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.
A Letter From the President
Northwest University remains uncancelled. Despite the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year, God has blessed us, and our future continues to shine brightly ahead. When the Fall 2020 semester rolled around, we returned to the classroom and to the chapel—unbowed before the virus, but praying; masked and distanced, but forging community anyway. Along the way, our faculty and students have striven to keep our campus culture healthy in the face of epic disease.
We will not let this adversity interrupt our mission nor alter our identity in Christ. That determination has energized our discipline and precaution even as it has fueled our long obedience in the direction of our calling.
On the sides of buses around the Puget Sound, we have declared to the world: “Your future is not cancelled.” With so many events, programs, and even jobs cancelled due to COVID-19, we wanted to say it loud and clear: the virus has not cancelled Northwest University and its mission!
As we see new infections dropping around the country in a linear fashion, we are making plans to embrace the NU normal again in August. In a campaign called “the NU Normal,” we will reassert our identity and mission with five points of emphasis:
The NU Normal
- NU is a community of learning, committed to excellent academic work.
- NU is a community of presence, embodied in friendship and fellowship.
- NU is a community of worship, gathered in prayer and
- praise together.
- NU is a community of ministry, dedicated to serving the needs of others.
- NU is a community of mission that passionately carries the call of God.
After a year of hunkering down, I invite every reader of this letter to visit our Kirkland campus in the 2021–2022 academic year with potential students to experience the presence of God that permeates our community. We are already busy planning for a year of revival—in every way.
Joseph Castleberry, EdD
President, Northwest University
Open and In Person
NU is more than just open—we’re in person. All year long, students and professors have met safely in our classrooms by utilizing a method called “HyFlex.” Thanks to the hard work of NU’s leadership and community, the number of COVID cases at NU is far lower than the average for college campuses. Students are still able to build community, participate in chapel services, and grow spiritually through the variety of creative mediums our Campus Ministries and Student Development teams have provided.
Church Planting and Youth Ministry Funded by Murdock and Lilly
We recently received a new, $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. for a program designed for church planters. Lilly also gave us a new sustaining grant to continue funding for our Summer Journey program for high school students. The two Lilly programs now operate through our Center for Calling and Theological Formation. We also received a $100,000 planning grant from the Murdock Charitable Trust to fund research and structural adjustments in their Leading through Change program.
Discipleship, Healing, and Prayer in Campus Ministries
Recent testimonies from our Pursuit student worship and prayer services include remarkable stories of healing, words of instruction and revelation, and a heightened sense of prayer. A sizeable group of students have banded together for 5:00 a.m. prayer out of their hunger for a mighty move of God on campus. We have begun to expect great things for the future!
Northwest University is freezing tuition for all bachelor’s degree programs at our Kirkland campus for the 2021–2022 academic year. NU has always offered outstanding educational value. NU’s tuition will remain competitively priced at $33,500, with room and board rates that provide great value too. NU’s total costs are thousands less than other regional private Christian universities. This year, NU was again recognized as a Best Value institution in the Regional Universities West list by U.S. News & World Report. NU has moved steadily higher in the rankings from 27th in 2019 to 14th in 2021.
Empowering the Future
50% Tuition Reduction for Ministry Majors
To support the university’s mission, NU launched the Empowering the Future initiative
in 2019, a program that reduces tuition by 50% for all undergraduate ministry majors in
the College of Ministry. Additionally, NU will provide a path for all Kirkland on-campus undergraduate College of Ministry students to graduate with an amount of student debt less than or equal to 110% of their freshman year’s tuition.
New Technology Programs
NU launched three new programs in 2020. The Creatio Center for Technology, Media, and Design introduced new majors in ux design, audio production, and video production. Additional new technology programs in data science and computer science will begin in Fall 2021. NU continues to add programs in new and growing fields. At the graduate level, the new Master of Science in Applied Research Psychology provides advanced training in data inquiry and analysis procedures relevant to the social science and user experience fields. This two-year, online program will prepare students to pursue careers in the fast- growing fields of research analytics, user experience analytics, or program evaluation.
For years now, Northwest University has been recognized as a “best value school.” This is a title that NU takes very seriously. By offering a wide variety of scholarships to our students, we are able to make the dream of going to college more possible for more people. This variety includes competitive merit-based scholarships, talent scholarships, athletic scholarships, outside scholarships like ActSix, and more. And the list continues to grow as more generous people give towards the NU opportunity fund.
Ready to Work Initiative
We have updated the curriculum for all majors and programs at NU to focus on readiness for jobs and career development. We train the best workers available across the disciplines we offer! In ministry majors, we have begun to feature student speakers in every Monday chapel, each one preparing their message with a faculty coach to hone their preaching skills. These chapels have become the most popular among students!
The average Northwest University student receives over $16,000 in institutional aid. This level of financial assistance requires investment, both from the university and from those who support it. Thanks to your ongoing generosity, our students continue to carry the call of Christ into all the world. From the students, faculty, and staff of NU—thank you.
We are grateful for your partnership.