Alumn John Isakson enters Rapid City police force

Rapid City Journal

Officer John Isakson from Harrisburg graduated from Blair High School in Blair, Neb. Isakson attended Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minn., earning his bachelor's degree in psychology. He was a teacher and counselor at the STAR Academy in Custer... Read the rest of the story


Launching Pad

Meet the Class of 2013

PILOT Spring 2013

Chase Donahue

Major: Public Relations Hometown: Pine Island, Minn. Most important thing you learned at Northwestern? The importance of recognizing how God has gifted you and using that to the best of your ability. We are all equipped to change the world; it’s time that we do. Plans after graduation? Strategic Planner at Fallon Advertising. How have you changed in your time here? My overall transition into adulthood and being a man. Northwestern has prepared me to: (In the words of Robert Lewis), reject passivity; accept responsibility; lead courageously; expect the greater reward. Advice to current juniors: Dream big. Be passionate. Jump into your endeavors wholeheartedly. People inherently want to help people—ask questions, be curious. Make every experience an adventure.

Bernice Fernandes

Major: Finance Hometown: Born in Kenya; raised in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Most important thing you learned while at Northwestern? To completely look to Christ to satisfy me. I will not take for granted the Christian community, chapel, prayer tower, intentionality, accountability, Bible classes, Christian worldview, etc. Plans after graduation? To get a job and seek a master’s degree. How have you changed in your time here? I have become a confident woman of God and have a better view of my self-worth. I have learned what it is like to be a servant leader and I continue to strive to do that every day of my life. Northwestern has prepared me to: Be more intentional, use time management and leadership skills and be more spiritually competent. Advice to current juniors: Give your senior year one hundred percent! This is your last chance. Leave a legacy. Mentor and serve younger students. Above all, strive to reflect Christ in all you do.

Zach Fredman

Major: Biology Hometown: Litchfield, Minn. Most important thing you learned while at Northwestern? How to build deeper friendships—rooted in the Gospel and focused toward Jesus through good and difficult times. Plans after graduation? Medical school. How have you changed in your time here? I’ve gained a better understanding of the Gospel. Northwestern has prepared me to: I have learned the biology and chemistry of the human body to prepare me for medical school; I have also learned a lot about the Bible to be able to bring others to know Jesus. Advice to current juniors: Enjoy your last year at NWC growing spiritually, relationally and intellectually.

Lauren Wineinger

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies: Electronic Communication Hometown: Hartland, Wis. Most important thing you learned while at Northwestern? To lean on God in everything. Plans after graduation? I’ll be pursuing a job that requires both marketing skills and technology savvy. How have you changed in your time here? I have a better understanding of and confidence in my identity in Christ. I’ve also developed a greater appreciation of others’ unique gifts and talents. Northwestern has prepared me to: Be successful in the workplace, live with a biblical worldview and persevere. Advice to current juniors: Get work experience (and establish contacts) through internships!

Isaac Schultz

Major: Marketing  Hometown: Upsala, Minn. Most important thing you learned while at Northwestern? Being involved in community as servant leaders for Christ. Plans after graduation? I will work as an auctioneer and sales agent of Ameribid LLC, a national real estate auction company. How have you changed in your time here? I have further developed my purpose for life in being a servant leader for Christ in everything I do. My understanding of that purpose directly affects the way I am able to represent Christ. Northwestern has prepared me to: Lead. I have a strong calling to lead. God has granted me many opportunities to this point and Northwestern has given me both the practical skills and needed experience to be effective in leadership after graduation. Best advice to current juniors: In the words of Prof. Middleton, “Dare to be Distinguished” in everything you do.

David Maxwell

Major: Biology Hometown: Country of Togo; raised in France  Most important thing you learned while at Northwestern? To push myself to grow and ameliorate not only in my walk with God, but in anything I partake in. To never be satisfied with being average. Plans after graduation? MBA & Ph.D. in Biology. How have you changed in your time here? I developed life lasting relationships and now understand the importance of a Christian community. Northwestern has prepared me to: Share my faith in secular environments and to be over-analytical to not be blindly misguided. Advice to current juniors: Take advantage of the professor's connections.

