North Central University

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North Central University
North Central University logo.gif
Motto"Your Life, Our Mission"
AffiliationAssemblies of God
PresidentRev. Scott Hagan
ProvostDr. Donald Tucker
Academic staff
Location, ,
ColorsNavy Blue and Vegas Gold
MascotBama the Rama

Coordinates: 44°58′09.58″N 93°15′40.22″W / 44.9693278°N 93.2611722°W / 44.9693278; -93.2611722 North Central University is a coeducational, undergraduate, primarily residential Christian liberal arts university owned and operated by 11 Assemblies of God districts of the upper Midwest. It is in the Elliot Park neighborhood of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. The school was founded in 1930, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It is one of 17 Assemblies of God institutions of Higher Education in the United States.


Mission statement[edit]

The official mission statement is reproduced below.

North Central University is a Christian university with a Bible-based and Pentecostal foundation and a commitment to academic excellence. North Central prepares students to fulfill biblical models of leadership and ministry throughout the world.

As it says in Ephesians 4:11-12, "So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up," we work hard to equip our students for service and leadership locally and globally.[2]

Academic and spiritual requirements[edit]

All of North Central University's bachelor's programs contain a General Education Core, a Christian Studies Core, and a Major Core, most of which can be earned by completing 124 credits.[3] The Christian Studies Core is a required portion of all bachelor's degrees.[4] Students are also required to attend a daily chapel service and can voluntarily attend other methods of spiritual formation, which are both faculty- and student-led.

Student lifestyle[edit]

Students must agree to a student code of conduct common to many Christian Universities. Students are prohibited from activities such as alcohol consumption, use of tobacco, curfew restrictions and other policies that are designed to help students develop character and maintain a Christian lifestyle. As the school has grown many rules have fluctuated, while others have remained in place. There has been ongoing debate as to the viability of certain rules from both students and employees.

Ministry focus[edit]

As the school has transitioned into being a Christian liberal arts University, it has not lost its ministry focus or forgotten its Bible college roots. Each major has a Christian Studies core as part of the curriculum. Each major is focused on providing professional competency while equipping students to live out their Christian faith the workplace in both secular and church roles. It blends academic rigor with Pentecostal spirituality. Daily chapel services are a key component to campus life. Many students are involved in local churches and also provide ministry leadership for campus groups and organizations.

Deaf Studies Program[edit]

Established in 1974 by Rev. J. David Fleck the Deaf Studies program offered degrees to deaf students preparing for vocational ministry positions. This program was one of first in the country and continues to remain a strong program. A unique aspect of the program was that it allowed students to practice their ASL skills in daily chapel services or at churches in the Metropolitan area. The program has since been terminated and replaced most closely be the ASL Interpreting program.


Humble Beginnings & Bible College Heritage (1930–1936)[edit]

Founded in 1930 as North Central Bible Institute, by Rev. Frank J. Lindquist who was the pastor of the Minneapolis Gospel Tabernacle (now Christ Church International) in downtown Minneapolis and also was the superintendent of the Assemblies of God's North Central District. The first classes began in the basement of Lindquist's church on October 1, 1930 and continued until the spring semester of 1937. Female students were placed in homes where they could work for their board and room, and male students were housed in rooms or apartments near the Institute. Ownership of the Institute was in the hands of the North Central District Council of the Assemblies of God which at that time included territory extending from the Great Lakes west to the Continental Divide in the northern tier of US states. The Institute's graduating classes from 1933 to 1936 increased steadily. In 1936, when over 200 students registered, it was evident that new quarters were needed.[5]

Moving to Elliot Park (1936-1960)[edit]

Beginning in the winter of 1936 the school began the process of searching for a new location to hold classes. Rev. Lindquist discovered that the Asbury Hospital located across from Elliot Park was shuttered and looking for a buyer. The hospital's board was offering the facility for $500,000 with a down payment of only $5,000. Due to the hardships of the Great Depression, the North Central District was unable to garner the down payment. After informing the Asbury Hospital board that the district could not provide the down payment, the hospital made the unexpected decision to lend the $5,000 down payment to the school and reduce the cost to only $125,000. The school finalized the purchase of the building and began classes in the building. The building would be named Miller Hall in 1978 to honor the Rev. I.O. Miller who served at the school for more than 25 years as both a professor and administrator. Miller hall currently houses classrooms, offices, and female dormitories and is a central part of the downtown campus. Program offerings were expanded in 1955 to include a four-year degree. In February 1955, the Minnesota District of the Assemblies of God authorized the change to a four-year program, and the Institute graduated its first bachelor's degree class of eight students in 1956. In April 1957, the parent district requested that the school name be changed to North Central Bible College. Also in 1957, the institution's name was changed to North Central Bible College and in 1964, North Central was accredited by the American Association of Bible Colleges. North Central continued expanding its offerings and was accredited in 1986 by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Gaining Denominational Support & Ownership (1960s)[edit]

In a move to share ownership and management with neighboring districts, the Board of Directors authorized a transfer of the title to a corporation with the membership drawn from the Wisconsin-Northern Michigan, Minnesota and South Dakota Districts in 1962. The Iowa and Illinois Districts voted to join in the ownership and management of the college in May 1969. During the 1970s, Michigan, Indiana and Nebraska also became regent districts. In 1981, Northern Missouri joined, and in 1985 North Dakota joined. In 1993, the Midwest Latin American District joined to become the 11th district. Thus, the University today is operated and supported by 11 Assemblies of God districts of the upper Midwest. Many churches in the 11 districts are actively partnered with the school. They provide in many ways including financial support to its students through pledging monthly support, the church match scholarship program, and individual scholarships. Also, Many churches, especially in the Minneapolis metropolitan area support students by providing internship and volunteering opportunities that help the student fulfill their service requirements and also provide skills in being faithful church members after graduation. Cedar Valley Church in Bloomington, Minnesota annually hosts the graduation ceremony due to its spacious facilities.

