Northland International University

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For the liberal arts college, see Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin
Northland International University
Northland International University Logo 2009.png
Motto Preparing the next generation of servant-leaders for Great Commission living.
Established 1976
Type Private
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 266[1]
Postgraduates 96[1]
Location Dunbar, WI, USA
Colors Green/White/Black
Mascot Pioneers

Northland International University, formerly Northland Baptist Bible College, is a Baptist college in Dunbar, Wisconsin.[2] The school was founded in 1976 by businessman and inventor, Paul Patz and his family of seven children. Current enrollment is approximately 325 students.[3]


Northland Mission Camp (now Northland Camp and Conference Center) was founded on December 31, 1958 by Paul and Mamie Patz and Rev. Harold and Arlene Sailer. Rev. Sailer and his wife both graduated from Northwestern Bible College. Property for the 1,500-acre (6.1 km2) facility in northeast Wisconsin was purchased in 1960. In 1976, Northland Bible Institute was started. The following year, it changed its name to Northland Baptist Bible College. On April 7, 2009, the school created the name Northland International University as a canopy name for its four entities: Northland Baptist Bible College, Northland Graduate Studies, Northland Center for Global Opportunities, and Northland Online.[4] Northland Camp and Conference Center and Northland International University are branches of Northland Mission, Inc.[5]

For much of its history, Northland operated without accreditation, which meant that its students were not eligible for government financial assistance. In 2004, Northland obtained provisional accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), making its students eligible for federal funds. TRACS granted full accreditation in 2008.[6]

In 2009, Northland requested inclusion in the Wisconsin Tuition Grant Program, so that undergraduate students from Wisconsin attending Northland could receive state financial assistance. In August 2009, the Wisconsin Higher Education Aids Board determined that Northland students were not eligible for state financial aid because the college's accreditation was not from a regional accreditation organization. Northland appealed the ruling to agency's board, citing TRACS' federal government recognition. A decision was expected in the fall of 2009, but students were not eligible for state aid for the 2009-2010 school year.[6][7]

In early 2013 Northland Mission, Inc. was reincorporated as Northland International University, Inc. On April 29, 2013 Matthew R. Olson announced to faculty, staff and students that he had been removed as president by the board.[8] On May 8, the four board members that were not a member of the founding family resigned based on the desire of the founding family to continue in the direction of change ushered in by Matthew Olson. As a result, the remaining three board members voted to bring Matthew Olson back on as President of NIU.[9] On May 22, 2013 the board voted to install Daniel Patz as the third chairman of the board. On June 13, 2013 Matthew R. Olson announced to faculty and staff that he has resigned effective June 12, 2013.[10] He indicated in a message to faculty, staff and students that this would give the board the best opportunity to move forward and to succeed. As planned in May 2013, on June 17 and 18 a Board Advisory Council (BAC) convened to assist the board in discerning the best next steps. On July 24, Daniel Patz was appointed as the university's fourth president.[11]

Pending closure[edit]

In October of 2014, Northland announced that the board of trustees of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary had decided to accept the university's assets and campus as a gift and to establish an extension of Southern's Boyce college at the campus.[12] On April 22, 2015 President Patz announced that The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary had reversed their previous decision and no longer intended to acquire Northland's campus.[13] Following a meeting of the Northland Board of Trustees, President Patz communicated the board's decision to close both the graduate and undergraduate schools of the university following the end of the 2014-2015 school year.[14]

List of Presidents[edit]

Name Tenure Notes
1st James Wooster September 7, 1976 – 1980
Vacant 1980 – 1984
2nd Les Ollila 1984 – September 23, 2002
3rd Matthew R. Olson September 23, 2002 – June 12, 2013 Dismissed by the board April 25, 2013; reinstated May 9, 2013; resigned June 12, 2013.
Vacant June 13, 2013 – July 23, 2013
4th Daniel Patz July 24, 2013 – present

Change in articles of faith[edit]

On May 10, 2013, Northland announced that it was provisionally replacing its articles of faith with the New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith of 1853, while developing a new set of articles of faith that would be specific to Northland.[15] The new revision of the statement was completed in the fall of 2013.[16]


Northland International University Aerial photo of Camp Lake and many of the campus buildings.