Heidi Anderson '13 nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year

WCF Courier and

Anderson candidate for NCAA Woman of the Year

Former Walnut Ridge (Waterloo Christian) standout Heidi Anderson of the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minn., has been chosen as the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference’s nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year.

Anderson, who graduated in the spring, was a three-time all-conference performer on the soccer pitch and was the league’s Co-Defender of the Year in 2012. In the classroom, she was academic all-conference all four years and compiled a 3.97 grade-point average.

In addition, Anderson has been heavily involved in campus and community service... Read full story

An Interdisciplinary Quest

Seeing God in metaphysics

PILOT Spring 2013
By Shelly Barsuhn

Professor of Philosophy Walter Schultz, Ph.D., and Professor of Biology Lisanne Winslow, Ph.D., were deep in discussion, creating a sprawling and complex diagram on the whiteboard

. “Theology, ontology, divine compositionalism…” The terms were clues to a groundbreaking research project that they conducted partially inside the classroom this spring when they taught a course called “Metaphysics, An Interdisciplinary Quest for a Christian Understanding of Mechanisms in Science.” How did these scholars from separate disciplines find their fields intersecting in this rare and wonderful way? And what made this class unlike any before it?

Although Winslow and Schultz both officed in Nazareth Hall, their paths seldom crossed. One day in April 2012, they were making copies in the office center. Small talk led to a conversation about the book Schultz was writing, God Acts: The Dynamic Underlying Reality, and his need for a biologist to help write one crucial chapter. Winslow’s enthusiasm confirmed that they should meet and talk in more depth.

That first meeting was electric with intellectual energy. Both viewed their scholarly work as an expression of love for the redeeming God of the Bible and both were fascinated by the opportunity to conduct research joining their areas of academic expertise. They chose one very specific and complicated mechanism in biology to study—protein synthesis (how human bodies make protein)—and determined to try and understand every piece of it and the powers that drive the molecules.

“There’s this whole world of nature that scientists explain without God,” said Winslow. “Walter and I approached thenatural world from biblically grounded faith, asking, ‘Where is God in the actual molecular world?’” This question placed them inside a very new field of study, Christian philosophy of biology, also called the philosophy of scientific mechanisms. It was so new, in fact, that no scholarly papers in this area had been presented yet. They decided to be the first. The term they proposed to describe this activity in the universe: divine compositionalism. 

During one meeting they thought, “Why not conduct the research and let students observe and help inside of a course?” They proposed the interdisciplinary class to Janet Sommers, Ph.D., senior vice president for Academic Affairs, received approval and developed the course over three months of intensive planning.

“We had a syllabus,” said Winslow, “but we really didn’t know how it was going to go. It depended on discussions in class. How would students perceive and understand with their brilliant minds?” Scholars have biases, but students would have no agenda, just inquisitive minds. 

In the classroom, the professors’ different teaching styles came together in a unique synthesis. They began with deep theology and philosophy, then offered foundations of scientific mechanism and finally brought the parts together.

Students learned how to analyze a scientific mechanism theologically and philosophically.

They participated in interactive group work, with each of five groups having a little piece of the protein synthesis mechanism to analyze. Finally, they wrote a critical paper on a scientific mechanism from a theistic worldview. Schultz said, “The class was designed like a graduate-level course.We pushed students way beyond traditional undergraduate expectations.”

Their diverse group of students—philosophy majors, biology majors and others—rose to the challenge. 

“The facial expressions have been really great,” said Schultz, smiling.

“… and the e-mails,” added Winslow. 

Students did strong, integrative work and even requested a voluntary online forum to discuss their research. Neither professor had ever seen this intense desire to continue conversations outside of class. “It was the first time in my life that I wished the course were a semester long instead of a half semester,” said Schultz.

Biology major Jennifer Terhark, ’14, valued the class because “it wasn’t just about introducing us to materials. It was about a project. We were working toward a goal—proving the professors’ thesis. I never really thought about how philosophy relates to scientific mechanism and how it all relates to God.”

