North Central University is pleased to announce that the Elder Board of River Valley Church (RVC), based in Apple Valley, Minnesota, has made a major gift to the university to honor founding pastors Rob and Becca Ketterling’s 25 years of ministry at River Valley. The elders have requested the funds be used toward a planned major expansion of Carlson Hall that will include a new student union. The announcement was made as a surprise to the Ketterlings on September 26 at a dinner for family and close friends, as part of River Valley’s 25th Anniversary Celebration.
President Scott Hagan, Ph.D., and Executive Vice President Andrew Denton, Ph.D., accepted the gift on behalf of NCU, and announced that, in collaboration with the RVC elders, North Central will call the student union the Ketterling Center.
Plans for the student union have been underway for several months. The first phase of the Carlson Hall project has been the remodeling of the Dining Center in the lower level, which is currently operational and expected to be fully completed with a new exterior entrance in October.
The second phase of the project, which has also received major underwriting from NCU dining-services partner, Sodexo, will commence later this academic year and will be operational during the 2021–22 academic year.
An amazing addition
Executive Vice President Andrew Denton is excited about how the Ketterling Center will impact campus. “A vibrant student union will be an amazing addition to the North Central University campus,” Denton noted. “The Ketterling Center will provide more places for students to engage in community, more options for food and snacks, and more choices for activities and entertainment on campus. We are thrilled about this blessing from River Valley Church and know that this student union named in honor of their beloved pastors and our friends of the university will impact countless students’ lives for years to come.”
The ministry of River Valley Church is far-reaching, and over the years a great number of North Central University students and alumni have been involved with the church. According to the River Valley website: “Pastor Rob and Becca Ketterling founded River Valley Church in an elementary school in 1995. It has since grown into a thriving church with nearly 10,000 in attendance across eight U.S. campuses and one international campus, with plans for further expansion in the future.
“Through Pastor Rob’s unique and practical preaching style, vision casting, and gifts of leadership, he encourages people to live out River Valley’s mission of cultivating an authentic, life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the author of the books Change Before You Have To, Thrill Sequence, Front Row Leadership, and his latest release Fix It. In addition to leading River Valley, he also serves on several organizational boards … and speaks at events and conferences around the world.” Rob Ketterling is also a member of the North Central University Board of Regents.
Extending a legacy of influence
The Elder Board of River Valley Church expressed enthusiasm in presenting the gift to North Central in honor of the Ketterlings. “River Valley Church recognizes the need to raise up pastors, worship leaders, missionaries, and other leaders to reach and change our world with the good news of Jesus Christ,” noted Elder Gerald Baltrusch. “Many of our staff, including Pastor Rob and Becca Ketterling’s two sons, were educated at North Central University. Because we believe it is important students learn not only from their professors and studies but also from each other—through collaborative study, and simply “doing life” together—we are pleased to see the Ketterling legacy of ministry and their influence in our movement honored with the naming of the Ketterling Center.”
President Scott Hagan spoke of the Ketterlings’ legacy and affirmed River Valley’s commitment to raising up leaders. “Rob and Becca’s pastoral vision and generosity have virtually tilted the planet,” Hagan said. “My hope as president is that a new generation of leaders will not only become familiar with who this family is but as they spend time talking and dreaming with other students in the new Ketterling Center, the Holy Spirit will be planting seeds in future Kingdom-builders who will then graduate and replicate the Kingdom generosity we have so powerfully and consistently seen exemplified in the Ketterling family. This enduring partnership between NCU and the Ketterling family is a great day for North Central University.”
The illustration above shows a conceptual rendering of the future Ketterling Center. Details about the Ketterling Center will be revealed in the coming months. (Courtesy: DLR Group)