North Central History

The Early Days of North Central

North Central University enrolled its first 26 students in classes beginning October 1, 1930, under the name of North Central Bible Institute. The Institute’s original home was in a newly erected Assemblies of God church, the Minneapolis Gospel Tabernacle, in downtown Minneapolis. Female students were placed in homes where they could work for their board and room, and male students were housed in rooms or apartments near the Institute. Ownership of the Institute was in the hands of the North Central District Council of the Assemblies of God which at that time included territory extending from the Great Lakes west to the Continental Divide in the northern tier of states.

North Central Expands

The Institute’s graduating classes from 1933 to 1936 increased steadily. In 1936, when over 200 students registered, it was evident that new quarters were needed. The following September, students and faculty relocated to NCU’s new home, the former Asbury Hospital at 910 Elliot Avenue. This five-story building, a city block in length, included adequate dormitory, office and classroom space to accommodate 500 students.

In February 1955, the Minnesota District authorized the change to a four-year program, and the Institute graduated its first bachelor’s degree class of eight students in 1956. In April 1957, the parent district requested that the school name be changed to North Central Bible College.

For the next 16 years, a five-story building providing housing for male students and the cafeteria was added to the campus, along with a library building. In 1973, the new F.J. Lindquist Chapel was dedicated, and in the spring of 1981, the Clark/Danielson College Life Center was constructed to the south of the chapel. This CLC building contains classrooms, administrative offices and a gymnasium. Also completed at this time were the skyways connecting the College Life Center to Carlson Hall and the chapel to Miller Hall (the original building at 910 Elliot Avenue).

In the fall of 1969, North Central University gave birth to the North Central Deaf Program. Its vision and purpose was to provide a vehicle whereby Deaf men and women could be prepared to establish indigenous Deaf churches and ministries both at home and abroad. The program started as a three-year diploma program which grew into a four-year Bachelor of Arts program under the joint auspices of the Assemblies of God Division of Home Missions and the Carlstrom Deaf Studies (CDS) department of North Central University. CDS trained and enabled Deaf men and women in the knowledge and practices of ministering the Gospel through a variety of academic disciplines with an interdisciplinary emphasis until its closure in 2011.

In December 1981, five apartment buildings located directly behind Miller Hall became part of the campus. In March 1988, the University purchased a building located behind the chapel. In 1989, NCU acquired a renovated storefront called the Del Kingsriter Centre for Intercultural Relations. This building houses the Carlstrom Deaf Studies, Intercultural Studies and Languages, English, and Psychology departments and classrooms.

The college began purchasing the Elliot East Condominiums in 1993. Today it owns the majority of the 32 units, which are available for rent by students. In 1994, the college also purchased the American Legion building on South Tenth Street which is now used as classrooms, and the Trestman property on the southwest quadrant of Chicago Avenue and Fourteenth Street which is home to the University Bookstore and the Center for Youth and Leadership. In 2001, the new Phillipps Hall dormitories were completed, as was the remodeling and refurbishing of the Carlson Hall Cafeteria.

In 2005, the University broke ground for the Thomas E. Trask Word and Worship Center, a project that includes the additions of a 200-seat auditorium and two-story atrium and the remodeling of the Lindquist Chapel. In the same year, North Central acquired the Fine Arts Building, a 35,000 square-foot building located two blocks from campus.