After many years of working closely with Salem (Oregon) Bible College (SBC), Northwest University (NU) in Kirkland, Washington, invited SBC to merge with NU. The merger, which was completed in November, makes Salem the first of Northwest's distance campuses.
Northwest is an endorsed Assemblies of God liberal arts university, and its mission includes training vocational ministers. Seeking to expand the university's efforts, Dr. Joseph Castleberry, president of Northwest University, is leading NU in developing creative educational opportunities for the purpose of equipping future church and ministry leaders.
Dr. Carley Kendrick, who served as SBC's president for 12 years, continues to lead the Salem work, now as the dean of the Salem campus.
For SBC, the merger means that Salem credits come under Northwest's regional accreditation. SBC had started the process of accreditation and was accepted to Applicant Status with the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) when merger discussions began.
"Completing ABHE accreditation and achieving regional status probably would have taken another 10 years on our own," said Kendrick. "This merger pushed us a decade ahead."
In addition to becoming a part of Northwest, SBC of NU relocated to Bethel Park in Brooks, Oregon, in December. The Park, owned by the Oregon Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God, features private residences, office buildings and facilities that are typical of Christian camps and retreat centers. One of the buildings, the 27,000 square-foot conference center, is the new home for SBC of NU.
"Being in this building is a tremendous blessing to us," Kendrick said. "Our previous building was 4,000 square feet, so this is a major increase in space. It's also allowing us to open dorms next fall."
SBC of NU provides a professional degree in biblical and ministerial studies that fulfills academic requirements for ministry credentialing, and offers continuing education for leaders as well as training for members.
"Our degree programs are designed to equip and train [individuals] for . . . vocational ministry at varying levels," said Debbie Lamm Bray, director of Academic Services.
Salem Bible College of Northwest University offers two degree programs: the two-year Associate in Christian Leadership and the four-year Bachelor of Science in Christian Leadership. Both degrees can be earned by attending part-time or full-time, and the non-traditional schedule allows students to attend one, two or three days of class each week. All credits are regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
For more information on SBC of NU, call 503-304-0092 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Northwest University, see http://www.Northwestu.edu.