Strategic Plan 2023 (DRAFT)

Members of Northwestern College's Strategic Planning Committee* have been meeting throughout this academic year, and we are now eager to share the proposed Strategic Plan 2023 with the campus community. The plan is below; you can also download the PDF. The draft plan is an internal-use document only and shouldn't be shared outside the campus community.

*Doug Beukelman, Mark Bloemendaal, Greg Christy, Mark DeYounge, Julie Elliott, Keith Fynaardt, Tamara Fynaardt, Rebecca Hoey, Mark Husbands (chair), Karie Stamer, Brant Vermeer, John Vonder Bruegge, Mike Wallinga, Jay Wielenga, Earl Woudstra


Northwestern College will be the leading Christian liberal arts college focused on student success and Christ-centered work for the common good. (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:7, Jeremiah 29:7)


Advance the quality and reputation of the academic program.

  1. Launch a faculty-led innovation lab focused on developing, enhancing, and supporting learner-focused teaching.
  2. Launch new graduate and undergraduate programs with strategic potential for increasing enrollment and academic reputation.
  3. Increase opportunity and resources for faculty-student collaborative research and scholarship.
  4. Raise the reputation of Northwestern as a leader in Christian thought, scholarship, practice, and artistic expression.
  5. Undertake a faculty-led, comprehensive review of academic program quality to identify opportunities for further strategic investment.


Prepare students for meaningful work and flourishing lives.

  1. Establish a center for meaningful work where students are equipped for navigating the journey from college to calling.
  2. Integrate digital literacy (connected to critical thinking and writing skills) into the NWCore curriculum.
  3. Pilot a new transformative, intellectually-rigorous, mission-focused, global education program.


Pursue strategic enrollment growth.

  1. Increase residential undergraduate enrollment to 1,050 by 2023.
  2. Increase graduate and adult enrollment to 450 by 2023.
  3. Develop and resource an integrated marketing strategy that enhances Northwestern College’s reputation for intellectual rigor, vocational success, and select programs of strength.


Embrace and celebrate cultural and ethnic diversity.

  1. Embody our Vision for Diversity through culturally responsive pedagogy and curricular developments that consider race within the drama of God's reconciliation of all things in Christ.
  2. Increase the cultural and ethnic diversity of Northwestern College’s leadership (board and administration), faculty, staff, and students to better reflect the diversity of God’s kingdom.
  3. Advance opportunities for leadership and scholarship among persons of color across campus.
  4. Address issues of campus climate and commitment to ethnic and racial diversity to advance students' intercultural learning (and achieve student engagement survey rankings similar to our peer institutions).
  5. Hire someone with the gifts and educational background to strengthen ties between Northwestern College and Latino Christians regionally and nationally.


Secure the human and financial resources to advance strategic initiatives.

  1. Evaluate current human resources—including organizational structures, personnel, and leadership roles for women and people of color—to identify areas of opportunity relative to advancing this strategic plan.
  2. Raise $1.45 million in unrestricted annual gifts by 2023 to fund the college’s growing operational costs.
  3. Fund capital priorities identified in the campus master plan.
  4. Secure 20 new Heritage Society members (planned giving donors) annually to maintain the growth and strength of Northwestern College’s endowment.
  5. Launch an endowment funding campaign to be completed by 2023.