Northwestern students debut cinematic skill—and faith—on the big screen

Matthew Abeler receiving award for his film Compete with Purpose at 2015 Film Festival

Why Christians should enter the film industry

The intersection of faith and art has long been a point of conversation for Christians around the world. Northwestern students are pouring their talents into visual arts, music and in Northwestern’s state-of-the-art facilities—film.

Matt Abeler ’15, an Electronic Media major and creator of the viral video Pass the Salt believes that there’s room in the film industry—and a need in the film industry—for Christians. He points to our call to witness, saying, “Why is it important to have Christians working in any industry? I pray that Christians recognize the call of the great commission to make disciples in the name of Christ (Matt. 28:16) by speaking from the platforms he grants us (1 Cor. 10:31). This includes the mission fields of filmmaking.”

Getting equipped to impact film

Ann Sorenson, Associate Professor of Communication helps prepare students with her expertise in film production and script writing: “Our Electronic Media students take courses in writing, directing, producing and editing. Students learn both the art and craft in telling visual stories. This hands-on training prepares them to be the next generation of influential storytellers.”

Abeler agrees, “Consistently, the professors here have encouraged me to push my learning outside of the classroom setting. I get life experience and hands on training along with the head knowledge. Many schools are heavy handed on either side, while Northwestern has a great balance of both.

They also encourage us to begin our projects with a central motivation of the Glory of God. For me it does two main things. I helps me set standards and boundaries for how I tell and show stories and pushes me to create the best quality of content that I can to the best of my ability.

I want to give God the choice-fruits of my labor because he gave me undeserved salvation and the blessing of His kingdom.”

Northwestern students winning Emmys

For the past several years, students from Northwestern have submitted work to the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Upper Midwest Emmy Chapter/Foundation for the College/University Crystal Pillar Awards for Regional Student Productions. On April 12, 2015 at the Mall of America, Northwestern students won all the awards for which they were nominated:

In the College Fiction (Film) Category:

Fort Firerock
                Jared Myers, Director/Writer/Animator/Editor
                William Bakken, Producer
                Sophie Meath, Director of Photography
                Jacob Crosby, Musical Composer

In the College Commercial Category:

UNW Football – Compete With Purpose
                Matthew Abeler, Director


Northwestern’s Five16 Festival celebrates student work

The Five16 Film Festival is an annual event that features short films created by Northwestern students. The festival, complete with a red carpet, consistently draws crowds of students and community members in for an evening of creative buzz.

This year’s winning films:

Best Comedy – Calvin “The Janitor” Jackson by Zac Anderson and Tori Cross
Best Animation – Little Patanga by Jenna Hubin and Zac Lundstrom
Best Music Video – Seawinds by Zac Anderson and Eric Johnson
Best Drama – Compete with Purpose by Matthew Abeler
Best Actor – Joe Sutton in Compete with Purpose
Audience Choice – The Writer by Zac Anderson, Tori Cross, Eric Johnson and Scott Van Daalen

You may also like:

Watch 2015 UNW Films | Connect with @MattAbeler




UNW hosts Winchell Undergraduate Research Symposium

Biology student working in a lab


This Saturday will mark the 27th Annual Winchell Undergraduate Research Symposium, a forum for undergraduate students from schools throughout Minnesota to present their research in the sciences.

UNW biology students made their first appearance at the symposium last year. Rachel Blesi and Trevor Diercks took home an Excellence in Science award for their project Functional Analysis of a Proposed Cellulase Gene in Cellulophaga lytica, directed by Dr. Joanna Klein, associate professor of biology.

Northwestern will host the symposium, welcoming more than 175 students, faculty and professionals to campus, including Dr. David Odde, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Odde will give a keynote lecture on Building Cell Simulators and 16 UNW students will be give poster or oral presentations throughout the day.

27th Annual Winchell Undergraduate Research Symposium

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Riley Hall
8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

You may also like:

Department of Biology and BiochemistryConnect with Dr. Klein




Saying 'yes' to God and science: Dr. Sickler's new project

Bradley Sickler speaking at Faith and Thought event


Assistant Professor of Philosophy Bradley Sickler’s window is open. The sunlight and earthy air filling his office mean much more than season change—they are a declaration that not only is God alive—God is dynamic.

