Hello Northern Seminary

Hello Northern Seminary April 26, 2012

For at least five years I have had an inner yearning to teach in a seminary, to concentrate on leaders, pastors and preparing folks to work in churches and in God’s mission in this world, and in fact almost left North Park some time back to join a seminary faculty. It seems increasingly that my natural audience has become pastors and leaders in churches, though I will continue to write for church folks — including a book on Paul (my next project).

So this winter I have been in conversation with Northern Seminary, in Lombard IL, with President Alistair Brown and Karen Walker Freeburg and my friend David Fitch.  They have offered me the post as Professor of New Testament, and I have accepted the offer, Kris and I will not be relocating, and classes will begin — Synoptics and New Testament Theology — this Fall (Paul and the Kingdom of God in the Winter, and then an Ethics of Jesus course next year). I will join Cherith Fee Nordling, who also begins this Fall, and she will join Ricky Freeman, Sam Hamstra, Claude Mariottini, Bob Price, and Michael Quicke. And also Karen and Blake Walter, whose father (Vick) was my advisor when I was in seminary. (I think I’ve met most of the good folks but won’t mention everyone.) Northern is a school that is vibrant and growing and seeking to meet the challenge of seminary education in the 21st Century.

This conversation with Northern was right every step of the way, and it has been the easiest and smoothest move I could have made. I am delighted with the leadership, with the vision, with the Board, with the Faculty, and my whirlwind time on campus — wedged between days at North Park — involved getting to meet with some students, and I’m excited to become one of their teachers (and smaller class sizes will be welcomed).

Northern Seminary’s vision: Our vision is to prepare leaders who will faithfully serve Jesus Christ with evangelical passion and missionary skills in Biblically grounded and culturally relevant ministries.

Count me in. I’ll bring some coffee!

One more for trivia: About 30 years ago, when I was home from my first year of doctoral studies at Nottingham, I heard about a position at Northern, applied, and had an interview — and obviously I didn’t impress my future friend, David Scholer, enough to win the job, but … well maybe there’s a little irony that I plan on finishing my career at the place where I first tried to teach!

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  • Congrats, Scot. NPU will miss you, but glad you’re staying close!

  • Rick D

    May God bless you as your journey continues

  • I had a feeling it was Northern. This allows you to teach seminary and still be in Cub’s Land.

    Enjoy the new adventure!

  • Congrats, Scot. A very good Seminary team becomes even better. (One I will recommend my daughter to.)

    But. Will you be able to convert Fitch from his early morning McD’s coffee to at least a good Aeropress’d cup. 🙂

  • You’re going to have a blast, Scot — congrats!

  • Congrats! Excited to see what you all can accomplish together!

  • DRT

    Congrats Scot. It is good to see a friend get what they wanted.

  • Congratulations Scot!
    I’m sure you’ll make a difference from day one…they’ll definitely be getting more applicants now, that’s for sure!

  • JoeyS

    My your path rise up to meet you! Congratulations!

  • Blessings to you, friend, on this next leg of your journey — but don’t be too sure it is your last!

    Do you forsee any impact to Jesus Creed?

  • Dawne Piotrowski

    Wahoo! I begin my MDiv at Northern in the fall. Looking forward to journeying with all of you.

  • TJJ

    Congratulations Scot! May your career and contribution to the Church flourish. That is a great school.

  • Don

    Congratulations Scot. Thanks for all you have done at NPU over the years and within the ECC and beyond. Keep pushing and asking the tough questions!

  • Drew Strait

    Many blessings on this new journey, Scot. I am so excited for you!

  • Congrats! I hope the best for you at Northern Seminary.

  • Ethan M


    How soon will you be leading a DMin cohort?

  • Congrats on your new position! Will you be teaching any D.Min level classes?

  • Luke Johnson

    I have to be curious what this means when North Park has its’ own Theological Seminary and one of our greatest teachers at the University level is not able to find a home at that very Seminary. Fortunate for Northern, but unfortunate for North Park.