Northland's 1500 acre campus is located approximately 6 miles southeast of Dunbar, Wisconsin. The main classroom buildings are the Founder's Center, named in honor of the school's founder, Paul Patz; and the Jacquot Educational Center (JEC), named in honor of former dean Dr. Ardell Jacquot.[17] The Founder's Center also houses the administrative offices, registrar's office, and business office of the university. The University library, which houses over 50,000 volumes, is located in the JEC.[18] The campus also has a Fine Arts Center where music classes and performances are held.


Northland is accredited by Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS).


Northland's intercollegiate sports teams are called the Pioneers. The school is a Division II member of the National Christian College Athletic Association, and competes in men's soccer, men's and women's basketball, and women's volleyball.[19] Men's hockey and men's volleyball compete as athletic clubs not under the sanction of the NCCAA.[20] Men's soccer has been Northland's strongest sport, as they have won over ten regional championships in addition to several national championships. Their 2012 season ended with a loss in the national championship game to Moody Bible Institute,[21] and in 2013 they earned a top three at-large bid in the national championship tournament.[22]

Mission and purpose[edit]

Northland International University states that its mission is "(1) to glorify God by providing an educational environment for developing servant-leaders in honesty, obedience, wisdom, and service to love Jesus Christ with all their heart, soul, and mind (2) and by teaching students to live by the principles of God's Word, to walk with God as His faithful laborers, and to serve in local churches for revival, world evangelization, and the discipling of future generations for the cause of Jesus Christ." The university's purpose statement is "Preparing the next generation of servant-leaders for Great Commission living."[23]

Focus on Christian ministry[edit]

Northland has a strong focus on Christian ministry. The result of this is a strong focus on local church ministries and global ministry opportunities.

Local church ministry[edit]

Northland students are required to join a "service team" during the first semester of their freshman year. Students aid a local church by providing services such as nursery care, teaching Sunday school, leading music, preaching, or teaching in a local nursing home.[24] During the 2012-2013 school year, Northland formed a traveling worship band to represent the school at local churches and other functions.[25][26]

Global opportunities[edit]

Northland also has an emphasis on global Christian mission work, and encourages its students to study abroad for a semester under the GO Study Abroad program and/or participate in a summer missions trip.[27]


  1. ^ a b "2011 IPEDS Finance Part E Line 14". Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Northland International University". Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "2011 IPEDS Finance Part E Line 14". Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Northland International University". 1958-12-31. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  5. ^ "Corporate Site | NMI". Northland Ministries. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  6. ^ a b Lederman, Doug (August 14, 2009). "Accreditation Discrimination". Inside Higher Ed. 
  7. ^ WI Baptist School Appeals Financial Aid Denial, Chicago Tribune, August 9, 2009
  8. ^ "Northland Transitions Leadership". 2013-04-29. Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  9. ^ "Updates from Dr. Olson and Daniel Patz". 2013-06-13. Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "Northland Names New President | News & Events | Northland International University". 2013-07-26. Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  12. ^ "Northland’s Mission and Legacy Continues with Southern". 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2015-05-01. 
  13. ^ "Important Announcement". 2015-04-22. Retrieved 2015-05-01. 
  14. ^ "Grad & Undergrad Schools Closing, Camp Scaling Back". 2015-04-30. Retrieved 2015-05-01. 
  15. ^ "An Update from Northland’s Board & Administration | News & Events | Northland International University". 2013-05-11. Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  16. ^ "Statement of Faith | About Us | Northland International University". Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  17. ^ [2][dead link]
  18. ^ "Northland Catalog Page 9 | Northland International University". Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  19. ^ "Welcome to the NCCAA: National Christian College Athletic Association". Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  20. ^ "Athletics | NBBC | Northland International University". Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  21. ^ "Welcome to the NCCAA: Division II Men's Soccer Championship". Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  22. ^ "National Christian College Athletic Association - 2013 NCCAA Soccer Division II National Championships Finals Set". Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  23. ^ "Northland International University". Retrieved 2012-05-15. [dead link]
  24. ^ "Northland International University". Retrieved 2012-05-15. [dead link]
  25. ^ "Promotional Video | About Us | Northland International University". Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  26. ^ "A Letter To All Friends of Northland - The Wagners for The Word". Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  27. ^ "Northland Center for Global Opportunities | Northland International University". Retrieved 2012-05-15. 

External links[edit]