2024-25 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2024-25 Undergraduate Catalog

Student life

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Campus life


Much of a student’s time in college is spent outside the classroom. As a result, Northwestern College provides many activities that are organized by students and advised by faculty and staff members. These activities are co-curricular; they are designed to supplement the academic curriculum. They are also designed to provide opportunities for students to develop their individual talents. Because each student has different interests and talents, a variety of activities are offered.

Student services


Wellness center

The Wellness Center provides services designed to keep student healthy in mind and body, in order to equip you to succeed academically, live healthy and independent lives and to be fully ready for whatever God calls you to. We want to be a resource for whatever you need to know: how to prevent injuries, deal with disappointments, recover from an illness, or how to make stress work for you. Services will be provided with respect for the unique needs of the student in a safe, confidential setting. All services may be accessed by calling 707-7321 or by stopping during office hours: 8:00-4:30 Monday through Friday.

Counseling: The Wellness Center provides professional assessment and therapy at no cost for those students who are facing emotional, personal or relational difficulties and assists in developing strategies for handling problems of daily living. All full-time students are welcome to use these services, subject to availability. If all appointments are full, students may choose between going on a waiting list for NWC counseling services and being referred to off-campus services in the community. Students may choose to seek help during times of personal difficulty for issues such as depression, death of a loved one, traumatic family experiences, sexual assault, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, body image issues, drug/alcohol abuse, adjustment difficulties, medical/health problems, identity issues, stress, relational/roommate issues, dating, violence, pornography, addiction, anxiety, or with any other personal concerns. The Wellness Center offers individual counseling, couples counseling, assessment and evaluation, information and referral, consultation, crisis intervention, and workshops on requested topics. Books and other printed resources are also available for students to borrow.

Physical Health: All full-time students are required to have a physical and report the dates for the following immunizations: TDAP within the last 10 years, MMR 1 and MMR 2. Meningitis if living in campus housing and Hepatitis B series are strongly recommended. A certified nurse practitioner is available on a part-time basis to students for their physical health concerns. The nurse practitioner is available for assessment and treatment of illness or injury, routine physical exams, women’s gynecological exams, blood pressure checks, and is happy to provide information or programs regarding a wide variety of health related topics. Health services will be provided through an arrangement with Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS) as a satellite office located on campus. Regular clinic charges will apply to health visits. Because it is convenient, and geared toward student needs, students will generally want to seek assistance in the Wellness Center before going off-campus. However, off-campus referrals are offered by the Wellness Center when students prefer an outside referral or when the Wellness Center schedule is filled to capacity.

If you are sick, injured, or have a psychological or an emotional crisis after regular office hours, contact your RA or RD. RD’s have access to the on-call therapist. For medical emergencies, each RD maintains a first aid medical kit containing minor medical items for student use. Orange City also has a medical clinic that has served the college for many years. A community hospital and emergency room (located one mile east of the college on Highway 10) is available 24 hours a day. 9-911 access is available. In the event of a minor illness, the student should isolate him/herself as much as possible to prevent the spread of disease through the residence area. Sick tray requests may be obtained through the RA.

Students are not automatically covered by the college in case of illness or injury that requires off-campus medical attention or hospitalization. A student who is not fully covered by a family health care policy is strongly urged to purchase this coverage or purchase a medical policy on their own. This policy is not a blanket policy covering all expenses, but it does provide adequate coverage. An enrollment form and an information brochure for international students are available from Northwestern College’s Business Office. Domestic students should review plan details and apply online at www.sas-mn.com.

Note to Students: Questions concerning your insurance coverage for these treatment programs should be directed to your health insurance provider. If you have the NW student health insurance, you may direct questions to: Student Assurance Services, Inc.

Career planning

As part of the Center for Spiritual Formation and Vocation, the Career Development Center seeks to assist students in discovering their unique calling and their fit as citizens in the kingdom of God. Staff members are dedicated to helping students understand their unique gifts, talent and DNA identity, as well as how they see the brokenness of the world. Where these two aspects meet is where vocation is born.

The Career Development Center provides personal professional service to both students and alumni in career planning and placement. Information on various businesses, social agencies, government associations and graduate schools is available in the center.

Many students know the uncomfortable feeling associated with a lack of direction, definite goals or meaning in their academic life as they look to the world of work and their identity within that world. Career planning assists students in developing an understanding of themselves and the world of work, and then builds on that understanding so that effective career decisions can be made.

