Monthly Archives: March 2010

Equip Today – Impact Tomorrow

What a headline – “Canadian Seminary Enrolments drop by 15 – 20% in five years!” It’s true. In 2005 the total reported enrolment in Canadian Protestant Seminaries was 5751, but in 2009 this has decreased to 4860. The numbers have stabilized in the last year or two.

What does this mean? In the next few years the leadership deficit in our churches will become more serious. Our aging population means that more leaders will be retiring, but there will be fewer younger leaders to replace them. This can only mean that the competition among churches to locate exceptional ministry leaders will increase.

What a challenge!

But the story in Northwest is different. A modest surge in growth is occurring. In Spring 2009 we enrolled 44 students; in Spring 2010 64 students enrolled. We believe this change is due to the innovative work our Northwest team is doing, in collaboration with our Fellowship leadership, to make ministry training more affordable, more accessible, and more responsive to real leadership needs.

Please pray with us for God’s wisdom as we collaborate with our Fellowship leadership and selected lead pastors to consider developing a second path for training pastors. While the outlines of such a process are not yet clear, we recognize the need to engage and involve lead pastors more deeply, consistently and intentionally in identifying and developing candidates being called by God to pastoral ministry. This would parallel the successful work we have done in collaboration with your youth pastors to implement an alternative way to equip new youth pastors. This year we will be graduating another three youth pastors through this system. We believe the same can be done for other kinds of pastoral leaders.

An important forum discussing this second path will be held with selected lead pastors just prior to our April Fellowship Convention.

Thank you for your encouragement, prayers and support in these recent months. Change continues to be our primary challenge. Please pray that God will give us wisdom and Spirit-based courage to know how best to lead Northwest in such times.

Blessings,

Larry Perkins, Ph.D.

President

2010-03-16 Board Summary

The Northwest Baptist Seminary Board of Governors met Friday evening and Saturday, March 12 -13, 2010. On Friday, Northwest hosted its third “State of the Seminary” evening for the Board, faculty and staff with spouses, as well as special guests. The theme for the evening was “Equip Today — Impact Tomorrow.”  We were encouraged by increased enrolment, effective alumni, good leadership and sound fiscal management. Yet, we also recognize that much work remains if our mission and vision is to be fulfilled. I believe the conclusion of this year’s work marks 70 years of ministry for Northwest.

Several significant issues were the focus of the Board’s attention. They continue their work in searching for and selecting a new President. Dr. Perkins’ term ends July 31, 2011. The Joint-Audit Committee recommended to the Board that the Auditor’s report be approved, which the Board did. It was a clean audit, showing a surplus in operations for 2009. This represents the fifth year of operations with a balanced budget. Northwest’s investments have recovered fully from the 2008 financial downturn.  The Board reappointed Loewen Kruse as auditors for 2010.  As well the Board approved Northwest’s 2010 budget.

The Board acknowledged the receipt of funds from an estate gift and authorized the President to spend some of those funds to improve Northwest’s educational technology and develop a more effective marketing and grant-writing capacity.

In order to ensure stable academic leadership during the period of presidential transition, the Board appointed Dr. Kent Anderson to another two year term as Northwest’s Dean (May 1, 2010 to April 30, 2012).

The President in his reports to the Board during the past year has highlighted the startling decrease in enrolment among Canadian Seminaries over the last five years. Remarkably, due to our efforts in the Fellowship to collaborate and the initiatives that Northwest has taken to respond to the leadership challenges within our Fellowship, Northwest’s enrolment has shown an increase for this same period. This past year 41 Fellowship people benefited from the Seminary’s formal leadership development programs and many more received assistance through workshops and other informal learning experiences. The President has also kept the Board informed about the challenges that the Associated Canadian Theological Schools, the Consortium, is facing. The Board authorized its Governance committee to recommend to the next Board meeting a process for thinking creatively regarding Northwest’s future.  Our current strategic plan is serving us well, but we need to be governing into the future.

The Board reviewed several policies, including the Ends Policy and made minor changes.

The Board’s next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, June 12, 2010. Seminary graduation will take place on Sunday, April 25 at Northview Community Church, Abbotsford (the service starts at 4:30pm). Northwest has thirteen graduates and ACTS in total will be graduating around eighty students.  We congratulate especially several Fellowship people in their graduation:  Estera Boldut (Master of Counseling), Andrew Eby (Master of Arts in Christian Studies), Jeffrey Kuhn (Master of Divinity), Jonathan Michael (Master of Arts in Christian Studies), Jeff Thomas (Master of Theological Studies).

If you have questions about any of these matters, please connect with me at perkins@twu.ca.


Respectfully,

Larry Perkins, Ph.D.

President.