In Focus: Dr. Goodall Stepping Down, But Not Slowing Down

By Danielle Nye

Dr. Wayde Goodall is stepping down as the Dean of Northwest University’s College of Ministry, after seven years in the role. He is an author of 18 books, five of which were best sellers. He and his wife, Roslyn, focus their talks and books on family, life, and relationships, as well as how faith integrates into each area.

Goodall grew up in Michigan, but moved to the west coast upon joining the military. Before living in Kirkland, he and his wife lived in Vienna, where they started the Vienna Christian Center. This is now the largest international church in Europe, with over 2,000 members. Moving to Vienna was never in Goodall’s life plan, but when the Assemblies of God World Missions asked him if he would consider planting a church in Vienna, he found that there were no Bible-believing churches there.

“When they said that, I thought ‘That’s not fair,’” Goodall said.

Soon after, Goodall, his wife, and their two children sold their possessions to move to Vienna and start a church. Goodall said when he heard of the need in Vienna, he thought of Jonah 4:11:

“And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left…?” (ESV).

Goodall said his experience being Dean of the College of Ministry  at NU has been very rewarding for him.

“The students are my paycheck,” Goodall said.

Goodall views his job at NU as helping students understand how to do ministry and why it is important for furthering the kingdom of God. He believes that NU’s College of Ministry is the best in the country, even when compared with seminaries from Ivy League schools, noting that students have the opportunity to learn under the best team of professors.

Goodall’s advice for students in ministry is to take time to know and understand the will of God, and do it.

“Do not follow the call because you think you want to, but because you are called to follow and everything that comes with it,” he said.

Goodall encourages students to work with people who have gone through failure in their ministry, in order to learn from them. He also is inspired by the movement of women in ministry, and how the number of women involved and leading continues to grow. Goodall emphasizes that the calling to ministry comes from the Holy Spirit, which will make the person aware of the direction if they are listening and hungry.

Goodall’s writing teaches a lot on the subject of marriage and family. When he speaks about those subjects, he never uses the words “perfect marriage” or “perfect relationship” because he says there is no perfect person, nor a perfect church. Goodall references Luke 2:52, which talks about how Jesus grew in both wisdom and stature, emphasizing the importance of growth in our own lives and how growth occurs in body and soul, as many people, he notes, do not pay attention to all that they are; created in God’s image.

Keeping the Sabbath is something that Goodall is passionate about, a concept many people struggle with today. He also strives for a healthy relationship with his wife. In their 47 years of marriage they have made sure to have at least one date night a week, and prioritize effective communication.

In leaving the position and pursuing his future endeavors, Goodall is adamant that he isn’t slowing down.  

“I am not retiring, I am shifting,” Goodall said.

He currently has three book contracts with Focus on the Family, with books due to be released this fall. He also signed on last week to a pastoral care position for pastors around the country. Goodall says he is looking forward to the future, and that he plans to continue his involvement with NU when he can.

Goodall expresses deep appreciation for his staff, and how great pride in the students. He says he is thankful for the years he has been able to spend with NU, and the  many connections he made along the way.

His parting wisdom for students is to keep the proper perspective.  

“Always keep your focus on Jesus,” Goodall says. “Always have ears to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying, because that is the answer. The Word of God tells us about that as well.”

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