Sickler believes that God is the causal agent, the one who initiates and sustains all existence. What he calls reality, most of academia has dismissed as laughable myth.

“There is a strong prejudice against believing in things not directly observable,” Sickler explained, “For example, you can’t see God holding the moon and the sun in his hands, positioning them just so.”

The reality of divine action is often met with hostility, and recent generations of students have been taught plainly that natural wonders, from the development of a fetus or the lifespan of the sun, have no source—but simply exist and continue of themselves.

“They may not say it, but most people act as if God is detached from the world.”

Not chasm—connection

Sickler originally studied physics, fascinated during undergraduate by the ideas about the world brought to the surface by the math.  After gravitating toward ministry in tandem with his wife and working at summer camps, then discovering a bent toward teaching and pursuing a Master of Philosophy of Religion at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, his compass needle settled on true north: he pursued a doctorate in Philosophy at Purdue University.

Now at UNW, Sickler has joined Lisanne Winslow, Ph.D., and Walter Schultz, Ph.D. to clear the perception of a chasm between scientific observed reality and divine action. At Science and Theology alternative chapel sessions, these scientists and philosophers have weaved a vision of the connection between the world we see and the God we trust.

This summer, the tapestry goes global.

Oxford calling

Collaborating with 24 other Christian scholars from the North, Central and South American, and African continents, Sickler will begin new project: Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities 2015-16, hosted by Scholarship & Christianity In Oxford (SCIO), the U.K. subsidiary of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) and funded by the Templeton Religion Trust.

Through the project Sickler has funding for two years to examining God’s role in causal relationship to the natural laws of the universe.

All scholars will spend four weeks the next two summers in Oxford for lectures with experts in their field, mentoring with senior scholars and one-to-one Oxford style tutorials and workshops on faith-based Science and Religion issues to bolster their research. They will also explore historical sites in Europe and actively address the ‘two cultures’ challenge—a cultural divide between literary scholars and scientists.

In 2016, Sickler’s research will culminate in a paper for publication—and some new initiatives at UNW.

Bridges to build

Northwestern students will be invited to explore divine causation for themselves, with a new club funded by Sickler’s project. Already unique in higher education, UNW offers a Science and Theology minor, normally not available in undergraduate programs. 

“This is an exciting opportunity not only for the faculty to develop their research in keeping with SCIO’s commitment to support CCCU schools, but also to expand the conversation out into campuses to help Christian, academic communities engage well with these serious and sometimes contentious issues,” said Dr. Stanley Rosenberg, project director and executive director of SCIO.

Sickler also hopes to encourage increasing faculty collaboration cross-discipline as he works on research and gains insight from fellow scholars at Oxford.

“I am so thankful to UNW for their cooperation,” said Sickler, “For the administration, generously agreeing to the terms of the project, and for the enthusiastic support of my colleagues.”


You may also like:

What is the Science & Theology minor?Connect with Dr. Sickler


Act Six scholars chosen: Nine young leaders trained to transform campus

ActSix graphic announcement of 2015 scholars

"My hope: that UNW embrace God's missionary approach that it is better together to serve God in an increasingly multicultural and diverse Minnesota. The impact Act Six will have depends on how UNW as the body of Christ in our classroms within the study body, our staff, and leadership embrace this opportunity in community transformation."

Professor Robin Bell on Act Six

With Urban Ventures, University of Northwestern – St. Paul is excited to announce the names of nine students who have been selected as emerging urban and community leaders to receive scholarships to attend University of Northwestern through the Act Six program.

Act Six scholarships are worth, on average, $160,000 over four years. Collectively, the awards will provide more than $4 million in financial aid to this year's cadre of students.

The following students were selected through a rigorous three-month competition among more than 200 applicants; these diverse students were selected for their distinctive leadership, academic potential and commitment to making a difference in their communities:

  • Aliyah Basuil, PSEO at University of Northwestern
  • Josias Bruce, Rosemount High School
  • Shania Castillo, Hope Academy
  • Lisa Fredericks, Eden Prairie High School
  • Joshua Gillespie, Wayzata High School
  • Yaritza Montriel, Robbinsdale Cooper High School
  • Kristina Myankova, Hopkins High School
  • Ruth Norman, Hope Academy
  • Yosief Temnewo, Hope Academy

Launched in 2002 by the Northwest Leadership Foundation in Tacoma, Washington, Act Six seeks to develop urban and community leaders to be agents of transformation on campus and in their home communities. Since the program’s inception, 61 cohorts of ethnically diverse, mostly first-generation, low-income Act Six scholars have enrolled at eight colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest. This year, Act Six expanded its reach and developed a program site to serve Twin Cities' students in collaboration with South Minneapolis nonprofit Urban Ventures.

