Significant initiatives and vision unveiled at presidential celebration

March 13, 2009, 8:45 am

A ceremony rich in higher-education traditions marked the Inauguration of Northwest Nazarene University’s twelfth President, Dr. David Alexander.

During Alexander’s inaugural address, Renewing Our Covenant, Seeking His Kingdom, he cast his vision for NNU and shared for the first time a number of significant initiatives. The establishment of the Wesley Center for Servant Leadership, a School of Nursing and Health Sciences and the creation of the Bresee Scholars program were among the announcements. He also masterfully articulated the cornerstones of the University through the NNU Covenant and Hallmarks of an NNU Education.

The establishment of the Wesley Center for Servant Leadership is a campus-wide effort that encompasses the existing Wesley Center of Applied Theology. “This Center is being established to focus on and foster the NNU distinctive.  We are a people of faith who seek to follow Christ’s model of servant living, and we believe that we can have the greatest impact on society through service,” said President Alexander.  The Center will be a campus-wide enterprise to focus on growing in Christlikeness and servant leadership.

The Wesley Center for Servant Leadership will have three primary offices within its scope: the Office of Spiritual Formation, administered by the Dean of the Chapel; the Office of Congregational Development, partnering with and serving churches in the Treasure Valley and the greater Northwest; and, the Office of Kingdom Engagement, providing service opportunities and training for students, faculty, alumni and churches.

The newest member of the President’s Cabinet, Rev. Fred Fullerton, vice president for spiritual and leadership development, will lead the establishment the Wesley Center for Servant Leadership. Fullerton states, “It will be my joy to work with the university community, pastors and district leadership in the development and implementation of President Alexander’s vision for the Wesley Center for Servant Leadership.  Jesus’ life and ministry was the supreme example of servanthood. Our Weselyan heritage demonstrates faithfulness to that example.  We are committed to prepare 21st century students for substantive servant leadership both locally and globally. ”

Academic objectives include the establishment of a seventh academic school, the School of Nursing and Health Sciences and the delivery of a Master of Science in Nursing to meet the needs of our community.  Dr. Pat Kissell has been appointed dean of the new school.  Another goal includes the expansion of degree offerings to include several doctoral programs, the first of which will be available in 2010.

In the spirit of making an NNU education available to students, Alexander declared a Bresee Scholars program will be created for first-generation college students with financial need who show promise.  “We want to serve people of faith with limited means who are deserving of a college education,” he said.

Focused on articulating the NNU distinctive, Alexander introduced the Hallmarks of an NNU Education, stating, “We fulfill our educational mission by focusing on God and the whole person; we pursue intellectual and spiritual development by organizing our curricular and co-curricular work around four organizational cornerstones: Core—Community—Calling—Kingdom.”  The Hallmarks of an NNU Education is available online at

In closing, Alexander invited the communities of NNU to renew the NNU Covenant: to seek the kingdom of God as God’s covenant people committed to loving God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength. In unison the audience read, “[Lord] we seek You, Your Kingdom and Your righteousness; in our seeking we find and express love for our neighbor and ourselves. We covenant with You and each other to follow You in holiness of heart and living. We pledge to be and make disciples and to live as one as You are One. We are Northwest Nazarene University and we are God’s covenant people. We make this covenant to love, to learn, to seek and to serve until our Lord’s return.” The NNU Covenant and the Inauguration Ceremony are available for viewing online at

Inauguration celebrations conclude Friday, March 13. Dr. Scott Daniels, alumnus and senior pastor of Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene, delivers the Inaugural Chapel message, Seeking His Kingdom. Following chapel, three inaugural chapel lunch forums assemble on campus providing discussion opportunities for panels of students, faculty and pastors considering the question, How does NNU seek and establish the Kingdom?  The Inaugural Chapel and Church Forum presentations are available online

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