    NPTS Graduate

  • Neat. Congratulations, Scot! Seems like a good fit to me as well. Impressed with what I read on Northern Seminary’s site. They couldn’t have landed a better person to help them in their vision.

  • Scot,

    Welcome to Northern Seminary. I am glad you are joining us in our mission to prepare men and women to serve Christ with an evangelical passion.

    Claude Mariottini
    Professor of Old Testament
    Northern Baptist Seminary

  • Rodney Reeves

    Congratulations, Scot. I’m sure you’ll enjoy working with colleagues like Claude (who taught at SBU years ago!).

  • Jeff Hyatt

    That’s great Scot! I am in the process of applying to the D.Min. program at Northern. Very exciting!

  • Jim Byrne

    Congratulations, Scott. I’ve often wondered, given your audience and interests, if some special sense of call kept you teaching undergrads. Northern has a rich history to which I’m sure you will add.

  • Diane

    Blessings Scot, on your new position. I know you will bless your students.

  • Rob Grayson

    Congratulations, Scot, and may you know the enabling grace of God as you transition into this new season.

  • Dan Reid

    Congratulations, Scot! In trying to think of where you might be going, I was having a very hard time envisioning your leaving Chicagoland! You’ll be close to IVP, so maybe I can stop in a visit on one of my trips there (but are you ever in your “school” office?).

  • Scott Eaton

    Congrats, Scot! I have enjoyed each of my visits to Northern Seminary and have always been tempted to do some more work there. It strikes me as a little place with huge potential.

  • DAK

    Just gotta ask how “Paul and the Kingdom of God in the Winter” is any different than the KOG in any other season? 🙂

  • Congratulations Scot on this new chapter of your life! I’m really glad to hear that you will be teaching at the seminary. You will be a blessing to many students who choose Northern for their seminary training.

    After reading the course titles, I am wishing I lived closer to Chicago!

  • Kristen

    @DAK, this is Chicagoland we’re talking about. EVERYTHING is different in the winter!!!

  • Steve Sherwood

    I just had the privilege of being with Cherith in San Diego. She is fabulous and Northern is doubly blessed to be getting the both of you!

  • Congratulations to you, Scot, and also to Northern Seminary! May you be “mutually encouraged by one another’s faith” and may your hearts & minds be dedicated to building up the church of Christ!

    Scot & Kris must be inured to Illinois’ winters & summers!

  • Congratulations!!

    So will the move to a seminary enable you to put into practice the conversation that you advocated in “Thinking Aloud Together, Part 3” on the BioLogos Forum?

  • Blessings to you. The courses sound great!!

  • Whatever may have been true of David Scholer at the time, I feel confident (and, also having been proud to consider him a friend in his later years, trust that I’m not overstepping any bounds in saying) that he would be proud that you’re getting to teach there now.

  • One of my very favorite persons, and mentors, held that position many years ago. Bob Guelich taught NT at Northern (Baptist) Seminary long before he went to Fuller. He’d be very pleased that you are taking that post. I know I am.

  • Jon G

    Congrats Scot! So, the big question is, will you be able to teach part-time students? I need somebody to correct my heretical views…

  • T

    That’s fantastic. Best to you, the school, and the students.

  • Duane

    Congratulations, Scot. Sounds like an easy move. Also, if my memory is not lacking, it seems to me that Robert Webber was at Northern Seminary for a time. Like him, you will add much good there! Wishing you the best. Glad to hear you are not shucking Chicago and surrounds.

  • This is wonderful news! I actually just transferred to Northern to start in the fall. I’ll look forward to taking classes with you, Scot!

  • Excited for you. May the Lord continue to shine his face down upon you.

  • Congratulations Scot! I will have another reason besides David Fitch to suggest Northern to my young friends thinking about Seminary.

  • Francine Busch

    Congratulations, Scot. I know you will be a blessing to all you influence. It has been my joy to know you and pray for your ministry.

  • Peace and blessings, my brother!

  • LeslieS

    Congratulations! The very nice part is at both institutions you still have access to the wonderful resources of I-Share!