The Twin Cities’ first Act Six scholars (including students who will attend University of Northwestern, Augsburg College and Bethel University) will be recognized at the Urban Ventures’ Act Six Community Celebration on Thursday, March 5 at 6 p.m. The celebration will be held at the Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center, featuring keynote speaker R.T. Rybak, former Minneapolis mayor.

More about ActSix




Presidential update: Leading roles with NCAA Division III and NAE

President Alan S. Cureton cutting ribbon for new athletic fields at Homecoming 2014


President Alan S. Cureton, Ph.D. began his first term as chair of the NCAA Division III Presidents Council on January 1 and will soon attend his first meeting as an at-large member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) on March 15.

NCAA Division III Presidents Council

On January 1 began his two-year term as chair of the NCAA Division III Presidents Council, having previously served as vice-chair.

The Presidents Council is the highest ranking group in the NCAA Division III governance structure, meeting in person on a quarterly basis and exercising ultimate authority for creating, modifying and implementing policies as well as oversight of allocation of the annual NCAA Division III budget.

As chair of the council, Cureton also serves on the Board of Governors for all of the NCAA, which has 11 Division I presidents and two presidents each representing Divisions II and III. Cureton noted that the agenda items "are vast and challenging," dealing with complicated issues such as pay for play and Penn State.

National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) Board of Directors

One of four college presidents, Cureton was appointed as a member to the National Association of Evangelicals board or directors last October for a term that runs through September 2017. Speaking of his new role he said, "Participation [on the NAE board] provides an opportunity to increase the stature, visibility and viability of Northwestern on a national level within the evangelical movement."

NAE's mission is to honor God by connecting and representing evangelical Christians. The Association represents more than 45,000 local churches from 40 different denominations and serves a constituency of millions.

Dr. Cureton: Academic Fast Facts

  • 36+ years of experience in higher education
  • President of Northwestern since 2002
  • B.A. in Bible and Christian Education from Sterling College
  • Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Education from Iowa State University
  • Received the Alumni Achievement Award from Iowa State University in 2007, recognizing  meritorious service and distinguished achievements in higher education
  • Received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Sterling College in 2013

More about President Cureton




What do federalists and fleeing slaves have in common? Our history department.

Political cartoon on cover of Professor Den Hartog's book Patriotism and Piety

Underneath piles of dates and names, history holds intrigue for everyone—we cannot help wanting to know the stories leading up to our own.

Jonathan Den Hartog and Charles Aling are known for painting historical narrative on the minds of their students. They’ve recently taken their artistry to pages and film, and now you get in on the story.

Patriotism & Piety

Jonathan Den Hartog, Ph.D.
8 years at UNW as Associate Professor of History
Can’t stop studying the American Revolution

“I found a cast of characters from the period of the American Revolution and just after that I found to be fascinating. I wanted to share their stories, their lives with other people.”

Dr. Jonathan Den Hartog focuses on the scene of a newborn American nation, whose leaders faced the challenge of creating a government that would protect freedom and sustain security.  Some of these leaders believed that faith was a necessary partner for democratic longevity—enter, the Federalists. 

While the Constitution put a government in to place for the republic, it left much undefined—it produced “a roof without walls”.  The Federalists waded into the fray to define what type of character the nation would have.  They hoped to create a Protestant, Christian nationalism in which citizens voluntarily worshipped properly and lived morally. From this Protestant morality would flow a republican virtue that would support the constitutional order. (Introduction)

Why read?

Watching real people struggle through faith and politics at America's birth will help you see why our government emerged as it did—and to realize the struggle of faith in the public square is as old as our nation.

Get the book (cover art shown above)
Check out History at UNW

Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus

Charles Aling, Ph.D.
25 years at UNW as Professor of History
Can’t stop unraveling the mysteries of ancient Egypt  

"I have come to the conclusion a long time ago that the key elements of faith must be accepted by faith...yet when you come to many of the historical things, over the years, so many discoveries have been made that support the scriptures."

