Northwestern College (Iowa)
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Northwestern College Iowa

Coordinates: 42°59?56?N 96°03?25?W / 42.999°N 96.057°W / 42.999; -96.057

Northwestern College (Iowa)
NW Logo.svg
Former names
Northwestern Junior College, Northwestern Classical Academy
Motto "God Is Light" (Deus Est Lux)
Type Private
Established 1882
Affiliation Reformed Church in America (RCA)
Endowment $44,166,000 (2016)[1]
President Greg Christy
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 1,215 (spring 2018) [2]
Location Orange City, Iowa, U.S.
Campus Rural, 100 acres (0.4 km2)
Colors Red and White         
Nickname Red Raiders

Northwestern College (NWC) is a private Christian liberal arts college with more than 1200 students located in Orange City, Iowa. It is also informally known as Northwestern Iowa. It is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America (RCA). Northwestern began as an academy in 1882. It became a junior college in 1928 and a four-year institution in 1961.

Northwestern has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1953.[3] In addition, the athletic training, business, education, nursing and social work programs are accredited by their respective accreditation organizations.[4]

Athletically, Northwestern competes as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Division II, within the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC).

College community

Northwestern College is an educational institution made up of approximately 1200 students and 300 faculty and staff [5] located in Orange City, a rural community of 6004 residents in Sioux County, Iowa.[6] The campus is a few blocks south of the downtown area, centered on the intersection of State Highway 10 and Albany Avenue.


Northwestern College is governed by a Board of Trustees chaired by Martin Guthmiller. Approximately half of its members represent the RCA denomination.[7] There is also a Student Government Association.[8]

Greg Christy serves as the president of the Northwestern College. He is assisted by a leadership team called the President's Cabinet.[9]

President Christy began serving as president of NWC in 2008. He had previously served as the vice president for institutional advancement at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota, an institution he served at for 12 years. Prior to that, he had held positions on the staffs of South Dakota State University and Iowa State University. Christy holds a bachelor's degree in management from Simpson College and a master's degree in physical education and sports management from Western Illinois University.[10]

Campus culture

Northwestern College identifies itself as a "Reformed, evangelical and ecumenical" community, viewing these three Christian theological perspectives as complementary and drawing strengths from each perspective to fulfill its mission.[11] Chapel is offered two days a week. There is also a student-led time of praise and worship on Sunday evenings. [12]

As an intentionally Reformed, Christian academic community, NWC has adopted a Vision for Learning "rooted in the wisdom of the Bible" where they "view learning as worship, using our minds to better understand, serve and love God's world." An institutional commitment to engagement is an important part of that, by "participating in God's redemptive work" and seeking "to respond to God's call to share the gospel, care for creation and serve Christ in everyone." As a logical outgrowth of that vision, an education at NWC is designed to prepare students to:[13]

  • Trust, love and worship God
  • Engage ideas
  • Connect knowledge and experience
  • Respond to God's call


There were a total of 1,250 students at the start of the 2017-18 school year - 771 women and 479 men. Roughly half of the student population attending NWC comes from the state of Iowa and two-thirds of its students come from four Midwestern states: Iowa (566 students), South Dakota (103), Minnesota (81) and Nebraska (78). The top six Christian denominations represented at the college are: Reformed/RCA (243), Lutheran (107), Christian Reformed (88), Evangelical Free (81), Baptist (76), Methodist (61) and Roman Catholic (60). More than 10% (130) of NWC students are identified as ethnic minorities or international students.[14]

Student residences

  • Colenbrander Hall - Men
  • North Suites - Men
  • Fern Smith Hall - Women
  • Stegenga Hall - Women
  • Hospers Hall - Men
  • Bolks Apartments
  • Courtyard Village Apartments

