There have been many Northwest’s over the years. Some of you relate best to our experience as part of ACTS Seminaries. Others remember college life on the campus of Trinity Western. For some, Northwest will always be located on Marine Drive in Vancouver, or perhaps even in Port Coquitlam. Many of our current students experience Northwest through the vehicle of Immerse and do not relate to the idea of a campus. Regardless of your experience, we are all Northwest, united in our interest that the people God has gifted and called might be thoroughly equipped for excellence in ministry both at home and around the world.
To that end, Northwest is experiencing one of the most robust and effective periods in its 80 year history. We have had larger enrolments, but we have probably never had a time when we knew more investment from our churches and more commitment to the cause. The scope of our opportunity now is taking us from coast to coast, deep down into the United States, and across oceans. People have caught the vision for context-based ministry leadership development and it has been game-changing.
This year we will graduate our first Immerse student within Fellowship Pacific. We will also admit our first students in partnership with SEMBEQ. Our partnerships with the 17:6 network and the C2C network are beyond our imagining. God has chosen to use us in ways we had not foreseen, and we are grateful for it.
Northwest has gained a surprising amount of influence. As President I have recently been interviewed for publication by Duke University, The Auburn Institute, and by In Trust, all highly influential in the world of theological education. I have been invited to several consultations in places like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. When people are looking to study innovation in theological education, we seem to catch their attention. Our message about mastery model, in-context education is finding an avid audience.
While these partnerships are exciting, it is also great to celebrate the achievements of our alumni. Elsewhere here you can find our interview with Mike Mawhorter. I am also encouraged by the ministry of alumnus, Barton Priebe, who recently became pastor of Central Baptist Church in Victoria. Barton is a great student of theology and apologetics and recently published, “The Problem with Christianity,: Six Unsettling Questions You Have Asked”, which I would highly recommend. This book offers helpful ways of talking about our faith in the context of a secular environment. Barton’s thoughts were honed, not only in our classrooms, but in years of ministry at Dunbar Heights on the doorstep of the University of British Columbia. I am praying that his book will help many to know how to express their faith in a contrary culture.
We have had many good times in the past, and this is certainly another one. If you have ever supported us or have considered supporting the work of a seminary, now would be an excellent time. We have done our work prudently and without the kind of financial investment that is usually required for this kind of innovation. As always, we require the investment of partners who see the vision and who want to fan it into flame. Thanks to all of you who have given us your trust.