More on Strategic Partnership with Southern Seminary

Last week we announced that Northland is entering into a Strategic Partnership with Southern Seminary. You can read that news release here.

The following is a letter I wrote to our alumni and friends of Northland this week.  I praise God for what He has already done, and continue to look to Him for leading and provision as we seek to prepare the next generation of servant-leaders for Great Commission living.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Dear Friend,

Can you believe that Northland has over 3,000 alumni spread across the globe serving Jesus? In addition, more than 75,000 campers and staff have had their lives touched at Northland Camp over the past 55 years. While this is thrilling, I am now more excited than ever that we will add dramatically to that number in the coming years.

Last week I shared with you the exciting news of our “strategic partnership” with The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary under the leadership of Dr. Albert Mohler. Together, we are working to make Northland part of the Southern Seminary family.

Northland will maintain its history and mission but join with this like-minded institution for a united purpose. This is cause for much joy and hope, since Southern is a school that takes the Word of God seriously and passionately desires to reach the lost both here and around the world. Southern Seminary and Boyce College is wholeheartedly committed to the Gospel and a faithful vision of church life and ministry. They embrace a philosophy of intentional discipleship, servant leadership, and treasuring the glory of God in all things. This is what Northland has always stood for.

Being adopted into Southern Seminary’s family means an exciting future for Northland’s camp and college, a clear identity, proven credibility, and a reenergized advancement of our mission. However, because these things take time and require due process, Northland continues to have immediate financial needs. As you have been faithful in the past, I am asking you to pray like crazy and help us reach our summer goal of $600,000. We are pumped about camp this summer and are readying ourselves for a strong academic year.

It was over a year ago when I uprooted from Minnesota and moved with Molly and the kids back to the Northwoods of Dunbar. I was not alone; many alumni and friends of Northland stepped in and gave of their time, money, encouragement, and prayers. This generosity has continued over the past thirteen months. The past year has been the most frenetic and exciting year of my life as I have seen God provide, guide, and unite for His glory and the furtherance of our mission at Northland.

I am so excited by what God is doing in advancing the legacy of Northland! It’s been amazing to watch how He has directed our paths and continues to lead us, but we need your help as we move into this new season together with Southern.

Northland is a really special place! For many of you, Northland was used by God to dramatically impact your spiritual life. Built into our DNA has always been an emphasis to disciple our students towards humble servant leadership founded upon the Word of God and motivated by the glory of Christ. It has been a place of mission—mission to students and campers, and mission to local churches here and around the world. This mission must continue, and I believe God has been at work forging relationships that will do just that.

This is an important task!

I am asking you to give to Northland at this time for the following three reasons:

3 Ways to Give
(all gifts are tax-deductible)

  1. Give Online
  2. Send a check to
    W10085 Pike Plains
    Dunbar, WI 54119
  3. Visit us on campus.

For further assistance, please contact Barb Herron at: or (715)324-6900 ext.1700.

  1. Invest in the Future: An exciting new chapter at Northland is being written, and with your financial help (whether it’s $10 or $10,000) you will be investing in future students, campers, and even opportunities for yourself.
  2. Express Gratitude: Many people gave sacrificially to make Northland affordable to campers and students. Just as these people invested in our lives, I’m asking you to gratefully invest in the lives of others.
  3. Engage the Mission: The need of preparing the next generation of servant-leaders for Great Commission living is stronger than ever. Northland exists to impact students and campers to go out to the ends of the earth as prepared laborers with the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am profoundly grateful for your support through prayers and financial giving. I would love to hear from you via email ( or phone. (My cell number is 651-303-7823.) I will make every effort to get back to you and answer any questions you may have.

With gratitude and hope,

Daniel Patz Signature

Daniel Patz
President and Alumnus
Northland International University

Take a look a our 7 NEW Degrees for the coming school year!

I Believe God Had a Monopoly On Me


“I believe God had a monopoly on me.”

These were the words of an old man – a man who lived through the extreme poverty of the Great Depression in rural Wisconsin; a man who had undergone numerous surgeries and treatments for cancer over many years; a man who rose from rags to riches in a short amount of time. This man went from poor farmer and care-taker for his mother to a successful businessman who revolutionized the modern dairy farming industry and who was the patriarch of a large family. This man never exceeded a third grade education. He never went to Bible college, seminary or business school. He never served as pastor or elder. But He was used of God to start and fund a Bible camp and later a Bible college that would lead to the salvation of many men and women, boys and girls, students and staff. His ministry resulted in many lives changed for the sake of the Gospel; many students called and prepared for ministry; many churches, mission works and Christians impacted by the work of God on this man. He was a deacon in his local church and a deacon in the greater work of the kingdom of God. His “DNA” of generous servant-leadership continues as the mark of graduates, former and current staff and faculty and students. And it is my prayer that it marks the ongoing leadership of Northland International University.

