News Releases

Accreditation Update

By Great Northern University
August 14, 2019

On June 22nd, 2019, the Executive Team of Great Northern University travelled to Salt Lake City, UT, to present their application for accreditation at the semi-annual meeting of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). This presentation was part of the university’s process of seeking accredited status with the NWCCU. From the NWCCU’s 2017 Accreditation Handbook (pgs. 6-7):

The NWCCU defines three distinct stages in an institution’s progression toward achieving Accreditation, each of which may result in the award of a particular status… Only NWCCU Accredited institutions are members of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Applicant: This initial, non‐affiliated status may be granted by the Commission after the submission of an Application for Consideration of Eligibility by an institution and subsequent review by the NWCCU Board of Commissioners. Upon being granted Applicant status, an institution must complete its initial self-evaluation and be evaluated by peers for consideration of Candidacy within a period not less than one year or more than three years of the time of acceptance of its Application for Consideration of Eligibility. 

Candidacy: Candidate for Accreditation is a Pre‐Accredited, affiliate status with the Commission. It denotes recognition by the Commission that the institution meets its Eligibility Requirements and is progressing toward Accreditation status. It does not, however, simply or ensure eventual NWCCU Accreditation. After an Applicant institution has submitted a Candidacy Self‐Evaluation Report addressing all accreditation criteria and the Commission conducts an on‐site peer evaluation, the Board of Commissioners may grant Candidacy status to the institution if it finds the institution meets the Eligibility Requirements, substantially meets the Standards for Accreditation, and has the potential to meet all Standards for Accreditation within the five‐year timeframe allowed for Candidacy. 

Accreditation: Following a period of Candidacy, the Board of Commissioners may grant Accreditation status to an institution following the submission of an Accreditation Self‐Evaluation Report addressing all accreditation criteria and completion of an on‐site peer evaluation validating that the institution meets the Eligibility Requirements and Standards for Accreditation. The institution becomes a member of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities upon being granted Accreditation.

Great Northern University is pleased to announce that the NWCCU commissioners have accepted its application and have granted the university the “Applicant” status, as described above. The University is grateful to the commissioners for the opportunity to continue in this process

About GNU

For more information about the NWCCU and their accreditation process, please visit

Great Northern University was founded in Spokane, WA in November of 2017 to provide biblically based, Christian higher education in Eastern Washington, and the entire Pacific Northwest. Great Northern University has the mission of a Bible college, the relevance of Christian liberal arts, and a vision for whole-person transformation.

Great Northern University is prayerfully requesting and gratefully accepting financial gifts.