Dr. Charles Aling got his masters in Ancient History and made his first Egyptian excavation with the United States Army as an intelligence officer.  Forty years later, he's still stuck on Egypt.

After countless books and papers, Aling made his debut on the big screen in Tim Mahoney's Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus, a documentary investigating of historical evidence for the Biblical account of the Exodus.

Why watch?

Like Dr. Aling said, tangible evidence strengthens belief—and this film is full of evidence to consider about a story so miraculous, we've all wondered how it really unfolded.

Get the film
Check out History at UNW





Karen Swallow Prior speaks on faith and literature

Photo by


How does our faith and our study of the Bible impact our interpretation and understanding literature? We caught up with Karen Swallow Prior, author of Booked and Fierce Convictions and writer for Christianity Today and several other Christian media outlets, to hear some of her thoughts on how faith interacts with the study of literature.

Q. Why should Christians study literature?

A. There are many reasons for Christians to study literature. First, reading good literature is a source of pleasure and delight. Our God is one who takes pleasure and delight in creation, and we are to imitate him.

Second, Christians are a “People of the Book.” Ours is a Word-centered faith, and cultivating our facility with language develops our affinity for the Word and all words.

Third, literature is a way for us to learn more about the world and its people. Learning about others and their experiences helps us to better fulfill the command to love our neighbors.

Finally, studying literature helps us to take dominion over the world, not only as we learn more about the world, but as we develop the aesthetic abilities and sensibilities that help us make order out of chaos.

Q. In a basic sense, how does one’s Christian faith influence their study of literature?

A. As a Word-centered people, Christians cultivate faithfulness to the text. The same skills we use in studying and applying the Bible are the same ones we use when studying other rich texts.

I have heard unbelieving professors remark on how Christians students tend to be exhibit this appreciation of and faithfulness to the written word more than their secular counterparts. The Christian belief in the authority of the word stands out even more in a postmodern, postmodern culture.

Q. What sorts of things can Christians learn from studying literature?

A. By studying literature, Christians can learn not only about ideas, worldviews, and people outside their own limited experience, but they can also learn to attend to the importance of form. The Bible itself is comprised of many different literary forms, and Christ Himself was the Word in the form of flesh.

We are exhorted as believers to communicate the truths of doctrine in the form of love. Ours is a faith in which both form and content are central. Literary texts heighten our awareness of the importance of form as well as content.


Interested in a degree in Literature?

Explore our Department of English and Literature

Due to weather, the Karen Swallow Prior event has been cancelled. We apologize for the inconvenience. She will be visiting our campus this fall, stay tuned!



CollegeTalk: Private college fastest way to your degree

No one starts pursing their degree planning to drop out of or draw out college. Nevertheless, studies released by the Chronicle of Higher Education and other industry voices reveal low graduation rates and longer completion time.

Dr. Homa Shabahang of the University of La Verne observes that private 4-year schools have an edge over public schools for graduation rates and college completion time. In the Chronicle's College Completion report, numbers for Minnesota colleges tell this story:

Public 4-year schools
Private 4-year schools

Private schools in Minnesota have double the students graduating in four years of public schools, and an even higher rate than the national average. 

Dr. Shabahang questions the generally negative language in the college conversation about graduation rates, echoed in a recent report Four-Year Myth by Complete College America:

" obtaining a degree in four years really a myth? At some institutions, particularly private universities, graduating on time is not only possible, but easily attainable."

Read the full article by Dr. Shabahang to find out factors that make private colleges a faster way to a degree.

Find out if one of Northwestern's accelerated programs can get you a degree faster:




UNW student viral video challenges table texting

Matthew Abeler '16 must not be the only one annoyed by inconsiderate texting. His film short “Pass the Salt” attracted five million views on YouTube in 182 countries since early November, offering a throwback solution to texting at the dinner table.

The 1:42 minute comedy stars Abeler’s real life parents, Bill and Lisa Abeler, and two of his high school friends, Colin Welch and Paul Ripplinger.  Written, directed, and produced by Abeler, the production earned honors at the Intercollegiate National Religious Broadcasters competition and won Best Comedy at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul 2014 Five16 Film Festival.

