Northwest University was founded by the Northwest Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God and opened to students on October 1, 1934. The District Presbytery appointed Dr. Henry H. Ness to be the first president. The University was housed in the facilities of Hollywood Temple, Seattle, Washington, for the first twenty-five years of its existence.
Dr. C.E. Butterfield succeeded Dr. Ness in 1949, and Dr. D.V. Hurst assumed the presidency in 1966 and served through 1990. He was succeeded by Dennis A. Davis, who served from 1990 - 1998, and by Dr. Don Argue, who served from 1998 - 2007. Dr. Joseph Castleberry is the sixth president of Northwest University.
Originally known as Northwest Bible Institute, its institutional name was changed to Northwest Bible College in 1949, Northwest College of the Assemblies of God in 1962, and to Northwest University in 2005. Each change represented a stage in its curricular development.
Academically the University progressed from a three- to a four-year curriculum in 1948, and in 1955, a Liberal Arts division was organized. Milestones of academic development and progress were marked by the achievement of professional accreditation by the American Association of Bible Colleges in 1953, and in 1973 by the granting of regional accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
In May, 1992, Northwest University became the eighty-fifth college approved for membership in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, an association of Christ-centered colleges and universities of the liberal arts and sciences.
In 1958, the University secured a new thirty-five acre campus in Kirkland, in the greater metropolitan area of Seattle. Since then 21 more acres have been added to make the present fifty-six acre campus. Located at 108th Avenue N.E. and N.E. 53rd Street just ten miles from downtown Seattle, the campus is an ideal setting for study, recreation, and inspiration. The campus is also near to industry and close-at-hand employment opportunities.
Over the years, the University's graduates and former students have engaged in full-time Christian service in professional, business, or vocational occupations in fulfillment of their educational objectives at the University.
We believe that every person, regardless of ability, age, gender, race, ethnicity, or religion shares equally in the image of God; all are sinners and that we equally partake of the consequences of sin; Jesus Christ died for all and that we equally have access to redemption; God is sovereign and that He calls into His service whomever He chooses and that He gifts and equips those He calls in order that they might accomplish that calling; there is hope for all believers for fellowship with the Lord and with each other presently in His Church and in His coming Kingdom.
Be it resolved that:
We, as members of the Northwest University community, desire the equality of opportunity and respect that results from true Christian community where we cherish unity in diversity and practice mutual support as evidence of God's presence, by His Holy Spirit, in us; we seek forgiveness for all attitudes, language, and actions that have intentionally or unintentionally contributed to discrimination regarding race, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, and age within the Northwest University community and within the society in which God has placed us; we pledge not to engage intentionally in any act that would result in unlawful discrimination against any person, or group of persons, based upon race, ethnicity, gender, physical ability or age; we pledge to engage our community in activities and communications that will develop greater awareness and sensitivity to interpersonal intolerances that would be considered unacceptable by biblical teachings and would lead to tolerance that is reflective of God's character; we further pledge to develop ongoing formal and informal opportunities to facilitate the process of reconciliation of God-honoring relationships among all people, based upon the clear call of God through the Scriptures; we commit ourselves to dialogue, study, and affirming initiatives and actions designed to enable us to bear one another's burdens and rejoice in the privilege of fulfilling the law of Christ.