Yearly Archives: 2018

Notice of Upcoming ATS site visit

The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) is the accrediting agency for Theological Schools in Canada and the US. Northwest Baptist Seminary holds both an accreditation with ATS for its programs offered through the ACTS consortium and an accreditation independently for our Immerse and Korean-language programming. As part of maintaining this accreditation, Northwest is currently preparing a self-study report in advance of an evaluation visit by the accrediting agency. One of our requirements is to let all our constituents know that this site visit will be happening in early Spring and invite your comments or concerns regarding our qualification for accreditation.

We are open to receiving your comments and concerns. If you have any comments or questions about this process, please let us know by e-mailing [email protected]. Please send any comments prior to the New Year.

Thank you for working with us.

Director’s Desk: Interview with Mark Evans

Mark Evans serves as the Associate Pastor at Fellowship Baptist Church in Edmonton, Alberta. Mark grew up and was raised in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island before moving to Edmonton. He has just recently graduated from the Immerse program, the first Fellowship Prairies student to do so. Mark and his wife Brittany also welcomed their first child, Faith, a few months ago. Northwest’s Director of Development Ron Sing talked with Mark to ask him about his family, his ministry and his Immerse experience.

Ron: Who were some of your mentors that were influential in your faith and in shaping your character?

Mark: A number of people had a profound impact on different aspects of my faith. I am thankful for my Mom and Dad, who laid an amazing foundation of trusting God. Pastor Paul Hawkes at Parksville whet my appetite for expositional preaching. Nigel Wheeler in Lethbridge, Alberta taught me systematic theology. John Bonham in Edmonton, Alberta taught me leadership and discipleship and my three Immerse mentors, Jason Hagen, Phil Webb, and Dr. Kent Anderson all pushed me to wrestle with godly character amongst other things! 

Ron: What areas of your life and ministry where most impacted by  Immerse?

Mark: During Immerse, I had to dig deep and work through some personal issues that I didn’t want to address. Without sharing specifics, I had signed up for a church leadership degree program (Immerse) and the biggest impact was in my family life! Immerse gave me a vision for church ministry, leading my family into God’s blessing first, and then from that place of harmony and health, helping others realize that same future – where Christ reigns over all. 

Ron: What is your ministry now? Do you feel you are more prepared and equipped for your ministries after graduating from Immerse?

Mark: I am currently serving in Edmonton at Fellowship Baptist Church where I was recently elected as Associate Pastor. Immerse absolutely gave me the leadership competencies required in this line of Kingdom service. I am deeply thankful to the many saints who have supported the Immerse program with their generous giving and prayers and the leadership of the Northwest team and Fellowship Pacific. Many thanks to all my mentors, family and friends who have supported and encouraged me these past few years! 

Jay James Perkins 1921-2018

Northwest lost a longtime friend of the seminary when Jay Perkins passed away this past July. He was predeceased by his wife Verna in 2014. Because of his love for Christ and his desire to serve Him, Jay lived an extraordinary life. Northwest, along with many other groups in the Fellowship, was greatly impacted by Jay.  

Jay loved to serve God. 

Jay used his skills in accounting and leadership as he served in the Canadian Army, as an entrepreneur, in Church leadership, in Sunday School and on the mission field with his wife Verna. With Dr. Jack Pickford, Jay established the Baptist Foundation, a non-profit agency for senior housing in BC. As a gifted leader, he served on Northwest’s Board of Governors, as a board member and later as chair. In the 70’s, Jay was the Financial Administrator for Northwest and Executive Director of Baptist Housing Ministries. 

Jay loved his family and friends.

In his later life, Jay started a men’s group at Elim Village in Surrey where he mentored many of the residents. He loved to share his wisdom with his family including his many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. 

Jay loved to help our students.

 Jay established two scholarships at Trinity Western University and recently, the Jay and Verna Perkins Bursary Fund at Northwest Baptist Seminary. This special fund gives financial assistance to our students each year. We are very thankful for Jay and the Perkins family for their love and generosity. 

3rd Annual Immerse Graduation

This fall, Northwest hosted its 3rd Immerse graduation in partnership with Fellowship Pacific. Immerse graduations are a particularly special time because they represent the culmination of not only the graduate’s journey but also the cumulative work of Northwest, Fellowship Pacific and local church mentors. To steal a phrase, it takes a village to raise a leader. At graduation, the village comes together to celebrate. So congratulations to the villages of Garry Firth (Meeting Place), Luis Orjuela (Okanagan Hispanic Baptist Church), Jeffrey Scott (Ladner Baptist Church), Steve Vandop (Departure Bay Baptist Church), and Tommy Wong (Oakridge Baptist Church).

