Standing Together on the Brink

By: Northern Seminary

William D. Shiell 

We have so much to celebrate at Northern Seminary. As I mentioned last month, we graduated 58 from the class of 2022. In addition to the strong core master’s and doctoral programs, Seminary Now has exceeded 2,000 subscribers and welcomed 60 churches and groups onto the platform. The Grow Center has now trained over 400 marketplace entrepreneurial leaders and provided chaplain support for 120 persons with ALS.  

As Parker Palmer writes, we live in a time when life feels “on the brink of everything.”i In this summer of massacres from Uvalde to Highland Park, we need to be reminded that Northern’s pastoral leaders are preaching prophetically and engaging personally in our communities. They are wise, discerning leaders who are prepared for “such a time as this.” They are sharing the gospel, discipling believers, ministering to trauma victims, and compassionately serving their neighborhoods.  

Pastor Cathy Bruce, one of Northern’s class of 2022, describes the impact of her education on their ministry in New York City. “You can go have a walk with Jesus by yourself, and you’ll grow a little. But when you walk with Jesus in community, it takes your growth to another level. Seminary was like that for me.” 

The Northern community rekindles the gift of God in the heart of each student (2 Timothy 1:6). Their work here online, in person, on-demand, and in community gives them the spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. This summer we’ve welcomed over 50 students to weeklong intensives from Portland to Chicago. They are partly a reunion with friends, part spiritual boot camp, and part personal revitalization. More students are on the way this August for that very reason.  

Standing on the brink doesn’t always mean we’re about to fall off a cliff. It can mean we’re about to dive into the depths with people we love and people who need us now more than ever. But we need each other, and we need the courage to tell the truth and listen deeply.  

You can help our faith and learning community in this effort.  

  • Pray for the eternal feast today.  

        In Luke 11:1-5, Jesus teaches the disciples to pray for the bread “on the morrow.” In other words, pray to have an appetizer today of the bread that we will taste one day at the marriage supper of the lamb. As our students come, pray that the fellowship around the table will enrich their lives and feed their courage. Pray for a foretaste of the kingdom.  

  • Recommend someone to join our team. Our seminary is growing, and we need people who have a heart for this ministry. We have posted open positions online. But you also might know someone who has a heart for Northern. Connect us by email or Linked In, and introduce them to us. God might be aligning their call with our ministry for this season.
  • Save the Date and join us for these events:

1. Concert for Korean Worship Program 

Sunday, August 21, 2022 

Christ Church of Oak Brook 

5:00 p.m. 

2. Urban Leadership Symposium

Wednesday, September 21

Third Baptist Church of Chicago

3. Founders Day 

Thursday, October 13 

11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. 

4. Center for Women in Leadership Conference 

Tov for Women 

Friday, October 21 

9:00 a.m


Parker J. Palmer, On The Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old (Oakland: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2018), 11

July 15, 2022

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