The ranking only includes members or member-eligible institutions of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Each college or university is evaluated and scored in four categories: the number of varsity teams available; amount of varsity championships won; percentage of enrolled students participating in at least one varsity team; and total revenues from athletic programs.
An NAIA college, Northwestern offers 16 varsity teams, including men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and track/field; baseball, football and wrestling for men; and softball, tennis and volleyball for women. Nine Red Raider teams have earned NAIA national championships, seven of which have been since 2001.
“Athletic participation is an important component of many of our students’ experience at Northwestern,” says Dr. Earl Woudstra, director of athletics. “We believe the use of our physical and mental gifts through sport participation is God-honoring worship. Life lessons learned through the preparation and participation in a competitive environment benefit our students for a lifetime. And our intercollegiate athletics contests are a significant gathering place for the entire campus and surrounding community.”
The college’s athletic department benefits from some of the finest facilities in the region. The Ron and Peg Juffer Athletic Fieldhouse is the most recent addition, opening last October. The 33,000-square-foot facility provides an indoor practice arena for baseball, softball, football and soccer; a 6,300-square-foot athletic performance center with state-of-the-art Sorinex weight equipment; and a 3,600-square-foot indoor golf practice room, complete with putting green, a variety of turfs and four hitting stations. Renovations have also been made over the last year to Northwestern’s baseball and softball diamonds, as well as the Paul Bartlett Wrestling Room.
Northwestern is one of only two Iowa colleges listed in the ranking; Dordt College in Sioux Center was ranked 31st. Other institutions that made the list were Wheaton College (22nd), Oral Roberts University (25th), Bethel University (35th), Taylor University (46th), Calvin College (48th) and Azusa Pacific University (50th).
Christian Universities Online is an independent online resource for students and families researching Christian higher education. The site publishes rankings and reviews of colleges and universities across the nation, information about scholarships and financial aid, and other materials for families and students pursuing a distinctly Christian education. The athletic ranking can be viewed at this link: Official Release!