This year’s convocation was particularly special as two students from partner networks also walked the stage. Mark Evans became the first graduate from Fellowship Prairies, completing his training at Fellowship Baptist Church in Edmonton. Lindsay Myers is the 7th graduate through the 17:6 Network in Fort Worth, TX. She completed her studies at Church in the Valley in Alhambra, CA. She is the first 17:6 Network graduate to travel north to come and celebrate the occasion with us.

To date, there have been 22 Immerse graduates from four different partner networks. Nearly all of those graduates are currently serving in the roles or ministries for which they trained.  Northwest now offers Immerse in partnership with 11 different networks and this fall has 60 students enrolled in the program. 109 mentors guide those students who are serving in 34 different churches or ministry contexts.

It does take a village to raise a leader, and we are so thankful to all of those who are partnering in this work. 

President’s Pen (Fall 2018)

I recently had the opportunity to offer some help to another seminary that comes from the mainline wing of the Christian movement. I will admit that I asked myself some hard questions as to how this fit within our mission and what some of my predecessors would have said about my being there. When the weekend was over, the dean of this school came to me and said, “Thank you for reminding us of things that we had forgotten in our institutional memory: Scripture, church, and gospel.”

While I took this as an amazing compliment and a testament to the value of my contribution, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “What else is there?” As I think back across the 85-year history of Northwest, I observe that these three things have always defined the direction of our ministry. I am very encouraged to see that they still are. Our whole team remains rock solid in our affirmation of the Bible, the church, and the Christian gospel. May it ever be so.

Of course, we are also becoming known for our particular competency-based focus in theological education. Elsewhere in this newsletter, you will have read about our wildly successful conference. To see a downtown ballroom full of educators there to hear us tell the story about how a seminary can reshape itself to serve its churches, was deeply gratifying. Not only are we making an impact on our own churches, but we are seeing this vision spread.

For example, we are now on the cusp of launching the Immerse program in Colombia. This culminates more than 15 years of work. We believe that what is emerging is going to spread across Latin America for the sake of the church and for the good of the gospel.

This spreading of influence is truly encouraging. We are now in the final stages of forming a partnership, to be known as Symporus. This will be an arms-length company held in partnership with Sioux Falls Seminary and the Pathwright firm out of South Carolina. Together, we are aligning to offer technology and services in support of competency-based theological education across North America and the world. Symporus is going to allow us to serve these opportunities, without distracting us from our core mission here at home.

We are also working on developing a new product line which we intend to call Groundwork. This will provide competency-based theological education to a wider array of people and churches, meeting needs at a more accessible level. Alongside Immerse, Groundwork is going to help us serve lay people, young adults, and people whose calling is something other than vocational pastoral ministry.

In all of this, we are grateful for your support. We are thankful for you and your prayers as well as your financial support. I have little trouble asking you to bless our students with your giving because I have seen the result. There is nothing like seeing people’s gifts and callings blossom through deep, mentored training. All donation income goes directly to students in the form of aid.

To God be the glory.

CBTE 2018 A Success

For two days in November, Northwest played host to the first ever International Conference on Competency-Based Theological Education (CBTE 2018). Thanks to a grant awarded to Northwest by the Association of Theological Schools as part of the Educational Models and Practices Forum, supported by the Lily Endowment, Northwest was able to draw in a broad range of experts from the wider world of competency-based education and from theological education in particular.

In 2011 Northwest became the first seminary in North America to begin experimenting with Competency-Based Theological Education (CBTE), only we didn’t know it at the time. While it took some time to identify the language and relationship to the Competency-Based Education movement occurring elsewhere in higher education, Northwest’s Immerse program has been centred around the values that have become core to the emerging CBTE movement, right from the start. The central values are that students train for ministry by being involved in ministry in the context of the local church, students utilize the learning opportunities their ministry presents at a pace that works for them, students are overseen by mentors in a program that is individually designed, and the program is delivered in partnership between the school, the church, and the denomination. When Northwest began to partner with Fellowship Pacific to outline what would eventually become the Immerse program, we had no idea that this would be the beginning of something completely new and significant in theological education. We just knew we needed to be better at serving our churches.

Jump forward seven years. The ideas behind the Immerse program have been rapidly gaining credence in the broader world of theological education. Northwest, Fellowship Pacific, and their program have garnered significant interest from a wide variety of groups who felt a similar need to serve their ministries better. It was clear that there was a broad-based interest in CBTE throughout North America. When the opportunity arose to pursue a grant that would fund a conference, we knew we had to try to provide something that would shepherd this emerging movement well. 

The landscape has changed since 2011. First of all, Northwest isn’t the only school with an active CBTE program. For a number of years, we have recognized a kindred institution in Sioux Falls Seminary, based out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Their CBTE-based “Kairos” program launched In 2014. Additionally, Grace College and Seminary in Indiana consulted with both Northwest and Sioux Falls when designing their “Deploy” program which launched in January of this year. 

