September 2023

Alumni Greetings

Greetings Alumni, I trust you and your family have had an enjoyable summer. I enjoy meeting our alumni in person and this summer, I had the opportunity to meet and visit with several of you and hear about how God has been moving in your lives. I hope we will be able to visit with more of our alumni at some of the events that are being planned by the Alumni Connect Team.


Summer will soon be drawing to an end, the days will be shorter, and the Fall season begins. Do you remember your first Fall semester at Northwest? Time flies and 2023 will soon be history. The Alumni Connect Team is planning and working on a few events in 2023 and 2024, and would like you to be aware of these so you can plan ahead.


October 14, 2023, is the date of Northwest Graduation which will be held at South Delta Baptist Church, 1988-56th St., Delta, BC. The Northwest Alumni Association is sponsoring a Brunch at the church for the 2023 graduates and their families. If you would like to assist at the October 14 graduation events, please contact me. We also encourage alumni members who live in the area to attend the ceremony and welcome our new graduates to the Alumni Association.


The Alumni Connect Team is also continuing to plan the decade reunions for alumni who attended Northwest in the 80’s and 90’s. The decade of the 80’s reunion is scheduled for May 2024. If you would like to work with the Connect Team to plan this event, please email me and we will connect with you.


It has been good to hear from many of you through the Alumni Questionnaire. If you haven’t already done so, please complete the form and let us know what you are doing. I look forward to hearing from you.

Wishing you God’s richest blessings and provisions as we begin the Fall season.


Gwen Reese, Alumni Director




Renewing Christianity in Western Canada

Alumni Connect

Dr. Howard Andersen graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science Degree and from Northwest Theological College ('66) with the Bachelor of Divinity degree. Following that he earned the PhD degree from Manchester University. Howard has been on the faculty, and has been the Dean, and President of Northwest Seminary and College, and Academic Director of ACTS. Recently, in September 2022, Howard was awarded Faculty Emeritus status from Northwest Seminary and College.


Wisdom (knowing what to do) is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And, with all your getting, get understanding. – Proverbs 4:7.


It’s been an immense pleasure to work at Northwest during two different decades, one through the 1970’s and then again for just about a decade starting in 2012. Northwest has been the bookends of my working career. I don’t plan to stop thinking and working, but I’m glad for all the new leadership now in place at Northwest.


As alumni from all periods can attest, Northwest’s innovativeness, is what has kept it relevant and meaningful. In the 1930’s, its mission was to be a “defender of the faith” in the face of liberalism. In the 1970’s and following decades, its calling was to advance the training of pastors and lay people, and the building of churches, along with a rising tide of evangelicalism in North America. Northwest’s central mission is still to train pastors for competent ministry. But, as is always the case, times change and everything else with it. This poses challenges and opens opportunities. So, the Immerse Program, the Gap Year Program, and NIMER are Northwest’s latest responses to the environment in which we work. And this all came about because of clear and visionary thinking in Northwest and in the Fellowship and is made possible by technologies that became available only over the last couple of decades, and by the gifting and generosity of Northwest’s benefactors.


Of course, the world goes on changing. In some parts of the past, we have been “behind the eight ball” on cultural issues and on big trends, and our movement has suffered because of it. I wonder if it’s time for a Think Tank, one that can do advanced thinking and applied research about the challenges coming at us, and the opportunities for ministry.


The first four centuries of the Christian era were, without a doubt, the most successful in the entire history of Christianity in the western world. And new research being done about the world of Jesus’ and Paul’s day sheds new light on how those early Christians were able to be so effective. How did they navigate and triumph over such things as overbearing governments and state bureaucracies, the tension between elites and ordinary people, powerful issues of decaying and unhealthy urban environments, issues of abortion, family integrity, women’s rights and status, health and welfare, the poor, sexuality, fertility, immigration, and a lot more. Sound familiar? How to best serve may surprise!


Our own applied research on questions like the following is entirely feasible and very desirable:


  • How can churches connect effectively with their communities?
  • What process do people go through on the way to conversion?
  • What makes churches grow?
  • What do successful ministries tell us about how to serve?
  • What destroys churches?
  • What demographic shifts and population growth can we expect in western Canada over the next few decades?

A Think Tank for advanced thought and applied research on such issues would help churches navigate their environments productively and find ways to serve and grow over the next decades.


A substantial and well administered trust fund to support applied research sabbaticals for pastors, Doctor of Ministry applied research projects, course relief for faculty to serve on specific projects, and to second other individuals with expertise on specific projects, could make all this happen.


