Students at a Praise and Worship service.

Statement of Christian Identity

Northwestern is a Christian college that is Reformed in commitment, evangelical in engagement, and ecumenical in spirit. We view these Christian theological perspectives as complementary and draw from the strengths of each perspective in fulfilling our mission.

Reformed commitment

Northwestern College was founded by the Reformed Church in America. We accept the ultimate authority of God’s written Word and are guided by the wisdom of the ecumenical creeds* and our historic Reformed confessions**. We proclaim the sovereignty and grace of God in every area of creation and human life, our sinfulness and natural inability to have faith in God, God’s sovereign and gracious choosing of God’s people in Christ based solely on God’s good pleasure and will, the Holy Spirit’s initiation of the new birth resulting in faith and repentance, the life-giving spiritual union between Christ and believers, and God’s compassionate embrace that keeps believers from ever truly falling away from faith. We affirm God’s broad redemptive purposes, and we embrace the Christian call to reform the church, reflect critically on worldviews that influence culture, and transform the world.

*The Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed
**The Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dort, and the Belhar Confession

Evangelical engagement

As a Reformed institution, Northwestern stands within the broad tradition of evangelical Christianity. We affirm the divine inspiration, infallibility, authority and sufficiency of Scripture in matters of faith and practice. We seek a warm, personal faith that is the product of conversion through an individual’s trust in Christ as Savior and Lord and belief in Christ’s redeeming and substitutionary work on the cross. We acknowledge that salvation comes solely through the unmerited, direct and transforming gift of God’s grace. We believe that Christians are called to live holy lives, to make disciples throughout the world by embodying in word and deed the good news of salvation, and to love all people through acts of justice and mercy in Christ’s name.

Ecumenical spirit

As a Reformed institution, Northwestern College identifies with the ecumenical spirit that unites all Christians in every time and place. This spirit is embodied in the unified confession of the historic Church as expressed in the Apostles’ Creed. We desire greater unity among the universal Christian family. We celebrate the unique traditions and gifts of other Christian communities. We seek new cooperative relationships with other Christians in our common witness to the gospel and our pursuit of justice for all creation. Our ecumenical spirit calls us to appreciate alternative perspectives in an ethos of peaceful dialogue.