When seeking speakers and topics for the CBTE Conference, Northwest drew from the leaders, experience, and expertise in these schools, as well as our own. In addition, we eagerly welcomed speakers from the Competency-Based Education Network, experts in the field of CBE. We also had the opportunity to expose our conference attendees to the strength of our partnerships with Fellowship Pacific, other network partners, and our students, as representatives from each of these led or participated in breakout sessions and panel discussions. 

The results were as much a success as possible. The 120 conference attendees filled the venue and represented organizations from all over North America and beyond. In total, 70 organizations were represented coming from 5 provinces, 25 states and even Brazil, Guatemala, and Australia. Because one of the values of CBTE is partnership with the ministry organization seeking to train their future leaders, we were excited that only one-third of these organizations were other graduate-level theological institutions. Another twenty-six percent of participating organizations were undergraduate-level schools. Additionally, twenty-nine percent were missional organizations such as churches, denominations, missions or para-church organizations. 

Of the organizations that attended, nearly half indicated they were in the process of developing CBTE programs and nearly a third had just recently heard about CBTE and came to learn more. This suggests to us that, as successful as the first conference was, the groundswell is only just beginning. Something big is happening in theological education and Northwest is at the forefront of it. The excitement at the conference was palpable. It was clear to all those in attendance that this was only the first step towards what is to come. With nearly two-thirds of organizations in attendance being represented by only one conference attendee, we expect that a follow-up conference could easily have double the attendance. 

So what happens next? Throughout the planning and the conference itself, we at Northwest were clear that CBTE was no longer just a Northwest thing. We are now serving the greater Kingdom. At the same time, it is important to us that we remain at the forefront of this wave. Following the conference, Northwest hosted a meeting of those institutions most engaged with CBTE. The aim of this meeting was to organize together to help set the direction for the fledging CBTE movement for the sake of the Kingdom. The result was a commitment to work together in continuing to research, demonstrate, and promote CBTE to both theological education and missional institutions as well as plan to hold more conferences in the future. It was clear that all at the table were as passionate about training leaders in context as we are. Northwest may have been the first out of the blocks, but we are no longer running alone. We are engaging together with other groups, and more are joining the race every day. We feel a responsibility to help however we can and steward this movement for the betterment of the Kingdom.

One way we will do that is through a new venture being undertaken with partners Sioux Falls Seminary and tech company Pathwright. Together with Northwest, these groups will form a new company called Symporus. Powered by the Pathwright technology platform, Symporus will serve schools and missional organizations by providing tech services capable of hosting a CBTE program. Additionally, Symporus will draw on the expertise of both Sioux Falls and Northwest to provide a whole host of CBTE related consulting and services including program design and even customized, credit-bearing degrees. We believe this partnership will enable Northwest to continue to maximize the experience we have gained for the benefit of the Kingdom while allowing us to continue to prioritize our core mission of training leaders for the Fellowship.

As we witnessed over 120 people gather to learn more about CBTE it was clear a lot has changed since 2011. And yet, our heart has not. We are still passionate about training leaders in the best way we can. And we are always grateful to our constituents and partners for not only pushing us to do that better every day but for being fully engaged with us every step of the way. 

Q&A with Association for Biblical Higher Education President

In the lead up to the first International Conference on Competency-Based Theological Education  (CBTE) which Northwest is hosting in November, Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) President Dr. Ralph Enlow has been posting a series of interviews Northwest president Kent Anderson and Director of CBTE Ruth McGillivray.

If you want to learn more about CBTE and the role that Northwest is taking with it, the first two installments of the interview are available on Dr. Enlow’s blog (links below).

Part 1
Part 2

Articles by Northwest Staff Featured by ATS

The pioneering work accomplished in Northwest’s Immerse has given NBS the opportunity to take a leadership role in the emerging field of Competency-Based Theological Education. One such opportunity is hosting the first International Conference in CBTE in November. As interest continues to be generated, articles about CBTE are being written by Northwest staff and featured by other agencies. One such article, written by NBS’ Director of Competency-Based Education Ruth McGillivray was featured in ATS’ online magazine.

The mentor’s dilemma: tips for assessing “soft” competencies in Competency-Based Theological Education (CBTE)

Kyle is a theology professor at a seminary that has recently implemented a competency-based MDiv program. He has a decade of experience teaching traditional, semester-based courses at the post-secondary level, and another decade taking them. But his role in this new program is different. Instead of teaching courses in his specialty area to a new group of students each term, he’s now the academic advisor on a cross-functional mentor team guiding one student through her whole degree. Not only does he also evaluate how well she

articulates understanding and critical thinking on theological concepts, but he also looks at how she applies them in her daily life and work. In addition, he’s responsible to oversee her development in disciplines outside his specialty and assess whether or not she has mastered competencies like humility, faith, hope, and culture.

