Conceived as a Bible institute at its establishment in 1934, Kirkland, Washington’s Northwest University still maintains its religious core to this day. Part of the Northwest Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God USA, it is a Christian Evangelical college to this day, though they have broken beyond their religious beginnings and offer a “quality education to prepare students for service and leadership” with a sound liberal arts based general education and numerous academic options.
Just a short drive from Seattle, Northwest University’s 56 acre campus houses roughly 1300 undergrads and graduate students (with the 1100 or so undergrads taking up the majority) overlooking Lake Washington. They are a fully accredited, coeducational university offering largely Bachelor and Master degrees, but also a Doctorate in Psychology, some Associate degrees, and many certifications and pre-professional programs. Undergrad majors number around 50 and trend towards nursing, education, and business, though there is a great music program and, of course, a College of Ministry with numerous Christian based degree options. There are another 9 Master’s degree programs, including a Master of Education, a two year, continuing education program designed for Washington teachers holding an entry level certification.
There are limited distance learning options at Northwest, with online classes and resources available to all enrolled students. There are numerous online library tools for students as well as a newly created online degree program for those seeking a Master in Ministry. Though not an entirely distance learning program, Northwest’s MIM is achieved through Friday evening and Saturday classes (once a month), but is largely accomplished from the comfort of your own computer and is designed to be completed in 16 months (four semesters, but only for those already with their Bachelor). Each semester is a combination of one online class, one traditional course (the Friday/Saturday), and one live, interactive seminar.
Some online classes are offered to students and there is also an online aspect to their Creatio Institute, the only music program of its kind offered at western four year universities (as well as evangelical schools in the west). Offering in depth training in the music/recording industry, as well church media degree programs, they use week long boot camps, seminars, and online courses to offer degrees/certifications for music professionals.
Other learning options for Northwest students include adult learning courses designed for “people who have complicated lives and who require unique solutions to their educational needs”. Allowing for working professionals to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree using once a week evening classes and occasional Saturdays, they offer programs in everything from Business to Ministry Leadership, as well as an Associate’s and certifications.
Christian values and traditions abound at Northwest, from their 3 day a week chapel services to their community outreach “Crews” (small group ministries). Their educational mission includes religious values of service and glorifying God through teachings of the school. Graduates are meant to “carry the call”, bringing God and academics together to create solid leaders of tomorrow.