The President’s September Newsletter

A Journey without an App to Guide You

This summer, I had one of those all-too-familiar rideshare nightmares. Ever since COVID-19, more people have been using Uber or Lyft and complaining about the process of getting from one place to another. In our case, we were leaving a baseball game and needed to make two stops: one at our hotel, the other to drop off my friend at his house. But when we tried to program the app to make two stops, Uber blocked us. Since the route to my friend’s house passed right by the hotel, we asked the Uber driver to drop us off on the way. Reluctantly yet honestly, the driver said, “I can only do what the app said.” And then he muttered the consequences for him if he violated the rules. He felt helpless and afraid because Uber did not have regulations about the customer relationship. “Just help the customer get where they want to go” is not in the manual.  

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Summer Intensives: 9 classes held; 114 Students taught

  In September, a group of about 20 students (safely!) gathered on campus for a week of intensive study of Philippians and Philemon. Students journeyed to Lisle from Oregon, Indiana, Michigan, and students on Zoom in Canada. Some of our students are working overseas in Germany and Turkey. It was an incredible week of lectures, discussions, worship with song (outside), shared meals, prayer, and more. Each morning, students got into small groups and spent the first 30 minutes of class hearing each other’s life story and praying for one another. As we studied Philippians and Philemon, we dug deep into academic questions of situation, background, themes, and content, but we also talked about how these texts shape our understanding of the gospel and how we are formed personally and communally by holy Scripture. I did a short survey when students left at the end of the week and the word that kept coming up over and over again: healing. As it should be! Scripture and community—hosted and cultivated by Northern Seminary—should be restorative, challenging, and equipping for life and ministry. As I flew out of ORD back to Oregon I was convinced all the more that even in these rocky times, the God of the gospel is still doing great things!

Thank you to Dr. Nijay Gupta for this story — it is one among many coming out of our summer intensives!

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Northern’s African Pastoral Training Institute

From the time Dr. Wayne “Coach” Gordon helped create the Africa Pastoral Training Institute (APTI), he had plans to turn it over to others. Transferring leadership to Kenyans is not only critical for the program to grow, he believes; it also fulfills the apostle Paul’s instructions to entrust these teachings to reliable people who can in turn teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2). In fact, the APTI originated with the desires and dedication of Kenyan pastors. 

From the time Dr. Wayne “Coach” Gordon helped create the Africa Pastoral Training Institute (APTI), he had plans to turn it over to others. Transferring leadership to Kenyans is not only critical for the program to grow, he believes; it also fulfills the apostle Paul’s instructions to entrust these teachings to reliable people who can in turn teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2). In fact, the APTI originated with the desires and dedication of Kenyan pastors. 

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Grow Center with William Adjei

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You’re invited to Founders Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are invited to Northern Seminary’s annual Founders Day Celebration on Thursday, October 7, 2021, from 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (CST).  We invite you to be our guest either in-person in the Emmanuel Chapel at our Lisle Center (lunch provided) or online via Northern Live.

Northern Seminary’s innovative programs are strengthening the call of Gospel ministers everyday.  Amid the noise and chaos of our world, pastoral leaders are hearing the voice of God and today, they are saying, “Here am I, send me!” We want to show you more and invite you to support our students with scholarships.

During This Celebration You Will:

HEAR our Keynote Speaker, Keri Ladouceur. Keri is the Community Pastor at Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois, and a Northern Student in the Master of Arts in New Testament program.
REJOICE in what God is doing through Northern Seminary as you hear stories from President Bill Shiell and others!
CELEBRATE our anniversary classes of 1971 (50 Years) and 1996 (25 Years).
GIVE towards Scholarships for the Master of Arts in Women’s Studies program. We have received a generous challenge grant of $100,000 towards this project and our Founder’s Day goal is to match this dollar for dollar for a total of $200,000 raised toward scholarships.

To Attend our 2021 Founders Day Celebration in-person or online please  RSVP at this link:  www.seminary.edu/news/foundersday or by calling Phil Bailey at 630.620.2126

Can’t attend but want to support students? You can give online at this link: www.seminary.edu/connect/donate/ (Select Fund: Founders Day) to Support Scholarships for Students. Thank you for your partnership with us in ministry – see you on Founder’s Day!


 

Doctor of ministry student perspectives on pastoring during the pandemic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastoring in a Crisis

“Pastor, I have the 24th case of COVID-19 in the state of Tennessee.”

It was a normal Saturday morning when I heard these words. I sat there stunned, almost speechless. At that point, we knew very little about the disease. I was worried for my friend, and I was worried for our church. The man who called me is a Sunday School teacher and deacon. The previous Sunday he taught class, and had handled our offering plates. Did this mean the whole church was exposed? Do we close public worship down? Does that make me a coward and display a lack of faith?

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Self Care in a Crisis

The pastoral crisis poses a threat.

Something has happened. Something unexpected has impacted the culture of the congregation. It is something that can’t be ignored. The pastor and the leadership of the church are tasked with shepherding—What will they do? How will they respond? How will they ensure the congregation will get through this?

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

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