Career development staff members provide personal career counseling. They administer the Strong Interest Inventory and the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator to help students identify their interests and match those interests with various career areas. They offer a career planning workshop to help students with decision-making skills, values clarification and skills identification. They advise students interested in internships and off-campus study programs (see the section on off-campus study programs). They contact employers to arrange for quality internship experiences in numerous cities in Iowa and throughout the country and assist students with internship applications. (See department internships under the section. “individualized courses and programs.”)

Career placement

In addition to working in career planning, the staff of the Career Development Center assists students with career placement, maintaining a professional credential file, giving notification of position vacancies and interview schedules.

Students are assisted with their job search through individual counseling, group meetings and publications. Skills in writing a resumé, identifying potential employers, interviewing and job- hunting are developed with students throughout the academic year.

Graduate school information is also available in the Career Development Center, as well as announcements and registration materials for the GRE, GMAT and LSAT.

Students are encouraged to register with the Career Development Center’s career management website (www.nwcareerconnections.com).

Part-time and summer jobs

In addition to its work in career planning and placement, the Career Development Center assists students in locating part-time employment opportunities off campus, as well as summer employment.

Campus life guidelines


To enjoy life in any community, those participating need to know and accept the expectations and goals of the community. For the Northwestern community, that implies two things. Northwestern is an academic community. Therefore, those who come here should be committed to being students, wanting to develop skills and acquire knowledge that will stretch their minds. This means a student willingly commits a large portion of time to disciplined study and research. Northwestern is also a Christian community. Those who come here should seriously desire to live in a community that believes Jesus Christ is Lord of all areas of life. This means that lives and thoughts are to be guided by biblical principles. The effects of such a commitment are evident in all areas of college life.

Certain expectations of students enrolled at Northwestern have been established to promote freedom while encouraging personal responsibility. The following are basic guidelines and do not represent an exhaustive listing of lifestyle expectations. Please consult the current student handbook for more specific information.

  1. Visitation in residence halls by members of the opposite sex is allowed only during specific hours (see handbook). Residence halls are open to visitors on a limited basis to ensure residents the privacy they need for study and personal development. Students are required to respect the visitation expectations.

  2. The abuse of alcoholic beverages is contrary to the biblical principles that life, health and one’s rational powers are sacred trusts not to be willfully destroyed or impaired. While recognizing Christian liberty, Northwestern has adopted a policy for all members of the campus community that calls for abstinence on campus, in college housing and at college-sponsored off-campus events. This policy was developed to ensure a campus climate in which abstinence is respected as a pattern for all of life, and to counteract the effect of peer pressures that lead some to engage in excessive drinking when alcohol is a part of campus life. Students are required to respect the college’s stance on alcohol usage.

  3. Possession, selling or use of illegal or hallucinogenic drugs or intoxicants, misuse of over-the- counter drugs, and misuse of drugs prescribed by a medical doctor for medical purposes is prohibited on and off campus.

  4. Chapel is a gathering time for the community. All full-time students are required to accumulate 45 chapel credits per term.

  5. All students are expected to live on campus unless they receive permission from the office of student development for commuter status.

If an expectation is violated, the student development staff uses a contract system designed to help the student make responsible decisions regarding future actions. The contract system is viewed as a method of redemptive instruction, which will encourage the student to grow and develop as a member of the college community. The contract system is based upon guidelines in the New Testament. Since discipline at Northwestern is a redemptive process and not a legal proceeding, lawyers are not necessary or allowed to participate in the process.

A student suspended from college for disciplinary reasons after the drop deadline will receive a grade of W in each course.

Residence life


Northwestern provides housing for students in residence halls, apartments and cottages adjacent to campus. Upperclassmen are given priority for living in apartments and cottages.

The residence life experience is an important part of a student’s education. It provides an opportunity to live, interact and share with a variety of people who have differing backgrounds, interests and values. In Northwestern College’s residence facilities, students are able to develop meaningful relationships and the socialization skills that are necessary to be an effective community member. They have the opportunity to develop moral and spiritual values within a supportive environment. In short, the experiences students have in the residence facilities form an integral part of their growth and development as individuals.

General policies concerning room and board

  1. All students desiring room and board should correspond with the college as soon as possible. All non-commuting students must live in college housing. Any exceptions in housing arrangements must be submitted to the associate dean for residence life for approval.

  2. Room and board rates are not reduced by absences and are payable in advance.

  3. Residence hall rooms must be vacated within 24 hours of the student’s last exam or commencement exercises in which they participate or before housing closes, whichever occurs first. Room and board will not be provided during Christmas break and spring break.

  4. Students are responsible for leaving rooms in good condition and will be obligated to pay for any damages done to the room or its contents during occupancy.

