1) Please introduce yourself and your role at University of Northwestern—St. Paul (UNW).
My name is Ardel Caneday, PhD. My role at UNW is Professor of New Testament & Greek. I’ve been blessed to be a member of the faculty now for twenty-two years in the Department of Biblical & Theological Studies (B&TS). Many department faculty members regularly present papers at scholarly meetings and actively publish articles, essays, and books.
2) Tell us a little about the history of UNW.
W. B. Riley, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Minneapolis, Minnesota founded Northwestern Bible and Missionary Training School in 1902. The school expanded to include a Bible College, a Seminary, and a four-year Liberal Arts College. Billy Graham became president upon Riley’s passing. Northwestern reconstituted as non-denominational and relocated to its present beautiful campus in 1972. In May 2013, President Alan Cureton unveiled the new name, University of Northwestern—St. Paul.
Northwestern offers 70+ areas of study. Students take 30 course credits in biblical studies. Many major in Biblical Studies or Christian Ministry. A five-year B.A./M.Div. program attracts many students. Enrollment is about 1700. Additional programs include another 1300. Graduate programs, in Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theological Studies appeal to many already in ministry roles in churches and Christian schools.
3) Are the courses full time, part-time or a mixture of both?
Traditional and distance undergraduate courses are taught during two fifteen-week semesters, fall and spring. The Adult Continuing Education courses and Graduate Education courses are taken in cohorts. In all programs some students attend part-time.
4) How do UNW students fund their studies?
Students fund their studies from their own or their parents’ financial resources. Most students receive some form of financial aid and many work part-time on or off campus. Some adult learners receive some funding from their employers.
5) Does UNW take students from overseas?
Yes. Northwestern welcomes international students. Recently, we have received students from China, Ecuador, Honduras, Hungary, Japan, and Kenya.
6) What type of ministry is UNW intended to prepare students for?
Though first founded to train individuals for Christian ministry, especially for pastors and missionaries, for most of its history, Northwestern has educated Christians in a full range of disciplines.
Mission: “University of Northwestern – St. Paul exists to provide Christ-centered higher education equipping students to grow intellectually and spiritually, to serve effectively in their professions, and to give God-honoring leadership in the home, church, community, and world.”
7) When students leave the UNW what kind of ministries / jobs do they go into.
Most Biblical Studies graduates go on to graduate studies in seminaries. Several of our Biblical Studies majors have also completed PhD studies in OT, NT, or Theology, and fill faculty appointments in various institutions, including Yale Divinity School and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Other graduates are translators with Wycliffe Bible Translators, Christian high school instructors, pastors, etc.
8) What is distinctive about what the UNW offers compared with other colleges in the USA and overseas?
Throughout the institution’s history, Northwestern has appealed to and served evangelical Christians who receive the Bible as Scripture and take the Word of God seriously.
Because philosophy is integrated within the B&TS Department, Northwestern offers a Science & Theology minor, unique among Christian colleges in the USA. Students may minor in Ancient Classical Languages, with any combination of Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Egyptian Hieroglyphics.
9) Please tell us about the library and other research facilities.
The library provides access to a large array of books, more than 100,000 volumes, including volumes in biblical and theological topics. The library is a member of Cooperating Libraries in Consortium (CLIC) that provides access to libraries of seven other private institutions in the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area, both undergraduate and graduate. Access to about 17,000 periodicals is available either in digital or hardcopy.
10) Does the UNW offer a distance or on-line learning option. If yes, please tell us more about it.
Yes, UNW offers online learning and ranks #3 in The Best Online Christian Colleges & Universities of 2014. Numerous courses in various disciplines are available through distance education. Three paths in Biblical Studies are offered by way of distance education—BA in Biblical Studies, AA in Biblical Studies, and Certificate in Bible. UNW serves the most Post-Secondary Enrollment Options students in Minnesota, an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors to take college courses.
My thanks to Dr Caneday for his contribution to the series.