin Gray, as well as many friends and colleagues of Scot who have benefited from his work. Our own provost, Dr. Lynn Cohick wrote a chapter as well. McKnight has dedicated his life and career to proclaiming the good news of King Jesus, and this book honors and engages with his rich scholarship.

Click here read a bit more about this project.





Join The Center for Women in Leadership for this unique one-day event centered on Dr. Scot McKnight and Laura Barringer’s book, A Church Called Tov. Tov is a Hebrew word that means goodness. In a world that has long denied, ignored, or flat out rejected the voices of women, this important conversation will help us shape a future where the contributions of women are known and celebrated.


Recapping the Annual Brady Lecture

On September 23rd and September 24th, Dr. Michael Gorman from St. Mary’s Seminary (Baltimore, MD) delivered the annual Brady Theology & Mission Lectures.

Dr. Gorman’s lectures focused on the missional theology displayed in Paul’s letters. Specifically, Dr. Gorman examined the prepositions Paul employs to describe our participation with God. The Greek prepositions in the Pauline letters, in (en), with (syn), and into (eis) reveal that being in Christ, being baptized into Jesus, and being co-crucified with the Messiah means that the church is on the move.

Through detailed exegetical analysis and practical wisdom Dr. Gorman drew attention to the corporate and collegial nature of the Christian life. A panel discussion and questions from the audience gave time and space to discuss how Paul’s missional words impact the church today.

If you would like to watch a recording of the lecture email Mike Moore at



24 hour Global Church Forum

The Grow Center is hosting their 2nd annual Global Church Forum, a 24-hour online conference full of amazing speakers with intriguing content. Best part is you can pick and choose what you’d like to listen to and jump in throughout the day. So check out each topic. Each session ranges from 30-45 minutes. Pick 1 or pick 5. Listen to what they have to say, and don’t forget to invite friends and family to join you in on the fun and thought-provoking conversations. Register today for free at




Your friend,
William D. Shiell
President and Professor of Pastoral Theology and Preaching, Northern Seminary

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