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