This presents a dilemma for Kyle, as well as for the ministry and practitioner mentors on his three-person team. Each has an individual sense of what it means to be humble or have hope, but how do they articulate what mastery of humility or hope looks like for assessment purposes? To complicate things further, Kyle oversees two other students in this new program and, in that capacity, is on three different mentor teams. Even if one team reaches consensus on what mastery looks like, he has to navigate the same waters with the other two teams. How does he assess his three students consistently if each team arrives at a different definition?

(read the rest of the article here)

Growing Programs Means Growing Staff

Northwest is growing! The rapid growth of our Immerse and Korean Language programs, and the resulting global opportunities has required Northwest to build its team. We have recognized God’s providence as He has brought several wonderful new people to our ministry team. Many of these new team members have a history with Northwest and Fellowship Pacific and return to us now perfectly suited through education and experience for the next stage of Northwest’s ministry.

Ruth McGillivray brings her
experience in competency-
based training to Immerse

Ruth McGillivray joined us as the Director of Competency-Based Education in September 2017. Ruth is the daughter of one of Northwest’s former presidents, Dr. Doug Harris. Ruth brings over 25 years of experience designing, developing and leading competency-based learning and assessment programs for corporate and trades training. As we continue to develop the Immerse program and paradigm it is obvious that Ruth is providing valuable assistance to Northwest. We are excited to have Ruth on board as we continue to grow our influence as leaders in the field of competency-based theological education and move into other opportunities our expertise allows.

Another new team member is Dr. Elsie Froment. Elsie joined the Northwest team in January 2018 in the role of Director of Research. This is the first such appointment in Northwest’s new Research Faculty category. Along with her Ph.D. in history from Queen’s University, Elsie has Fellowship Baptist roots, having attended Fellowship churches in Mission, Port Coquitlam and Kingston, and earned her first degree as a student of Northwest Baptist Theological College. Elsie previously served as Assistant to the Dean at NBS before moving to Trinity Western University where she served in various roles including Academic Initiatives, Quality Assurance, and Dean of Research. Elsie is providing leadership and direction to the proposed Northwest Institute for Ministry Education Research and serves as the primary liaison for Northwest with the Provincial Government’s Ministry of Advanced Education.

As the Immerse program continues to gain momentum, Northwest has been seeking ways to extend this approach internationally. Partnering with Fellowship International, Northwest is planning to bring accredited theological and ministry training to national pastors right in their local context.

To that end, we are pleased to announce the appointment of two individuals in roles to actualize the Global Immerse vision.

Rob Brynjolfsen brings global
ministry leadership experience to Global Immerse and Korean
language programs

Rob Brynjolfsen is another Fellowship family member that is finding opportunity to connect his expertise with Northwest’s growing vision. Through a joint appointment with Fellowship International, Rob will bring his years of global ministry leadership experience to serve two roles with Northwest – the Director of Global Immerse and the Associate Director of Korean Language Programming. Rob has had first-hand experience watching Northwest grow, having served on the Northwest Board of Governors. Rob is already busy setting up our first Global Immerse partner in Latin America.

In addition to the Director of Global Immerse, Northwest has also entered into an agreement with Andrés Rincón to fill the role of Associate Director of Global Immerse: Latin America. Andrés will work under Rob’s leadership in facilitating

Fresh off graduating from Immerse,
Andrés Rincón will help launch the
program in Columbia

Global Immerse in his native Columbia. Andrés is a recent grad from the Immerse program and our first graduate outside of North America. Andrés leads a movement of young leaders and ministers. From that group, and other Fellowship International network connections, at least eight students have expressed interest in being part of the first Global Immerse program in Latin America.

So you can see – Northwest is growing! We believe each of these individuals represents a unique part of the growing work that God has entrusted to Northwest. And while we are excited about the growth in vision, opportunities and personnel, we are also challenged by our need for facilities to house our expanding team. Northwest’s offices in the Fosmark Center provide office space for thirteen employees on any given day. We will shortly have eighteen people looking to share office space every week. The growing isn’t finished – but that’s another story!

Kent Anderson, Integrative Preaching

Northwest News: Congratulations on the publication of your new book. What led to you writting this particular book?

Kent: I have been teaching this integrated preaching approach for 25 years and I felt it was time to put it into print. I wanted to produce a full comprehensive statement on this particular approach to preaching and I was given an opportunity to do that.
It goes back to my pastoral days when I started discovering some new thinking around preaching that emphasized things like narrative and the heart instead of the head. I was intrigued by all the things I was reading but felt a sense that it was a bit of a pendulum swing. I knew there was a better way to go about it and embrace some of these new things without having to give up my heritage in expository preaching and handling a text well. This integrative approach seemed to be something that needed to be done. It needed to be written and articulated well and offered to my students and to the world.

