Northwest University’s is affiliated with several organizations through which students can spend an extended time – usually a full semester – immersed in concentrated study away from campus. As a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), students are able to participate in the Best Semester student programs. In addition, Northwest has established relationships with other organizations that afford life-changing learning experiences for our students.
Off-Campus Study Program Options
The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) The CCCU is an association of over 110 members in North America and over 70 affiliated institutions in 24 countries which offers many programs to students of its member institutions. The programs offer a unique opportunity for students to make the world their classroom, going beyond the confines of the traditional classroom. These off-campus, interdisciplinary learning opportunities are available to upper-class students. For further information, contact the Provost’s Office or the CCCU Student Programs website: www.bestsemester.com.
Non-CCCU Study Programs Many students also participate in programs offered by organizations not affiliated with the CCCU. Several of them are listed below. Periodically students request to travel through other study abroad programs and desire to have the learning applied to their academic programs. Because the University must verify the level of quality for all student learning experiences, the approval of a new program requires many months and students must inform their academic department and the Provost well in advance of their intended travel semester if they desire the program to be covered by registration at Northwest, and thus included in any financial aid packages.
Africa: GoED Africa
Students spend 16 weeks in Uganda and Rwanda to study the root causes of conflict and the efforts for peacebuilding and reconciliation in the region. Study in both Uganda and Rwanda helps students gain perspective about the complexities of the issues, regional and international responses, and efforts towards building lasting peace. Opportunities to interact with local residents, including victims, enhance understanding of the impact of conflict and the challenges of reconciliation. Although Uganda has had relative political stability since 1986, civil dislocation and ethnic tension continue to present the country with considerable challenges to community reconciliation. Students also examine the 1994 Rwandan genocide, a tragedy that resulted in the killing of nearly one million Tutsi and moderate Hutus in a time span of 100 days.
In both Uganda and Rwanda, classroom discussions, readings, and lectures focus on contextual issues of development, culture and religion, issues of peacebuilding, and post-colonial literature. Excursions to carefully selected sites, field-based practicum placements in relief and development, and homestays with local families complement studies. Further information and application requirements may be found at the GoED website: www.go-ed.org
American Studies Program (CCCU)
Since 1975, the American Studies Program (ASP) has served as an experiential learning laboratory for students committed to connecting their faith to public affairs. Nearly 500 of ASP’s 3,000+ alumni have returned to work in the DC metro area in a variety of professional fields – private and public, for-profit and non-profit.
In addition to an internship and Leadership and Vocation course, students apply to either the Public Policy track or the Strategic Communication track. The Public Policy track equips and supports students in their analysis of a pressing public policy issue: each student produces original research by engaging area experts and practitioners off-site and in the classroom as they investigate the local, national and global factors that influence policy-making in Washington, D.C. The Strategic Communication track engages Washington, D.C.-based organizations and communication professionals to explore the role of strategic communication in achieving organizational goals; filed-work activities explore current best practices in communicating critical organizational messages to key internal and external constituents and stakeholders. Additional information may be found at Best Semester-American Studies. ASP students earn 15-16 semester hours of credit.
Au Sable Institute
Northwest University is a Participating College in the Au Sable Institute, a Christian institute whose mission is to bring healing to the biosphere and the whole of Creation. It does this through academic programs for college and university students, research projects, environmental education for local school children, and information services for churches and the wider world community. Supported by the natural settings of the Great Lakes Forest of northern Michigan, Puget Sound of the Pacific Northwest, Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay, as well as in India and Africa, participants take courses, engage in scholarship, gain field experience, confer, and develop practical tools for environmental stewardship in programs that take seriously both science and theology.
Australia Studies Centre (CCCU)
The Australia Studies Centre (ASC) is offered in partnership with Christian Heritage College (CHC), a CCCU affiliate member in Carindale, a suburb of Brisbane, Queensland. The ASC is designed to integrate the firsthand observation and study of Australian culture, history, religion, politics and indigenous cultures together with experiential service learning and formal instruction in Christian Studies, Business, Ministries, Social Sciences, and Education and Humanities. Every student is required to take “The View from Australia: Issues in Religion, Politics, Economics & Cultural Values” and required to select either “Australian Aboriginal Cultures” or “Indigenous Cultures in Australia & Aotearoa (New Zealand)”. Additionally, students choose two units from CHC’s offering in Christian Studies, Business, Ministries, Social Sciences, Liberal Arts, or Education and Humanities. Students live with Australian families and volunteer with local community service providers. Trips vary by semester but may include excursions to the Australian Outback, Aboriginal Communities and New Zealand. Additional information may be found at Best Semester-Australia Studies Centre ASC students earn 16 semester hours of credit.
Belize: Creation Care Study Program
Located along the Caribbean coast of Central America, Belize is home to a host of Caribbean and Central American cultures and ethnic groups. It is also home to inspiring ecological diversity, including neotropical rainforests, with their assortment of monkeys, jaguars, and toucan, as well the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere. Within this context, students are able to examine sustainable development and tropical ecology through a Christian lens of creation care and stewardship by utilizing field studies in Belizean villages, tropical rainforests, mountain streams, and Caribbean atolls. Students also have the opportunity to take part in interest-specific internship and practicum experiences with Belizean organizations seeking regeneration and renewal of the land and communities. Throughout the semester, the schedule also allows for independent exploration of Belize (and neighboring countries), during breaks and free weekends.
Contemporary Music Center (CCCU)
The Contemporary Music Center (CMC) provides students with the opportunity to live and work in the refining context of community while seeking to understand how God will have them integrate music, faith and business. The CMC offers three tracks: Artist, Business and Technical. The Artist Track is tailored to students considering careers as vocalists, musicians, songwriters, recording artists, performers and producers. The Business Track is designed for business, arts management, marketing, communications and related majors interested in possible careers as artist managers, agents, record company executives, music publishers, concert promoters and entertainment industry entrepreneurs. The Technical Track prepares students for careers in live sound, concert lighting and studio recording. Students within each of the tracks receive instruction, experience and a uniquely Christ-centered perspective on creativity and the marketplace, while working together to mount and execute a week-long tour at the end of the semester. Each track includes coursework, labs, directed study and a practicum. Additional information may be found at Best Semester-Contemporary Music Center. CMC students earn 16 semester hours of credit.
Jerusalem University College
Northwest University is affiliated with the Jerusalem University College (JUC) (formerly the Institute of Holy Land Studies) in Jerusalem. This institution offers specialized training in the fields of geography, archaeology, the history of the Holy Land, and Judeo-Christian studies. Credits earned at JUC are accepted at Northwest University, where applicable. Details may be secured from the Provost’s Office.
Latin American Studies Program (CCCU)
Based in San José, Costa Rica, the Latin American Studies Program (LASP) introduces students to a wide range of experiences through the study of the language, literature, culture, politics, history, economics, ecology and religion of the region. Through living with local families, students become a part of the day-to-day lives of Latin American. Students also take part in a practicum/internship and travel to nearby Central American nations. Students participate in one of four concentrations: Latin American studies (offered both fall and spring terms); advanced language and literature (designed for Spanish majors and offered both fall and spring terms), international business (offered only in fall terms), and biological science (offered only during spring terms). Depending on their concentration, students travel to nearby Central American nations. Additional information may be found at Best Semester-Latin American Studies. LASP students earn 16-18 semester hours of credit.
Los Angeles Film Studies Center (CCCU)
Founded in 1991, the Los Angeles Film Studies Center (LAFSC) trains students to serve in various aspects of the film industry with professional skill and Christian integrity. Each semester, students live, learn and work in one of the primary film and television production centers in L.A. LAFSC seeks to prepare student for placement in the mainstream Hollywood film industry, ideally in decision –making positions, with a Christ-centered vision to dynamically influence film content, production processes, and interpersonal relationships. In addition, LAFSC aims to develop advocates to advance an informed and discerning approach to understanding the media and an appreciation and support for the work of peers in Hollywood. Additional information may be found at Best Semester-Los Angeles Film Studies. LAFSC students earn 16 semester hours of credit.
Middle East Studies Program (CCCU)
Based in Amman, Jordan, this program offers students the unique opportunity to become immersed in the complex, modern Middle East. Under the guidance of a staff with over 30 years of experience living in the region, students live together in a close-knit community and explore the diverse religious, social, cultural and political traditions of Middle Eastern peoples through interdisciplinary seminars. Students also earn up to 6 credits of advanced Arabic language and serve at local organizations with the opportunity to earn intercultural internship/practicum credit throughout the semester. During the program’s substantial travel components, student participate in homestays and discover the diversity and dynamism of Middle Eastern cultures by experiencing their foods, customs, schools, neighborhoods, and places of worship. At a time of change in the Middle East, MESP empowers and equips students to relate to Muslim, Eastern Christian, and Jewish peoples in a guided and Christ-centered approach. Additional information may be found at Best Semester-Middle East Studies. MESP students earn 16 semester hours of credit.
New Zealand: Creation Care Study Program
From New Zealand’s snowcapped mountains to its topaz coastline, students explore a wonderland of unique ecosystems. Home to about twelve percent (12%) of all the earth’s endangered species and a world leading innovator in conservation and environmental management, New Zealand is an ideal place for studying care of creation. A rigorous academic semester comprised of ecology, theology, environmental literature, and sustainable community development is enhanced by a community living experience from the first day students move into CCSP’s Old Convent campus, to homestays with locals. The schedule also allows for independent travel during a week-long mid-semester break and during free weekends.