Rapid Expansion (1970–1999)[edit]

T.J. Jones Memorial Library building on East 14th Street

A five-story building providing housing for male students and the cafeteria was added to the campus, along with a library building. The dormitory and cafeteria building would be named G. Raymond Carlson Hall in honor of the second president of the school. In 1973, the new F.J. Lindquist Chapel was dedicated, and in the spring of 1981, the Clark/Danielson College Life Center was constructed to the south of the chapel. This CLC building contains classrooms, administrative offices, and a gymnasium. Also completed at this time were the skyways connecting the College Life Center to Carlson Hall and the chapel to Miller Hall In December 1981, five apartment buildings located directly behind Miller Hall became part of the campus. In March 1988, the University purchased a building located behind the chapel. In 1989, NCU acquired a renovated storefront called the Del Kingsriter Center for Intercultural Relations. This building houses the Carlstrom Deaf Studies, Intercultural Studies and Languages, English, and Psychology departments, and classrooms.

The college began purchasing the Elliot East Condominiums in 1993. Today it owns the majority of the 32 units, which are available for rent by students. In 1994, the college also purchased the American Legion on South Tenth Street which is now used as classrooms, and the Trestman property on the southwest quadrant of Chicago Avenue and Fourteenth Street which is home to the University Bookstore and the Center for Youth and Leadership. At the spring 1998 meeting of the Board of Regents, the college's name was changed to North Central University.

21st Century Growth (2000–2016)[edit]

In 2001, the new Phillipps Hall dormitories were completed, as was the remodeling and refurbishing of the Carlson Hall Cafeteria. During that same period, significant remodeling efforts were made in a variety of campus buildings.

In 2005, the University broke ground for the Thomas E. Trask Word and Worship Center, a project that includes the additions of a 200-seat auditorium and two-story atrium and the remodeling of the Lindquist Chapel. In the same year, North Central acquired the Mensing Fine Arts Building, a 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) building located two blocks from campus. In 2006, the University held its 75th-anniversary celebration.

In 2007, North Central University acquired two buildings, affectionately called "The Fortress" or "The Yellow Building" and "The Mansion". The Mansion was renovated to become the new home of the Intercultural Studies department and the Business department.

In 2011, the decision was made by the University to phase out the Deaf Studies Program. Though the administration recognized that the program greatly benefited the ASL students, giving them a great advantage in their field and that the program helped train ministers and missionaries to an unreached group that needed the Gospel as much as any other person, the University could no longer financially support the program. Just days before the 2010-2011 school year ended, however, it was announced that the University had received a donation that would keep the program open for many years to come and the University reversed the decision to phase out the program. The ASL program at NCU is now one of the strongest in the country.

Beginning a New Era (2017–present)[edit]

In 2016, a search was launched for the seventh president of the university after Dr. Gordon Anderson announced that he would retire. It was also announced in the spring of 2017 that the small chapel in the Trask Word and Worship Center would be renamed the Anderson Chapel in honor of the outgoing president. North Central contracted with a national executive search firm to hear from constituents of the school and to conduct an international search for the right person. In February 2017, the board of regents approved the Rev. Scott Hagan as the next president. Hagan pastored Real Life Church in Sacramento, California, for several years, and he holds an MA in leadership from Azusa Pacific University near Los Angeles and is currently finishing his Ph.D. work in Leadership at Gonzaga University.

During Super Bowl LII, the university partnered with security forces to ensure safety near the U.S. Bank Stadium. [6]

In 2018 the Higher Learning Commission fully approved the school to offer both the Master's of Arts in Strategic Leadership (MASL) and The Associates of Arts in Church Leadership.[7]


The Rams are members of the NCAA Division III and NCCAA Division II intercollegiate teams for men—baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field; for women— basketball, volleyball, soccer, cross country, track and field, tennis, lacrosse and softball. A variety of club and intramural sports are available. The Clark-Danielson College Life Center Gymnasium is the home court for the basketball and volleyball teams. The CLC center was refurbished in late 2016 to featured a newly stained hardwood floor with the unique skyline logo in variously stained shades and a Ram's head at center court. Partnering with the city of Minneapolis, a full-sized soccer field was completed in 2015.[8] This field is home to the Men and Women's soccer teams and men's lacrosse team. Prior to 1998, the school's nickname had been the "Flames" with black and red the school colors. During 2012, North Central became an associate member of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference in all varsity sports. NCU became a full member of the UMAC in 2013.

Radio station[edit]

Since 2007, the University has owned and operated FM radio station KNOF, which broadcast a Full Gospel schedule of programs and southern gospel music. Recently, a partnership was formed between Praise FM and the University to offer a variety of worship music throughout the day. At the start of the Fall 2008 semester, it was announced that the radio station would be moved to the former Comm Arts building right behind the Trask Worship Center. In 2014, the station signal was sold for $5 million from North Central to Praise FM. The managers at Praise FM promptly turned around and sold the signal to the Pohlad family for $8 million, and they converted the signal into 95.3 Go, a mix of modern and old-school rap and hip-hop.


  • The Rev. F. J Lindquist 1930-1961
  • Dr. G. Raymond Carlson 1961-1969
  • The Rev. Cyril E. Homer 1970-1971
  • The Rev. D.H. Mapson (Interim) 1971
  • Dr. E. M. Clark 1971-1979
  • Dr. Don Argue 1979-1995
  • Dr. Gordon Anderson 1995-June 2017
  • The Rev. Scott Hagan June 2017-

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]