Today Northland announced something big - they are changing their name from NBBC to Northland International University. You can read about the rationale of this change here. Basically, this is a step intended to be more focused and intentional in obeying the Great Commission - to go and make disciples to all peoples... (Matthew 28:18-20).
I am excited about this move. I talked to my dad for a few minutes this morning and I believe God is moving the leadership of this school in an exciting direction. Both Les Olilla (now the chancellor) and Matt Olson (the current president) are men who are committed to the glory of God in the spread of the glorious Gospel through local church ministry and foreign missions. They continue to lead Northland in training men and women to follow Jesus wherever He leads and whatever it costs -- for His glory and by His power.
May God bless Northland International University. May they continue to strive to be faithful to Jesus Christ, the glory of God and the spread of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Here are the two reasons they give in the alumni letter I got this afternoon:
1. We believe the creation of Northland International University will help us better communicate and advance the present higher education ministries of Northland Baptist Bible College, Northland Graduate School, Northland Center for Global Opportunities, and the newly established Northland Online. While our narrow missional focus is unchanged from the time you were here, the scope of our ministry, however, has expanded–as it has been doing so for over thirty years now. We believe the establishment of Northland International University enables us to communicate more fully what we have already been doing for quite some time.
2. We also believe the name Northland International University will give Northland graduates even greater access to “restricted access” nations with the Gospel. This really thrills us knowing some of the challenges many of you have had to overcome in getting on the mission field in these parts of the world. In a recent survey, 43.8% or the current student body expressed the desire to serve the Lord in a foreign land. Isn’t that amazing? And a large part of this group is focused on areas that are now considered “closed” to traditional missions. As you know, we face unprecedented opportunities to spread the Gospel all around the globe. While the core educational experience will be unaltered at Northland Baptist Bible College, a Northland International University transcript will make it easier to gain access to some of the most needy regions of the world.