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A growing and vital university

Last Updated 20 March, 2015

Fall of 2014 brings exciting change to NNU and not just to the physical campus. In addition to the seasonal excitement of welcoming a new class of freshmen, transfer students, and adult and graduate students, NNU is introducing its first fully online bachelor’s degree program for the traditionally aged undergraduate student.

Online education is not new for NNU; however, until now, it has been available only for adult and graduate students. This fall, the new Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies will join all the existing fully online degree programs to form NNU Online—a new branch of the university that offers anyone a flexible, accessible, top-quality educational path.

NNU has provided outstanding brick-and-mortar-based education for a century. Exciting growth on campus like the Leah Peterson Learning Commons opening its doors and new programs like the NNU Doceo Center revolutionizing education in the state of Idaho prove the university’s ongoing commitment to its home in Nampa. Why then seek significant growth in an online arena as well?

One answer is because NNU offers a unique educational experience, and making that experience of an academically rigorous, distinctly Christian education available to anyone who desires it, regardless of location or economic status, fulfills the university’s mission.

The story of recent alumnus Rev. David Ching serves as an illustration of the power of NNU’s online reach. Ching had been serving as pastor of Fellowship Church of the Nazarene in Houston, Miss. until he received a diagnosis of stage IV cancer in his head, neck and throat in September 2011.

Dr. Jay Akkerman, one of Ching’s professors in the Graduate Theological Online Education master’s program, says, “David spent the majority of his graduate studies working through his illness. We at NNU had a front-row seat to his fight with cancer, including when treatment left him unable to speak for extended periods of time.” However, Ching pressed on despite all obstacles, even when he was told that, although he had beaten his initial diagnosis, he now had inoperable stage IV lung cancer. This shocking news came only a few months before he would finish with not his first but his second master’s degree from NNU.

When Ching’s health would not allow him to travel to receive his degree at Commencement, Akkerman traveled to Ching in Mississippi to present him with his diploma at a special celebration at his church on Palm Sunday 2014.

Ching said, “I would like to thank all my colleagues, the staff, the professors and all others from NNU and its surroundings for their support, love and prayers. I could not have done this without each of you.”

Students that come to NNU through less traditional channels contribute a great deal to the NNU family. Akkerman shared, “My colleagues and David’s classmates have all been inspired by his tenacity and his grace. David has enriched NNU’s community by allowing us to share in his experience.”

​Northwest Nazarene University is committed to making its unique brand of education accessible around the globe for students like David Ching because of what they bring and what this university provides. NNU offers something distinctive both in Nampa and online—a community that cares about the heart, soul, mind and body of its people. 

Student Spotlight

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