Northwest Nazarene University

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Northwest Nazarene University
Seal of Northwest Nazarene University
Motto Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God
Established 1913
Type Private
Religious affiliation Nazarene
Endowment US $21,727,123[1]
President David Alexander
Students 1,836
Undergraduates 1,247
Postgraduates 589
Location Nampa, Idaho, United States
43°33′44″N 116°33′55″W / 43.562330°N 116.565220°W / 43.562330; -116.565220Coordinates: 43°33′44″N 116°33′55″W / 43.562330°N 116.565220°W / 43.562330; -116.565220
Campus Suburban
Former names Idaho Holiness School (1913-1916), Northwest Holiness College (1916-1917), Northwest Nazarene College (1917-1999)
Colors Red and black         
Athletics NCAA (GNAC)
Sports Baseball, Basketball, Cross-Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball
Nickname Crusaders
Affiliations CCCU, NWCCU

Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) is a private Christian liberal arts college located in Nampa, Idaho, United States.


Fred J. Shields 1917-1919
1. H. Orton Wiley 1919-1926
2. Joseph G. Morrison 1926-1927
3. Russell V. DeLong 1927-1932
4. R. Eugene Gilmore 1932-1935
5. Russell V. DeLong 1935-1942
6. L.T. Corlett 1942-1952
7. John E. Riley 1952-1973
8. Kenneth H. Pearsall 1973-1983
9. A. Gordon Wetmore 1983-1992
10. Leon Doane 1992-1993
11. Richard A. Hagood 1993-2008
12. David Alexander 2008-Present

Eugene Emerson organized a combination grade school and Bible school in 1913 as Idaho Holiness School.[2][3] It was renamed twice in 1916, first to Northwest Holiness College and then to Northwest Nazarene College,[4] and then became a liberal arts college in 1917 with degree-granting authority from the Idaho state Board of Education. While the first president elected for the college in 1916 was H. Orton Wiley of Pasadena University, Fred J. Shields would fill in as acting president before leaving for the Eastern Nazarene College in 1919, while Wiley finished his graduate work.[5] Under Russell V. DeLong, Northwest Nazarene College (NNC) received educational accreditation,[6] as a two-year school in 1931[7] and then received accreditation as a four-year school in 1937,[7] making it the first accredited college affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene.[8] Under Presidents John E. Riley and Kenneth H. Pearsall in the 1960s and 1970s, master's degree programs were added.[9][10] It was renamed as Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) in 1999.


The mission of Northwest Nazarene University is the transformation of the whole person. Centered in Jesus Christ, the NNU education instills habits of heart, soul, mind and strength to enable each student to become God’s creative and redemptive agent in the world.[11]


As one of eight U.S. liberal arts colleges[12] affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene,[13] the college receives financial backing from the Nazarene churches on its region; part of each church budget is paid into a fund for its regional school. Each college is also bound by a gentlemen's agreement not to actively recruit outside its respective educational region.[14] NNU is the college for the Northwest Region of the United States, which comprises the Alaska, Washington Pacific, Oregon Pacific, Northwest, Intermountain, Rocky Mountain, and Colorado districts, which include Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Alaska, and parts of Nevada and Utah.[15] NNU is also a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).[16] NNU has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) since 1930, making it the first Nazarene school to achieve an accredited status.[6]


Northwest Nazarene University has six schools: Academic Resources (Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences), Business & Economics, Education & Social Work, Health & Science, and Theology & Christian Ministries. The university offers baccalaureate programs in 29 areas and graduate programs in seven disciplines.[9] It is the home of the Wesley Center for Applied Theology.[17] There were 1,836 students at the college in 2007, 1,247 of whom were undergraduates.[18] The 2007 acceptance rate for students who applied to the college was 69.7 percent.[19]

Student life[edit]

NNU is a co-educational college. According to InsideHigherEd and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, black student enrollment at NNU is one percent or less of the entire student population.[20]


NNU participates in the NCAA's Great Northwest Athletic Conference at the NCAA Division II level in 8 sports: basketball, baseball, cross country running, golf, softball, soccer, track and field, and volleyball.[21] NNU added tennis as a club team in the Fall of 2013. Along with the Eastern Nazarene College, it is one of only two Nazarene colleges to compete in the NCAA; the other six compete in the NAIA. NNU's athletic moniker is "Crusaders" and colors are red and black. The schools main rival is NAIA College of Idaho, located a short distance to the west in Caldwell, Idaho.

Notable persons[edit]

Notable graduates include Kent R. Hill, the former administrator for USAID's Bureau for Global Health and former president of the Eastern Nazarene College (1992-2001), Richard Hieb, NASA astronaut, Dr. Jim Zimbelman, earth and planetary geologist at the Smithsonian Institution, and Michael Lodahl and Thomas Jay Oord, noted Nazarene theologians. Oord is current faculty at his alma mater. A notable non-graduate alumna is Mildred Bangs Wynkoop, another noted Nazarene theologian. Notable former faculty members include Fred J. Shields, H. Orton Wiley, and Olive Winchester.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ USNews & World Report Guide to Best Colleges: Northwest Nazarene University
  2. ^ Riley, John E. From Sagebrush to Ivy: The story of Northwest Nazarene College. Pacific Press, Nampa, Idaho, 1988.
  3. ^ Ingersol, Stan. Why These Schools? Historical Perspectives on Nazarene Higher Education (PDF). Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  4. ^ Raser, Harold E.; Thomas C. Hunt, James C. Carper, eds. (1996). Religious Higher Education in the United States. Taylor & Francis. p. 549. ISBN 0-8153-1636-4. 
  5. ^ Cameron, James R. (1968). Eastern Nazarene College—The First Fifty Years, 1900-1950. Kansas City: Nazarene Publishing House. p. 127, 142–143. 
  6. ^ a b NWCCU: Idaho schools
  7. ^ a b NNU Administrative Policy Manual
  8. ^ The next Nazarene college to be accredited wasn't until 6 years later, when Eastern Nazarene was accredited by NEASC in 1943. Northwest had the authority to grant degrees from the State of Idaho before 1930, but ENC didn't have the authority to grant degrees in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until 1930. Before 1930, ENC students actually received degrees from NNU. See James R. Cameron, Eastern Nazarene College—The First Fifty Years, 1900-1950, Nazarene Publishing House (1968), 163.
  9. ^ a b NNU History
  10. ^ Fall 2008 President's Dinner at NNU
  11. ^ "Northwest Nazarene University: Mission, Values, & Vision". Northwest Nazarene University website. 
  12. ^ J. Matthew, Price. "Liberal Arts and the Priorities of Nazarene Higher Education" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-07-10.  Nazarene higher education is based on the liberal arts model. Eastern Nazarene is the only Nazarene institution to retain the "college" moniker, although no Nazarene school fits the standard national definition of a "research university".
  13. ^ "Nazarene Educational Regions" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-07-10.  See Church of the Nazarene: Organization for more information on regions.
  14. ^ Guidelines and Handbook for Educational Institutions of the Church of the Nazarene. Church of the Nazarene International Board of Education. 1997. p. 14. 
  15. ^ "Northwest Educational Region" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-07-10.  ENC and NNU are the only Nazarene schools to remain true to their regional names.
  16. ^ "CCCU Members". Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  17. ^ Wesley Center at Northwest Nazarene
  18. ^ "Search for Schools, Colleges, and Libraries". U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  19. ^ "Northwest Nazarene University". Guide to Best Colleges. U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  20. ^ "Christian Colleges Grow More Diverse". August 15, 2008.
  21. ^ NNU Sports

External links[edit]