I am talking about Paul Patz.  A host of blessed students and staff members would some day call him “Papa Patz.” I called him grandpa; some called him Dr. Patz; and to his church, he was Paul or Mr. Patz. Over the years, I have heard stories about my grandfather. He was known to take a student or staff member to a tailor and buy him a new suit. He would send a check to the school (that he was already funding at a significant level) and pay for part of a student’s school bill. He would show up in the fall to rake leaves with students and staff. He would take the time to make jokes with a secretary, offer up predictable and yet winsome clichés to those he wanted to make smile, and yet he knew how to work and get people to work. He knew how to use his mind to solve problems, overcome obstacles, and make money. He was innovative, industrious, and inventive. Some would have called him an entrepreneur and a philanthropist. He said it this way: “I believe God had a monopoly on me.”

What he meant by this was more profound than him “having God” in his life; rather, he meant that God had him. God had all of him – his life, his family, his work, his business, his money and…his ministry. In fact, Paul Patz never saw himself as a “ministry guy.” In his earlier life, he thought ministry was for the “educated types.” Sometime later in his life he realized one day that he was already in the ministry. He was in the ministry with his family and his business. They were together working, serving, investing, dreaming, giving and helping a place where young people would come; a place where campers and students were invested in for the sake of the Gospel; a place where training the next generation of servant-leaders for great commission living would become a reality. For my grandfather, it became quite simple: “Jesus said the harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few. So I guess he wants me to invest in preparing more laborers for a harvest of souls.” For him, Northland existed, to put it in the founder’s own words, “to prepare and educate young people to go and seek the lost.” (And, praise be to God, it still does!)

You and I will most likely never invent something that will make a ton of money. We will probably never start a business that will take off and change the world. We will never write a famous book, speak at a big-time conference, or have more than 400 Twitter followers. But what happens when God has a monopoly on us is what really matters.  I came across the phrase, “I believe God had a monopoly on me,” from a recorded talk that he had with his sons and grandsons in 1993, while talking about his business and ministry. Although I am not completely sure what he meant by “monopoly,” I think I know what he meant. I think he meant what your ordinary dictionary would say a few lines down – “the exclusive possession or control of something.” It is something akin to what the apostle Paul meant in 1 Corinthians 7:21-23 when he said that we are slaves or “bondservants” of Christ because we have been “bought with a price.”

At Northland International University, we strive to pass this very heartbeat on to our students as they prepare for a life of great commission living.  This coming week, April 28-29, we have the honor of celebrating “Founder’s Days” by welcoming Dr. Albert Mohler (president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) and Andrew Peterson (recording artist and author of some awesome fiction books), as we invite pastors, the founding family, the board of trustees, alumni, prospective students and the community. You can find out more information at and tune in to the events live at


College Chapel and “Women Preachers”

I shared a version of the following statement to Northland’s Faculty and Staff this morning. I also shared this with Dr. Lina AbuJamra, and she is supportive of me sharing this with you.

Earlier this semester, I asked Dr. Lina AbuJamra to share her testimony for the benefit of our students; she did so on Tuesday, April 22. Dr. AbuJamra has an incredible story.  Her family emigrated from Lebanon when she was a child, and her life was powerfully impacted by Northland Camp both as a camper and as a staff member.  She is a brilliant and godly woman.  She is a pediatric ER doctor in Chicago, a Christian author, a popular women’s speaker and a Northland board member.  Dr. AbuJamra is both fiery and passionate and serves as an outstanding role model for our students as a disciple of Jesus. I shared with Dr. AbuJamra my position on women and preaching; she agreed and told me that she would not preach. I trust Dr. AbuJamra’s heart. She is a godly woman, and I have much respect for her. She has a great message to share, and she shared some very needed things with our students and staff yesterday.

Apart from being personally jealous of how good of a communicator she is, I do agree that the tone and direction of her testimony was more than I anticipated and expected.  I am not referring to its rich biblical content, but that it was closer to what we call preaching or heralding the Word than I was comfortable with in that setting. This is true especially given how we have traditionally used chapel in the history of Northland.

While the Lord used this to bless many students and staff (they have shared this with me), I also know that there have been some concerns.  Are we embracing a form of egalitarianism? Are we going to encourage our lady students to be preachers? No. We are, however, wanting to teach all of our students, including women, to think well, to love God’s Word, to serve others, and to connect with others in all types of settings.

