Open Doors on the Way

By: William D. Shiell

I’m so excited to join the Northern community. On Monday evening, I moved into a two bedroom apartment in Lindner Tower, and I will spend my first three months immersing myself into Northern life. Thank you so much to Karen Walker Freeburg and our team at the seminary for making this transition so smooth. I’ve felt your prayers and support along the way.

God is always “opening doors of faith.” After Paul and Barnabas traveled on mission, they returned to their churches to hear how God converted the Gentiles. When they heard these reports, they connected to the people, experienced the joy of the gospel, and received the grace that comes in goodbye. In the same way, I hope we can share together how God is opening doors of faith in your world and mine.

Over the past month, my family and I have experienced plenty of excitement, anticipation, and sadness. We are eager to be in a new place and sad to say goodbye to people we love. Along the way, we have felt God’s presence and guiding hand. Our boys Parker and Drake will finish the school year while we sell our home in Tallahassee. I’m going to see them periodically during this transition time, and they will move to the Chicago area in June. They’re competitive swimmers, and we are planning for them to join the Westmont Swim Team when they arrive.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be meeting with the Northern family of students, staff, faculty, alumni, trustees, and churches. We will have a busy time– and a fun time– getting to know each other. I would love to hear about God’s work in your midst and how I can pray for you during this season of Lent. Some of you have already found me on facebook. You can also connect with me by email or on social media (

Just as Paul and Barnabas heard reports among the churches, Revelation 3:8 promises the same for us today. God “has set before you an open door that no one can shut.” I’ve certainly watched that door open in my life. The risen Christ goes before us to open doors through the power of the resurrection. What door is Christ opening for you?



March 4, 2016

William D. Shiell

President, Professor of Pastoral Theology and Preaching

ABOUT William

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