While satisfying a philosophy or biology requirement, “Metaphysics” gave students a taste of what it means to do Christian scholarship in a field outside of theology. Students came to understand in a whole new way how God acts, and in the process helped enhance their professors’ research.

Schultz and Winslow have written two papers on divine compositionalism. They presented the first in late May for the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences at Bethel University. They also traveled to Harvard University in early May to present at the International Conference on Occasionalism.

Did God create the world and bow out or is God intimately involved in even the movement of molecules? Through biblical scholarship, logic and science, Schultz and Winslow are seeking to show that the universe is a dynamic composite process and that the fundamental truth of Scripture is that God is sustaining and guiding creation.


Preparing for a Life of Service

Nursing program focuses on servanthood

PILOT Spring 2013
By Ben Bradbury '09

Northwestern’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program officially launched in May and has all the impressive features of a world-class academic program.

Take, for example, the credentials of the department chair, Ginger Wolgemuth: an R.N. with a Ph.D., Wolgemuth has experience teaching and writing curricula at several Christian colleges.

Janet Sommers, Ph.D., affirms Wolgemuth as the right person for the job. “Dr. Wolgemuth is a strong leader, characterized by vision, perseverance and fortitude,” said Sommers, senior vice president for academic affairs.

New state-of-the-art nursing facilities include a classroom with floor-to-ceiling whiteboards, an eight-bed clinic lab and more—all the equipment students will need to practice their chosen profession, including life-sized, computerized mannequins that mimic the medical conditions of patients.

“This guy can talk, sweat, cry,[and his] pupils dilate,” Wolgemuth explained about one of the department’s dolls. “You can take pulses all the way down to his toes!”

Additionally, the program is taught on an accelerated track to help students save money and enter their careers faster. Students who meet the prerequisites can complete the coursework in just 16 months, attending class yearround from one summer through the next.

More than credentials and facilities

But for Wolgemuth, the most important aspect of Northwestern’s nursing program is the biblically based curriculum. “It’s all about service and servanthood,” she said. She is passionate about the curriculum, in part, because its creation was a profound, spiritual experience for her.

The curriculum plan “came” to Wolgemuth last summer. Having attempted to write the plan to no avail throughout the week, she left her office one Friday feeling discouraged. When she got home she began reading her Bible but her frustration only increased.

Studying a passage about Christ’s resurrection, Wolgemuth recalled with candor, “I was a little cocky, and I said, ‘Well, this is great, Lord, but this is not helping me with the curriculum.’

“Instantaneously, the entire curriculum came into my mind like a download ... the next thought I had was the Lord saying to me, ‘You don’t think I have the power to help you in this?’’’

Wolgemuth wrote furiously until 2 a.m. After sleeping only a few hours, she woke up and began writing again. By 1 a.m. Monday, the curriculum road map was complete.

Essential questions

The nursing curriculum asks and answers nine questions, two of which are of particular prominence to Wolgemuth:

  • With whom do we serve?
  • To whom are we accountable when we serve?

The answers to these questions reveal what makes the program distinctive.

First, as they develop as nursing professionals, students will serve with interprofessional health-care teams made up of Christians in the medical field—doctors, physical therapists, chaplains and others—who will meet regularly with students to discuss their professions. The answer to the second question is even more pivotal. In addition to instilling the importance of accountability to patients, the curriculum points clearly to the future nurses’ ultimate accountability to Jesus Christ.

“We want the students to understand that it’s what they do in their spiritual lives that’s going to drive what they do professionally, and not vice versa,” Wolgemuth passionately explained.

“Nursing as a whole is not a calling—it’s a profession. But when God calls, it transforms our lives, and in transforming our lives, we can be His hands and feet to minister to others.” 

Sommers is pleased with how the program has come together, but not surprised. “From the very beginning of this process, we committed Northwestern’s BSN program to the Lord,” Sommers said, “and we have continually gone before His throne, asking Him to intercede and bless the development of our program. He has been overwhelmingly faithful!"

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