The college chapel setting is not the church; this is different than a local church congregational gathering. Often we consider chapel as a type of convocation. This was communicated in the introduction (not on livestream) to students on Monday and Tuesday morning.

However, I am concerned that we don’t practice or communicate something that we most certainly do not believe. I do not believe God has called women to the primary teaching and preaching ministry of the church as elders/pastors. I believe this, because I believe everything that Paul taught in the NT on this subject. I am strongly complementarian in conviction, and I do not believe women should preach in Northland chapel. I do believe that God does brilliantly gift women to know God’s Word and to communicate it effectively in so many ways.

Dr. AbuJamra wanted to minister to students from the testimony of her life and the Word of God. I think she blessed many, many people. Dr. AbuJamra shares my complementarian conviction as well. If there is anyone to blame, it would be me for not better considering the setting and context – both to her, as well as to the students and staff. I am grateful for God’s faithful and patient teaching as I strive to lead for His glory.

At Least One Good Thing from the “Noah” Movie


You will probably waste your time seeing the NOAH MOVIE, but you will not waste your time reading this review of it by Matt Walsh.

Here are three of my favorite quotes (of the review not the movie):

1. I’ve also heard some “Christian leaders” endorse this steaming pile of heretical horse manure. I’m tempted to accuse them of being cowardly, dumb, or dishonest, but I’ll just give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they slept through the most troubling parts — like the part at the beginning, and the end, and all of the parts in between.

2. If you’re looking for a movie more obviously inspired by Biblical precepts, go see anything else. Go see The Lego Movie. I’m sure even that will bear a closer resemblance to Scripture than emo Noah and his gang of Boulder Creatures.

3. As a film, it’s like the script for a Syfy Network miniseries got shoved into a blender with the treatment for a Lifetime channel made-for-TV movie and then mixed with enough moping nihilism and environmentalist sermonizing to fool pretentious elitists into using words like ‘daring’ and ‘relevant’ when describing it. In other words, it’s aggressively abysmal.

Read the entire review here.

The Ultimate Outrage


There are a myriad of things to be up in arms about: abortion, the loss of Christian liberties, human trafficking, domestic abuse, shallow churches, the dissolution of marriage, Obamacare, the national debt, Russian tyranny and abdicating men–to name a few. 

But NOTHING compares to what goes on every day in my heart (and probably yours):

The glory of God is not honored.
The holiness of God is not reverenced.
The greatness of God is not admired.
The power of God is not praised.
The truth of God is not sought.
The wisdom of God is not esteemed.
The beauty of God is not treasured.
The goodness of God is not savored.
The faithfulness of God is not trusted.
The promises of God are not relied upon.
The commandments of God are not obeyed.
The justice of God is not respected.
The wrath of God is not feared.
The grace of God is not cherished.
The presence of God is not prized.
The person of God is not loved.

(taken from John Piper’s sermon The Greatest Thing in the World: An Overview of Romans 1-7)

Let us be ANGRY and sin not.

7 Leadership Lessons from Captain Phillips


Good friend and Vice President here at Northland, Scott Dunford, offers seven great observations about leadership from the 2013 movie, Captain Phillips. These points are REALLY good!



  1. Don’t allow the crisis to distract you from your daily obligations. The problem is that by neglecting daily responsibilities, we are often simply creating additional crises on top of the new one.
  2. When you don’t know what to do, take the next logical step. Prepare for the worst, pray for the best, and act in the moment. . . Your actions now will prepare the way for success later.
  3. Take responsibility for those you are leading. Sometimes a responsible leader has to make tough decisions that are best for the organization and in the long-term best interest of the individual, but in the short run are painful and seem uncaring.  Shirking necessary decisions is not leadership, is not responsible, and is not loving.
  4. Stay calm and look for a way out. Embracing responsibility doesn’t mean accepting failure as inevitable. . . Take time to pray, rest, refresh yourself and keep going.
  5. Don’t forget the human touch. Whether you are in a legal battle, a downsizing situation, a hostile corporate takeover, or are literally a hostage, remember the humanity and value of the people you are working with (or against).
  6. Extend the narrative. Captain Phillips understood what all hostage survivalists teach—stay alive.  Organizationally that may at times feel worse than death.
  7. Don’t give up hope. It is the end of March, and the calendar says Spring, but it’s snowing outside and was 23 degrees this morning. It feels like Spring will never come, but I know that I am one day closer to Summer than I was yesterday.

Read the whole thing here.