Northwest: This is now your fourth book. How does it differ from the other three?

Kent: In some ways, it is just a progression. My last book, called Choosing to Preach, was more of a map of the landscape of preaching as it existed 10 or 12 years ago. The final chapter of that book offered my sense of where things needed to go – which is to integrate all of the various portions of the map. So this is my opportunity to offer a full statement on that particular way of thinking about preaching.

So in Choosing, we focused on these four different possibilities and what I’m suggesting is that we try to integrate all of them.

Northwest: Who did you write this book for?

Kent: It’s obviously written for my students but pastors, leaders – anybody who finds themselves persuasively communicating the word of God to groups of people, whatever that looks like – it could be helpful for them.

Northwest: What do you want readers of the book to walk away with?

Kent: I want them to go away with a couple things. One, a fresh sense of what it actually means to preach. That we’re not the preachers. God is the one who is speaking in the world. He’s making Himself known and His will known. He speaks into the world and we just have the privilege of helping others hear. So I like to think of preaching as leading in listening to God as the one who speaks, while we are the ones who listen, we take a leadership role in that respect. So I’m hoping readers will gain a healthy perspective on what it is to preach.

And then secondly, I’m hoping they will come away with a really solid integrated model. Something they can work with and go to when they are faced with the task of trying to help people hear what God is saying in his word. It is a very practical book. The theology and the theory are at the beginning but then there is an actual methodology being offered.

Korean Language Programs Provide Opportunity

Canada is one of several countries that welcomes international students. However, for the most part these students must take their education in a second language. Northwest has followed a different approach – we offer our Canadian graduate degree programs in the Korean language. Few institutions in Canada do this.

Several reasons have guided this decision. First, we do not want language barriers to restrict deserving, qualified individuals from achieving their personal, educational goals, and thus fulfilling part of God’s plan for them. Second, stewardship of time and other resources are at stake. If individuals have to devote two years to gain proficiency in the  English-language before they are eligible to be admitted to graduate programs, then most individuals lack the resources to do it. As a result they are denied the opportunity to enhance their leadership capacities. Thirdly, our focus in our programs is on developing global Christian leaders. We believe it is important for them to live cross-culturally in order to receive more than a theoretical appreciation for the demands of such leadership. However, if language competence prevents them from learning cross-culturally, then the educational objectives of the program cannot be achieved.

Our students face significant challenges when they decide to participate in our Korean language programs. Relocating themselves and their families creates many stresses. Finding affordable housing in Metropolitan Vancouver as you know is never easy. Learning the transportation system and arranging for things such as health insurance become additional hurdles. And then finding a community in which they can make new friends and develop social relationships is an entirely different need. Fortunately there are numerous Korean faith communities that demonstrate generous hospitality. Culture-shock is real and sometimes the student (or at times their spouse) struggles to acclimatize themselves to Canadian realities.

Learning the culture of Canadian higher education and how it differs from Korean educational practices requires considerable energy. Shifting from an educational culture that tends to honour what respected teachers say and write, to one in which honouring such teachers gets expressed through critical questioning and discussion, represents a huge learning curve. This affects, for example, the way assignments are researched and written, particularly how data gets incorporated. In the Doctor of Ministry program candidates have to prepare significant, well-researched writing projects to complete their degree. You can imagine how difficult it is for individuals not only to do their research but then present it in ways that conform to the expectations of a very different educational culture. When these students finish, their degrees are well-earned and well-deserved. Please pray for them, as they prepare themselves to lead congregations and Christian organizations around the world.

Northwest Continuing to Step Into New Opportunities

If I have learned anything over the last few years, it is that the world of higher education is changing. The classroom paradigms that trained you and I have changed dramatically and nowhere is that more evident than here at Northwest. Our move to establish the Immerse program a number of years ago has put us in the forefront of a movement in “competency-based theological education.” Northwest is now widely acknowledged as the innovative leader among seminaries looking to do a better job at serving their churches and constituencies.

In witness to this, Northwest was given a grant from the Lilly Endowment to offer the first ever International Conference on Competency-Based Theological Education. We will be welcoming leaders from across North America to downtown Vancouver on November 5-6, 2018 for this ground-breaking event. We see this not only as an opportunity to deepen Northwest’s leadership position in the field, but also to advance the Kingdom through leading others to improve the way by which we develop people for ministry.

One of the exciting areas of recent development for Northwest has been in the area of technology. Our educational vision relies upon sophisticated online tools that allow us to extend our reach and empower students and mentors in their context. God has led us to form relationships with some wonderful like-minded partners in this field who are helping us achieve another level in our work.

Just this past week, we spent a week in Colombia, South America where we were able to move to form our first cohort of Colombian students for the Immerse program. This will be our first major initiative outside of North America and it is very exciting to see how the values and practices we have pioneered at home can be powerful for other parts of the world.

