Northwestern College (Iowa)

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Coordinates: 42°59′56″N 96°03′25″W / 42.999°N 96.057°W / 42.999; -96.057

Northwestern College (Iowa)
NW Logo.svg
Former names
Northwestern Junior College, Northwestern Classical Academy
Motto "God Is Light" (Deus Est Lux)
Type Private
Established 1882
Affiliation Reformed Church in America (RCA)
Endowment $46,684,000 (as of 2014)[1]
President Greg Christy
Provost Kent Eaton
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 1,210 (2015-16) [2]
Location Orange City, Iowa, U.S.
Campus Rural, 100 acres (0.4 km2)
Colors Red and White         
Nickname Red Raiders

Northwestern College (NWC) is a private Christian Liberal arts college with more than 1200 students located in Orange City, Iowa. It is also informally known as Northwestern Iowa. It is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America (RCA). Northwestern began as an academy in 1882. It was then upgraded to junior college status in 1928. In 1961, it became the four-year institution it is today.

Northwestern has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1953.[3] In addition, the Athletic Training, Business, Education, Nursing and Social Work programs are accredited by their respective accreditation organizations.[4]

Athletically, Northwestern competes as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Division II, within the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC).

College community[edit]

Northwestern College is an educational institution made up of approximately 1200 students and 300 faculty and staff [5] located in Orange City, a rural community of 6004 residents in Sioux County, Iowa.[6] The campus itself is a few blocks south of the downtown area, centered on the intersection of State Highway 10 and Albany Avenue.


The NWC community is governed by a Board of Trustees which is chaired by Martin Guthmiller. Approximately half of its members represent the RCA denomination.[7] There is also a Student Government Association.[8]

Greg Christy is the President of the college. He is assisted by a leadership team called the Administrative Council.[9]

President Christy began with NWC in 2008. He had previously served as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota, an institution he served at for twelve years. Prior to that, he had held positions on the staffs of South Dakota State University and Iowa State University. Christy holds a bachelor's degree in management from Simpson College along with a master's degree in physical education and sports management from Western Illinois University.[10]

Dr. Kent Eaton serves as the college's Provost in an interim capacity.[9]

Campus culture[edit]

Northwestern College expresses its identity as a "Reformed, evangelical and ecumenical" community, viewing these three Christian theological perspectives as complementary and drawing strengths from each perspective to fulfill its mission.[11] Chapel is offered two days a week in addition to a student-led Sunday evening praise and worship night. [12]

As an intentionally Reformed, Christian academic community, NWC has adopted a Vision for Learning "rooted in the wisdom of the Bible" where they "view learning as worship, using our minds to better understand, serve and love God's world." An institutional commitment to engagement is an important part of that, by "participating in God's redemptive work" and seeking "to respond to God's call to share the gospel, care for creation and serve Christ in everyone." As a logical outgrowth of that vision, an education at NWC is designed to prepare students to:[13]

  • Trust, love and worship God
  • Engage ideas
  • Connect knowledge and experience
  • Respond to God’s call


There were a total of 1205 students as of the 2014-15 school year - 709 women and 496 men. Roughly half of the student population attending NWC comes from the state of Iowa and two-thirds of its students come from the three mid-western states: Iowa (649 students), South Dakota (102), and Minnesota (90). The top six Christian denominations represented at the college are: Reformed/RCA (265), Lutheran (102), Evangelical Free (94), Baptist (81), Roman Catholic (76), and Christian Reformed (66). More than 10% (157) of NWC students are identified as ethnic minorities or international students.[14]

Student residences[edit]

  • Colenbrander Hall - Men
  • North Suites - Men
  • Fern Smith Hall - Women
  • Stegenga Hall - Women
  • Hospers Hall - Men
  • Bolks Apartments - Uni-gender units
  • Courtyard Village Apartments - Uni-gender units
  • Vanderhill Cottage

Student groups and clubs on campus[edit]

  • Student Government Association (SGA) - A group of elected student representatives and faculty advisors gather weekly to discuss issues about campus and how to improve campus life.[15]
  • The International Club (I-Club) - is open to both international and American students who engage socially and through meetings, events, and trips to learn about one another's cultures.[16]
  • Red Raider Club - A group consisting of current and former athletes and NWC sports fans which supports and funds athletes and athletic projects.[17]
  • Discipleship Groups (D-Groups) - Student led D-Groups meet weekly in each residence hall and student apartment complex to pray, study the Bible, and talk about their faith.[18]
  • The Beacon - A weekly student newspaper which covers topics of interest to the Northwestern Community such as News, Arts & Culture, Sports, and Opinions. It is distributed on Fridays.[19]

Events and traditions[edit]

  • RUSH: A Student Dance Concert performs each year at Northwestern College. RUSH is a completely student-led, student-initiated, student-choreographed dance concert with a cast of close to 200 dancers with experience ranging from 0–20 years. RUSH holds the belief that anyone can dance, so long as they are committed and determined. All who try out are cast, and since its founding in 2004, RUSH has quickly become one of the most anticipated and most popular events at Northwestern.[citation needed]
  • As residence life is a big part of campus life at Northwestern College, each residence hall boasts a number of hall specific traditions.

