Northern Seminary Appoints Rev. Dr. John C. Bowling as Acting President


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LISLE, Ill. – The Board of Trustees at Northern Seminary has announced Rev. Dr. John C. Bowling as the Acting President of Northern Seminary. The unanimous decision was made while Dr. William Shiell, the current President of Northern Seminary, is on administrative leave.

Bowling brings a wealth of experience in Christian higher education and pastoral wisdom to the Northern community. He served as the President of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL from 1991-2021 before retiring. He also served as the Senior Pastor of College Church of the Nazarene in Bourbonnais and as Senior Pastor of First Church of the Nazarene in Dallas.

Bowling holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and a Master of Arts in Theology from Olivet Nazarene University, a Master of Religious Education and Doctor of Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Southern Methodist University. He also completed post-doctoral work at Harvard University. Bowling is also an author of several books, including “Grace-full Leadership: Understanding the Heart of a Christian Leader.”

Northern Seminary has a distinguished history of service to the Church and is dedicated to providing scripturally rooted programs to a diverse student body. Bowling expressed his honor to serve alongside the nationally recognized faculty and dedicated staff.

Dr. Fay Quanstrom, Vice Chair of the Northern Board of Trustees, said, “In addition to his impressive resume, Dr. Bowling brings a dynamic and warm interest and understanding of a theological education that is needed for today.”

Bowling’s official tenure as Acting President is effective immediately. Dr. Lynn Cohick, Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs at Northern, believes that Bowling’s experience and wisdom will serve the Northern community well.


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