>As most of you know, and as I have mentioned in a previous post, for the past three years I have been directing the Self-Study process at Northern Baptist Seminary. Every ten years, educational institutions must go through a process of re-accreditation. Accreditation is crucial to an educational institution. Without accreditation an educational institution cannot grant valid degrees.
A Self-Study process must include a study of the life and mission of the institution. According to the Mission Statement of Northern Baptist Seminary, our mission “is to educate leaders for the churches who will be personally whole and spiritually mature, biblically grounded and theologically competent, pastoral, evangelistic and prophetic.”
The Self-Study must study of the life and work of the seminary to ascertain whether we are accomplishing our educational mission. This study has taken three long years. As the director of the Self-Study, I had to develop and implement a plan to evaluate the work of the seminary for the past ten years.
Since last summer, I have been reading and evaluating the reports that were prepared for the Self-Study. In December 2006 I began writing the Self-Study report. This work has taken all my available time and more. In addition to my work on the Self-Study, I had to teach and continue my work as pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Chicago.
I am glad to report that the main work of writing the Self-Study report is finished. Last week I wrote the summary and the conclusion of the report. The result of this work was a report of almost 200 pages, typed single space, with dozens of footnotes and dozens of appendixes.
My work on the Self-Study has forced me to stop posting to my blog from time to time. For the past week or so, I have been unable to post because I had to complete the report. I also have not been able to answer several emails and comments I received to my posts. For this, I apologize to my readers.
This coming Wednesday the members of the faculty will discuss the written Self-Study report. Until then, I will be unable to post again. After the process is finished, I will resume posting to my blog.
Maybe the words of the Preacher apply to this situation. He said: “There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else” (Ecclesiastes 12:12).
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary