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Classification Private, Christian Liberal Arts
Institutional Accreditation Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Northwest University is a regionally-accredited, Christian coeducational institution awarding associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. The University is operated under the control of the Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, North Pacific Latin American, Northern California Nevada, Northwest, Northwest Hispanic, Oregon, Southern Idaho, and Wyoming districts of the Assemblies of God. All these districts are represented on the University’s Board of Directors.
Northwest University Mission
We, the people of Northwest University, carry the call of God by continually building a learning community dedicated to spiritual vitality, academic excellence, and empowered engagement with human need.
The Mission of Northwest University, a Christian university affiliated with the Assemblies of God, is derived from the following values:
- Moving together in personal relationship with Christ Jesus and knowledge of God’s calling, we dedicate ourselves to Spirit-filled service.
- Practicing discipleship and worship with biblical faithfulness, we develop courage and character to meet the challenges of our world.
- Crafting a diverse, lifelong community, we recognize the intrinsic worth and dignity of each individual and facilitate friendships and networks that reach out to welcome others in love.
- Exploring all truth with scholarly excellence, we build a biblical worldview to prepare each other for service and leadership throughout the world.
- Developing moral, spiritual, intellectual, and aesthetic values through the arts and sciences, we integrate faith, learning, and life.
- Thinking critically, we aid one another in academic achievement and lifelong pursuit of knowledge, wisdom, and skills.
- Growing holistically, we clarify and obey individual God-given callings.
- Communicating and modeling the Gospel, we call people and communities to be reconciled to God and to each other.
- Demonstrating Spirit-inspired compassion and creativity, we meet the needs of individuals, build communities, and care for creation.
Core Theme One
- Building a caring community and enduring culture
Core Theme Two
- Developing Christian commitment and Spirit-formed lives
Core Theme Three
- Advancing academic engagement through teaching, learning and scholarly production
Core Theme Four
- Empowering people with the vision and tools to meet human need in their personal and professional lives
Our community covenant is founded on our shared calling and relationship as Christ-followers, as outlined in Colossians 3:12-15. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Based on the teachings in this verse and the enabling of God, we endeavor that all of our interactions and communications will show respect for the wellbeing of all, especially those who may disagree with us.
To that end, we commit before God to communicate honestly, openly, and humbly—without cynicism or a supposed sense of superiority and always with the respect that allows us to recognize the value of others as children of God and members of this community. Furthermore, we recognize the value of diverse opinions and that unity does not require unanimity.
Standards of Civility
By civility, we intend more than mere politeness. Rather we intend a basic set of attitudes and actions upon which we can build a community that is able to celebrate our differences, make decisions, and resolve conflict in a positive and forward-moving manner. These standards do not intend to stifle anyone’s leadership, academic freedom, or freedom of speech. Rather they provide ‘guidelines of participation’ for our Christian and professional community. The goal is to create the conditions that best allow trust and positive relationships to flourish.
Therefore, the NU administration, faculty, and staff commit to prioritize the following in our communications within NU and concerning NU to the general public:
- Encouragement: encourage each other and value the contributions that all members make to the shared mission of NU.
- Collaboration: choose to enter into communication non-defensively, assuming other parties have good will toward us and are acting in good faith.
- Forgiveness: allow others to grow through forgiveness, and avoid holding grudges.
- Inclusiveness: prioritize inclusive language and actively recruit input from under-represented voices (bearing in mind categories like gender, culture, ethnicity, position, and rank).
Governance, Planning and the Use of Authority
We recognize that we all exercise authority in one or more areas, making decisions that affect others. Therefore, we commit to the following tenets:
Whether as individuals or as groups, we affirm that it is incumbent on us to value a broad perspective and seriously take into account those whom our decisions affect and those with a reasonable interest in our decisions. It is also incumbent on us, when we have a reasonable interest in decisions, to engage and offer input.
Similarly, we acknowledge that there are times when decisions are made with which everyone does not agree. In those instances, we commit to behave with a cooperative and positive attitude, even while we may continue to work respectfully within the system to seek change.
Healthy Interaction, Input, Grievances, Complaints, and Contributions
In our communication, we will seek the most respectful, orderly, and productive tone and medium appropriate for our message and context. Particularly in times of conflict, we should, as professionals, craft our communication in a manner that minimizes miscommunication and preserves the intent of our message. The Employee and Faculty Manuals outline procedures for engaging the system and working through committee and group structures to affect change. In the case of more personal grievances between individuals, all effort should be made to resolve the issue through the process outlined in the Employee Manual, Section V: Conduct: Complaint Resolution.
We commit to the following actions:
- Be truth seekers who speak in specifics, not in generalities.
- Seek to understand fully before expressing disagreement or dissent.
- Rely on first-hand accounts.
- Strive to reconcile hurts and reach a mutually agreed upon resolution.
- Take personal responsibility for uncivil or improper actions in order to restore harmony in the community.
- Participate in the discussion of issues of concern, or if not, choose to respect the outcome.
We commit to this covenant remembering that in the companionship of fellow Christians we can see the image of God in one another. As Paul exhorts us, “therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Romans 14:19).
Northwest University Vision
Carry the Call
The founders of Northwest University built a community of faith and learning, focused on serving people who are pursuing God’s call on their lives. We are convinced that God continues to call every man and woman to a life of faithful, devoted service. Northwest University is committed to being a university of choice for students passionate about confirming and clarifying God’s call.
We believe that the best response to God’s call is to develop exceptional character and competence. A commitment to scholarship and discipleship grows out of a worldview anchored in Scripture. Northwest University integrates Faith and Truth with powerful, effective teaching in Ministry, Arts, Sciences and the Professions. The entire University community strives to engage biblical Christianity with every aspect of life.
Northwest University finds its crowning joy in thousands of alumni serving in nearly every profession around the world…they are people showing Christ’s love through hands of compassion. Our faculty model lives of whole-hearted service. Our students make an impact for the Kingdom in numerous outreaches and ministries. Northwest University is committed to preparing people for service and leadership, doing God’s work in God’s world.
History and Location
Northwest University was founded by the Northwest District Council of the Assemblies of God and opened to students on October 1, 1934. The District Presbytery appointed Dr. Henry H. Ness to be the first president. The University was housed in the facilities of Hollywood Temple, Seattle, Washington, for the first twenty-five years of its existence. Dr. C.E. Butterfield succeeded Dr. Ness in 1949, and Dr. D.V. Hurst assumed the presidency in 1966 and served through 1990. He was succeeded by Dennis A. Davis, who served as the fourth president of the college from 1990-1998. Dr. Don Argue served as the fifth president of Northwest University from 1998-2007. Dr. Joseph Castleberry is the sixth president of Northwest University.
Originally known as Northwest Bible Institute, its institutional name was changed to Northwest Bible College in 1949, to Northwest College of the Assemblies of God in 1962 and to Northwest University in 2005. Each change represented a stage in its curricular development.
Academically the University progressed from a three- to a four-year curriculum in 1948, and in 1955 a Liberal Arts division was organized. Accreditation by the American Association of Bible Colleges was granted in 1953, and in 1973 the University received regional accreditation by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.
In May 1992, Northwest University became the eighty-fifth college approved for membership in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, an association of Christ-centered colleges and universities of the liberal arts and sciences.
In 1958 the University secured a new 35 acre campus in Kirkland, in the greater metropolitan area of Seattle. Since then 20 acres have been added to make the present 55 acre campus. Located at 108th Avenue N.E. and N.E. 53rd Street just ten miles from downtown Seattle, the campus is an ideal setting for study, recreation, and inspiration. The campus is also near to industry and close-at-hand employment opportunities. In 2002, the University purchased additional property at 6710 108th Avenue N.E. that serves administrative and academic functions.