Keep praying with us around our desire to purchase and develop property for our home offices. As you know, this has been a major challenge for us, as we are severely squeezed in our current offices. While we are making progress on this item, we still require your prayers. I am hopeful that we will be able to report something very soon.

Thanks again for your interest and your support. Your prayers make these good things possible. We are deeply grateful.

Immerse Students Making a Difference

Connecting With Kids

Christine Beriault (Gibbs) – Children’s Ministry Intern
Emmanuel Baptist Church, Vernon BC.

Mission Hill School is near Emmanuel Baptist and has many multicultural families. The school sends 45-50 children to Emmanuel’s Kidz Klub, an after-school program held each week. Many of the children are from non-churched homes. Christine would love to see even more kids involved in this program. Christine also leads and teaches Sunday School for the children at Emmanuel.

Pray for Christine:

  • Applying her Immerse studies and to her home and ministry
  • That strong relationships with kids and parents are built
  • That Bibles given out to kids would transform their lives for Christ
  • As she leads several camps this summer

Community Connections

Lucas Goltz –
Director of Community Engagement
Central Baptist Church, Victoria BC.

Central Baptist has reached out to George Jay Elementary school for many years.  Currently, Lucas oversees the breakfast and reading clubs which directly help students, many of whom are at risk. An Easter event is being organized for the parents and children at the school in April. This galvanizes the community and develops more connections at George Jay.

Pray for Lucas:

  • That he and his team would have favour with the George Jay Elementary community
  • His involvement with the summer Kids Camp (100 kids and volunteers)
  • That members and leaders in Community Groups are equipped

Building Bridges

Alena Harrison – Women’s Ministries
Village Church, Surrey BC

When Alena is not studying and serving at the church she is building bridges with her colleagues at work. Her Immerse assignments have many co-workers curious about God and joining her at church on Sundays. At Village Church, Alena is training and equipping women for leadership and discipleship. She is also active with female youths and mentoring them.

Pray for Alena:

  • As she devotes time studying in Immerse and applying it during the week
  • For her interactions and conversations with co-workers who are seeking God
  • As she ministers to and leads women at church

If you wish to know about our Immerse program or how to
financially give to support our
students through scholarships or our Student Financial Aid Fund, please talk to us. 

Contact Ron Sing,
Director of Development
c: 1-250-240-3737 or
e: [email protected] 

Fishers of Men – Equipping Youth Leaders in Salmon Arm and Reaching the Next Generation

I had the opportunity to meet up with two of our Immerse students, Nathan Pawluck and Dan Steenson of Salmon Arm. Both Nathan and Dan also serve as Gospel Leaders – Pastoral Apprentices for youth ministries at Shuswap Community Church (SCC). They are both passionate about making a Kingdom impact in the lives of youth in beautiful Salmon Arm.
SCC Youth Ministry reaching out to the youth:
About 200-250 students attend their youth ministry each week and approximately 80-90% of these students come from unchurched homes.

“Over my time in Immerse and serving this ministry, I have had the opportunity to baptize 4 students, disciple 7 and send off two of those boys to Bible school” – Nathan Pawluck

Nathan and Dan actively disciple a group of students each week working through struggles of sin, pain and suffering.
“These are real-life adult problems and our students need help walking through the consequences of sin” – Nathan Pawluck

Vision for SCC Youth:
We exist to help students explore God, develop deep relationships and live out the Gospel.

“Recently, I had the opportunity to baptize a student in my small group and now I am discipling two students who are passionate about following Jesus and living out their faith. ” – Dan Steenson

Leadership Development for SCC:
SCC’s Youth Pastor and Northwest alumnus, Kolby Milton oversees the youth ministry and mentors Nathan and Dan. “ I am thankful for Bob Evans (Pastor at SCC Sicamous campus ) who was my mentor and now I have the same opportunity with Nathan and Dan each week – It keeps me sharp and makes me a better leader, husband and dad.”
Immerse, is designed to propel leaders to make a Kingdom impact now and for generations to come. We are thankful for the prayers and generosity of all our financial supporters who make this program affordable and possible for our students to graduate without incurring debt. Please prayerfully consider giving generously to our Student Sponsorship Fund. A Legacy Gift in your will is another option to give to students like Nathan and Dan.

Please contact Ron Sing,
Director of Development for information.
C: 1-250-240-3737 or
E: [email protected]

Dr. Larry Perkins – New book availible now

Dr. Larry Perkins and Baylor University Press are pleased to announce the publishing of Dr. Perkins’ latest work, The Pastoral Letters: A Handbook on the Greek Text.
This resource is for those interested in digging into the Greek of the pastoral letters (1-2 Timothy and Titus). The editor at BUP asked if he would write for this series and Dr. Perkins welcomed the opportunity. Dr. Perkins comments, “I hope I have brought some new clarity to a few of these important questions.”

