Congratulations to 2015 Northern Seminary Graduates

Congratulations to eight Transforming Community alums who graduated from Northern Seminary on June 13, 2015 through our academic partnership with Northern Seminary.

Wendy S. Cordova
Doctor of Ministry
Spiritual Transformation Emphasis
BA, Gordon College, 1992
MDiv, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1999


I am grateful for the growth that has taken place in my heart, life, and ministry since starting in the Doctor of Ministry program. A huge thank you to Ruth Haley Barton at The Transforming Center and to Northern Seminary—both have been used by God to facilitate and nurture this growth. I am very grateful for the love of my family; the love and support of the people in my church community; for friends who have prayed, supported, and cared for me and my sweet daughter; and for those who walked with me through this process, especially my ministry support group and those who participated in my thesis project. But I am most grateful for God’s presence, love, and grace—that continues to bring transformation to my heart and life. As God transforms me, it is my deepest hope to lead in a way that enables others to experience God’s grace and transforming power in their lives. Following graduation I will continue to serve as the Pastor of Evangelism and Lay Ministry at Gainesville First United Methodist Church in Gainesville, Georgia.

Sharon F. Fleshman
Doctor of Ministry
Spiritual Transformation Emphasis
BSE, University of Pennsylvania, 1990
MBA, New York University, 1994
MA, Westminster Theological Seminary, 1997


As I complete my studies at Northern Seminary and the Transforming Center, I feel equipped and empowered to move forward in my own spiritual formation and to support others in doing the same. I am very grateful for God’s grace and love during this time. Many thanks to my family, friends, pastor, church, and the faculty and staff at Northern and the Transforming Center. In the spirit of Ezekiel 47:1- 12, may the presence and power of Christ flow from the life of the Church, watering dry places that are left for dead in individuals and communities.

Arnold E. Gentile
Master of Arts
Spiritual Transformation Emphasis
BS, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1976
BA, Christian Life College, 1988
MA, Biola University, 2007

S. Randall Gooder
Doctor of Ministry
Spiritual Transformation Emphasis
BA, Miami University, 1986
MDiv, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1994


I am so grateful to God for the opportunity to study at Northern these last four years. The partnership with the Transforming Center, combined with the Northern classes, gave me much needed refreshment and provided a deep foundation of theology and practice for the rest of my ministry and life with God. I especially wish to thank my wife, children, and parents for their endless support and encouragement. I will take what I’ve learned and, with God’s help, continue to lead the Vineyard Church in Indianapolis to deeper formation into the image of Jesus for the sake of the world.

Geir Hunsbedt
Master of Divinity
Spiritual Transformation Emphasis


Oh, if only my earthly father could be here today! If it wasn’t for him laying the foundation of faith in me as I was growing up, I may never have entered seminary. I still remember those many nights, so long ago, that I would find my father reading the Bible, having a Bible study, or just talking to others about his faith. He had a tough life, but he never wavered in his love for the Lord. He went home to be with Jesus just after Thanksgiving in 2001, and I know he would be proud of the man I have become. During my time at Northern, I have come to know God more deeply and intimately, and I have found God’s calling on my life to use my passion for spiritual transformation and pastoral care in His Kingdom, now and forever. I am grateful to my family, especially my wife, Beth, and my two sons, Patrick and Andrew; the Burr Ridge United Church of Christ (BRUCC); my new church, the Christian Church of Clarendon Hills (CCCH); and so many others for all the love and support I have received over the last six years. I especially thank Gary M. Faleide, Pastor at BRUCC; J.K. Stevens, Executive Minister at CCCH; and Matthew Rogers, Senior Minister at CCCH; for their friendship, support, and encouragement. And, I would be remiss not to mention the faculty, staff, and fellow students at Northern and the leaders and staff at the Transforming Center (TC #6, you will always be part of my heart), without all of whom I would not have been challenged and encouraged to become the servant of God I am today. I am a better man today because of how God has transformed me and prepared me for ministry through all of you. I now look expectantly forward to ministering to God’s people wherever He may lead me, beginning as a Pastoral Care Deacon and leader of the Pastoral Care Ministry at CCCH. To God be ALL the glory!!!

Catherine Evelyn McMulkin
Doctor of Ministry
Spiritual Transformation Emphasis
MDiv, Tyndale College, 2001


I am grateful for the encouragement and support from the faculty and staff at Northern and for my husband, Brian, who supported me every moment of every day. I am thankful for the growth and transformation that has taken place in my life. During my Doctor of Ministry studies, I have acquired a magnitude of knowledge and practice. Through my time at the Transforming Center, which began this journey, and continuing through Northern Seminary, my understanding of God’s immeasurable and profound love for all of humanity and creation has deepened and grown. Yet, I know there is more to come. The adventure has just begun!

Sharon Marie Rogers
Doctor of Ministry
Spiritual Transformation Emphasis
BS, Philadelphia University, 1981
MA, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2004
MDiv, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2008


The partnership of Northern Seminary and the Transforming Center has been a blessing. These partnerships have led to both personal and professional growth in my role as Associate Pastor at Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Algonquin, Illinois. Having reached the point in life and ministry where I discerned movement toward spiritual depletion, I was introduced through the Transforming Center’s Spiritual Transformation experience to like-minded colleagues beyond my borders both geographically and denominationally. In my studies that combined spiritual practices with psychological principles, I have been both challenged and equipped to continue in pastoral leadership. The support and prayer from faculty, staff, cohort and staff colleagues, and my family has been received as a gift from God. What I have first experienced, myself, I look forward to continuing to share as I guide others in spiritual formation practices. To God by the glory!


Joseph F. Walters
Spiritual Transformation Emphasis
BS, San Jose State University, 1977
MA, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1983

Pictured left to right: Catherine Evelyn McMulkin, Sharon F. Fleshman, Sharon Marie Rogers, Ruth Haley Barton, Wendy S. Cordova, S. Randall Gooder, Geir Hunsbedt

Transforming Center

We desire to see churches and Christian organizations become communities of authentic spiritual transformation – and that begins with transforming leaders. We seek to strengthen the souls of pastors and leaders, equipping them to guide their churches and organizations to become spiritually transforming communities that discern and do the will of God in their settings. Read more about the Transforming Center.
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Congratulations to all these wonderful students on such a significant accomplishment! Each of you worked very hard, not to mention the fact that you graciously served as guinea pigs in our early attempts at melding together this formational experience with the opportunity to earn academic credit. Thank you for your patience and hard work in pioneering this together. We could not be more pleased at the level of preparedness that results from this potent combination of formation and academic study. God bless you, one and all!

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