In 2008, Salem Bible College (Salem, Oregon) merged with Northwest University and became Salem Bible College of Northwest University. As of December of 2008, Salem students earn their degrees from Northwest University. In 2012 the name was changed to Northwest University Salem Campus. In 2019, the name was changed to Northwest University Oregon.
Over the years, the University’s graduates and former students have engaged in full-time Christian service in professional, business, or vocational occupations in fulfillment of their educational objectives at the University.
Northwest University’s concept of education is distinctively Christian in the evangelical sense. It recognizes the authority of the Bible as a divine communication of truth. It views humanity as having been created by God with intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual potentialities which require development and needs which require fulfillment if the individual is to be a whole person whose life is useful, complete, and satisfying.
As a morally responsible being whose choices and actions determine usefulness to the Creator and to humankind, as well as the ultimate ends of one’s existence, the individual has a need to recognize and appreciate righteousness, beauty, and truth wherever one finds them. Education should develop moral, spiritual, intellectual, and aesthetic awareness and values.
As a creature of God, each person is an individual of intrinsic worth and dignity. In a society of free persons it is essential that each learn to respect humankind and understand their views while maintaining one’s own integrity. The individual must have knowledge of one’s culture and of self, in order to solve the complex problems of modern life.
Northwest has a commitment to truth and believes that all areas of true knowledge are ultimately compatible. The accumulative experience of humankind has resulted in a residue of tested wisdom and knowledge communicated. True knowledge may be discovered, too, through the careful and reverent scientific scrutiny of nature and of humanity. Neither the past nor the present has a monopoly on truth.
In view of its distinctive philosophy, Northwest University seeks to provide education which will introduce the student to the organized fields of learning and will acquaint one with the Christian theistic view of the world and of humanity and one’s culture. Such an education is intended to develop the whole person in a balanced and useful manner.
Since Northwest believes that responsible actions in the present are dependent in part upon knowledge of humanity’s past experience, it seeks to communicate to the student what may be known of people’s cultural heritage. It seeks to impart knowledge, stimulate awareness, and develop appreciations.
Northwest seeks to cultivate Christian character in its students. It offers a core of biblical and theological studies as the foundation for faith, practice, and spiritual maturation. It desires that each student shall maintain a right relationship to God and to humanity, and be prepared to act responsibly and maturely in contemporary society.
Northwest is concerned with the intellectual development of its students. It desires that its students will learn to evaluate and use knowledge, so that they can continue to make new discoveries throughout life.
Northwest recognizes that people are social beings and that they are debtors to society; no one stands alone or exists without purpose. It seeks to awaken social understanding and concern and to motivate its students to commit their lives to worthy goals of service to God and humanity. At the same time it endeavors to stimulate in its students a social and moral perceptiveness that will make them worthy and constructive critics of contemporary society.
Northwest realizes the importance of physical and mental fitness, and encourages its students to participate in healthful activities and to develop habits which will con-tribute to their physical well-being. It seeks to give them a better understanding of humanity’s biological and psychological constitution.
Community Affirmation Statement
Northwest seeks to relate biblical Christianity to every area of life, both on and off campus: to academic disciplines, to co- and extracurricular activities, in the residence halls, in the local community, and in one’s personal life. It assumes that all members of the Northwest community desire meaningful involvement in the process of Christian higher education as they seek to express their faith in the context of an Assemblies of God University. Faculty and staff members commit themselves to be facilitators and learners in this educational endeavor. Students, by enrolling, join with them in accepting the responsibilities of membership in this community.
Since Northwest holds that the Scripture is the infallible rule for faith and conduct, the Bible will always be the authority in all matters pertaining to personal and corporate behavior. The University believes that its statement of faith and its statement of principles regarding behavior find their basis in the Bible. This affirmation attempts to provide a means to understanding the nature of this community of believing learners and to encourage a sincere commitment to it.