  5. Student teachers, interns, and those living in apartments or cottages are eligible to participate in a reduced meal plan.

Student organizations


Student activities at Northwestern enhance the learning each student receives in the classroom. Students are provided opportunities outside the classroom to integrate living and learning.

Students can choose from a variety of social and cultural activities available at Northwestern. Northwestern offers a wide range of clubs and organizations in which students can participate. For more information about student activities or the current clubs and organizations, refer to the college web page at www.nwciowa.edu/studentlife/clubs.



The intramural program at Northwestern is a vital part of campus life and was instrumental in the development of the DeWitt Physical Fitness Center. Approximately 40 percent of the people on campus are involved in the program throughout the academic year. The purpose of the intramural program is to provide a fun environment that stresses the development of positive lifelong attitudes toward recreational activity and personal fitness. A wide variety of activities are offered to appeal to the varied interests on campus. Many activities are offered by skill level to satisfy both the need of a student looking for a competitive league and the student who is looking for a league for enjoyment and involvement. Activities are offered for men, women, co-recreational, for singles and doubles play.

Over 20 different activities are offered each year. The activities include flag football, co- rec volleyball, pickleball, racquetball, badminton, softball, chess, tennis, golf, bowling, basketball, wallyball and other game room activities. The intramural program is a great way to get involved in the campus community and to stay fit.

Campus ministry


Spiritual formation– the process of becoming transformed by God– is essential to the integration of faith, learning and living. Spiritual development is the lifelong journey of following Jesus with openness to the Holy Spirit and responding to what God does and says. As we learn to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbors as ourselves, campus ministry provides opportunities for spiritual growth in worship, prayer, study and service.

Worship: We grow in faith as we worship God. We honor God with a variety of worship expressions, biblical instruction, a broad range of music, provocative exchange of ideas, and personal sharing of story. Generally, all of life is worship; specific places of worship include daily (almost) chapel, Sunday night Praise and Worship and participation in local churches.

Prayer: We grow in faith in the practice of prayer. Individually and community, contemplation and prayer permeate the learning environment at Northwestern College thru prayer groups, centering prayer, devotional prayer, prayer retreats and a prayer chapel.

Study: We grow in faith as we study about God. Discipleship groups offer the opportunity to study the Bible, pray in community and engage in conversations that integrate faith into all aspects of life. Campus forums encourage discussion and awareness about issues of faith in our world, for example: evangelism, racial reconciliation, international justice, political oppression, hunger, disease, consumerism, poverty, relationships and stewardship.

Service: We grow in faith by loving, understanding and serving the world. Service is responding to God’s love by showing love and seeking justice. There are programs for individuals or groups to participate in cross-cultural experiences locally, regionally or globally in the summer, in the midst of the academic calendar or during breaks. There are other service opportunities such as visiting prisons, feeding the hungry, building homes, tutoring, or simply being a friend.

Leadership Opportunities: We grow in faith as we learn to lead and be led in Christ-honoring ways. Leadership can be expressed informally as well as through designated leadership positions. We value practical leadership experience for students and therefore offer approximately 30 paid and 75 volunteer ministry leadership positions for students. These leadership positions are focused on engaging the campus in worship, prayer, study, and service.

Guidelines for admission


Northwestern College does not discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, gender, age or disability in any of its policies or procedures. Each applicant is considered on the basis of probable success at Northwestern College as indicated primarily by high school record (minimum 2.00 high school GPA required) and standardized test scores (minimum composite score(s); 18 ACT/ 890 SAT/62 CLT required). Students meeting these minimum requirements may be fully admitted.

With submission of additional materials, students not meeting minimum admission standards may apply for competitive “conditional” enrollment (see following section for details).

Competitive conditional application process

Students admitted conditionally take 12-16 credits in their first term in consultation with their advisor.

A maximum of 20 conditional application slots are available each year. Conditional applications will be considered as they are received. Applications will be considered up to, but no later than, June 15. Each application must contain the following:

1. Cover letter that expresses:

  • why the student believes they should be granted conditional acceptance to Northwestern,
  • the student’s specific plans to succeed academically at Northwestern,
  • acknowledgment/acceptance of the conditional admission terms.

2. Completed Insight Resume

3. Two letters of recommendation from high school teachers that testify to the student’s academic potential and commitment.

Once a conditional application is received, the materials will be reviewed by the Director of Admissions and the Director of Academic Support to determine whether or not the student will be admitted conditionally.

