Program Design

The fully online Christian Ministry degree can be completed in as little as 36 months.

The degree can be completed fully online.

Major courses will be seven weeks in length and offered through NNU's course management software. Students will take up to 16-17 credits each semester, including both general education and major courses. A Family Ministry Minor is optional and can fill the elective requirements needed for graduation.

Learning Outcomes
As a result of this program, students will:

  • know the general content and purposes of the major division of the Bible and the relationship between the Testaments.
  • understand and apply principles of biblical hermeneutics by exegeting passages of Scripture, using forms of biblical criticism and relating their work to othe rtheological discuplines.
  • value and relate Scripture to their own spiritual growth and to life situations, particularly in the context of the Church's pastoral practices.
  • know and describe key themes of Wesleyan theology within the thought and history of the Christian Church: the attributes of the Triune God, Incarnation, the condition and hope for humanity and creation, the loving and saving nature of the divine-human relationship, the meaning of holiness, and the call to character and service for followers of Christ.
  • integrate Wesleyan theology with pastoral theology to construct and develop a theology of worship, preaching, sacraments, leadership, and ministry.
  • serve as creative and redemptive agents by participating in the Church, by valuing all persons and creation through practicing love and stewardship.
  • explain and construct sophisticated philosophical arguments, both orally and in writing, critically evaluating arguments using principles of sound reasoning.
  • identify and define key themes within the history of Western philosophy.
  • know and develop biblical, historical, and theological principles for the practices of ministry: constructing sermons and lessons, designing and leading worship, responding to the need of her/his congregation, initiating and fostering congregational health, building congregational leaders, and analyzing and constructing a plan to reach the community.
  • know and describe how to lead, disciple, evangelize, and equip the church for ministry.
  • display a growing personal and spiritually transformed life valuing personal, pastoral, and professional integrity in serving as an example of holiness of heart and life..

University Values
Transformation: We believe education fosters transformation.  NNU engages and affects all domains of life:  intellectual, social, physical and spiritual; thereby advancing the transformation of the individual, the church and the world.

Truth: We believe education pursues truth.  NNU explores knowledge, the wonder of God's creative activity, the story of human civilization and the achievements in the arts, sciences and professions. Ultimately, we believe Jesus is the truth incarnate; therefore, we pursue Christ.  

Community: We believe education flourishes in community.  NNU provides a learning and faith community that teaches, challenges and encourages each other through intellectual and spiritual practices.  Within covenantal relationship we express our love for God and others.

Service: We believe education clutivates service.  NNU teaches the importance of a life of servanthood as modeled by Jesus Christ.  We learn to lead by giving of ourselves to God and humankind.

Online Expectations

Suggested practices for both students and professors are found below, outlining NNU's ideal expectations for effective online learning: 

Student Expectations
  • Students are expected to log on and respond to posts five out of seven days each week. This attendance requirement is critical for group participation and learning as colleagues in community. 
  • Students should spend the same amount of time on an online course as they do for an on-campus course. 
  • Students are expected to complete all assignments on the due dates provided by professor, no later than 12:00 midnight MST. 
  • NNU's online environment encourages collaborative and community learning. Competition is discouraged since all students are expected to be working toward the same goals in a learning community. 
  • Students are expected to submit strong academic work. Discussion Group posts should be well-formed with accurate grammar and spelling. 
  • Since the online class is only five or seven weeks long, each one is considered an intensive course. As a result, it is critical that students not fall behind in the learning process. If extraordinary circumstances arise, exceptions can be made for the student to make up work, but only if arranged in advance with the professor. 
  • Students can expect approximately 10-15 hours of work per course each week. 
  • Students are to use accurate, respectful language in all writing assignments.  
Faculty Expectations
  • Faculty members are expected to log in to ANGEL to check posts daily. It is recommended that professors do this more than once each day, although Sundays can be set aside as "non-working" days. It is crucial that online faculty members maintain their presence online throughout each course. 
  • Professors are expected to respond to student questions within a 24-hour period. While there may be times when professors need to be away for a day, it is essential that online faculty members communicate this to all students, since they are expected to reciprocate and will expect timely responses from their professors. 
  • Online courses should accomplish the same learning outcomes as on-campus courses. 
  • Course assignments should be supported by web-based assignments and information available via the Internet. 
  • Course assignments should include the use of the NNU's online library resources. 
  • Assignments need to be graded in a timely manner, typically within a week of their due dates. Since the online class is intensive, timely feedback on assignments is imperative. 
  • The role of online faculty members is to be a facilitator of learning, not someone who only provides transmissive education. 
  • Faculty members need to demonstrate flexibility, openness, diversity, concern, and sincerity in all online interactions. It is very important that professors create an ecology of learning that is supportive and respectful of each student. 


A Computer & Broadband Connection
Students will need a computer and a high speed internet connection. NNU recommends that the computer you use be no more than five years old.

An Internet Service Provider
NNU's online courses require students to connect regularly to the Internet to view course content, email, and to download materials provided. In order to connect to the Internet students must have an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Fortunately, many options are available to most people today, with a wide variety of costs -- including some with free access. Students must ensure that their ISP will permit them to access NNU's system without filtering our sites or our online discussion group server. Our experience has found AOL to be among the least reliable ISPs for accessing our systems. If possible, NNU strongly recommends that students invest in a broadband connection or a cable modem during the span of their online studies.

An Internet Browser 
In order to navigate the Internet, students will need an Internet browser. NNU recommends Mozilla Firefox.
  • Please note that JavaScript and Cookies must be enabled
  • For Windows users, the following are recommended:
    • Firefox 4.0 or higher
    • Internet Explorer 8.0 or higher
    • Chrome (stable)
  • For Mac users, the following are recommended:
    • Firefox 4.0 or higher
    • Safari 5.0 or higher
    • Chrome (stable)
    • Java plugin 1.4.1 or higher
While most course communication is done within Canvas, NNU's online course management platform, additional communication is done through email. While students likely have other email accounts, they are assigned an NNU email account, which they are expected to check on a daily basis for communication with other students, professors, or other campus sectors.  

Microsoft Word & PowerPoint
In order to read files that are frequently included in courses, students will need to view some documents created with Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. Often, these products are pre-installed when computers are purchased. Students who do not desire to use Word or PowerPoint can download free viewer programs for each application below: Educational Discounts are available through NNU's campus bookstore for Microsoft Office Suite, which includes Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Students are encouraged to seek out other competitively priced software from other vendors. To take advantage of educational discounts, students must be fully accepted, have an NNU identification number, and have an identification card. These are provided by NNU's Technology & Media Resources office. 

A Word Processor Program
Students will be creating various assignments for online courses that will require a word processor. Given that all of our faculty use Microsoft Word, students are strongly encouraged to use it as well. Students using any other program such as Works or WordPerfect must save their files as Word 2003 (.doc) files before uploading them in Canvas.

Adobe Acrobat Reader
In order to shorten the download time of some larger files, professors frequently provide some documents in PDF format. These files can only be read by using Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded for free here

Anti-Virus Software 
It is essential that students protect themselves and their colleagues from the potential damage that can be done from a computer virus. NNU requires that all online students use anti-virus software regularly while taking classes. NNU recommends that students use either Norton Anti-Virus or MacAfee Anti-Virus software and that students regularly download updated virus lists to keep their system safe from malicious, potentially damaging viruses. Students can download anti-virus software for free on the NNU Portal.

Graduation Requirements

To qualify for a bachelor's degree at NNU, the student must satisfy the eleven (11) requirements described in the catalog. Faculty and staff members at the university advise students concerning progress toward graduation. However, the student is responsible for meeting all graduation requirements.