Student groups and clubs on campus

  • Student Government Association (SGA) - A group of elected student representatives and faculty advisers gather weekly to discuss issues about campus and how to improve campus life.[15]
  • The International Club (I-Club) - The International Club is open to both international and American students who form friendships and learn about one another's cultures through meetings, events and trips.[16]
  • Red Raider Club - Composed of current and former athletes and Red Raider fans, the Red Raider Club supports Northwestern student-athletes and helps fund equipment and other athletics department purchases.[17]
  • Discipleship Groups (D-Groups) - Student-led D-Groups meet weekly in each residence hall and student apartment complex to pray, study the Bible, and provide a place to talk about one's Christian faith.[18]
  • The Beacon - A weekly student newspaper covers topics of interest to the Northwestern community, such as news, arts & culture, sports, and opinions. It is distributed on Fridays.[19]

Events and traditions

  • RUSH: Northwestern's annual student dance concert, RUSH features student-choreographed performances with a cast of more than 100 dancers whose dance experience ranges from 0 to 20 years. RUSH was formed with the belief that anyone can dance as long as they are committed and determined. All who try out are cast, and since its founding in 2004, RUSH has quickly become one of the most anticipated and most popular events at Northwestern.[]
  • As residence life is a big part of campus life at Northwestern College, each residence hall boasts a number of hall-specific traditions.

Academic buildings

  • Bultman Center for Health, Physical Education and Intercollegiate Athletics, opened in 1995
  • Christ Chapel and DeWitt Music Hall, opened in 1987
  • DeWitt Learning Commons, opened in 2013
  • DeWitt Theatre Arts Center, opened in 2004
  • Health and Natural Sciences Center, scheduled to open in fall 2018
  • Korver Visual Arts Center, opened in 2003
  • Rowenhorst Student Center, renovated in 2007
  • Van Peursem Hall
This is Zwemer Hall, the oldest building on campus. It contains offices for the registrar, admissions, financial aid, president, and other administrative departments.

Administrative facilities

  • Ramaker Center, renovated in 2014
  • Zwemer Hall, built in 1894 and restored in 1997. Zwemer is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.[20]


  • The 2018 edition of America's Best Colleges, published by U.S. News and World Report, ranks Northwestern 10th among 80 Midwestern regional colleges.[21] This is the 11th year in a row that NWC has been listed in the top 10.
  • College Consensus ranks Northwestern as the second-best college or university in Iowa. The college review aggregator averages the latest results from the most respected college rankings with thousands of online student review scores.[22]
  • Because of Northwestern's dedication to high-impact educational practices, it has been named one of the nation's Colleges of Distinction. Northwestern was selected for adhering to the organization's four distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community and successful outcomes.[22]
  • Best College Reviews ranks Northwestern 5th among the Top 50 Best Small Colleges. NWC is the highest-ranked Iowa college on the list, which is created using data regarding enrollment, retention, graduation rates and tuition.[22]
  • Northwestern is listed on the latest President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.[23] Since 2007, the college has been consistently included on the honor roll because of its strong commitment to community service. NWC students log thousands of hours of service each school year.[24]
  • Northwestern is recognized as a Groundwater Guardian Green Site by the Groundwater Foundation. NWC has earned this recognition every year since 2008.[25][26]
  • Northwestern is ranked 5th overall in the field of education by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in its 2017 list of Adoption Friendly Workplaces by Industry.[27]

Missions opportunities

Spring Service Partnerships

For college students all over the country, spring break means road trips to big cities and balmy beaches. Northwestern students do that too, but some of them pack a hammer. Northwestern College annually sends more than 200 students, faculty and staff in teams to serve with ministries in the U.S. and around the world. SSP teams have traveled to Nicaragua and the Netherlands, to California, New York, Oklahoma and Florida. Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities have been frequent destinations. SSP teams build and repair homes, minister in prisons, tutor at youth centers, serve in soup kitchens, live with residents in homeless shelters and more.

Spring Service Partnerships integrate faith, service and cross-cultural learning within a team setting that also allows for the involvement of faculty and staff. The SSP program benefits both the ministries and the students who serve: The efforts of a variety of ministries are encouraged, supported and helped in tangible ways. In addition, Northwestern students are challenged and strengthened in their faith as they see and experience the gospel being lived out in cultures different than the one in which they live.