Inspiration for the film came as Abeler prepared last fall for a class speech about technology and relationships:

“The film is more about the value of relationships than it is about cell-phones,” Abeler explained. “If I’m in conversation and whip out my phone, I am implicitly saying I value my phone friends more than I value you. That cuts deep. I hurt not only them, but also my ability to maintain long-lasting, tight-knit relationships.”

Abeler, from Upsala, Minn., is a communication major specializing in film.  Passionate about storytelling, he someday hopes to produce fun, value-rich films for children.




University of Northwestern announces steady increase in enrollment

Students walking in UNW hallway

The university has grown by more than 300 students over the past four years

In a time when colleges and universities have taken an enrollment hit based on the rising costs of higher education, University of Northwestern – St. Paul announces its fourth consecutive year of growth. Since 2010, Northwestern's total number of students has increased by more than 300 students. Additionally, the university has experienced a 3% growth in retention in just one year.

This fall 3387 students have enrolled in one of four venues-traditional undergraduate, PSEO (Postsecondary Enrollment Options) / Early College, FOCUS adult undergraduate, and graduate studies. The university launched its first MBA cohort in September 2014 with 25 students.

"We understand that affordability and flexibility are important factors for today's student," said Alan S. Cureton, Ph.D., the university's president. "That's why we are expanding the opportunities for online learning, blended learning and dual enrollment. Our mission continues to be focused on equipping Christ-centered learners and leaders to invest in others and impact the world."




Once one of 455, Northwestern's Krista Bellefeuille now a top nine finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year

By Greg Johnson, UNW Athletics

The list just keeps getting smaller. After joining 455 nominations from institutions across the NCAAs three divisions, 2014 University of Northwestern graduate Krista (Stoltz) Bellefeuille (Lino Lakes, Minn./Centennial) has been announced as a top nine honoree for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.

Bellefeuille will join her fellow eight remaining finalists at the NCAA Woman of the Year awards dinner in Indianapolis on October 19 where one national winner will be announced. Of the top nine honorees, three are from each NCAA division, meaning Bellefeuille is one of three Division III candidates left in the selection pool.

Bellefeuille's nomination was submitted by Northwestern in May of this year and was one of 455 nationwide. Following the institutional nomination deadline, Bellefeuille advanced as the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Woman of the Year nominee in June before being named as a Top 30 honoree on September 2. Before Bellefeuille, both Northwestern and the UMAC had never had one of its nominations named to the top 30.

As part of her Woman of the Year nomination, Bellefeuille stated: "A legacy is a lasting impact impressed upon others and within myself. With others, I learned the incredible benefit of extending unconditional love, authentically investing in lives, and building lifelong friendships that will support and encourage. Within myself, I believe the opportunities I was involved in as a scholar, athlete, and leader have shaped me into a woman of character."

Bellefeuille sought to establish a legacy of leadership and service off the court during her time in college. She spent several years mentoring elementary students and tutoring children in reading, while volunteering as a club volleyball coach and leading a children's small group at Eaglebrook Church. Bellefeuille also participated for three years in a leadership development program and served for two years as an admissions ambassador.

Matt Hill, vice president of student life and athletics at Northwestern, commented, "This honor affirms what we already know about Krista: she's dedicated, caring, hard-working, committed to excellence, a team player, and a joy to be around. I'm so grateful that the NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee recognizes these qualities in this exceptional individual that we have been able to see demonstrated at Northwestern for the last four years."

"To be selected as one of the nine finalists is an incredible accomplishment in itself as the quality of nominations for this award is extremely impressive," said UMAC Commissioner Corey Borchardt. He continued, "Those that have spent any amount of time around Krista will not be surprised she is being recognized at this level as she is an inspiring woman who has been successful in all of her endeavors and pursuits including academics, athletics, and community outreach and service. Krista truly represents what that UMAC strives to cultivate and develop in providing a holistic educational experience for our student-athletes."