This book is, “For a Christian leader who has some knowledge of Koine Greek,” comments Dr. Perkins. He also notes that this book is a handy resource for pastors, students, and teachers on the Greek text of the Pastoral Letters.

Dr. Perkins, “Was struck by the ‘literary’ level of discourse in the letters.” This project was a joy for Dr. Perkins. He discovered insights about God’s grace that enlivened his research. “God’s grace is our teacher and this grace is teaching us ‘that renouncing impiety and worldly desires we should live prudently, uprightly, and piously in this present age.”

I asked Dr. Perkins, now that he finished this book, are there any other projects he was working on. At the moment there are four this year. A commentary on the Greek Translation of Exodus. A journal article on the portrayal of Aaron in Exodus 32 for publication later this year. A chapter in a volume of essays he wrote on Exodus 2:2-10 is to come out this November by the Society of Biblical Literature. In November, he is presenting a paper on at the Society of Biblical Literature meetings in Boston. His topic is the Greek Translator’s intent and interpretation of Exodus 23:21-23.

For those interested in learning more about the topic, Dr. Perkins offers this advice. If you want to become more thoroughly acquainted with the letters and their meanings as intended by the writer, working with the Greek text is vital. “Interaction with the Greek text directly reaps considerable reward. Even if your knowledge of Greek is minimal, with the help of Greek computer tools or other print resources, you can interact with the Greek text and understand more fully what the English translations might be seeking to express.”

If you would like more information on Dr. Perkins’ book, visit:

Board of Governors award recipient -Dr. Gerry Kraft

Dr. Gerald Kraft’s extraordinary service as a member of the Board of Governors of Northwest Baptist Seminary ran from 1980 until 1995. He served as the Chairman of the Board for ten of those years. As a missionary with Outreach Canada, Gerry was in a unique position to give a significant portion of his time to his role as Board Chair. There were times when it was a full-time job for him, especially in the years leading up to the construction and move of the campus to Trinity Western University.

Gerry is a man of God, who loves the Lord with all his heart and mind, and who displays the fruit of the Spirit in the way he leads and relates to others. As Chair of the Board, he went above and beyond, graciously hosting students and events in his home. His colleagues describe him as fair, kind, honest, and intelligent – sensitive to the opinions and needs of others, including faculty, staff, and other board members.

Doug Harris, who was President of the college and seminary during those years says, “Gerry gave positive, reasoned and reasonable direction to the Board during his tenure as Chairman. He worked well with the board members and was responsible to develop and magnify unity and harmony.”

Today we acknowledge that Gerry’s wise and courageous leadership helped make possible the success that Northwest enjoys today. We teach that leadership requires the capacity to see beyond the present to imagine possibilities not evident to everyone at any particular moment. Gerry embodied this approach, leading the Board through a series of difficult decisions that served to establish a financial and structural foundation that has allowed the seminary to flourish.

In recognition of this, the Northwest Baptist Seminary Board of Governors is pleased to present to Dr. Gerald Kraft, its Board of Governors Award, offered in appreciation to select individuals who have offered exceptional service to the mission of the Seminary.

We believe Gerry to be more than worthy of this honour and we thank the Lord for his life and service. May his example encourage others to follow I this spirit.

New Opportunities, New Staff

Serving as President of Northwest is a wonderful thing. I get to lead a dedicated team of staff and faculty as we train leaders in ministry context, develop partners around the world who share our vision for competency-based training, and build innovative technologies that are making possible a deeper and more effective discipleship. To quote a certain other president to the south, there is “so much winning!”
One of those ways we are winning, is with our newly redesigned Doctor of Ministry program through ACTS Seminaries. This innovative program allows our experienced pastors and leaders build a doctoral program around their ministry dream through guided, contextual learning. Through this means we are guiding our seasoned leaders to achieve tangible, new initiatives for the sake of God’s Kingdom. Education at Northwest is more than hypothetical.
Speaking of ACTS, I would love to invite you to join Karen and I, along with a group of ACTS professors and leaders on a trip to the Holy Land this spring. Led by ACTS Executive Director, Guy Saffold, myself, and others, we will walk the streets that Jesus walked. The trip is scheduled for May 3-15 and is reasonably priced at less than $4,000, all inclusive. Let me know if you are interested in details.
Finally, I am pleased to announce the addition of two new members to our team at Northwest. Kajle Radbourne joins us as Assistant Director of Operations. Kajle, an alumnus, brings pastoral experience and a broad skill set to the role. You will already have read his lead article in this newsletter. In addition, Ruth McGillivray re-joins us as Director of Competency-Based Education. She brings decades of experience working with industry, the trades, the tech sector, and government in competency-based training. Her experience is invaluable to us. Some of you may remember her as the daughter of former Northwest President, Doug Harris.
Thanks again for your interest and your support. Pray for us, that we can keep our focus on the things that are important to our Lord. Consider also supporting us as we head toward year-end. Remember that every dollar you give goes directly to students in the form of financial aid.