Oxford Summer Programme (CCCU)
The Oxford Summer Programme (OSP) pairs students with Oxford University professors to do intensive scholarship in the oldest university in the English-speaking world. During the four-week programme, students hone their research and writing skills and delve into their chosen disciplines, occasionally traveling the United Kingdom to explore the relationship between Christianity and the development of the British Isles. Seminars and tutorials (one-on-one mentorships sessions with expert Oxford scholars) feature specialized topics in the areas of English language and literature, history, art, science, philosophy, and theology. The programme is structured for rising college sophomores, juniors, and seniors, as well as graduate and seminary students, non-traditional students, teachers, and those enrolled in continuing education programs.
Additional information may be found at Best Semester-Oxford. OSP students earn 6 semester hours of credit.
Scholar’s Semester in Oxford (CCCU)
The Scholar’s Semester (SSO) in Oxford is specifically designed for students seeking an academically rigorous and robust experience. As official Registered Visiting Students of Oxford University, students study within Oxford’s acclaimed tutorial pedagogy to receive weekly, one-on-one instruction from a faculty comprised of widely-published authors, historian, former international ambassadors, and other celebrated scholars. Students choose from hundreds of subjects within the disciplines of Classics, English Language and Literature, History, History of Art, Modern Languages (French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian), Musicology, Philosophy, Psychology, or Theology, and earn access to Oxford’s 119 libraries featuring 11 million books and outstanding electronic resources. SSO also offers 18 thematic or integrative concentrations including Gender Studies, Film Studies, Philosophy or Science, and more. If choosing to return for a second term, students write a substantial thesis on a topic of their choice. Applicants are generally honors students and must have at minimum a 3.7 GPA to be considered for the programme. Additional information may be found at Best Semester-Oxford. SSO students earn 17 semester hours of credit for a semester and may complete two semesters of the programme.
The greater Bangkok region has some 15 million people and only around 40,000 Protestant Christians. This semester abroad opportunity allows students to participate in the ministry of a local Thai church as they reach out to the urban neighbors, including slum dwellers, while doing academic reflection in the heart of this Asian megacity among Buddhist and Muslim communities. This experience will help you to build filters for understanding your part in God’s mission to increase the impact of your cross-cultural ministry in the future.
Thailand: GoED. Mekong
Students spend 16 weeks in the Greater Mekong Sub region in the highlands of northern Thailand to study the root causes of exclusion and exploitation of marginalized people groups. Study in the heart of continental Southeast Asia helps students gain perspective about the complexities of the issues, state and NGO responses, and efforts towards greater empowerment and justice in these communities. Opportunities to interact with local communities, particularly those of the hill tribes, enhance understanding of the relationship between exploitation and its root causes: poverty, discrimination, exclusion and violence. Historically, Chiang Mai was the hub of the La Na kingdom, a dynasty going back to the 1200s. The local peoples are very proud of their northern roots, and the region is home to distinctly different food, music, arts, way of life and even language. Chiang Mai can be thought of as a melting pot of hill tribes and their own unique cultures. Further information and application requirements may be found at the GoED website: www.go-ed.org
Uganda Studies Program (CCCU)
The Uganda Studies Program (USP) immerses students in local communities. Ugandan campus life, and a broad range of cultures and places within Uganda and Rwanda. Students choose to live either with a host family for the semester or on campus at Uganda Christian University (UCU), an international affiliate member of the CCCU located 15 miles east of the capital city of Kampala. Students forge meaningful relationships with their Ugandan peers, faculty members, and host families while exploring issues such as poverty, cultural expressions of Christianity and missions, and the reconciliation between the realities of East Africa and their Christian faith.
Students enroll in one of three tracks: General Studies Emphasis (GSE), Global Health Emphasis (GHE), or Social Work Emphasis (SWE). Students in the Social work Emphasis (SWE) participate in an MSW-guided Junior-level or Senior-level Social Work Practicum (up to 400 practicum hours) at a variety of sites, including Compassion International and locally-founded aid organizations, approved in consultation with the CSWE. Global Health Emphasis (GHE) student take advanced global health courses and participate in the Cross Cultural Practicum at a health-related organization to engage broader issues of international aid, development, and public health. General Studies Emphasis (GSE) students select from a variety of UCU electives including languages, health, religions, literature, and politics, and may also choose to receive practicum credit through service at Cross-Cultural Practicum sites in a variety of fields. Additional Information may be found at Best Semester-Uganda Studies. USP students earn up to 16 semester hours of credit.
Washington Journalism Center (CCCU)
The Washington Journalism Center is a semester-long study program in Washington, D.C., created for students interested in the field of journalism. While in Washington students take classes focusing on their reporting and writing skills and on the history and future of the news media. These classes–Foundations for Media Involvement; Reporting in Washington; and Washington, News and Public Discourse–combined with an internship at a top news publication help students learn to integrate their faith in a journalism career. Students also participate in service learning opportunities as part of the WJC experience. WJC students earn 16 semester hours of credit.