We affirm the Lordship of Christ over all of life and thought; our responsibility to love God with all our being and neighbor as ourselves; our obligation to seek righteousness, to practice justice in all situations, and to express mercy to all; our need to exercise Christian freedom responsibly and lovingly and our dependence on the empowering of the Holy Spirit if we are to faithfully fulfill what God requires.
We affirm the biblical description of attitudes and behavior unfitting for a Christian: “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Gal. 5:19-21a, NIV). Through the help of the Holy Spirit we strive to allow none of these to be part of our behavior. We affirm also the biblical description of attitudes and behavior fitting for a Christian: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23a, NIV). We seek to maintain a vital relationship with the Spirit so that such attitudes and behavior will be evident among us. We seek to follow Christ’s example of unselfish love in our actions, attitudes, and relationships.
We strive to maintain stewardship of body, mind, time, abilities, and resources. We strive to integrate corporate worship, personal faith, and intellectual growth. Attendance of the University chapel services and faithful attendance and support of a local church are integral parts of that process.
Northwest recognizes that not all believers share the same standards in matters of behavior the Bible does not specifically address. As members of this community, however, we also recognize the importance of respecting the values and goals of the University and will, therefore, seek to conduct ourselves in a manner that will bring only credit to the gospel and to Northwest. Since we are also part of the larger society, and in order to “let our light shine out” we will strive to maintain good community relations in respect to governing authorities, social activities, and business dealings.
This affirmation provides a positive and constructive framework to aid one’s personal development and for ongoing relationships with all other members of this community. We join with each other as we seek to live out this affirmation in a spirit of unity and openness, of helpfulness and caring.
Precision of Language
Northwest University is committed to the equality of men and women and to creating a learning community for all people. This commitment is based on the Bible’s teaching that God’s kingdom is made up of men and women from every nation, tribe, people, and language—and that no group constitutes the norm. Therefore, we expect students and members of the faculty, staff and administration to avoid sexist language and to employ inclusive language in writing, public speaking, and public worship. Further, we encourage members of the Northwest University community to be sensitive and respectful whenever referring to the personal characteristics of others.
Statement of Faith
- the Bible is the inspired and only infallible and authoritative written Word of God.
- there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
- in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, in His personal future return to this earth in power and glory to rule a thousand years.
- in the blessed hope—the rapture of the Church at Christ’s coming.
- the only means of being cleansed from sin is through repentance and faith in the precious blood of Christ.
- regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for personal salvation.
- in water baptism by immersion.
- the redemptive work of Christ on the cross provides healing in the human body in answer to believing prayer.
- the baptism in the Holy Spirit, according to Acts 2:4, is given to believers who ask for it.
- in the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a holy life.
- in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost, the one to everlasting life and the other to everlasting damnation.
Whereas we believe that:
- every person, regardless of ability, age, gender, race, ethnicity, or religion shares equally in the image of God;
- all are sinners and that we equally partake of the consequences of sin;
- Jesus Christ died for all and that we equally have access to redemption;
- God is sovereign and that He calls into His service whomever He chooses and that He gifts and equips those He calls in order that they might accomplish that calling;
- there is hope for all believers for fellowship with the Lord and with each other presently in His Church and in His coming Kingdom.
Be it resolved that:
- we, as members of the Northwest University community, desire the equality of opportunity and respect that results from true Christian community where we cherish unity in diversity and practice mutual support as evidence of God’s presence, by His Holy Spirit, in us;
- we seek forgiveness for all attitudes, language, and actions that have intentionally or unintentionally contributed to discrimination regarding race, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, and age within the Northwest University community and within the society in which God has placed us;
- we pledge not to engage intentionally in any act that would result in unlawful discrimination against any person, or group of persons, based upon race, ethnicity, gender, physical ability or age;
- we pledge to engage our University community in activities and communications that will develop greater awareness and sensitivity to interpersonal intolerances that would be considered unacceptable by biblical teachings and would lead to tolerance that is reflective of God’s character;
- we further pledge to develop ongoing formal and informal opportunities to facilitate the process of reconciliation of God-honoring relationships among all people, based upon the clear call of God through the Scriptures;
- we commit ourselves to dialogue, study, and affirming initiatives and actions designed to enable us to bear one another’s burdens and rejoice in the privilege of fulfilling the law of Christ.
