Portage: The Journey Begins

Dive into friendships, thinking and experiential learning—all of which will be part of your Northwestern experience—by participating in Portage. Portage is a wilderness experience designed for incoming freshmen and transfer students. In August, prior to Orientation, Portage takes students on an outdoor adventure in Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). While camping, canoeing and portaging (carrying your canoe overland), you'll have a chance to explore your faith and character as you prepare to get as much as you can—learning with your head and heart—from your college experience.

Christian community—it's wild!

Portage leaders are experienced wilderness instructors who have participated in Coldwater Foundation's Wilderness Leadership Expedition, have completed the full wilderness instructor training, and are certified in first aid and as a first responder. They'll guide your exploration of what it means to be a Christian in community while you work together to navigate the BWCA, talk around the campfire each night, and spend time journaling and reflecting.

Participation costs $450 and is limited to the first 24 students who register. Scholarships are available; email Coldwater Foundation for information.

A Coldwater Foundation program, Portage is endorsed by Northwestern College's Franken Leadership Center to promote and foster a lifestyle of leadership on NWC's campus.

You’ve worked hard in high school.
Find out what your Northwestern College scholarship payoff will be. Tell us your test scores and GPA and we’ll give you an estimate for the 4-year academic scholarship amount you’ll automatically receive when you apply, get accepted and enroll.


More real Northwestern
Rebeca, Lincoln, Jamie, Jahdai and Brian are blogging about life at Northwestern. Visit our NWC Stories website to read about what they're learning and experiencing—and who they're becoming.

Real. Smart. Christian.
Authentic community. Excellent academics. Christ-centered learning. That’s Northwestern College.

We our studentsand our students love us

“Studying business has challenged my faith in a variety of ways, and I especially appreciate the business ethics course I took. We were able to discuss difficult scenarios from a Christian perspective, and I have no doubt I will personally encounter many similar situations in my future career.”

TJ Spykstra ’17 Business administration/marketing major from Aurora, Colorado

TJ's story

“Being in a setting like Northwestern, where faith is incorporated into essentially every aspect of campus life, has really helped strengthen my faith. ”

Nnenna Nwaelugo ’19 Biology health professions major from Aboh-Mbaise, Nigeria

Nnenna's story

“My religion professors do a great job of connecting the Christian life with theology. In addition to rhythms of prayer and faith dialogue in the classroom, my profs integrate fresh ideas about Christianity.”

Lincoln Morris ’16 Religion and ecological science major from Oskaloosa, Iowa

Lincoln's story

“I love how personal the faculty and staff are in the nursing department. They will do anything for their students to enable them to succeed. While in their classes, you almost feel like one of their kids because they take such an interest in your life.”

Maddie Rasche ’16 Nursing major from Heron Lake, Minnesota

Maddie's story

“Nursing is a profession that allows me to mix my love of science and service with compassion for people. ”

Jessica Howe ’17 Nursing major from Orange City, Iowa

Jessica's story

LOADING …