Spring Service Partnerships provide students opportunities to participate in mission work taking place domestically and abroad during annual spring breaks in early March. Students have spent their ten-day breaks serving in city missions, youth hostels, construction sites, disaster relief zones, and low-income schools.[28]

Summer of Service

The Summer of Service (SOS) program at Northwestern College challenges, prepares and encourages students to be effective Christian servants in the world. It also exists to assist and support missionaries and the communities they work in. Each year, 20 to 25 students serve cross-culturally for at least six weeks in the U.S. or overseas. Past participants have traveled to countries like Croatia, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Malawi, Russia, South Africa and Thailand to serve with mission agencies like The Luke Society, Dublin Christian Mission, Pioneers International and TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission). They have worked in hospitals, orphanages and refugee camps; taught Vacation Bible School and English as a second language; and served in sports and hospitality ministries.

Summer of Service team members return from their summer experiences more aware of the world's problems and promises and more equipped to wrestle with biblical applications to what they experienced. Often these students remain involved in service and mission, either full- or part-time after graduating from college.[29]

Recent sites served include[30]

Musical opportunities

Northwestern offers ten unique musical opportunities for students. Three of these are vocal ensembles and seven are instrumental.

  • Symphonic Band [1] is a 60-member wind and percussion ensemble. Members of this ensemble hail from across the United States and from as far away as Taiwan. This group plays a diverse repertoire and goes on an annual tour. Previous tours have taken the group to Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, Venezuela, and Ukraine.
  • A cappella Choir [2] is a 65-member vocal ensemble. Members of this ensemble come from a variety of majors as well as backgrounds. Music is selected from all musical time periods ranging from works by Palestrina to modern pieces by Eric Whitacre. This group has also participated in a performance of Mozart's Requiem. This ensemble's annual tour has taken it to Czech Republic, Southern California, New York State, and Austria.
  • Heritage Singers [3] is a group selected from the A cappella Choir. This group has performed a full madrigal dinner as well as the comic operetta Die Fledermaus and evening opera showcase. In addition to these larger productions, the ensemble also performs character pieces and tours with the A cappella Choir each spring. This group has also performed with the Northwest Iowa Oratorio Chorus in the Messiah (Handel), Haydn's Missa in tempore belli, and J.S. Bach's St John Passion.
  • Jazz Band [4] is a select ensemble consisting of 18 instrumentalists. This group features a variety of jazz styles and composers. This group has been involved in 'Battle of the Bands' with neighboring colleges as well as providing the music for Northwestern's Ballroom Dance each spring.
  • Chamber Ensembles (Brass Quintet, String Quartet, and Woodwind Quintet) [5] are groups that involve Northwestern's best musicians in their respective areas. Each ensemble performs at a joint concert each semester and at special events on campus. These events have included the dedication of campus buildings and for the inauguration of President Greg Christy.
  • Percussion Ensemble [6] is a select group of percussion players. This group includes individuals whose primary instrument is percussion as well as wind players, string players, and vocalists who have experience with percussion. This group performs a variety of music ranging from minimalist music to phase music and a variety of other genres.
  • Chamber Orchestra [7] is a group of 25 string players. This group performs several times each year. Music is chosen from earlier periods as well as the 20th century. This group also includes wind players for an occasional performances when the music calls for them.
  • Women's Choir [8] is a group of 40 musicians. This ensemble performs music from the Renaissance through the 20th century. This group also took part in the chorus of Northwestern's Award-Winning Original Musical "Terror Texts".


Northwestern College teams are known as the Red Raiders. The college is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), competing in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, dance, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball.[]

Outdoor sports such as football and track are played at DeValois Stadium.[]

National Championship appearances

Year Sport Result Score Opponent
1972 Football Lost 14-21 Missouri Southern
1973 Football Won 10-3 Glenville State
1979 Football Lost 6-51 Findlay (OH)
1983 Football Won 25-21 Pacific Lutheran[31]
1984 Football Lost 22-33 Linfield
1992 Men's Basketball Lost 79-85* Grace (Ind.)
2000 Women's Basketball Lost 49-59 Mary (N.D.)
2001 Men's Basketball Won 82-78 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)
2001 Women's Basketball Won 77-50 Albertson (Idaho)
2003 Men's Basketball Won 77-57 Bethany (Kan.)
2008 Women's Basketball Won 82-75 Ozarks (Mo.)
2010 Women's Basketball Won 85-66 Shawnee State (Ohio)
2011 Women's Basketball Won 88-83 Davenport (Mich.)
2012 Women's Basketball Won 75-62 Ozarks (Mo.)