Academic buildings[edit]

  • Bultman Center for Health, Physical Education and Intercollegiate Athletics, opened in 1995
  • Christ Chapel and DeWitt Music Hall, opened in 1987
  • DeWitt Learning Commons, opened in 2013
  • DeWitt Theatre Arts Center, opened in 2004
  • Korver Visual Arts Center, opened in 2003
  • Rowenhorst Student Center, renovated in 2007
  • Van Peursem Hall
This is Zwemer Hall, the oldest building on campus. It contains offices for the registrar, admissions, financial aid, president, and other administrative departments.

Administrative facilities[edit]

  • Ramaker Center, renovated in 2014
  • Zwemer Hall, built in 1894 and restored in 1997. Zwemer is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.[20]


  • The 2015 edition of America's Best Colleges, published by U.S. News and World Report, ranked Northwestern in a tie for 5th among Midwestern regional colleges.[21] This was an increase from the 6th position in the 2014 rankings.
  • Ranked 5th overall in the field of education by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in its 2015 list of Adoption Friendly Workplaces by Industry.[22]
  • NWC is recognized as a Groundwater Guardian Green Site by the Groundwater Foundation. They have earned this recognition every year since 2008.[23][24]
  • Named to The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for 2014.[25] Since 2007, the college has been consistently included on the President's Community Service Honor Roll because of Northwestern's strong commitment to community service. NWC students log thousands of hours of service each school year.[26]

Missions opportunities[edit]

Spring service projects[edit]

For college students all over the country, spring break means road trips to big cities and balmy beaches. Northwestern students do that too, but some of them pack a hammer. Northwestern College annually sends more than 200 students, faculty and staff in teams to serve with ministries in the U.S. and around the world. SSP teams have traveled to Nicaragua and the Netherlands, to California, New York, Oklahoma and Florida. Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities have been frequent destinations. SSP teams build and repair homes, minister in prisons, tutor at youth centers, serve in soup kitchens, live with residents in homeless shelters and more.

Spring Service Projects integrate faith, service and cross-cultural learning within a team setting that also allows for the involvement of faculty and staff. The SSP program benefits both the ministries and the students who serve: The efforts of a variety of ministries are encouraged, supported and helped in tangible ways. In addition, Northwestern students are challenged and strengthened in their faith as they see and experience the gospel being lived out in cultures different than the one in which they live.

Spring Service Projects provide students opportunities to participate in mission work taking place domestically and abroad during annual spring breaks in early March. Students have spent their ten-day breaks serving in city missions, youth hostels, construction sites, disaster relief zones, and low-income schools.[27]

Summer of Service[edit]

The Summer of Service (SOS) program at Northwestern College challenges, prepares and encourages students to be effective Christian servants in the world. It also exists to assist and support missionaries and the communities they work in. Each year, 20 to 25 students serve cross-culturally for at least six weeks in the U.S. or overseas. Past participants have traveled to countries like Croatia, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Malawi, Russia, South Africa and Thailand to serve with mission agencies like The Luke Society, Dublin Christian Mission, Pioneers International and TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission). They have worked in hospitals, orphanages and refugee camps; taught Vacation Bible School and English as a second language; and served in sports and hospitality ministries.

Summer of Service team members return from their summer experiences more aware of the world’s problems and promises and more equipped to wrestle with biblical applications to what they experienced. Often these students remain involved in service and mission, either full- or part-time after graduating from college.[28]

Recent sites served include[29]

Musical opportunities[edit]

Northwestern offers ten unique musical opportunities for students. Three of these are vocal ensembles and seven are instrumental.

  • Symphonic Band [1] is a 60-member wind and percussion ensemble. Members of this ensemble hail from across the United States and from as far away as Taiwan. This group plays a diverse repertoire and goes on an annual tour. Previous tours have taken the group to Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, Venezuela, and Ukraine.
  • A cappella Choir [2] is a 65-member vocal ensemble. Members of this ensemble come from a variety of majors as well as backgrounds. Music is selected from all musical time periods ranging from works by Palestrina to modern pieces by Eric Whitacre. This group has also participated in a performance of Mozart's Requiem. This ensemble's annual tour has taken it to Czech Republic, Southern California, New York State, and Austria.
  • Heritage Singers [3] is a group selected from the A cappella Choir. This group has performed a full madrigal dinner as well as the comic operetta Die Fledermaus and evening opera showcase. In addition to these larger productions, the ensemble also performs character pieces and tours with the A cappella Choir each spring. This group has also performed with the Northwest Iowa Oratorio Chorus in the Messiah (Handel), Haydn's Missa in tempore belli, and J.S. Bach's St John Passion.
  • Jazz Band [4] is a select ensemble consisting of 18 instrumentalists. This group features a variety of jazz styles and composers. This group has been involved in 'Battle of the Bands' with neighboring colleges as well as providing the music for Northwestern's Ballroom Dance each spring.
  • Chamber Ensembles (Brass Quintet, String Quartet, and Woodwind Quintet) [5] are groups that involve Northwestern's best musicians in their respective areas. Each ensemble performs at a joint concert each semester and at special events on campus. These events have included the dedication of campus buildings and for the inauguration of President Greg Christy.
  • Percussion Ensemble [6] is a select group of percussion players. This group includes individuals whose primary instrument is percussion as well as wind players, string players, and vocalists who have experience with percussion. This group performs a variety of music ranging from minimalist music to phase music and a variety of other genres.
  • Chamber Orchestra [7] is a group of 25 string players. This group performs several times each year. Music is chosen from earlier periods as well as the 20th century. This group also includes wind players for an occasional performances when the music calls for them.
  • Women's Choir [8] is a group of 40 musicians. This ensemble performs music from the Renaissance through the 20th century. This group also took part in the chorus of Northwestern's Award-Winning Original Musical "Terror Texts".


