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North Central University
Former names
North Central Bible Institute (1930–1957)
North Central Bible College (1957–1998)
Motto"Your Life, Our Mission"[citation needed]
TypePrivate university
Religious affiliation
Assemblies of God
PresidentDoug Graham
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States

44°58′09.58″N 93°15′40.22″W / 44.9693278°N 93.2611722°W / 44.9693278; -93.2611722
ColorsNavy Blue and Vegas Gold
MascotBama the Rama

North Central University (NCU) is a private Christian university in Minneapolis, Minnesota, associated with the Assemblies of God. It is owned and operated by 11 Assemblies of God districts of the upper Midwest. NCU was founded in 1930 and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It is one of 17 Assemblies of God institutions of higher education in the United States.


The university was founded in 1930 as the North Central Bible Institute under the ownership of the North Central District Council of the Assemblies of God. After several years of increasing enrollment, the school moved to its current location in Minneapolis in 1936.

The school began to offer four-year degrees in 1955, and became the North Central Bible College in 1957.

The college became in a university in 1998, adopting its current name, North Central University.[2]


Academic and spiritual requirements

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.[3] Students are also required to attend daily chapel service and can voluntarily attend other methods of spiritual formation, both faculty- and student-led.

Student lifestyle

Students must agree to a student code of conduct common to many Christian universities. They are prohibited from activities such as alcohol consumption and tobacco use and must adhere to curfew restrictions and other policies designed to help them develop character and maintain a Christian lifestyle. As the school has grown the rules have fluctuated. Debate as to the viability of certain rules continues among both students and employees.[citation needed]

The university has a partial exception to Title IX that allows it to discriminate against LGBT students for religious reasons. Same-sex relationships are forbidden by policy.[4] Several students have been forced to leave the school because they were vocal about LGBT identity or for having gay relationships, even nonsexual.[5]

Ministry focus

While transitioning into a Christian liberal arts university, NCU has retained its ministry focus and Bible college roots.[citation needed] 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 in both secular and church roles. It blends academic rigor with Pentecostal spirituality. Daily chapel services are a key component of campus life. Many students are involved in local churches or provide ministry leadership for campus groups and organizations.[citation needed]

Deaf Studies

Established in 1974 by J. David Fleck, the Deaf Studies program offered degrees to deaf students preparing for vocational ministry positions. The program was one of first in the country. A unique[citation needed] aspect of the program was that it allowed students to practice their ASL skills in daily chapel services or local churches. The program has since been terminated and replaced most closely by the ASL Interpreting program.

On-campus housing

NCU has six different living areas. One of the reserved buildings is the 1500 building. It is right outside the cafeteria and reserved for married couples enrolled at North Central. The 901 building is open to NCU staff. Another exclusive building on campus is the Orfield Apartments. These are right across from the sanctuary and reserved for upperclassmen. And there are three dorms, Phillips Hall, Miller Hall, and Carlson Hall. Phillips is a co-ed suite-style dorm with same-sex floors. Miller is for female residents and houses 200 students. Carlson is for men and also houses 200.[6]

Colleges, schools, and departments

College of Arts and Sciences

College of Business and Technology

College of Fine Arts

College of Church Leadership

College of Graduate and Professional Education


The Rams are members of the NCAA Division III intercollegiate teams for men—baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and track and field; for women—basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. 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. Partnering with the city of Minneapolis, a full-sized soccer field was completed in 2015.[7] This field is home to the Men and Women's soccer teams and men's lacrosse team. Until 1998, the school's nickname was the "Flames", with black and red the school colors.

During 2012, North Central became an associate member of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) in all varsity sports. NCU became a full member of the UMAC in 2013. In 2018, the men's soccer team claimed the DII National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Championship crown, their overall record was 13–7–2.

Radio station

In 2007, FM radio station KNOF, which broadcast a Full Gospel schedule of programs and southern gospel music, was donated to the university. A partnership was formed between Praise Broadcasting and the university to offer a variety of worship music throughout the day. In 2008, it was announced that the radio station would move to the former Comm Arts building right behind the Trask Worship Center.

In 2014, the university sold KNOF to Praise Broadcasting for $5 million. Praise soon sold the signal to the Pohlad family for $8 million. The Pohlads converted the station into KZGO 95.3 Go, a mix of modern and old-school rap and hip-hop.[citation needed] By July 2021, Praise had repurchased the station and reinstated the KNOF call letters and religious format.


Notable alumni

Notable faculty

See also


  1. ^ [bare URL PDF]
  2. ^ "History". North Central University. Retrieved 21 October 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Majors & Minors - North Central University - Minneapolis, MN". North Central University. Retrieved Aug 27, 2019.
  4. ^ Birkey, Andy (July 15, 2015). "Eight Minnesota colleges discriminate against LGBT students, staff, and faculty". The Column. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  5. ^ Eckholm, Eric (April 18, 2011). "Even on Religious Campuses, Students Fight for Gay Identity". The New York Times. Waco, Texas. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  6. ^ "Residence Life". North Central University. Retrieved Aug 27, 2019.
  7. ^ "Soccer field to be put in Elliot Park this summer". The Northerner. Apr 30, 2014. Retrieved Aug 27, 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Tammy Faye (Bakker) Messner Biography -". Retrieved Aug 27, 2019.
  9. ^ "Carry Your Candle: Does God hate the sin, but love the sinner?". Dec 7, 2006. Retrieved Aug 27, 2019.
  10. ^ Green, Arne (27 March 2022). "Jerome Tang's unconventional journey to become Kansas State's head basketball coach". Topeka Capital-Journal. Topeka, Kansas. Retrieved 28 March 2022.