Founded in 1907, Olivet Nazarene University offers a traditional liberal arts curriculum and faith-based programs for aspiring ministry workers. The main campus is located in Bourbonnais, Ill., a south-lying suburb of Chicago. Graduate and professional education classes are also offered at satellite locations in two other Illinois cities, Oak Brook and Rolling Meadows. A total enrollment of 4,600 students (including graduate degree candidates) ensures a small, close-knit learning atmosphere.
Olivet is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an independent corporation that accredits regional institutions in the North Central U.S. Olivet also boasts industry-specific stamps of approval in several fields of study: accreditation has been granted by the Council on Social Work Education, The American Board of Engineering and Technology, the National Association of Schools of Music, and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, among others. Olivet Nazarene University’s online course offerings are limited to optional summer terms, as well as undergraduate and graduate courses at the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies.
While Olivet offers more than 100 liberal arts degree options for undergraduate and graduate students, the school is primarily focused on developing leaders in Christian ministry. Degree programs offered through the Theology and Christian Ministry School qualify graduates for entry-level positions specializing in Christian history, education, theology, biblical study, and philosophy. These undergraduate programs include:
1. Biblical Languages
2. Pastoral Ministry
3. Missions and Intercultural Studies
4. Christian Education
5. Children’s Ministry
6. Religion and Philosophy
7. Youth Ministry
Many other traditional areas of study are offered through the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, and the School of Professional Studies.
Accelerated graduate degree programs designed to accommodate working adults are available in business, education, counseling, nursing, and ministry. These classes typically meet in the evenings on all three campus locations. Most graduate degrees at Olivet may be completed within 2 to 3 years. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is required for admission.
While more than 50 faiths are represented in the student body, Olivet is supported by the Protestant Church of the Nazarene. Some degree programs are faith-based and some are not, but the academic environment is one of spiritual growth and learning. Student life is infused with worship and service opportunities, such as volunteering in nursing homes or working with service groups like Habitat for Humanity.
On campus, students may also participate in intramural sports and numerous special-interest clubs. Many students are involved with the production of Shine.FM, a national top-20 Christian radio station. Study abroad options are plentiful; China, Romania, England, Costa Rica and Uganda are just a few options for students with a yen to travel.
Olivet Nazarene University might be classified as a religious school, but a diverse student body and wide range of academic offerings have made it popular with students of many different faiths. And thanks to Olivet Nazarene’s online options, the school has established itself as a player in the digital education revolution.