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College of

Theology & Christian Ministries


NNU’s College of Theology & Christian Ministries offers a diverse set of programs that includes undergraduate degrees, a fully online Master of Arts and Master of Divinity, and more. We also offer the Nazarene Course of Study modules in English. All of these programs are designed to prepare you to serve the Church and advance the Kingdom of God.

speaker preaching in chapel

College Objectives

Our graduates assume leadership in various ministry venues, including pastoral leadership, staff ministry, university student development, chaplaincy, non-profit leadership, church planting and other innovative settings. A recent survey of graduates revealed that 68 percent had already been offered positions by graduation. Additionally, many of our graduates have advanced to doctoral studies at a variety of other educational institutions, including Drew Divinity School, Boston University, Claremont School of Theology, Portland Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Southern Methodist University and Nazarene Theological Seminary, to name just a few.

The faculty of NNU’s Graduate School of Theology offers you a committed partnership in answering God’s call to more effective ministry through leading-edge theological education. With over 500 graduates faithfully serving around the world, our fully online programs are designed to work in tandem with your needs and passions. To learn more about the different online degree tracks available, please click on the program links, reach out to us now with your questions or complete our online information form. We’d love to talk more fully with you!

Accreditation & Educational Effectiveness

Since 1930, NNU has been continuously accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities, the same respected accrediting body that validates other leading educational institutions across the Pacific Northwest. NNU’s Graduate School of Theology is also accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools.
Our online graduate student body is roughly 50/50 between women and men, with 5-10 percent of our online students residing outside the United States. Although more than three-quarters of our students are Nazarene, we also welcome students from many other denominational and theological affiliations. Our Graduate School of Theology is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Our undergraduate Christian Ministry and Youth Ministry degree programs, our Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, and our Master of Divinity all fulfill the educational requirements for ordination in the Church of the Nazarene.

Ministerial Information

Ministerial Scholarship

Northwest Nazarene University is committed to preparing ministry leaders for the twenty-first century.

Faced with the reality that a large number of ministry candidates are entering full-time Christian service with heavy student loan debt, NNU is making a substantial commitment to offer vital assistance to undergraduate Nazarene ministerial students through its Ministerial Loan & Scholarship Program. Students at NNU with a major and a minor in the College of Theology and Christian Ministries and is a member of the Church of the Nazarene is eligible for the Ministerial Scholarship.

Undergraduate students who qualify for this program have the potential of receiving up to $19,500 (over 4 years / 8 semesters) in conditional grants, significantly reducing the amount of student loan debt they must incur. A more accurate descriptor of the Ministerial Scholarship is “conditional loan.” This means that if the conditions of the loan are met then it becomes a scholarship.

  • Year 1 – $2,000
  • Year 2 – up to $3,000
  • Year 3 – up to $8,000
  • Year 4 – up to $12,000

Conditions while at NNU:

  • Weekly accountability reports through formational core courses within the department
  • Attendance and weekly involvement in a local Church of the Nazarene
  • Increasing involvement each successive year (5, 7, 9 & 12 hours)

Conditions after NNU:

  • Attend grad school, graduate, then 2 years of service in the Church of the Nazarene
  • Ministry in the Church of the Nazarene – 4 years of service

This program is available to all undergraduate students entering NNU who select a major and a minor within the College of Theology & Christian Ministries and plan on vocational ministry within the Church of the Nazarene. To qualify for the Ministerial Scholarship in subsequent years, students must achieve Ministerial Standing (an annual formative process that involves student-faculty interviews, building an electronic portfolio and ministry experience).

In addition to this excellent scholarship opportunity, there are literally scores of other departmental scholarships available to undergraduates through the Department of Philosophy and Religion. Applications for these undergraduate scholarships are made through the College of Theology & Christian Ministries each Spring semester.

Additionally, our Master of Arts programs in Christian Education, Missional Leadership, Pastoral Ministry, Spiritual Formation and Youth, Church & Culture as well as our Master of Divinity offer discounts to assigned ministers. Likewise, our Online Ministerial Course of Study programs are affordably priced at substantial savings for those in ministry. For more information, please click on the appropriate program on our menu.

Ministerial Standing

Ministerial Standing is a formative process that encourages the highest possible standards in students who plan to enter vocational ministry. This process seeks to be developmental and holistic by recognizing personal growth in students over time rather than merely applying a fixed uniform standard. Prior to achieving ministerial standing, students are considered to be in ministry observation and exploration. Ministerial standing is mandatory for admission to the program of ministry preparation, with assessments in the areas of academic excellence, personal initiative, leadership, spiritual formation and the ability to integrate academic learning into one’s own local ministry context.

Students are eligible to apply for ministerial standing in the fall semester of their sophomore year and every year thereafter. Students nearing the end of their studies are interviewed in their second to the last semester, which is the fall semester for most students.

The achievement of ministerial standing involves an annual application process; the submission of critical assignments in ministerial training; character references from pastors, peers, NNU faculty and student development representatives; and an annual interview with a faculty team from NNU’s College of Theology & Christian Ministries. Students that do not qualify for ministerial standing will be given clear feedback and will be encouraged to reapply the following year.

Ministerial standing must be achieved in order to meet ordination requirements in the Church of the Nazarene and graduate with a major from the College of Theology and Christian Ministries. Students that do not achieve ministerial standing but meet all other degree requirements may receive an NNU degree but not necessarily one from NNU’s College of Theology & Christian Ministries.

NNU’s ministerial standing program seeks to bring the best out in our students. Additionally, ministerial standing will be strongly considered when awarding department scholarships and also when making recommendations to local churches, district superintendents, and graduate schools.

Nazarene Course of Study

Since 2001, NNU has offered the Online Course of Study program in close cooperation and consultation with the Clergy Development Office at the Nazarene Global Ministry Center. Through this process, we have gained significant insight into the most effective, pedagogically sound manner of presenting the course modules through an online platform. We have adapted the program to meet the needs of students while maintaining the integrity of the course modules and the vision of Clergy Development for their implementation. 

Learn more.

Meet the Faculty