Campus visits


Qualities of character are important at Northwestern College. Therefore, personal interviews and campus visits are encouraged, though not required, in determining admission. Appointments for interviews and campus visits should be made at least three days in advance by calling the admissions office at 1-800-747-4757 or by registering on-line at www.nwciowa.edu/visit. The admissions office is open from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday morning by appointment.



Students interested in attending Northwestern College can obtain application information from the admissions office or from Northwestern’s website (www.nwciowa.edu/apply). Students are encouraged to submit an application early in their senior year of high school. Once accepted by the college, the applicant must maintain a satisfactory record through the completion of high school. A certificate of satisfactory health is also required before enrolling. 



Northwestern accepts students who demonstrate the ability to do satisfactory college work. Students seeking admission to Northwestern College must have a completed secondary school transcript or received a High School Equivalency Certificate (GED). The following preparatory courses are recommended:

  • Four years of English

  • Three years of mathematics

  • Three years of social studies

  • Three years of foreign language

  • Two years of natural science

How to apply for admission


Application for Admission forms, available from the Northwestern College admissions office or from the college website, may be submitted at any time. However, students are encouraged to apply early in their senior year. To apply for admission:

  • Submit to the Northwestern College admissions office a paper copy or online application for admission.

  • Arrange to have a current high school transcript sent to the admissions office. A counselor’s evaluation is also required.

  • Take either the American College Test (ACT code: 1346), the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT code: 6490), or the Classic Learning Test (CLT) designating Northwestern College to receive the test results. Information about these tests and application forms can be obtained at high school counseling offices or online at ACT.org, collegeboard.com or cltexam.com.

  • A deposit of $100 is required prior to registering for classes and being placed in student housing. The housing form should accompany the deposit. Registration information is mailed to new students in mid-April. Room and roommate assignments are usually made by mid-July. The deposit is refundable until May 1. Once students conclude their education at Northwestern, the deposit is refunded provided the student has no outstanding bills.

  • A medical history shall be submitted prior to enrollment.

 Non-degree seeking student admission policy

Non-degree seeking students should complete the appropriate application for admission. Application instructions are located on the admissions website at www.nwciowa.edu/apply. Non-degree seeking students will be allowed to attempt up to 12 total credits, though this does not apply to students participating in Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO). Non-degree seeking students are not required to submit academic records (final high school/college transcripts and standardized test scores) to gain non-degree admission. However, students seeking non-degree (PSEO) admission while they are concurrently enrolled in high school must furnish appropriate approval documentation from the high school along with a copy of the most current high school transcript. Certain non-degree endorsements and certifications require additional documentation, depending on the specific program.

Non-degree seeking students generally are not eligible for financial aid. If a non-degree student would like to pursue a degree, the student will need to complete a traditional application. New students wishing to audit a course are subject to the above documentation requirements.

Students taking all of their courses online are not required to pay an enrollment deposit. Students completing any face-to-face courses will need to submit a $100 enrollment deposit.

Guest students from other colleges who are interested in studying abroad through one of Northwestern’s semester long or summer study-abroad programs must meet admissions criteria specific to those programs. For more details, please go to the study abroad website at www.nwciowa.edu/study-abroad. Typically, these students are required to provide unofficial high school or college transcripts along with two recommendations from college faculty members.

Previous preparation


Northwestern College grants college credit toward a degree on the basis of performance in the following examinations or for transfer course work completed via correspondence or the Internet. The amount and distribution of credit shall be determined by the registrar in conjunction with the chairperson in the department in which the credit is given. The maximum amount of credit awarded for examinations listed below may not exceed 4 credits. A grade of “Pass” will be listed on the transcript for examination credit and for only those courses numbered in the 100s or 200s. Correspondence/Internet-based course work from another institution will be recorded on the transcript as transfer work. For details, refer to the college web page at www.nwciowa.edu/registrar/transfercredits.

CLEP Credit is given for performance in “subject examinations,” but not in “general examinations,” and only if an analogous course is offered at Northwestern. Credit is given if a student’s numerical score on the CLEP examination is the equivalent of a college grade of “C” or better as determined by CEEB norms. Students should consult the academic department for the discipline being tested if the student is majoring in that area. Students should also be aware that most graduate schools do not accept CLEP credits.

Advanced Placement Students who wish to receive credit for advanced placement on the basis of college-level courses taken in high school must present the examination scores from the College Entrance Examination Board. Credit will be granted for scores of 4 or 5. A score of 3 will be considered for credit depending upon the exam taken.