Statement on Diversity and Unity
We, the people of Northwest University, commit to the biblical mandates of diversity and unity in the Body of Christ. We see both as crucial elements of Christian discipleship and an essential part of God’s call on Northwest University to build the type of thriving learning community envisioned in our mission statement.
We believe the following guiding tenets:
- persons of every age, ability, sex, race, ethnicity and religion share equally in the imago dei (image of God).
- all individuals are deserving of honor and protection. We believe that Christ died for all people and offers salvation equally to all who believe.
- God calls His people into right relationships with one another.
- We believe that the actions of this loving, diverse, and unified community form a witness and apologetic to the world.
Rather than resorting to uniformity, tribalism, individualism, or subordination, we commit to the hard work of being a diverse, unified, equitable community. We seek to embrace, understand, forgive, reconcile with, and stand on behalf of our fellow human beings rather than vilify, marginalize, segregate from, or merely tolerate one another.
In one of his final prayers, Jesus prayed for unity among all who would come to believe in Him through the apostolic message of the Good News, asking the Father to make them one so that God’s love would be in them and the world would believe that the Father sent the Son (John 17). We see God’s desire for a diverse Body of Christ on the Day of Pentecost, when God poured out His Spirit on believers who preached the Good News to those who had come to Jerusalem from many nations. From those who accepted their message, God formed a community centered on the person, work, and teachings of Jesus (Acts 2). Through Christ’s death on the cross, God has reconciled believers to himself and has given us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5). Because Jesus is our peace, we, therefore, have a responsibility not only to share the Good News so that people will find life in Christ, but also to overcome the barriers that hinder unity in the Church. That unity enables us to live out our God-given identity as one new humanity (Ephesians 2). Unlike the world, the Church is a new kind of family created by Christ. Because all members are one in Christ and belong to Him, there is no hierarchy of citizenship along the lines of sex, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status (Galatians 3). Christ used His power, status, and resources to serve people; we, therefore, bear a responsibility to use our power, status, and resources to serve our fellow sisters and brothers (Philippians 2). Christ has called us to a greater righteousness that reaches beyond simply avoiding acts of hate, inviting us to participate in deep, transformational heart work to eradicate superiority, disdain, and self-interest (Matthew 5).
It is, therefore, our Christian duty to do good to all people (Galatians 6). This admonition requires our acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God (Micah 6). As Christians, we have a conviction and responsibility to fight against injustice, bigotry, and hatred of all kinds. We believe that such actions and systems are a result of sin in the human heart (Romans 7), societal systems that subvert God’s ways (Genesis 11), and spiritual oppression (Ephesians 6). As the Body of Christ, we work to address these issues on individual, societal, and spiritual levels with a spirit of justice, love, and unity.
Intentions and Values
As part of the family of Christ, we desire to live out the countercultural norms and ethics of God’s Kingdom. We believe that being one, diverse body is not without challenges; moreover, we affirm our responsibility to value, embody, and become people who practice:
- Mutual respect
- Genuinely loving one another
- Repeated acts of valuing and listening to the stories of others
- Readiness to learn from people of different backgrounds
- A willingness to empathize with others
- A spirit of humility
- Internal reflection (self-awareness of privileges and disadvantages)
- Perspective-taking (listening, hearing, and seeking to understand) characterized by the fruit of the Spirit
- An ongoing attitude of repentance
- A promise to bear one another’s pains and victories
- A commitment to justice that is consistent with biblical teaching
- Non-violent approaches to social change
Statement on Racism
We name all forms of racism, whether institutional, structural, interpersonal, or internalized, as sin. We recognize the atrocities that have been committed toward various groups of people of color by the United States of America, as a nation. Despite the efforts of many, inequities and injustice remain part of our systems. We confess that the American Church has been silent about or complicit with varying forms of racism many times throughout its history, to our present day. We recognize that the educational system in America has a history of disadvantaging students of color. We recognize that, even though significant progress has been achieved in popular attitudes about race, relationships between races, ethnicities, and cultures are broken in our local communities across America.
