Northwest Nazarene University

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Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
Carnegie Classification
Master's Colleges & Universities: Larger Programs
Religious Affiliation
Church of the Nazarene

Northwest Nazarene University, a private, Christian liberal arts college in Nampa, ID, had humble beginnings and a quick rise. Founded in 1913 as Idaho Holiness School, NNU was originally an elementary and secondary school, but quickly added college courses, reaching junior college status and 4-year liberal arts college status over the next 20 years. As the first regionally-accredited Nazarene-affiliated college, NNU is a deeply religious institution dedicated to holistic, life-changing education of the mind and spirit, and has been recognized for its excellence by the Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report as a regional college in the West.

Academic Programs

Northwest Nazarene is founded in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, and its curriculum is thoroughly tied to Christian faith and values. While courses are designed in a traditional liberal arts model, focusing on the humanities, arts, and sciences for foundational courses and upper-division courses in a major, all courses are centered around uniting intellectual and academic work with faith and service. The university is divided into the College of Arts and Sciences (the traditional college) and the College of Adult and Graduate Studies. 42 majors are available, as well as self-directed majors, and as a small liberal arts college, students can expect strong mentorship and guidance from faculty.

The College of Adult and Graduate Studies reflects NNU’s considerable commitment to nontraditional students as well, including online degree programs, extension campuses, and continuing education programs. While the traditional student body is only around 2000 students, online and extension programs (including three campuses in Boise, Twin Falls, and Idaho Falls) serve more than 6000 students at any given time, making NNU a major service for nontraditional, working adult, and professional students.

Student Life

More than 1300 undergraduates and 700 graduate students attend traditional on-campus programs at NNU, with around three-quarters of undergraduates living on-campus. Though NNU is affiliated with the Nazarene Church, only around 45% of students belong to the church, with the rest coming from a variety of faith traditions and even non-Christian backgrounds. However, non-Christian students are still required to attend chapel meetings three times per week, take required religion courses, and adhere to the university’s honor code and lifestyle guidelines.

Student life is largely on-campus and revolves around student-led organizations and official activities. In addition to a rich spiritual life (including chapel, bible study, prayer, and service), students take part in many traditions designed to build community and strengthen bonds, including more than 40 student clubs. Annual traditions like the freshman talent show and Week One activities give students a sense of belonging, support, and friendship.

Ready to start your journey?

Ready to start your journey?