International Baccalaureate Program Students who score a 4, 5, 6, or 7 on the Advanced Level Examinations of the International Baccalaureate Program may receive credit equal to the credit offered for equivalent introductory courses at Northwestern.

Correspondence/Internet course work Students completing course work by means of correspondence or the Internet will be granted credit for courses with grades of C or higher. The allocation of credits is determined by the registrar on the basis of the transcripts and course descriptions. See the section on admission of transfer students.

Admission of transfer students


Students who have satisfactorily completed academic courses at other accredited institutions may apply to Northwestern College as transfer students by sending to the admissions office: an application for admission, an official college transcript from each college or university attended, a high school transcript, and ACT or SAT scores. Transfer students are admitted based on their college work to date. To be accepted and to begin course work, transfer students must be in good standing and must have a 2.25 or higher cumulative GPA on a 4.00 scale (or equivalent) at the institution from which they are transferring. If they are considered in good standing but do not have a 2.25 GPA on a 4.00 scale, they may be accepted conditionally. Conditional acceptance may require, among other things, a contract approved by the director of academic support to include developmental courses or workshops and a limit of 13 credits for the first term in attendance.

Students with a completed baccalaureate degree, Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or Associate Degree Nursing from a regionally accredited college will have met the requirements for the Northwestern Core upon the completion of BTS150, BTS250 or equivalent 3-4 credit transfer course and a senior seminar (SR).

The allocation of transfer credit toward academic requirements at Northwestern is determined by the registrar on the basis of transcripts and course descriptions. If necessary, the registrar will consult with the appropriate department chairperson for the transfer of credits in the student’s major.

Students transferring to Northwestern College from TRACS (Transnational Association of Christian Colleges & Schools) accredited institutions may receive full or partial acceptance of completed coursework upon review by the registrar and department chair in the appropriate discipline for which credits apply.

Northwestern College will accept credits, not grades, from regionally accredited institutions. Transfer grades will not be calculated into the Northwestern grade point average. Northwestern grants transfer credits for courses with grades of C or higher. Credits for vocational/technical courses or remedial courses numbered below 100 will not be accepted.

Students transferring to Northwestern College from a non-regionally accredited institution, but one that has been accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education, may receive provisional credit from the transfer institution. An evaluation by the registrar’s office, in conjunction with the appropriate academic departments, will determine how many credits, if any, may transfer in as provisional. The provisional transfer credit then becomes official transfer credit upon successful completion of two terms at Northwestern College. This is acquired by the student enrolling in 12 or more credit hours each term and achieving a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 each respective term.

In order to be eligible for graduation, students who transfer 30 or more credits to Northwestern must complete the residence requirement by taking their last 30 credits at Northwestern.

Transfer student documentation policy

In addition to an application for admission, the following official documents are required for transfer students and those pursing education endorsements or other certifications (note: there are certain endorsements and certifications for which additional documentation is not required for admission). This is based upon college coursework completed at the time of application:

Transfer Credits-Documentation Requirements

Fewer than 55 transferable credits: Official college and high school transcripts, ACT/SAT test results are desired

55 or greater transferable credits or a completed degree: Official college transcripts

Note: Students who wish to participate in NWC intercollegiate athletics may be required to furnish ACT or SAT scores to comply with NAIA eligibility requirements. An application for admission will not be considered until the most recent college transcript (showing a minimum of one full-time semester) has been received.

Students transferring to Northwestern College with an earned degree from a regionally accredited institution are not required to submit a high school transcript and ACT/SAT scores.

Admission of international students


This school is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students.

All international students seeking admission to Northwestern College must submit an international student application for admission, a declaration of finances, appropriate school transcripts (in English), and a report of either ACT/SAT or an English proficiency test (TOEFL, IELTS or GTEC) score, or both (SAT/ACT scores are very helpful in qualifying for academic honors scholarships). Completed health forms and a deposit are also required following notification of admission.

For those students whose native language is not English, and who do not already demonstrate proficiency via an admissible ACT/SAT score, a report of an appropriate English proficiency test is required. Northwestern will accept TOEFL, IELTS or GTEC (TOEIC is also accepted with recommendation from sister institutions). These scores help to determine which program path will be the best suited to the applicant’s level of English proficiency: 1) Full Degree Admit, 2) ESL + Degree Admission - assuring admission to the degree program, but requiring some initial ESL work provided by the college, with credits counting toward degree achievement, or 3) ESL Certificate - limiting admission to one year of ESL study only. Exemptions to the English proficiency test requirement may be made on a case-by-case basis.





GTEC (Japan only)

Full Degree Admit




ESL + Degree Admit





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