Immerse Influence Rising Like A Flood

One year ago, we celebrated the first graduate from our Immerse program along with our partners in Fellowship Pacific. Last month, 7 more Immerse graduates crossed the stage. And these graduates are not mere numbers, they are trained and dedicated servants of our King who are already placed and serving full-time as leaders in our churches. We are so excited to see this program take root in our core constituency. Our Fellowship Pacific iteration of the Immerse program is nearing capacity and we have 28 students serving in 21 ministries being served by a group of 50 mentors.
But as proud as we are of our work with our closest partner; the Fellowship Pacific iteration of Immerse represents just the tip of the iceberg. The revolution in theological education that Immerse represents has catapulted our little seminary into a position to influence and serve a much wider group.
By the end of this calendar year, President Anderson will have traveled to graduations in California, Columbia, Montreal and here in the Lower Mainland. Combined, the various Immerse iterations have graduated 16 students – each of these fully equipped for ministry leadership. These 16 represent the first-fruits of what appears to be a bountiful harvest.
As of this Fall, there are now 11 iterations of the Immerse program running and we are working closely with a number of other groups in anticipation of launching with them soon. Additionally, your seminary has had the opportunity to take a leadership role in helping other seminaries, churches, and networks move toward a more effective and efficient way of developing leaders.

7 students graduated from the Antioch Program iteration of Immerse. This iteration is a partnership with the 17:6 network of churches in Texas and California

To help step into this growing opportunity, NBS has applied for and received a grant from ATS to host a conference for innovators in Competency-Based Theological Education. We are also mobilizing members of our team to develop tools and expertise in order to be more intentional in cultivating the consulting relationships that have been developed. Currently, we are consulting with several U.S. based seminaries and a major denomination’s accrediting division to help them realize their vision for integrated content and leadership development. We are working with multiple partners to begin to develop undergrad versions of Immerse as well as an international version that our missionaries can utilize in training national workers to lead indigenous churches. But these opportunities to bear fruit from what we have learned and developed in Immerse transcend schools and denominations. In addition to all of these, we are regularly being contacted by new groups interested in learning from the work that we have been doing. These conversations have led to some very interesting opportunities with a wide range of organizations.

Andrés Rincón will graduate from Immerse in October in Columbia.

We recently helped the Colson Center (founded and named after Chuck Colson) redevelop the program and tech platform they use as part of their Colson Fellows program. The Colson Fellows is a national program that trains mid-career professionals in worldview and cultural studies to help them be more intentional in their professional environments and in the political sphere. We are looking to offer this type of service to many groups involved in adult education and discipleship through partnership with others. This work with Colson Fellows was the first of many we hope to make building on both our technology platform and the Immerse methodology.
While we are excited to move into new areas and have a wider influence, the core of our mission at Northwest is not the breadth of our work, but the depth. With each new partnership we enter, we are encouraged to see how we can assist in helping other organizations accomplish the mission that God has given them.
Northwest Baptist Seminary exists to serve the Church – whether here in B.C., across the continent or across the world. We are both excited and humbled to have these opportunities to enable others to launch into mentor-based, on-the-ground leadership development. But even more so, we are fortunate to have such a strong base of support allowing us to pursue our mission of creating “context-based solutions for ministry applications.” Thank you for supporting your seminary and please pray for us as we continue to press toward where God is calling us in equipping others.

What a wonderful experience we had with the first Antioch Immerse graduation last month. The time we had with the management team was also very encouraging. Your vision and dedication to training the next generation of leaders is inspiring and I’m honored to be part of it.
As you know, I have participated in scores of Masters hooding ceremonies in my 26 years of teaching in multiple graduate degree programs. I have personally hooded hundreds of students earning degrees related to the professional practice of counseling and ministry. In none of those instances did it enter my mind as I placed the hood on a student that they were indeed now ready to actually do what their degree supposedly equipped them to do. To be honest, many of them I hooded with my fingers crossed.
I had the opposite experience hooding the graduates of Antioch Immerse. With each student, I was very confident that the degree matched their readiness to do ministry. And I actually felt that as we were hooding them and thought this is as it should be!
Nathan Lewis, Ed.D.
Professor of Psychology, California Baptist University
Lead Academic Mentor, Antioch Project Immerse

I want to add my appreciation for the quality of the platform, the way you have captured the best ways to facilitate our needs, and now the way you are serving and equipping the Fellows. Your expertise is clear but your servant hearts and actions are the biggest blessings of all.
Many thanks for your ministry to us!
Bill Brown, Ph.D
Head Fellow, Colson Fellows Program