Welcome to Seminary

Twenty-two years ago, I entered seminary. I still remember the first lonely night, wondering where I was and who I would meet. Before I arrived, I knew one person in my seminary class. He and I graduated from the same university. That night, a stranger knocked at my door, announced he was in my class, and asked for a ride to the convocation service. This was the days before Facebook and location tracking. I still have no idea how he knew where I lived.

This “welcome to seminary” was just the first of many times that I experienced what seminary is supposed to do. We meet people at the intersection of God’s call and a church context. We have either chosen or are in the process of moving to a new world. Many of us are working in churches or seeking placement in a congregation to test the waters of a new calling. The experience is disconcerting, strange, stressful, and exhilarating simultaneously. We comfort one another, teachers challenge our thinking, we learn Jesus’ teachings, and we serve the church.

I imagine that the disciples on the road to Emmaus experienced many of the same emotions. In Luke 24, Jesus catches up with disciples on the road to Emmaus. The resurrected Lord meets dismayed followers. At the table, Jesus teaches the scriptures; they share a meal; their hearts burn as one. In hindsight—even years down the road—they recognize his presence with them.

Students are already gathering at Northern Seminary for the Fall Term. Our New Testament cohort met last week. New student orientation is Saturday. Classes begin Monday, September 26. Fall convocation is that evening.

Some of these students have uprooted from one place and are planting their lives in Chicagoland for the next season. Most are already in local congregations, living out their calling. Whether they live near the intersection of Butterfield Road at the Lombard Campus or near Cermak Road at the Lawndale Campus, our students will have a wide range of experiences. They’ll be uncomfortable, excited, teachable, and fruitful. Here at the crossroads of God’s call and their context, we will teach the concepts for a life-long journey of ministry.

Pray for our faculty as they prepare for these students. Pray for our staff as they work through the last minute details of registration, financial aid, and student services. Pray for our students that they will experience all the wonder, joy, and fulfillment of Northern Seminary. Pray that they will recognize the presence of Christ on the road with us.

Latest Blog Entry

Northern Graduates 58 Pastoral Leaders

By: Northern Seminary

William D. Shiell  This month, 58 students graduated from Northern Seminary, ready to lead the church and engage the world. Over the last two years, we’ve graduated 120 students, the…

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