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Accreditation

Northwest Nazarene University is accredited regionally by the Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities (NWCCU). NNU's Graduate School of Theology & Christian Ministries also holds associate membership with The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS). In February 2015, the ATS Board of Commissioners granted candidacy status to NNU, paving the way toward full membership after a successful self-study by December 2016 and an on-site visit in Spring 2017. 

NNU awards the following degrees through the Graduate School of Theology & Christian Ministries:

Questions regarding NNU's academic relationships with these bodies should be directed to:

Statement of Educational Effectiveness

The mission of NNU's graduate theological online educational programs is to serve pastors and church leaders who serve the Church of the Nazarene in the Northwest educational region and the wider Christian and global community. As an expression of its commitment to historic Christianity from a Wesleyan perspective, the purpose of the Graduate School of Theology & Christian Ministries is to educate and prepare women and men for lives of faith, ministry, and service in the world and in the Church, including their personal and spiritual formation.

As we strive for continuous quality improvements, NNU's faculty and staff are committed to fulfill our mission through ongoing evaluations of the educational effectiveness of our programs, student learning outcomes, and support services. While the effectiveness of theological education can be measured in various ways, NNU's Graduate School of Theology & Christian Ministries publishes the following findings:

Master of Divinity

NNU'S fully online Master of Divinity degree empowers students for vocational ministry and enables them to center their studies around one of three specializations in Missional Leadership; Spiritual Formation; or Youth, Children & Family Ministries. Nazarene Clergy Services validates NNU's Master of Divinity degree as an approved course of study meeting all of the denomination's educational requirements for ordination. In addition to ongoing interactions with our faculty, students progress through their academic programs as part of an online learning community, including ongoing work with a personal mentor in the student's own ministry context. In as little as 50 months, students complete 75 semester credits, one course at a time in series. During their last two summers of study, students complete either an advanced biblical exegesis course or a supervised ministry course.

To date, 21.0 percent of our Master of Divinity graduates are female and 79.0 percent are male. Since 2011, 1.2% of our graduates completed their studies from outside the United States; 83.0 percent of our graduates are Nazarene, with the remainder being welcomed from other denominational and theological affiliations. 

Direct measures of learning from 2010-2014 reveal the following:

  • 88.3 percent of students met or exceeded the faculty's standards for degree objectives; and
  • 11.7 percent met faculty standards with some qualification.
Indirect measures of learning for the same period offer the following insights:
 
  2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 Overall
Overall Academic Satisfaction (5.0 scale) 4.3 4.8 4.7 5.0 4.7
Personal Spiritual Growth (5.0 scale) 4.9 5.0 4.3 5.0 4.65
Position Expected After Graduation 67% 60% 100% 67% 73.5%
Position Offered By Graduation 33% 40% 100% 33% 51.5%
Five-Year Degree Completion Rate 67% 83% 78.5% 87.5% 79%

Master of Arts

Students in this professional degree may enroll in one of four fully online Master of Arts tracks in Missional Leadership; Pastoral Ministry; Spiritual Formation; or Youth, Children & Family Ministries. NNU's Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry is 40 credits in size, spanning five semesters. It has also been approved by Nazarene Clergy Services as a validated course of study for ordination in the Church of the Nazarene. The other three fully online degree tracks are 36 credits in size and can be completed in four semesters. Students complete one course at a time in series, except for the addition of a supervised ministry course spanning the student's last semester. All Master of Arts students participate in an online learning community and also journey through each course with a personal mentor in their own ministry context. No summer courses are required in these tracks.

Over the years, 71.5 percent of all Master of Arts graduates are male and 28.5 percent are female. Since 2011, 8.8% of our graduates completed their studies from outside the United States; 81.5 percent of our graduates are affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene. 

Direct measures of learning from 2010-2014 reveal the following:

  • 86 percent of students met or exceeded the faculty's standards for degree objectives;
  • 13 percent met faculty standards with some qualification; and
  • 1 percent failed to meet faculty standards.

Indirect measures of learning for the same period offer the following insights:

  2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 Overall
Overall Academic Satisfaction (5.0 scale) 4.3 4.9 4.7 4.0 4.5
Personal Spiritual Growth (5.0 scale) 4.9 4.3 4.6 4.2 4.5
Position Expected After Graduation 67% 55% 80% 100% 75.5%
Position Offered By Graduation 100% 55% 70% 67% 73%
Three-Year Degree Completion Rate 97% 84% 93% 73% 88%