|"Uhh, on second thought, no thanks."|
Dear Northland Family—
On Tuesday, April 21, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary informed the board and administration of Northland International University of its decision not to accept the gift of the Northland campus as they previously announced last October. Therefore, Southern will not open a branch campus of Boyce College or continue management of the camping program. With nearly two weeks until commencement, the Northland board is working to develop an appropriate response to this change of plans. The leadership of Northland is committed to doing everything possible to serve the faculty, staff, and students as we evaluate and adjust our plans for the future.
Despite challenges and changes over the past two years, God has continued to care for and use this ministry to glorify his name by equipping students, staff, campers, and many others for Great Commission living. Northland’s leadership remains steadfast in its commitment to that vision and is appreciative of the relationships developed with Southern and Boyce over the past year in support of that vision. At this time, the Northland board of trustees and administration continue to evaluate all available options and appreciate prayers as they seek to glorify God and trust him for his leading in the days to come.
We understand that you may have questions and concerns. We will be sending you more information very soon.
Because of Matt Olson's we are "unchanged" strategy NIU alienated its base, consequently blew through the entirety of its cash reserves, and was/is carrying some heavy debts. Why would the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) accept a "gift," that would saddle them (SBTS) with a cash poor, in-debt school with essentially no hope of recovery?
Among the options Mr. Patz and the NIU board are evaluating, surely closure is chief among them. There will be no recovery of what was lost, what was squandered because of Matt Olson's grand vision to remake Northland.
So, who will Mr. Patz and the NIU board reach out to now to buy or accept NIU as a "gift?" The Mormon Church, Rick Warren, KOA? Whether NIU closes or changes hands the once vibrant Northland Baptist Bible College, with a cause for Christ and His holiness, remains a stark image of what happens when leadership compromises biblical principles, its heritage and policies. A reminder of the result of Northland's leadership betraying its base, alumni, supporting churches, pastors and families.
1) Northland Joins Southern Seminary: Culmination of a Modern Day Tragedy
UPDATE: Al Mohler explaines why the SBTS/NIU deal fell through. Summarizing here:
When the plan was first announced, we all thought that there was a realistic hope of achieving a business plan that would work…In more recent days, we realized that we were unable to achieve a plan that we felt had a reasonable expectation of success.
Several factors played a role in this realization. First, it became apparent that no financial model we could establish for a Northland campus of Boyce College could sustain the academic program…. Second…we came to the conclusion that we could not accept students into a program of studies that we did not believe had an adequate chance of thriving and continuing over the course of their studies. Third, we faced the moral reality that, once we knew these facts to be the case, we had to act.
For Dr. Mohler’s complete statement see, Statement by R. Albert Mohler Jr. on Northland MatterSite Publisher Notice:
Dr. Dana Everson, former NIU faculty of 11 years, is contributing an article on the failed NIU experiment. His article, May the "Northland Heart" Perpetuate, will appear here on Monday, April 27. Given Dr. Everson's personal, first hand experience on the NIU faculty prior to and during the initial years of "change," his insights will prove to be a valuable read.