We recognize that our own community has often failed our students, faculty, and staff of color in various ways. We recognize that students of color have not always felt a sense of belonging at Northwest University, due to various factors both within and outside our control, including lack of faculty representation, minimal diversity training for employees and student leaders, and hesitancy to stand publicly against injustices, to name a few. We recognize our own shortcomings as an institution and as the individuals who comprise it. As a Christian educational institution in America, we see it as our mandate to be a people situated in a place where students of color will be at home, embraced, celebrated, and able to succeed. We commit to the flourishing and success of our students of color, devoted to the continual work that must be done to accomplish this aim.
Campus and Buildings
The campus is a semi-wooded tract of 55 acres overlooking Lake Washington and the city of Seattle. A view of the snow-clad Olympics graces the skyline to the west. The main entrance is located at 5520 108th Ave NE, Kirkland, Washington 98033.
Thirty-four buildings are located on the main campus. The Accounting, Human Resources, and the Registrar’s Offices are housed in the Dennis A. Davis Administrative Center located at the northwest corner of the campus. Many faculty offices, academic programs, and classrooms are found in the Ness Academic Center comprised of Bronson, Rice, Fee, and Williams Halls. Science laboratories supporting courses offered in chemistry, physical science, mathematics, geology and biological sciences, are located in the Argue Health and Science Center.
The Admissions and Administrative offices are located at Randall K. Barton building on the southeast corner of the campus.
The Butterfield Chapel and Amundsen Music Center are situated at the southeast sector overlooking the heart of the campus. Butterfield Chapel provides a spacious and worship-centered setting for the University’s chapel services. It also contains the classrooms, rehearsal rooms, studios, and practice rooms of the Amundsen Music Center.
Clustered around the center of the campus are Millard Hall, Pecota Student Center, and D.V. Hurst Library. Millard Hall contains classrooms, offices, and an auditorium to accommodate lectures and special events.
The Pecota Student Center houses the Campus Ministries offices, the Student Development offices, the Aerie Coffee Shop, and a student lounge area.
The Hurst Library provides a number of study environments including a 24-hour study space, collaborative group and individual study areas, as well as large and small study rooms. Library services include research assistance, tutorials, interlibrary loan for books and articles, color printing and scanning, and computer and wireless access.
The Everette D. Greeley Student Center houses the Wellness Center.
Brodin Pavilion provides gymnasium facilities for physical education instruction, recreation, varsity and intramural sports, and special convocations requiring seating for up to 1,000 persons. The Northwest Dining Hall (The Caf) is located near the residence halls.
Two large residence hall complexes provide housing for single students: the Guy, Perks, and Crowder Residence Halls and the Gray and Beatty Residence Halls. The Families-in-Residence Apartments (FIRs) include McLaughlin, Carlson, and Hodges Halls. This 78-unit one- and two-bedroom apartment complex overlooks the campus from the east. There is also a small children’s play area. A 32-unit single Student Apartment complex provides six 3-bedroom units and twenty-four 2-bedroom units. Fourteen duplex units and seven University-owned houses provide additional faculty and staff housing.
The offices for the Center for Online and Extended Education and the graduate programs of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences are located at 6710 108th Ave NE (approximately ½ mile north of the main part of the campus).
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