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Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) is a Christian liberal arts college in Nampamarker, Idahomarker.


Fred J. Shields 1917-1919
1. H. Orton Wiley 1919-1926
2. Joseph G. Morrison 1926-1927
3. Russell V. DeLong 1927-1932
4. R. Eugene Gilmore 1932-1935
5. Russell V. DeLong 1935-1942
6. L.T. Corlett 1942-1952
7. John E. Riley 1952-1973
8. Kenneth H. Pearsall 1973-1983
9. A. Gordon Wetmore 1983-1992
10. Leon Doane 1992-1993
11. Richard A. Hagood 1993-2008
12. David Alexander 2008-Present
Eugene Emerson organized a combination grade school and Bible school in 1913 as Idaho Holiness School. Within two years, the curriculum incorporated high school and college courses, and it became a liberal arts college in 1917 with degree-granting authority from the Idaho state Board of Education. While the first president elected for the college in 1916 was H. Orton Wiley of Pasadena Universitymarker, Fred J. Shields would fill in as acting president before leaving for the Eastern Nazarene Collegemarker in 1919, while Wiley finished his graduate work. Under Russell V. DeLong, Northwest Nazarene College (NNC) received educational accreditation, as a two-year school in 1931 and then received accreditation as a four-year school in 1937, making it the first accredited college affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene. Under Presidents John E. Riley and Kenneth H. Pearsall in the 1960s and 1970s, master's degree programs were added. It was renamed as Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) in 1999.


As one of eight U.S. liberal arts colleges affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene, the college receives financial backing from the Nazarene churches on its region; part of each church budget is paid into a fund for its regional school. Each college is also bound by a gentlemen's agreement not to actively recruit outside its respective educational region. NNU is the college for the Northwest Region of the United States, which comprises the Alaska, Washington Pacific, Oregon Pacific, Northwest, Intermountain, Rocky Mountain, and Colorado districts, which include Washingtonmarker, Oregonmarker, Idahomarker, Montanamarker, Wyomingmarker, Coloradomarker, and parts of Nevadamarker and Utahmarker. NNU is also a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). NNU has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) since 1930, making it the first Nazarene school to achieve an accredited status.


Northwest Nazarene University has six schools: Academic Resources (Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences), Business & Economics, Education & Social Work, Health & Science, and Theology & Christian Ministries. The university offers baccalaureate programs in 29 areas and graduate programs in seven disciplines. It is the home of the Wesley Center for Applied Theology. There were 1,836 students at the college in 2007, 1,247 of whom were undergraduates. The 2007 acceptance rate for students who applied to the college was 69.7 percent.

Student life

NNU is a co-educational college. According to InsideHigherEd and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, black student enrollment at NNU is one percent or less of the entire student population.


NNU participates in the NCAA's Great Northwest Athletic Conference at the NCAA Division II level in 8 sports: basketball, baseball, cross country running, golf, softball, soccer, track and field, and volleyball. Along with the Eastern Nazarene Collegemarker, it is one of only two Nazarene colleges to compete in the NCAA; the other six compete in the NAIA. NNU's athletic moniker is "Crusaders" and colors are red and black.

Notable persons

Notable graduates include Kent R. Hill, the current administrator for USAID's Bureau for Global Health and former president of the Eastern Nazarene Collegemarker (1992-2001), and Michael Lodahl and Thomas Jay Oord, noted Nazarene theologians. Oord is current on faculty at his alma mater. A notable non-graduate alumna is Mildred Bangs Wynkoop, another noted Nazarene theologian. Notable former faculty members include Fred J. Shields, H. Orton Wiley, and Olive Winchester.

Notes and references

  1. Riley, John E. From Sagebrush to Ivy: The story of Northwest Nazarene College. Pacific Press, Nampa, Idaho, 1988.
  2. NWCCU: Idaho schools
  3. NNU Administrative Policy Manual
  4. The next Nazarene college to be accredited wasn't until 6 years later, when Eastern Nazarene was accredited by NEASC in 1943. Northwest had the authority to grant degrees from the State of Idaho before 1930, but ENC didn't have the authority to grant degrees in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until 1930. Before 1930, ENC students actually received degrees from NNU. See James R. Cameron, Eastern Nazarene College—The First Fifty Years, 1900-1950, Nazarene Publishing House (1968), 163.
  5. NNU History
  6. Fall 2008 President's Dinner at NNU
  7. Nazarene higher education is based on the liberal arts model. Eastern Nazarene is the only Nazarene institution to retain the "college" moniker, although no Nazarene school fits the standard national definition of a "research university".
  8. See Church of the Nazarene: Organization for more information on regions.
  9. ENC and NNU are the only Nazarene schools to remain true to their regional names.
  10. Wesley Center at Northwest Nazarene
  11. "Christian Colleges Grow More Diverse". August 15, 2008.
  12. NNU Sports

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