"*" indicates overtime

The 2001 "double" (men's and women's basketball titles) was the first time that an NAIA school accomplished the feat, and at the time, only the second in collegiate history (Central Missouri State, now known as the University of Central Missouri (located in Warrensburg, Missouri) previously accomplished the feat in 1984; the University of Connecticut would later accomplish the feat in 2004 and 2014).[]

Free throw record

Deb Remmerde-Leusink, a 2008 Northwestern College graduate, holds numerous NAIA records, including the record for most consecutive in-game free throws in the history of organized basketball. She ended her 133-shot free-throw streak in February 2006. Remmerde later appeared on "The Early Show," where she completed 580 of 585 free-throws, live, in front of a CBS television crew.[32][33]

Notable people


Staff and faculty


  1. ^ ""U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2016 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY2015 to FY2016"" (PDF). NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. February 2017. Retrieved 2018. 
  2. ^ Thursday, January 25, 2018 (2018-01-25-). "Northwestern College | News | Press releases | Northwestern spring enrollment highest in 10 years". US-IA: Retrieved .  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ "Accredited Institutions". The Higher Learning Commission. Retrieved 2015. 
  4. ^ "NWC Accreditations". Northwestern College. Retrieved 2015. 
  5. ^ "NWC At-A-Glance (2017-18)". Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa. Retrieved 2018. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015. 
  7. ^ "NWC Board of Trustees". Northwestern College. Retrieved 2015. 
  8. ^ "NWC SGA". Northwestern College. Retrieved 2015. 
  9. ^ "NWC Leadership". Northwestern College. Retrieved 2018. 
  10. ^ "NWC President". Northwestern College. Retrieved 2018. 
  11. ^ "NWC Christian Identity". Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa. Retrieved 2015. 
  12. ^ "Faith at NWC". Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa. Retrieved 2018. 
  13. ^ "NWC Vision". Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa. Retrieved 2015. 
  14. ^ "NWC At-A-Glance (2017-18)". Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa. Retrieved 2018. 
  15. ^ "NWC SGA". Northwestern College. Retrieved 2015. 
  16. ^ "NWC International Club". Northwestern College. Retrieved 2015. 
  17. ^ "Red Raider Club". Northwestern College. Retrieved 2015. 
  18. ^ "Discipleship". Northwestern College. Retrieved 2015. 
  19. ^ "The Beacon". Northwestern College. Retrieved 2015. 
  20. ^ "IOWA - Sioux County". National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  21. ^ "Midwest Regional College Rankings". U.S. News & World Report, L.P. Retrieved 2017. 
  22. ^ a b c "Best Colleges in Iowa 2017-18". College Consensus. Retrieved 2017.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Best Colleges in Iowa 2017-18" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Best Colleges in Iowa 2017-18" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  23. ^ "" (PDF). Corporation for National & Community Service. Retrieved 2015. 
  24. ^ "NWC Press Releases". Northwestern College. Retrieved 2016. 
  25. ^ "Groundwater Guardian Green Sites". The Groundwater Foundation. Retrieved 2015. 
  26. ^ "NWC Press Releases". Northwestern College. Retrieved 2015. 
  27. ^ "2017 100 BEST ADOPTION-FRIENDLY WORKPLACES - Industry Leaders" (PDF). Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Retrieved 2017. 
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved 2010. 
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010. 
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 31, 2010. Retrieved 2009. 
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 16, 2012. Retrieved 2012. 
  32. ^ "NWC Women's Basketball Coaches". Northwestern College. Archived from the original on October 22, 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  33. ^ "Champ Free-Throw Shooter Shows The Way". Retrieved 2015. 
  34. ^ "TFL Staff". The FAMiLY LEADER. Retrieved 2015. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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