Hallmarks of an NNU Education

Northwest Nazarene University is built upon belief in and relationship with the One Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In Him and His Son all things live and move and have their being. He is the way, the truth and the life. Therefore, we gather and organize ourselves around our relationship with God in Christ, made available to us through the Holy Spirit. We exist to seek God. He is the centerpiece around all we plan, do and are. We seek His rule, righteousness and relationship in our lives and in the life of the institution.

We fulfill our educational mission by focusing on God and the whole person; we pursue intellectual and spiritual development by organizing our curricular and co-curricular work around four organizational cornerstones: Core, Community, Calling, Kingdom.

Core- The essential mission of Northwest Nazarene University is the development of Christian character within the philosophy and framework of genuine scholarship. This is the core of who we are and what we do, an NNU education is designed to incorporate and engage both spiritual and intellectual domains.

  • An NNU education will provide an understanding of the Triune nature of God and His character.
  • An NNU education will provide an understanding of and opportunity to be in relationship with Jesus Christ, the One full of grace and truth.
  • An NNU education will emphasize the nature and transforming work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of faculty, students and staff.
  • An NNU education focuses on the truth embodied in the person of Jesus Christ.  We encourage the pursuit of truth through personal engagement with God in Christ, enabled by the Holy Spirit.
  • An NNU education emphasizes the place and authority of Scripture; the primacy of Scripture is complemented and served by Christian tradition, learned reason and the confirmation of personal experience.
  • An NNU education will provide experiences in and understanding of created order, human discovery, knowledge and creativity, personal communication, critical-thinking and problem solving.
  • An NNU education fosters and demands the pursuit of excellence.  Teachers and students practice creative engagement, learning in real life situations and contexts, each desiring to do one's best as faithful stewards of God's gifts.

Community- The mission of Northwest Nazarene University is fulfilled in community. The two Great Commandments, to love God and to love neighbor as self, are relational in nature. In obeying these commandments we become the church at work in higher education. Therefore we organize, staff and provide a multi-dimensional community with expertise and care in spiritual, academic and social domains.

  • An NNU education is based upon covenants with God and each other.  Therefore, we will always have a relational focus.  We commit to know God, rather than simply knowing about God.  We commit to the integration of knowledge, faith, and practice for personal and communal formation.
  • An NNU education is centered in the pursuit of Christlikeness.  As His disciples we seek God, His love and His holiness in our lives; we promote right belief, right practice and a right heart. 
  • An NNU education is filled with opportunities to understand and experience the work of the Holy Spirit.  Faculty, staff and students learn the Wesleyan "means of grace" in order to develop habits of heart that facilitate the work of God's transforming grace.
  • An NNU education takes place in a community of faith, learning to express love to God, love of self and love to others.  We gather in corporate and small settings to love and support the growth of our fellow disciples through mentoring, accountability and peer relationships.  We further express our connectedness by worshipping and serving in area churches.

Calling- The mission of Northwest Nazarene University is fulfilled by providing each student with the necessary assessment, experiences and guidance to identify their vocational calling and receive instruction for a life of service.

  • An NNU education shapes students by in-depth knowledge, understanding and training in a chosen field.  Students engage in learning, scholarship, research and hands-on experience until mastery is achieved.
  • An NNU education directs students to experience God at work in the world as well as the church.  Through creative engagement professors and students trace fingerprints of God in culture, art, science and the humanities.
  • An NNU education makes the call to follow Christ foremost.  The Christ-like life is lived in the process and crisis of dying to self in order to learn to live with God at the center of our soul.  We model the pouring out of self in order to be filled with Him.
  • An NNU education affirms the value of the disciplined life.  The rigor of study is balanced with the spiritual disciplines in order to foster life-long learners who are also life-long seekers of righteousness.
  • An NNU education makes a place for recreating, for Sabbath, for competition and play, in our intercollegiate, intramural and social activities we exercise discipline, seek excellence and enjoy life.

Kingdom- The mission of Northwest Nazarene University is lived out as the university community seeks to use the academic disciplines to identify and address real-world needs and opportunities as God's Kingdom agents. All members of the university are encouraged to serve in corporate and individual Kingdom building.

  • An NNU education provides an understanding of humanity's fallen nature, the image of God in all humanity and an awareness of the prevenient grace of God present in the world, drawing humanity toward victorious life in Christ.
  • An NNU education will seek to give every student opportunities to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and to share that opportunity with others.
  • An NNU education will seek to establish the Kingdom of God in this world while anticipating the next. Therefore, we shall be socially responsive, engaging and serving the culture in which we live with countercultural solutions and priorities.
  • An NNU education affirms the God-given role of humanity to be co-creators with God, personally and collectively seeking to transform the people of this age and care for the world through our chosen vocations and service.
  • An NNU education is structured to foster, promote and provide expressions of social compassion. We lead by serving. We seek to serve the needy and extend grace by reconciling the marginalized and lost.
  • An NNU education is an optimistic affirmation of a person's ability to engage and change the world in active service and professional vocation. This commitment is described in the classroom and displayed in our lives.
  • An NNU education is a reflection of a welcoming spirit. Sponsored by the Church of the Nazarene we welcome those from other faith traditions, we hear their perspectives with the respect and love necessary for a healthy learning community.