If you'd be interested in financially supporting initiatives such as these, I’d love to hear from you! I can be contacted at: [email protected]




Alumna Interview with Jack Taylor ('75 & '82)


Dr. Jack Taylor received the Bachelor of Theology in 1975, and the Master of Theology in 1982 from Northwest. He also has a master's degree and PhD in Counseling. Following his studies at Northwest, he served overseas in ministry, as well as pastor of Faith Baptist Church. He serves together with his wife, Gayle.  



What did you appreciate about your time at Northwest and how did it prepare you for ministry?

When I signed up for one year at Northwest I was going out of obedience. I had planned to go into medicine but after a college rugby injury and complications in the hospital I understood that things would have to change. I was a member at Faith Baptist Church in Vancouver and sensed through prayer that I should attend Northwest (which was the only Bible School I knew, down the hill from the church). I ignorantly made a fleece that if someone asked me specifically if I was “going to Northwest this fall” then I would sign up. At the end of a College and Career event on that Sunday night the rowdiest guy stepped out of the group as I was leaving for home and asked if I was “going to Northwest this fall?”


I sent in my application three weeks before opening day and was accepted. I stayed for the Bachelor of Theology Degree and Master of Theology Degree. Classes with faculty members all left their marks of driving me into the Word. Lively debate in the library and around the campus tested the breadth of my knowledge and understanding in the Word.


The relationships I built forged lasting friendships, and the training inside and outside of the classroom proved transformational. Spending a summer as the speaker for a touring quartet group gave me exposure to many of the BC churches. I was married to Gayle Anderson after my second year at Northwest and that changed a lot of things as well.



Describe your ministries since graduating from Northwest?

Bible and Seminary training were crucial since I went to Kenya as a missionary. I taught five Bible classes a day at a boarding school, led a daily chapel and taught some classes at a national Bible School. I became the chaplain, responsible for 32 spiritual life programs with 110 staff and the students who were on site. During the first five years we also looked after 28 grade 9-10 boys in a dorm setting while adding two girls to join their brother.


Due to the need for counseling for missionaries overseas I earned my Masters and PhD in Counseling. Missionary families were often sent home when there was trouble because there were no qualified counselors available. By helping to start a counseling program with qualified individuals many missionaries were able to get the support they needed right where they were.


Work as a missionary dependent in the prayers and financial support of others taught me a lot about trusting God. I have had to trust Him in many unfamiliar situations, and He has been faithful. I am glad I learned so much about His character and compassion from my time at Northwest.


When I returned from Kenya after 18 years I was met at the airport by Doug Harris, my former pastor. He told me that he knew God’s plan for my life. He took me on at Faith Baptist Church to set up a counseling program but soon left to help with another church in crisis. I was voted in as senior pastor where I ministered for 23 years until my retirement at the end of 2022. Again, my training at Northwest and my experience overseas were crucial in reestablishing ministry in BC as I built up a cross-cultural community of believers.


Being called to focus our church on cross-cultural outreach, I worked with others to start New Hope Community Services Society which has now housed over 800 refugees. We launched New Hope Childcare for new Canadians and single parents. We also launched the New Hope International Catering to give hospitality experience to refugees through our Circle of Nation Day. Through these services, ESL, and outreach, Faith grew into a congregation with over 60 nations represented.



What else have you been involved in?

Apart from starting non-profits, spending time on Boards and enjoying 11 grandchildren, I have taken up writing books. So far, I’ve written 15 books, most focused on historical biblical fiction. My book, The Cross-Maker, was awarded the best historical fiction novel for 2020 and the Prince of Persia was awarded Best Canadian Manuscript for 2021. I write weekly short stories and monthly articles for The Light Magazine and often for the Fellowship Thrive magazine. Recently, I’ve taken up writing children’s books for my grandchildren.


The first thing I did after retiring was to join my son in Rwanda to help in the teaching of executive and emerging leaders. I support my daughter’s work among orphans and street boys in Uganda. I’ve joined Northwest as a mentor for their MABL program and I’m taking coaching courses to start my own business helping seasoned leaders in their marriage challenges.



What passions do you still carry into retirement?

I am passionate about the global make-up of the body of Christ as embodied in His church. I am passionate about supporting leaders in ministry and in marriage. I am also still passionate about writing in a way that brings knowledge and a creative glimpse at the world around us.

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