Northwestern College teams are known as the Red Raiders. The college is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), competing in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, dance, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball.[citation needed]

Outdoor sports such as football and track are played at DeValois Stadium.[citation needed]

National Championship appearances[edit]

Year Sport Result Score Opponent
1972 Football Lost 14-21 Missouri Southern
1973 Football Won 10-3 Glenville State
1979 Football Lost 6-51 Findlay (OH)
1983 Football Won 25-21 Pacific Lutheran[30]
1984 Football Lost 22-33 Linfield
1992 Men's Basketball Lost 79-85* Grace (Ind.)
2000 Women's Basketball Lost 49-59 Mary (N.D.)
2001 Men's Basketball Won 82-78 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)
2001 Women's Basketball Won 77-50 Albertson (Idaho)
2003 Men's Basketball Won 77-57 Bethany (Kan.)
2008 Women's Basketball Won 82-75 Ozarks (Mo.)
2010 Women's Basketball Won 85-66 Shawnee State (Ohio)
2011 Women's Basketball Won 88-83 Davenport (Mich.)
2012 Women's Basketball Won 75-62 Ozarks (Mo.)

"*" indicates overtime

The 2001 "double" (men's and women's basketball titles) was the first time that an NAIA school accomplished the feat, and at the time only the second in collegiate history (Central Missouri State, now known as the University of Central Missouri (located in Warrensburg, Missouri) previously accomplished the feat in 1984; the University of Connecticut would later accomplish the feat in 2004 and 2014).[citation needed]

Free throw record[edit]

Deb Remmerde-Leusink, a 2008 Northwestern College graduate, holds numerous NAIA records including the record for most consecutive in-game free throws in the history of organized basketball. She ended her 133-shot free-throw streak in February 2006. Remmerde later appeared on "The Early Show" where she completed 580 of 585 free-throws, live, in front of a CBS television crew.[31][32]

Notable people[edit]


Staff and faculty[edit]


  1. ^ "Chronicle of Higher Education Sortable Endowments table by Fiscal Year 2013-2014". NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. January 29, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2016. 
  2. ^ Friday, September 11, 2015 (2015-09-11). "Northwestern College | News | Press releases | Northwestern College enrollment increases". US-IA: Retrieved 2016-06-23. 
  3. ^ "Accredited Institutions". The Higher Learning Commission. Retrieved August 28, 2015. 
  4. ^ "NWC Accreditations". Northwestern College. Retrieved August 28, 2015. 
  5. ^ "NWC At-A-Glance (2014-15)". Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 28, 2015. 
  7. ^ "NWC Board of Trustees". Northwestern College. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  8. ^ "NWC SGA". Northwestern College. Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "NWC Leadership". Northwestern College. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  10. ^ "NWC President". Northwestern College. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  11. ^ "NWC Christian Identity". Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Faith at NWC". Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  13. ^ "NWC Vision". Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  14. ^ "NWC At-A-Glance (2014-15)". Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  15. ^ "NWC SGA". Northwestern College. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  16. ^ "NWC International Club". Northwestern College. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Red Raider Club". Northwestern College. Retrieved September 16, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Discipleship". Northwestern College. Retrieved September 16, 2015. 
  19. ^ "The Beacon". Northwestern College. Retrieved September 11, 2015. 
  20. ^ "IOWA - Sioux County". National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved September 4, 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  21. ^ "Midwest Regional College Rankings". U.S. News & World Report, L.P. Retrieved September 11, 2015. 
  22. ^ "2015 100 BEST ADOPTION-FRIENDLY WORKPLACES - Industry Leaders" (PDF). Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Retrieved October 8, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Groundwater Guardian Green Sites". The Groundwater Foundation. Retrieved September 11, 2015. 
  24. ^ "NWC Press Releases". Northwestern College. Retrieved September 11, 2015. 
  25. ^ "" (PDF). Corporation for National & Community Service. Retrieved September 11, 2015. 
  26. ^ "NWC Press Releases". Northwestern College. Retrieved September 11, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 14, 2010. Retrieved September 7, 2010. 
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 31, 2010. Retrieved December 26, 2009. 
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 16, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  31. ^ "NWC Women's Basketball Coaches". Northwestern College. Retrieved September 16, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Champ Free-Throw Shooter Shows The Way". Retrieved September 16, 2015. 
  33. ^ "TFL Staff". The FAMiLY LEADER. Retrieved September 16, 2015. 

External links[edit]