January 7, 2013

What’s the Cost of Change? $2.7 Million Dollars!

Imagine a Christian ministry experiencing a $2.76 million loss in a single year. You don’t have to image, it’s real! That figure is a single year loss for Northland International University.


Northland International University, under Northland Mission, Inc.1
Fiscal Year: Jun 01, 2010 Ending: May 31, 2011

            Total Revenue - $9,208,432
            Total Expenses- $11,973,992

A loss of $2,765,560.
Chronologically, the losses at NIU began once the changes instituted by Matt Olson came to light. A $2.7 million loss in a single year for NIU is astounding. Those who would dismiss the obvious, redirect attention elsewhere are trying to give cover or plain ol’ foolish!

 How many times can these schools suffer losses of that magnitude and keep the lights on? It’s simple business economics: No entity can run on negative deficits indefinitely. Eventually bills must be brought up to date, creditors satisfied or else. In the meantime, cost cutting measures are made and typically across the board in terms of manpower (faculty/staff) and services. NIU is experiencing consequences of what Matt Olson has turned the former Northland Baptist Bible College into and away from. One commenter wrote, “Whatever may be said the history of the ‘old Fundamentalism’ built schools, churches, colleges, seminaries, mission agencies, etc...What are these men [Matt Olson, Kevin Bauder, Tim Jordan] building?”  They are building an Epitaph for once fine Baptistic, biblically separatist schools, which they have buried. (Excerpted, with additions, from comment thread below)
A Selection of Losers and Then the Winners:

Central Baptist Theological Seminary (Plymouth, MN)2
 Fiscal Year: Jul 01, 2010 - Jun 30, 2011

            Total Revenue             $1,071,769
            Total Expenses           $1,347, 026

A loss of $275,000. Certainly a contributor to Central laying off faculty and staff.

Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary (Lansdale, PA)3
Fiscal Year: September 1, 2010 – August 31, 2011

            Total Revenue- $1,651,202
            Total Expenses- $1,781,017

A loss of $129, 815.

Among the Winners Are:

Maranatha Baptist Bible College (Watertown, WI)4

Fiscal Year: June 1, 2010 – May 31, 2011

            Total Revenue             $15,356,622
            Total Expenses           $14,923,909

$432,713 to the good.

Pensacola Christian College 5

Fiscal Year: August 1, 2010 – July 31, 2011

            Total Revenue $85,672,026
            Total Expenses $76,680,257

$8,991,769 to the good.

What’s The Difference Between the Winners and Losers?
The losers abandoned their foundational principles. They changed! The winners, love em’ or despise em’, have not abandoned or drifted far off the trajectory they’ve been on for years.



LM

GuideStar is the source for all revenue/expense reporting in this article.

1) Northland International University, under Northland Mission, Inc.










Site Publisher’s Commentary:

Did NIU’s administration expect persons and churches that were supporting the former NBBC to continue supporting NIU once they learned of the radical changes that were instituted by Dr. Matt Olson?  With a $2.7 million dollar loss is it reasonable to assume that NIU either already has or is very rapidly burning through the Patz endowment? One former faculty told me that when he was still at Northland, “it was common talk that the Patz fund was barely underwriting the college then, if at all.” Today, enrollment is roughly half what is was just before the revelation of the changes that Matt Olson initiated. We can’t be sure of where NIU will find additional revenue to make up the massive shortfall of tuition revenue. With recent visits to places like the Elmbrook Church in suburban Milwaukee (a non-denominational, evangelical mega-church) however, it’s obvious that NIU needs operating revenue to come from like-minded non-separatist ministries such as NIU has changed into.

Today, in principle and practice, NIU bears almost no resemblance to the once fine fundamental, Baptistic, separatist institution it once was. Because of recent actions and articles by Dr. Matt Olson some men have begun to question whether or not Matt Olson is advocating antinomianism.* Regrettably, Olson is taking the college into that realm and influencing the student body to embrace antinomian principles. Of all the open evidence of the radical changes at NIU, none are starker than-

1) Matt Olson’s Commendation of a C.J. Mahaney Sovereign Grace Ministries Charismatic church and its leadership. See,





video


*Antinomianism, “Theologically, antinomianism is the belief that there are no moral laws God expects Christians to obey. Antinomianism takes a biblical teaching to an unbiblical conclusion.”

Related Reading:
Forward With Change by Ps. Tod Brainard


10 comments:

  1. I get your point, Lou, and I agree to a certain extent. The loss in revenue to a college or church sometimes though can be the result of actually standing for truth in the midst of compromise.

