Northland Institute

Northland Institute formerly Northland International University, is a Baptist bible college in Dunbar, Wisconsin.[1] The school was founded in 1976 by businessman and inventor, Paul Patz. Its stated mission was "(1) to glorify God by providing an educational environment for developing servant-leaders in honesty, obedience, wisdom, and service to love Jesus Christ with all their heart, soul, and mind (2) and by teaching students to live by the principles of God's Word, to walk with God as His faithful laborers, and to serve in local churches for revival, world evangelization, and the discipling of future generations for the cause of Jesus Christ." The university's purpose statement was "Preparing the next generation of servant-leaders for Great Commission living."[2]

For the liberal arts college in Ashland, Wisconsin, see Northland College.
Northland Institute
MottoPreparing the next generation of servant-leaders for Great Commission living.
W10085 Pike Plains Road


Northland Mission Camp (now Northland Camp and Conference Center) was founded on December 31, 1958, by Paul and Mamie Patz and Reverend Harold and Arlene Sailer. Sailer and his wife both graduated from Northwestern Bible College. Property for the 1,500-acre (6.1 km2) facility in northeast Wisconsin was purchased in 1960. In 1976, Northland Bible Institute was started. The following year, it changed its name to Northland Baptist Bible College. On April 7, 2009, the school created the name Northland International University as a canopy name for its four entities: Northland Baptist Bible College, Northland Graduate Studies, Northland Center for Global Opportunities, and Northland Online.[3] Northland Camp and Conference Center and Northland International University are branches of Northland Mission, Inc.[4]

For much of its history, Northland operated without accreditation, which meant that its students were not eligible for government financial assistance. In 2004, Northland obtained provisional accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), making its students eligible for federal funds. TRACS granted full accreditation in 2008.[5]

In 2009, Northland requested inclusion in the Wisconsin Tuition Grant Program, so that undergraduate students from Wisconsin attending Northland could receive state financial assistance. In August 2009, the Wisconsin Higher Education Aids Board determined that Northland students were not eligible for state financial aid because the college's accreditation was not from a regional accreditation organization. Northland appealed the ruling to agency's board, citing TRACS' federal government recognition. A decision was expected in the fall of 2009, but students were not eligible for state aid for the 2009-2010 school year.[5][6]

Northland was approved for participation in Wisconsin Tuition Grant program for the 2011–12 school year. The program was later renamed the Wisconsin Grant program beginning with the 2014–15 school year. Northland students eligible for the grant received it through the end of the 2014–15 school year, when the college ceased academic operations. [7]

Leadership changes

On April 29, 2013, then-president Matthew Olson announced to faculty, staff and students that he had been removed as president by the board.[8] On May 8, the four board members that were not members of the founding family resigned. The remaining three board members voted to bring Olson back on as president,[9] and on May 22, 2013 voted to install Daniel Patz as the new chairman of the board. A month later, On June 13, 2013, Olson announced to faculty and staff that he had resigned.[10] He indicated that this would give the board the best opportunity to move forward and to succeed. On June 17 and 18, a board advisory council convened, and Mr. Daniel Patz was appointed as the university's fourth president, and would call out Scott Dunford, a pastor who for many years had been a missionary in China, to be his vice president.[11]

Change in articles of faith

On May 10, 2013, Northland announced that it was provisionally replacing its articles of faith with the New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith of 1853, while developing a new set of articles of faith that would be specific to Northland.[12] The new revision of the statement was completed in the fall of 2013.[13]


In October 2014, Northland announced that the board of trustees of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary had decided to accept the university's assets and campus as a gift and to establish an extension of Southern's Boyce college at the campus.[14] However, on April 22, 2015, President Patz announced that The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary had reversed their previous decision and no longer intended to acquire Northland's campus.[15] Following a meeting of the Northland Board of Trustees, Patz communicated the board's decision to close both the graduate and undergraduate schools of the university following the end of the 2014-2015 school year.[16] Although the education branches of Northland Mission were closed, the Camp and Conference Center remain open, offering a variety of summer camps, and various youth, family, and ministerial retreats during the school year.[17]

Northland International University ceased academic operations in 2015. Lancaster Bible College became the custodian of student academic records (transcripts).[18] Several recordings made by the Northland Baptist Bible College Choir, such as A Heart to Praise and Holy is He, remain available.


The reopening of the school takes place in 2017 as the Northland Institute.[19]

List of Presidents

Name Tenure Notes
1st James Wooster September 7, 1976 1980
Vacant 1980 1984
2nd Les Ollila 1984 September 23, 2002
3rd Matthew R. Olson September 23, 2002 – June 12, 2013 Dismissed by the board April 25, 2013; reinstated May 9, 2013; resigned June 12, 2013.
Vacant June 13, 2013 – July 23, 2013
4th Daniel Patz July 24, 2013 – May 31, 2015


Northland's 1500 acre campus is located approximately 6 miles southeast of Dunbar, Wisconsin. The main classroom buildings are the Founder's Center, named in honor of the school's founder, Paul Patz; and the Jacquot Educational Center (JEC), named in honor of former dean Ardell Jacquot.[20] The Founder's Center also housed the administrative offices, registrar's office, and business office of the university. The university library, which houses over 50,000 volumes, is located in the JEC.[21] The campus also has a fine arts center where music classes and performances were held.


Northland's intercollegiate sports mascot was the Pioneer. The school was a Division II member of the National Christian College Athletic Association, and has competed in men's and women's soccer, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross-country, men's golf, and women's volleyball.[22] Men's hockey and men's volleyball competed as athletic clubs not under the sanction of the NCCAA.[23] Men's soccer and men's cross-country were traditionally Northland's strongest sports; as the soccer team won over ten regional championships in addition to several national championships. Their 2012 season ended with a loss in the national championship game to Moody Bible Institute,[24] and in 2013 they earned a top three at-large bid in the national championship tournament.[25] The cross-country teams earned four national titles in five years (2001–2003, 2005), and finished as the runner-up in 2006.


  1. "Northland International University". Archived from the original on December 12, 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  2. "Northland International University". Archived from the original on September 17, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  3. "Northland International University". December 31, 1958. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  4. "Corporate Site". Northland Ministries. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  5. Lederman, Doug (August 14, 2009). "Accreditation Discrimination". Inside Higher Ed.
  6. WI Baptist School Appeals Financial Aid Denial, Chicago Tribune, August 9, 2009
  8. "Northland Transitions Leadership". April 29, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  9. "Updates from Dr. Olson and Daniel Patz". June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  10. Archived June 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  11. "Northland Names New President". July 26, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  12. "An Update from Northland's Board & Administration | News & Events | Northland International University". May 11, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  13. "Statement of Faith | About Us". Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  14. "Northland's Mission and Legacy Continues with Southern". October 15, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  15. "Important Announcement". April 22, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  16. "Grad & Undergrad Schools Closing, Camp Scaling Back". April 30, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  17. "Camps & Events".
  18. "Registrar - Transcript Request". Lancaster Bible College. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  19. Dan Kitkowski, A new vision at Northland,, USA, July 6, 2017
  20. Archived April 9, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  21. "Northland Catalog Page 9". Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  22. "Welcome to the NCCAA: National Christian College Athletic Association". Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  23. "Athletics | NBBC | Northland International University". Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  24. "Welcome to the NCCAA: Division II Men's Soccer Championship". Archived from the original on February 12, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  25. "National Christian College Athletic Association - 2013 NCCAA Soccer Division II National Championships Finals Set". Retrieved May 4, 2014.

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