Before graduation, Bellefeuille, an elementary education major at UNW, made the Dean's list every semester and was recognized with high honors. Finishing her college career with a 3.96 cumulative grade point average, she was a Capital One Academic All-America First Team honoree and was awarded the UMAC Scholar-Athlete Leadership Award last spring. On the court, Bellefeuille was a four-year letter winner and three time conference champion. She was the UMAC Player of the Year and conference tournament Most Valuable Player in 2013 after being an American Volleyball Coaches Association Second Team All-American in 2012. Bellefeuille was a member of the first Northwestern team to earn a berth to the NCAA tournament, and her class was the first to earn four consecutive berths. Bellefeuille graduated as the NCAA Division III leader for active setters for career assists and sets, and was awarded the Northwestern Eagle Award, presented to the school's top female student-athlete for service, leadership, academic and athletic accomplishments.

Since graduating from Northwestern, Bellefeuille has started a new legacy, teaching preschool at New Life Academy in Woodbury, Minnesota, where she also coaches with the Eagles' volleyball program.

Read more in the NCAA feature Bellefeuille Woman of the Year and get the latest updates on Twitter.




University of Northwestern Named to Victory Media’s 2015 Military Friendly® Schools List

University of Northwestern – St. Paul announced today that it has been designated a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media. Now in its sixth year, the Military Friendly® Schools designation and list by Victory Media is the premier, trusted resource for post-military success. Military Friendly® provides service members transparent, data-driven ratings about post-military education and career opportunities.

“We celebrate being identified as a Military Friendly school once again for 2015,” said Monica Groves, dean of student success, “Thanks to our fine military students and those who provide support for their success!”

This year marks a third consecutive Military Friendly listing for Northwestern, now serving over 40 students who are active in a military branch, holding veteran status or classified as military dependents, through the Military Student Resource Center.

The Military Friendly® Schools designation is awarded to the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation. The methodology used for making the Military Friendly® Schools list has changed the student veteran landscape to one much more transparent, and has played a significant role over the past six years in capturing and advancing best practices to support military students across the country.UNW Military Student Support Group

A full story and detailed list of 2015 Military Friendly Schools ® will be highlighted in the annual G.I. Jobs Guide to Military Friendly Schools ®, distributed in print and digital format to hundreds of thousands of active and former military personnel. 

For more information about Northwestern’s commitment to attracting and supporting military students, visit

About Military Friendly® Schools
The Military Friendly® Schools designation process includes extensive research and a data-driven survey of schools nationwide approved for Post-9/11 GI Bill funding. The school survey, methodology, criteria and weightings are developed with the assistance of an independent Academic Advisory Board comprised of educators from schools across the country. The survey is administered for free and open to all post-secondary schools who wish to participate. Criteria for consideration can be found on our website,, and a complete list of schools can be found through our Schools Matchmaker tool on

About Victory Media
Victory Media is a service-disabled, veteran-owned business serving the military community since 2001. Our data-driven lists are published in G.I. Jobs®, Military Spouse, and Vetrepreneur® media channels, republished in periodicals such as USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Bloomberg BW, and frequently cited on national TV by NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and others.



Professor Joe Smith receives the 2014/2015 McKnight Artist Fellowship

For the second time, UNW Professor of Art and Design Joe Smith has received the prestigious McKnight Artist Fellowship, an award dedicated to identifying and supporting outstanding mid-career artists.

Smith's "Untitled" (acrylic, blanket and aluminum) was selected with the work of seven other artists in June from over 270 applicants.

"Joe Smith’s abstractions and still lifes explore the impact of weight and gesture as a means to open up psychological spaces. Each element in his work is charged with restraining and driving forces that reveal the gaps between the physical, mental, and the metaphysical." - Minneapolis College for Art & Design, press release












UNW ranked high on Top Colleges lists

Best Collegest 2015: Midwest Region

University of Northwestern – St. Paul was ranked 10th among Midwestern Colleges in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” Guide, released Sept. 9. Northwestern was the only Minnesota institution to be ranked in the top 10 Midwestern Colleges category.

“This news is a continued affirmation of academic and overall quality,” noted Vice President for Institutional Advancement Amy Bragg Carey, “as Northwestern has been recognized by a variety of organizations and ranking systems in recent years. While our greatest value is in our commitment to the Christ-centered mission, it is rewarding to see the excellence of the institution acknowledged.”

According to U.S. News, “Best Colleges 2015” ranks colleges within four regions: North, South, Midwest and West; the Midwest region is comprised of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Indicators used to measure academic quality fall into seven broad areas: peer assessment; retention and graduation of students; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; alumni giving; and graduation rate performance, the difference between the proportion of students expected to graduate and the proportion who do. Data for the 2015 edition of Best Colleges were gathered in the spring and summer of 2014.