    The compromise and change of said institutions would be true even if they had doubled their attendance and were building even bigger barns.

    I actually am encouraged by the fact that separatist Baptist churches and their members actually are withdrawing from the compromised institutions, although I would not be surprised to hear they are booming bigger and better in a few years, when evangelicals see they are all in. Worldly Christianity will continue to grow and separatist Biblicist churches and believers will always be the remnant, not the mainstream.

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  2. Ps. Rogers:

    You wrote, "I actually am encouraged by the fact that separatist Baptist churches and their members actually are withdrawing from the compromised institutions..."

    Once Matt Olson's true intentions and trajectory for NIU was revealed those who reject where is is taking NIU were not about to provide revenue to fund that kind of trajectory.


    LM

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  3. Lou,

    Does it seem odd that one would judge a school's fidelity to Truth by its financial profitability? Is this really the test of God's blessing and approval--how much money one makes or how many students come? If that were the case I can think of much "better" schools than Maranatha or Pensacola as "winners"! Northland College in Ashland, WI comes to mind (http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/39-0806428/northland-college.aspx). Seems a bit pragmatic, doesn't it? I do not think you intend to do this, but your post does give this impression. There a few other impressions your post gives that may suggest an unbiblical approach as well.

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    1. Hello Christian:

      Thanks for raising the points. The school’s (and I think of NIU, Calvary in particular, Central a little lesser) fidelity to truth, which has been a retreat from “fidelity to Truth” is very clearly established. In fact, their growing affinity for New Evangelicals and the NE mind set reveals a rejection of biblical separation.

      Therefore, no money is not the test. What we have here is a loss of revenue, closing of programs and termination of faculty that coincides and is necessitated with the loss of income, which coincides with the changes that men like Bauder, Jordan and Olson have brought to their respective schools.

      I looked at what has happened to these schools through my businessman’s eyes. Let me refer you back to this article in which I drew comparison between what has become of NIU to the once very popular Bill Knapp’s restaurants. See What Do PIllsbury, Tennessee Temple & Northland Have in Common?

      Kind regards,


      Lou

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  4. Christian, I get what you are saying. I agree, money is not "the sole" indicator of fidelity and Lou has not even implied that here with this article. Lou has added here yet another "piece" to the puzzle that is indicative of the change in direction that these institutions have taken. Is this "piece" the whole puzzle? No, it is just another "piece" to the whole picture.

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  5. I was wondering today about how the parents of a freshman or sophomore might feel about pouring thousands of tuition dollars into a school (NIU) that is losing millions. My concern would be over whether or not the school is going to be around long enough to confer a degree upon my son/daughter. Furthermore, with mounting losses fees must increase and programs/services must be cut to stay afloat. What quality of education can I expect in return for my tuition dollars?


    LM

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  6. Without doubt there are consequences for choices and decisions...seems a tragedy that these young men of today can't discern the affects of their choices...is New Evangelicalism really the liberating answer? Promote, seek, find new funding...and still the affects are evidencing God' lifting His hand! Whatever may be said the history of the "old Fundamentalism" built schools, churches, colleges, seminaries, mission agencies, etc...What are these men building?

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    1. Thanks for your pointed comments. Chronologically, the losses began with the changes. $2.7 million loss in a single year for NIU is astounding. Those who would dismiss the obvious are either trying to give cover or plain ol’ foolish!

      How many times can these schools suffer losses of that magnitude and keep the lights on? It’s simple business economics: No entity can run on negative deficits indefinitely. Eventually bills must be brought up to date, creditors satisfied or else. In the meantime, cost cutting measures are made and typically across the board in terms of manpower (faculty/staff) and services. NIU, Central are in particular experiencing consequences of what Olson and Bauder respectively have turned these schools into and/or for.

      Thanks again,


      LM

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  7. Former Camp Admin2/13/2013 12:42 PM

    The numbers you reference for Northland International University seem to in fact be for Northland Mission Inc and not the university itself. http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/39-0977529/northland-mission.aspx You cannot attribute the entire $2.7 million loss to Dr. Olson. Northland Mission Inc (NMI) includes many different organizations. Northland Camp and Conference Center under NMI operated in a deficit for much of its 50 year existence. While I don't disagree with your opinion of NIU or Dr. Olson, it is inaccurate to say that NIU lost $2.7 million in one year. I just thought if you were going to criticize you could at least do so accurately.

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    1. I thank you for your helpful information. We want to be fair and accurate.


      LM

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