Northwest Christian University Article

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Northwest Christian University
Northwest Christian University (logo).png
Former names
Eugene Divinity School
Eugene Bible University
Eugene Bible College
Northwest Christian College
Type Private
AffiliationCouncil for Christian Colleges and Universities, Cascade Collegiate Conference, NAIA
PresidentJoseph Womack
Other students
222 degree completion
Location Eugene, Oregon, USA
44°02′49″N 123°04′47″W / 44.047°N 123.0797°W / 44.047; -123.0797

44°02′49″N 123°04′47″W / 44.047°N 123.0797°W / 44.047; -123.0797
ColorsBlue and Gold         
NicknameBeacons (2008 - Present)

Northwest Christian University (NCU) is a private, Christian liberal arts college located in Eugene, Oregon and is historically affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Christian churches and churches of Christ. U.S. News & World Report ranked it in the top twenty-five baccalaureate colleges in the western United States in its 2011 rankings. [1]


Photo of Northwest Christian University (then Eugene Divinity School) and its founder, 1903

The school was founded as a divinity school in 1895 by Disciple of Christ preacher and educator Eugene Claremont Sanderson as the Eugene Divinity School (EDS). In 1908 it became Eugene Bible University; in 1930 that name changed to Eugene Bible College. Finally, after a merger with Spokane University in 1934, it became known as Northwest Christian College and then Northwest Christian University in 2008. [2] [3]

On December 8, 2009, Dr. Joseph Womack was named as Northwest Christian University's 10th president, taking office on June 1, 2010. [4] Womack is the son of NCU's eighth president, Dr. James Womack, who served from 1986 to 2004. [5]


  • Eugene C. Sanderson, 1895-1929
  • S. Earl Childers, 1929-1934
  • Victor P. Morris, Acting, 1934-1936 & 1943-1944
  • Kendall E. Burke, 1936-1943
  • Ross J. Griffeth, 1944-1965
  • Barton A. Dowdy, 1965-1978
  • William E. Hays, 1978-1985
  • H. Charles Pyron, Interim, 1985-1986
  • James E. Womack, 1986-2004
  • David W. Wilson, 2004-2010
  • Joseph D. Womack, 2010–present


Northwest Christian University is located in east Eugene, at the corner of Alder Street and E. 11th Avenue, separated from the larger University of Oregon by the width of a single lane street. Founder Eugene Sanderson envisioned a school at which students would study the Bible and principles of Christian ministry under Eugene Divinity School's faculty, but take other subjects on the neighboring campus, a model he also attempted to set up at Manhattan Christian College, located near Kansas State University. The Eugene Divinity School and its successive institutions maintained this arrangement with the University of Oregon until 1995, when the University of Oregon unilaterally discontinued it. Since that time NCU has grown to become a comprehensive liberal arts college. Today, NCU students occasionally take University of Oregon classes, have checkout privileges from Knight Library, and take advantage of lectures and other events on the neighboring campus.

Schools and academic majors

Northwest Christian University is organized into two schools: Liberal Arts & Bible, and Professional Studies. The School of Liberal Arts & Bible houses the academic majors of Biology, Communication, English, Exercise Science, History, Interdisciplinary Studies, Mathematics, Psychology, Bible and Theology, Christian Ministry, and Music. The School of Professional Studies includes both undergraduate majors in Accounting, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, and Teacher Education as well as graduate programs in Business Administration, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Teacher Education. Programs are offered in three different formats: traditional undergraduate daytime, adult degree evening and online, and graduate. [6]

Eugene Divinity School started with five students and one faculty member, Dr. Sanderson. Today, NCU has 798 students served by over 25 full-time faculty, 62% of whom have doctoral degrees.

Accreditation and affiliations

Northwest Christian University has been regionally accredited since 1962 by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). [7] [8] It is a member of the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities (OAICU), the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), and the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). The education programs are approved by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC), the business programs are accredited by the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), and the Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs is CACREP accredited (2017)(Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs) .


Northwest Christian teams, nicknamed athletically as the Beacons, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC). Men's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track & field and volleyball. [9]

2015 NAIA Cross Country National Championship During the fall of 2015 the woman's cross country team won 1st place in the NAIA Cross Country National Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina. This was the first time Northwest Christian University's cross country team won 1st place in this championship. The 7 runners who competed at the meet were, Melissa Rios (Freshman), Rosa Schmidt (Sophomore), Shea Vallaire, (Junior), Michelle Fletcher, (Junior), Macie Gale, (Junior), and Alyssa Harmon (Junior). [10]

Notable alumni

  • David Ray Griffin, noted Process theologian and retired professor of theology at Claremont School of Theology.
  • E. R. Moon, class of 1903, a Christian missionary to the Belgian Congo from 1908 to 1923 as well as Jamaica from 1938 to 1944
  • Frank Morse, class of 1966, president of Morse Brothers construction company and Oregon state senator from 2003 to 2012


  1. ^ America's Best Colleges 2011: Northwest Christian University
  2. ^ Quick Facts
  3. ^ [Richardson, William J. "Northwest Christian College" in The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, (eds) Foster, Douglas A., Blowers, Paul M., Dunnavant, Anthony L., and Williams, D. Newell. Grand Rapids, MN: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2004, p 572-573]
  4. ^ "Womack Named New NCU President". Archived from the original on 2013-12-06. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  5. ^ Northwest Christian College Alumni Bulletin, Spring 2004
  6. ^ "Academic Majors". Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-09-30.
  7. ^ NWCCU
  8. ^ "Accreditations and Memberships". Archived from the original on 2014-09-25. Retrieved 2014-09-30.
  9. ^ Beacon Athletics
  10. ^

External links