Student Stories

Looking for some inspiration? Spend some time meeting a few of our amazing students. They have overcome obstacles, rolled up their sleeves and walked successfully through their education to move forward on the path God has laid out for them.


Adult undergraduate student named Kevin who earned a business management degree

Kevin's story: Good things will come

Kevin had a successful military career, a specialized set of skills and steady employment. But his job was very physical and company policy stated management jobs were for college grads only. He had been desperately trying to move up in his company, but to no avail.

After a harrowing near-death experience, God caught Kevin's attention; he knew it was time to pursue bigger dreams and go back to college. It's challenging to squeeze three to four hours of homework in after a full day at work, but Kevin's family is supportive of his decision to go back to school. "Everybody needs to recognize that this is an investment in the family and that good things are going to come from having a college degree."

"It is incredible how much I've learned," Kevin said." So much of college you can't shortcut. You have to go through the process. You have to write the papers to become a better writer. You have to learn how to study. You have to learn to think. You have to be challenged."

Before he even graduated, Kevin took some of the business management tools he learned in his classes to an interview with upper-management at his part-time job. Kevin shared, "They decided to bring me on right away so that I would be a full-time employee"—and ready for management when he has his degree in hand.


Adult undergraduate student named Edward who earned a ministry degree

Edward's story: Pursuing his passion

"I started right out of high school and got a job," said Edward, a Ministries student in the Focus program. "But it is just a job; it pays the bills. My goal and my passion really are for full-time ministry."

Edward realized that the goals God gave him require something he didn't have: a college degree. He has a spouse and four daughters—and that job—and came to Northwestern for an education that would be Christ-centered and flexible. The accelerated format of the Focus Adult Undergraduate program has made a difference for Edward.

"It helps you to see the light at the end of the tunnel," he noted. "But even the ride through the tunnel is great. I don't feel that the homework load is overwhelming. It works because it is built for adults."

"Northwestern has a really good mission and purpose to educate us in the ways of God," Edward described, "but also offers education that focuses on the profession you are going in to, whether that's ministries or communications or business. We have an opportunity and a platform to preach Jesus through our lives."

"As a youth, I hated school," Edward said. "As an adult my perception has changed. I can focus better; I've realized the importance of education and opportunities you don't want to waste." He also appreciates the example he can be for his daughters. "How can I tell them you need to go to college if I didn't?"


Adult undergraduate student named Julie who successfully earned her degree

Julie's story: Never too late

Julie zoomed into the work force after high school but always had it in the back of her mind to go to college someday.

Although timing and circumstances never seemed right, Julie admits that it was also fear that held her from pursuing her dreams. After looking casually into Northwestern's adult undergraduate program several times, when Julie met with an admission counselor she realized, "I can do this!"

"I'm going to make this work; I'm going to make it fit," Julie told herself. She knew she could do more…watch less TV...prioritize the important things. "I can make this fit into my life," was the decision that helped her turn the corner.

She's even surprised herself with her academic success. "I didn't pull good grades in high school," Julie confessed. "Now I'm pulling As and Bs. The will to do it makes a difference." Julie loves to encourage others to look into Northwestern for their education.

"They would love the teachers, the people, the programs, the challenges," she said. "I would say don't let any one thing become the fear or the block that stops you from doing this. Just do it. You won't regret it."