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Blog #1

In this first blog post, I want to introduce myself, my passion for ministry, and my commitment to it.

I am a fourth-generation Christian. My great-grandfather was the first believer in our family and a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ.   Today, we would call him bi-vocational as he was also a full-time farmer.

 Late in life, as a second career, my father attended Bible college and became a minister at the age of 62.  My father-in-law, Walter Smith, retired from the US Postal Service in his 50’s and became a second-career minister for 18 years.   After working in other occupations for years, 3 of my brothers-in-law answered the call to ministry: one to the local pulpit, one to music evangelism, and one to foreign missions in what is now war-torn Ukraine.  One sister started Bible college in the early ’60s, stopped out to marry, and, while raising 2 daughters, finished her degree some 20 years later to join her husband in music ministry and missions in Haiti.   I am the exception in my family, as I went straight from high school to Bible college and into ministry.  However, even I had a delayed experience.  I finished my master's degree in 1977 but did not start my doctorate until 2004. I completed it in 2007—30 years later.  As you can see, we are a ministry family.

But more to the point, for the work of Northwind Institute and Seminary, we are a family of non-traditional-age leaders who took all or a good part of their ministry training later in life.

This is why I’m committed to Northwind. Our work is unique.

·         We are providing theological and ministry education to many who would have no access to it otherwise. 

·         Northwind follows a teaching method that allows a motivated non-traditional learner to study at their own pace and on their schedule. 

·         You may be thinking that lots of schools have flexible online programs these days.  But what is unique at Northwind is that the program allows the student to pursue the training that is meaningful for them whatever their life situation.  The degrees in specialized ministry afford the student the flexibility to focus on areas of service that are important to them.  We have students who are chaplains, local ministers, counselors, church elders, writers, teachers, missionaries, and community developers. 

This flexibility allows the student to contextualize their education to their ministry context. That’s why I’m at Northwind. It is training that serves the student no matter where they live and no matter where they are in the stages of life.  It is training for contextualized ministry.  In my next blog, I will explain the concept of contextualized ministry and my commitment to it. 

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1 Comment

Jun 06

Nice blog post. I enjoyed reading it. I look forward to more.

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