MidAmerica Nazarene University
Former names
Mid-America Nazarene College (1966–1996)
MottoTo Learn, to Serve, to Be
TypePrivate university
Religious affiliation
Academic affiliations
PresidentDavid Spittal
Students1,500 (Fall 2023)
Undergraduates1,000 (Fall 2023)
Postgraduates500 (Fall 2023)
Location, ,
United States

38°52′27″N 94°46′59″W / 38.874160°N 94.783120°W / 38.874160; -94.783120
ColorsRed, white and blue
Sporting affiliations

MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) is a private Nazarene (evangelical Christian) university in Olathe, Kansas in the Kansas City metropolitan area. It was established in 1966.


Drone photo showing an overhead view of the MidAmerica University Campus
MidAmerica Nazarene University Campus

Mid-America Nazarene College (MANC)[1] was founded in 1966.[2] In 1996 Mid-America Nazarene College formally changed its name to MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU).[3]


The 105-acre (42 ha) campus is located at 2030 East College Way, Olathe, Kansas, United States.[2][4] The land was donated by Robert R. Osborne, a retired banker.[5] Proposed sites for the college also included Wichita, Topeka, and Ottawa, Kansas.[6]


As one of eight U.S. self-described "liberal arts colleges"[7] affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene,[8] the college receives financial backing from the Nazarene churches in its region. Part of each church budget is paid in to a fund for its regional school. Each college is also bound by a gentlemen's agreement not to actively recruit outside its respective educational region.[9] MNU is the college for the North Central Region of the United States, which comprises the Dakota-Minnesota (Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota), Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Kansas City, Joplin, and Missouri districts.

MNU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities[10] and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.[11] MNU has been accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (now the Higher Learning Commission) since 1974.[3]


MNU offers undergraduate degrees in more than 50 majors, and seven graduate degrees in nursing, counseling, education and business. The academic calendar is on a semester system.[2] There were 1,500 students at the university in 2023.


Main article: MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers

The MidAmerica Nazarene (MNU) athletic teams are called the Pioneers. Their official colors are scarlet, white, and navy blue.[12] The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) since the 1980–81 academic year.

MNU competes in 18 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer and track & field (indoor and outdoor); while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track & field (indoor and outdoor) and volleyball; and co-ed sports include cheerleading, drumline and weightlifting.


MNU's athletic facilities include Cook Center (men's and women's basketball, and volleyball in the Bell Family Arena), Land Gym (intramurals), MNU Soccer Field, Pioneer Stadium (torn down summer 2012), Robbie Jones Field at Dixon Stadium (baseball), and Williams Field (softball).

Men's basketball

The men's basketball team won the NAIA Division II basketball championship in 2007 and was the runner up in 2001. The team has been coached by Rocky Lamar (a 1976 MNU graduate) since 1986. It placed second in the NCCAA men's basketball championships in 1997 and 1998. Including its NAIA title games it has appeared in the Final Four in 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. It moved up to Division I in 2009. The court in the Bell Family Arena is named “Rocky Lamar Court.”.[13]

Women's basketball

The women's basketball team, coached by Jon Lewis, won the NAIA Division I National Basketball Championship in 2016.

Student life

Interior of sanctuary of College Nazarene Church on campus (2013)

Enrollment comprises approximately 1,000 undergraduate and 500 graduate students, mostly from the North Central United States. Men and women are fairly equal in number. Over 25 percent of undergraduate students are over 25 years old. Members of the traditional undergraduate population who do not live locally with relatives must reside in campus housing. Traditional undergraduate students also attend chapel services and must follow the university lifestyle policy. Students participate in religious and service organizations, student leadership, musical and theatrical groups, intramural sports, and varsity sports.[2]

Notable people


  1. ^ HLC of NCA confirms hyphen in original name and its removal after renaming.
  2. ^ a b c d "MidAmerica Nazarene University -- Kids Encyclopedia - Children's Homework Help - Kids Online Dictionary - Britannica". Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Higher Learning Commission". Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  4. ^ "MidAmerica Nazarene University: About". Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  5. ^ Victoria Sizemore Long. (1997, April 6). Philanthropy organization plans to honor three in area Retired banker who helped hospital, school among them :[Metropolitan Edition]. Kansas City Star, p. F.3. Retrieved May 17, 2009, from ProQuest Newsstand database. (Document ID: 14721148).
  6. ^ Collins, Terry and Downs, Stacy. (1997, January 1). Olathe at 140: Proud heritage, promising future :[Johnson County Edition]. Kansas City Star, p. 1. Retrieved May 17, 2009, from ProQuest Newsstand database. (Document ID: 13834037).
  7. ^ J. Matthew, Price. "Liberal Arts and the Priorities of Nazarene Higher Education" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-06-27. Retrieved 2008-07-10. Nazarene higher education is based on the liberal arts model. Eastern Nazarene is the only Nazarene institution to retain the "college" moniker, although no Nazarene school fits the standard national definition Archived 2008-05-16 at the Wayback Machine of a "research university".
  8. ^ "Nazarene Educational Regions" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-07-10. See Church of the Nazarene: Organization for more information on regions.
  9. ^ Guidelines and Handbook for Educational Institutions of the Church of the Nazarene (PDF). Church of the Nazarene International Board of Education. 1997. p. 14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-10. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
  10. ^ "CCCU Members". Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
  11. ^ "NAICU Members - E". Archived from the original on 2015-11-09. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
  12. ^ College Tookit: MidAmerica Nazarene University
  13. ^ "MNU Athletics - 2009-10 Basketball (M) Coaching Staff". Retrieved 28 September 2016.