Christian Universities Online: Top 50

University of Northwestern recently received Top 50 rankings in two categories by Christian Universities Online, an independent online resource for prospective students and their families researching Christian higher education.

In the Top 50 Christian Colleges & Universities Exceeding Expectations category, Northwestern ranked 14th. According to the ranking organization, this category provides an additional perspective on Christian universities and colleges by focusing on how much or little they enhance the achievement of their students from acceptance till graduation. The difference between predicted and actual graduation rates is denoted as the “Exceeding Expectations Value.”

University of Northwestern – St. Paul was also ranked one of The 50 Best Christian Colleges in the U.S., coming in at number 27. Christian Universities Online presents a ranking of Christian colleges and universities taking into consideration a variety of quantitative values for regionally accredited schools and considering which offered the highest degree of personal attention (student-to-faculty ratio), selectivity (acceptance rate), financial assistance (% receiving financial aid), and student satisfaction (retention and graduation rates). These factors were all given equal weight.

UNW awarded $150,000 Great Lakes Career Ready Internship Grant

University of Northwestern – St. Paul and its Academic Internship Program were awarded $150,000 through the 2014-2015 Great Lakes Career Ready Internship Grant on August 7, 2014.

The grant will fund paid internships for 76 Northwestern students with financial need from the College of Arts & Humanities, and selected majors from the College of Behavioral & Natural Sciences. While students in majors with traditionally unpaid internship opportunities have faced choosing between career experience and income, now they will be paid for industry relevant work.

Students awarded internship funding will receive professional development to bolster their transition into a career, according to Linda Ashworth, assistant director of experiential education at the Center for Calling & Career.

"One exciting aspect of this grant is the collaboration it fosters between on-campus departments and with local businesses, government agencies and non-profits," said Ashworth, "Northwestern is focusing on helping local businesses develop internship programs that could be self-sustaining beyond the grant period."

Applications for internships this fall opened on Friday August 22, 2014, and grant dollars will be distributed later in spring and summer for internships during those semesters. Ashworth, along with Dayna Taylor, manager of corporate and foundation relations, wrote and pursued the grant, awarded by Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation.

The Northwestern grant is part of a larger Great Lakes program that awarded $5.2 million in new grants to 40 colleges and universities in four states, with grants ranging from $50,000 to $150,000.

Alpha Omega Academy launches partnership with UNW

Alpha Omega Academy, an online distance learning academy for grades K-12, is pleased to announce a new dual credit partnership with the University of Northwestern – St. Paul.

The program, known as Early College at the University of Northwestern, gives high school juniors and seniors a head start on their undergraduate degree by allowing them to enroll in online college courses at a discounted rate. Students who enroll in the program at the beginning of their junior year can earn up to two full years of college credit before ever setting foot on a college campus.

"We're very excited about this new journey with the University of Northwestern," said Denise Laudenbach, President of Alpha Omega Publications. "With more than 65 college courses to choose from, Northwestern gives our students even more opportunities to follow and achieve their dreams, while preparing them for the rigors of higher education with courses from a Christ-centered university."

To qualify for the program, students must hold junior or senior status, maintain a grade point average of 2.75 or higher, and meet minimum test scores (ACT/PLAN score of at least 18 or SAT score of at least 1200 or PSAT score of at least 120). For each four-credit college course students complete, they earn a full high school credit through AOA.

Dr. Alan S. Cureton, President of the University of Northwestern, notes that in addition to dual credit, the program gives students a true understanding of what to expect when they head off to a physical college to finish their degree.

"Students need intrinsic motivation to succeed in the Early College courses," he said. "Along the way, they discover how to collaborate with peers, meet deadlines, and connect with college professors on a professional and personal level. Our professors look forward to welcoming AOA students into the program."

