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Birkeland Scholarship

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Must be enrolled at Northwest University full-time, should be in the School of Ministry, have an average G.P.A. of at least 2.8., have upstanding citizenship and demonstrate a Christian lifestyle showing constructive leadership in a Christian college environment.


“We leave a legacy in this life - every day we leave a legacy somewhere and with someone—we leave footprints, everywhere we have been.” Rev. Ben P. Birkeland (‘47) is remembered by his family, friends and congregations as one who loved Jesus and lived in such as way to best serve Christ.

Ben believed in the power of prayer. As a young aspirant in the ministry he was taught that if he were going to be used of God in any capacity then prayer must have a first priority in his life. Matthew 6 held words he took literally. It was in a closet, padded with pillows and blankets (so it would be as comfortable as possible), that Ben Birkeland was called to lifetime ministry. His miraculous call to preach the word of God came to him in a vision, so much so that he knew exactly where he was to go. He flew 300 miles to a city and to the church in his vision. When he arrived the church deacon and pastor were loading furniture on a trailor. “Leaving! I walked up to them and said, ‘Well, praise the Lord, at least you won’t have to look for a pastor! Here I am!”, he said to the men. By the next Sunday, Pastor B. P. Birkeland was the new pastor. “There is nothing more important in your life than the personal relationship you have with God, through the ministry of prayer”, says Ben Birkeland. This belief is one footprint that Ben desired to leave on those around him.

The legacy of family started in his own home as a child. The heritage passed to him from his mother and father had lasting impact on his life. This faith has been passed on to his children after him.

Ben’s love for God overflowed into every aspect of his life. His love for his wife, Joyce, began the first day he saw her, his love for winning souls for Christ came as he committed to prayer and God’s word, other peoples’ concerns became his concerns, his happiness and security was found in the person of Christ, and his choice here on earth to believe in Christ was what he believed to be the key to eternal life with God. “Real happiness is one of those pleasant treasures that we find along the way in our quest after the kingdom of God.”

Ben went home to be with the Lord on Monday, February 26, 2007. Ben and his wife, Joyce, ministered in the Northwest area for many years. They served as pastors at Richmont Chapel, Port Townsend Assembly, Lewiston Assembly, Ellensburg Assembly, The Neighborhood Church in Bellevue, Spokane First Assembly, and Shoreline Community Church in Seattle. Ben also served as the Northwest District Youth Director for the Assemblies of God, and as the Director of Public Relations for Northwest College in the 1960s.

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