  • Ryan

    As a Northern grad, this is exciting. I just enjoyed reading through King Jesus Gospel. I’m sure you’ll be a blessing to many.

  • Clay Knick

    Congratulations, Scot. What a blessing for you and Northern.

  • Congrats my friend!

    But wait, you’re not relocating? I definitely do not envy you that commute. You’ll probably be going half the distance that I go from Austin to Waco for my studies at Baylor, but in the same amount of time!

  • Wayne

    Congratulation . . . and all best wishes for good success.

  • Wayne Sorge

    I’m a bit in the dark. Was North Park a cartoon series on Fox network?

  • Just got home and this was the first thing I checked. Mazal tov, Scot. This seems a great fit for you and Northern’s enrollment may just increase!

  • Scot, praying God’s blessings and power upon you in your new position. May you bring all the things the Spirit has taught you into this new opportunity to further share and grow.

    It’s good that you do these things while you are still young and still a spring chicken. I can tell you from experience, age helps one begin to understand the concept of 1000 years being one day. One day I was a spring chicken; but before I could cackle about it, I looked in the mirror and saw a Thanksgiving turkey. Now I am a Christmas ham.

    Live long and prosper.

  • God bless your move, Scot. I hope you can get to know my friend Dr. Claude Mariottini at Northern, although he specializes in OT and you in NT (you always have a meeting-point in Jesus!). He is a good man.


  • Dear Sir ,
    I have enjoyed your blog ! We will be praying for you and your ministry in our Prayer Center at Liberty , and our world -wide , online Prayer Force .

    May the Lord bless your love for your Lord and His Word ,

    Dr. Charles Hughes
    Pastor for Prayer
    Campus Pastors Office

  • Karl

    Congratulations. It sounds like a good fit and the right move.

  • Andrew Butler

    Congratulations. Hope you keep the blog going 🙂

  • Julian Hardyman

    I remember your announcing that you were leaving TEDS all those years ago. I am glad you will have the chance to form pastors: you certainly helped me!
    Best wishes

  • Meri

    I sincerely hope you will record your lectures for iTunes U. I routinely search for your speaking podcasts and appreciate the class lectures available from Yale and other schools on iTunes. If it were a reasonable option for me, I’d move to Illinois just to enroll in your classes!

  • I begin classes in the Fall! I am so happy to be headed to Northern.


    Roger Sharp
    Confident Christianity Apologetics Ministry
    Houston, TX

  • Benedicamus Domino!

  • Esther Rapa

    Having lived the life as an academic’s wife, I can just feel the excitement of this new venture for the Lord. Praising the Lord with you, and praying for your wife also, as adjustments are made. May God give you both great joy as you serve Him and those He brings into your life.

  • Ken White

    Congratualations Scot! But I really think I should be congratulating Northern for having you come on board. They are fortunate. My pastoral life has been shaped by your classes, especially in the Synoptics, and your life and example have been formative for me. Thanks for all you’ve done for the Kingdom of God.

  • John W Frye

    I am thrilled by this move because you will exponentially heighten your impact on the Church as you influence, teach, and spiritually shape pastors, missionaries and evangelical leaders of all kinds. Of course we in the ECC will miss you. Julie and I deeply appreciate your and Kris’s friendship. Shalom!

  • Congratulations, Scot. May you find new energy and inspiration in a new field of service. Undoubtably, many future leaders and churches will benefit from your work.

  • Congrats. Another reason to stop by Northern. I do need to make a pass through and see some seminary and faculty. Wish you guys all hung around in the summer…

  • Scot, so finally we will be able to share a coffee! This is great news, excited for you as I have been to connect with Northern myself this past year. Blessings on the transition 🙂

  • Judy Diehl

    Just wanted to add my congratulations, too! You and Kris are so brave to stay in Chicago — but I know you will be such a blessing to all — Shalom!!

  • John Kuyper

    On the same note as Luke Johnson, this is a huuuge loss for North Park. Was there no room at North Park’s seminary? This seems so strange. Either way, Northern is going to be on the radar more than it has ever been for prospective seminarians. Blessings!