UNW in the News: Quite a way to open a stadium

Quite a way to open up a stadium, September 2014

More UNW in the News

Mother and Daughter team complete poetry project with new book
Westbow Press, August 2014

Does television rot your brain?
Refreshed Magazine, July 2014
by Professor Doug Trouten

Forward Progress: UNW breaks ground on new athletic facilities
Athletic Business, April 2014 issue

UNW ranked #13 Regional College Midwest
U.S. News, 2014 College Ranking lists

UNW is #3 on Top Online Christian Colleges & Universities list, 2014 rankings

UNW ranked in Top 25 Colleges and Universities
Twin Cities Business Magazine, 2014 Black Book Business Lists

School of Nursing hosts community Health and Wellness Fair

School of Nursing will be hosting a community Health and Wellness Fair in partnership with 98.5 KTIS and community Night to Unite sponsors on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 from 4 p.m.–8 p.m.

The event will be hosted in the KTIS parking lot located next to the Mel Johnson Media Center. Over 40 local vendors including the Health Fair 11 Q’mmunity Van and the American Red Cross Blood Drive have decided to join in this Night to Unite event. Free health screenings including blood glucose, blood pressure, body mass index, vision and hearing will be available. Public safety officials will be present to promote safety within our communities. Come and enjoy the health and wellness activities, prize drawings and free giveaways.

Health and Wellness Fair

KTIS Radio Parking Lot
4–8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 5, 2014
2993 Snelling Ave N
Roseville, MN 55113

“This is our way to give back to the community,” said Ginger Wolgemuth, Ph.D., R.N., chief nursing administrator, “Our students have worked very hard and are excited about the fair.”

Since launching the nursing program in 2013, Wolgemuth continues to lay the foundation of equipping students with the skills and abilities required of professional nurses to effectively serve individuals and families within the community. The program is centralized around a blended learning format, a Christ-centered approach to service and care, inter-professional collaboration and clinical immersions.

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UNW celebrates one year as a university

Our first year's finest moments

We became a university on July 1, 2013 and a year later, we cannot help but celebrate!

Proud to be ranked and awarded as a top university

#14 among Midwestern Colleges U.S. News
11th Healthiest College in America
President Cureton appointed vice chair of NCAA Division III President's Council
UNW ranked a Top 100 Workplace for 2014

Making ourselves better every day

New athletic facilities coming to campus Fall 2014
Varsity women's lacrosse program starts 2015
New Nursing and MBA programs
UNW completes Emergency Training Exercise with Ramsey County
UNW students have lower loan debt
First ever Graduate Scholarship Symposium and Summer Teacher Institute

Watching our faculty excel in their fields

Amy McCann | Award winning poet | English & Literature
John Printy | Typeface app developer | Art & Design
Juan Ramirez |  Consulting innovator | Business
Wendy Richards | Literacy researcher | Education
Boyd Seevers | Author of Warfare in the Old Testament | Biblical & Theological Studies

Learning from our students as they take on the world

Matthew Abeler selected for Oxford Distinguished Scholar’s program
Volleyball player Krista Stoltz overcomes tumor, nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year

Expressing our creativity any way we can

Five16 Film Festival | Multicultural Festival | UNW Voice | New Gospel Choir | 3 Theatre Productions | 6 Art Exhibitions

Hosting guests that inspire and teach us

Concerts with Gungor, All Sons and Daughters & Switchfoot
Guest Speakers | Ravi Zacharias, Joni Eareckson Tada, Rachel Cruze, Mike Huckabee

Congratulations to our whole community for an incredible first year!

Matthew Abeler selected for Oxford Distinguished Scholar’s Program

Sophomore Matthew Abeler will cross the pond on June 28 to study at Oxford University this summer, one of six students selected for the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) inaugural Oxford Distinguished Scholar’s Program.  Led by NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, Abeler and his fellow scholars will experience two weeks of one-on-one tutorials with a distinguished scholar at Jesus College.
While at Oxford, Abeler will be writing four essays in his chosen field of study, as well as absorbing the expertise of Dr. Harold Rawlings as he lectures on the Reformation leaders and martyrs.
"Stories from the past can help my generation learn how to live wisely as Christians," said Abeler, "It's a paradox where looking backward provides the clearest vision of running forward."
According to NRB, Dr. Johnson initiated the program with a vision for the future and students in his sights, “We want to encourage and equip these prospective Christian media leaders and professionals. They’ll be the ones who will drive our industry forward and impact generations to come.”
Abeler is studying video and audio production at Northwestern, and recently won Cengage Learning’s Instructor for a Day video contest with his entry, “Spontaneity.