2018-2019 Catalog 
    May 29, 2024  
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Graduate and Continuing Studies

Rob Simpson, Ph.D., Dean

Living, learning, and faith. Here, they are united, indivisible, one. Faith is at the heart of Olivet Nazarene University.

At Olivet, the priorities go beyond providing the finest programs. The true aim of the University is to train men and women for lives of service to God and humanity. The School of Graduate and Continuing Studies meets the challenge of providing quality, innovative educational programs to fulfill the lifelong learning needs of adults, giving them the expertise they need to impact their world.

Formed in 1986 in response to a growing demand for adult education, the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies desires to accommodate the special requirements of adults who are interested in receiving an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree, but who must also continue to meet their personal and professional commitments.

Recognizing that learning continues throughout life, Olivet Nazarene University serves adults interested in pursuing graduate and undergraduate professional studies. The School of Graduate and Continuing Studies attempts to fulfill the following general objectives:

  • To provide for intellectual, spiritual, and personal growth through quality degree programs that integrate education, values, and faith.
  • To offer educational degree programs to adult students who appreciate the religious and ethical teachings of the University and whose occupations, family responsibilities, personal preferences, and/or geographical location do not permit them to live in residence on the campus.
  • To provide an atmosphere that will stimulate intellectual curiosity and constructive critical thinking through the exploration of the ideas inherent in the liberal arts, professional traditions, and the Christian faith.
  • To develop an appreciation of current research, the value of research, and an acquaintance with basic research methodology.
  • To strengthen the professional competencies of students in their areas of specialization.
  • To develop an increased understanding of human nature and Christian values, with an emphasis on the individual’s ethical and moral responsibilities.

Most of the programs are offered in special packages in which the degree may be earned in about two years by enrolling in classes which meet online, once a week, or in some programs, through classes which meet for one week, two or three times a year. In addition, most programs integrate study group activities. Our programs combine theory with practical experience to give working adults the skills needed to advance in today’s rapidly changing economy.

In addition to programs meeting on campus in Bourbonnais and online, Olivet has authorization to offer the following degree programs throughout the greater Chicago area: Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Education, and the undergraduate degree-completion programs in Business Administration and Nursing. Classes are held in Chicago’s northwest and south suburbs, downtown Chicago, Champaign, and other locations in Illinois.

Olivet’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies maintains offices in Bourbonnais, Oak Brook, and Rolling Meadows, IL, as well as Indianapolis, IN, and Grand Rapids, MI. The toll free number is 877.4.OLIVET (877.465.4838).

The material contained in this section is for information only and does not constitute a contract between the student and the University. At the time of printing, the information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies reserves the right to revise information, requirements, or policies; amend rules; alter regulations; and change financial charges at any time in accordance with the best interests of the institution.

The School of Graduate and Continuing Studies also reserves the right to determine the number of students in each course. If an insufficient number of students enroll for a course, the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies reserves the right to cancel the course, change the time or delivery mode, or provide a different professor of any course.


Olivet Nazarene University is committed to academic excellence. The University is accredited to offer baccalaureate, master’s, and doctorate degrees by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1413, telephone (800) 621-7440 or (312) 263-0456, FAX (312) 263-7462 or http://www.ncahlc.org/.  The Baccalaureate and Master’s programs in nursing at Olivet Nazarene University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791, Phone: 202-887-6791 or http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation.

As part of the School of Education unit, courses within the graduate education programs have been specifically aligned with national content-specific standards and/or Illinois State Content Area Standards. Note: Since Olivet is accountable for aligning program/course content to state and national standards, transfer credit is not accepted for many of the advanced programs. In addition, the Illinois Department of Education has approved Olivet as a degree granting institution in teacher preparation and advanced master’s degrees. The Illinois State Board of Education also has granted entitlement rights for licensure and endorsements. These programs are approved by specialty organizations and/or the State of Illinois:

Art Education, K-12
Curriculum and Instruction
Elementary Education, K-9
English/Language Arts Education, 6-12
Family/Consumer Science Education, 6-12
Library Information Specialist
Mathematics Education, 6-12

Physical Education, K-12
Reading Specialist
School Counseling
Science Education, 6-12
Social Studies Education, 6-12
Spanish Education, K-12
Special Education (LBSI)
Teacher Leadership

Finally, the Indiana Department of Education has approved Olivet as a degree granting institution in teacher preparation and advanced master’s degrees. The Indiana State Board of Education also has granted entitlement rights for licensure and endorsements. These programs are approved by specialty organizations and/or the State of Illinois:

Ethical Building Leader Endorsement
English Language Learner Endorsement

History of Adult Education at Olivet

Adult education began at Olivet as early as 1949, when the North Central Association Studies committee at Olivet recommended that an increased emphasis be placed on adult education and the opportunities for lifelong learning. The focus of adult education at that time was educating returning war veterans and assisting local school teachers with certification requirements.

Graduate education at Olivet had its beginning in 1961, when the Board of Trustees authorized a Master of Arts degree with a major in Religion. The chronology of Olivet’s graduate programs:

1961 Master of Arts in Religion
1968 Master of Arts in Education
1976 Master of Church Management
1985 Master of Pastoral Counseling
1987 Master of Business Administration
1989 Master of Arts in Teaching
1990 Master of Practical Ministries
1996 Master of Arts in Professional Counseling
2000 Master of Science in Nursing
2005 Master of Organizational Leadership
  Master of Ministry
  Master of Arts in Education: Reading Specialist
  Master of Arts in Education: Library Information Specialist
  Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
  Master of Arts in Biblical Studies
  Master of Arts in Youth Ministry
2007 Master of Arts in Philosophy of History and Master of Arts in Political Theory
  Master of Arts in Education: Curriculum and Instruction
  Doctor of Education in Ethical Leadership
2009 Master of Ministry in Spanish
2010 Master of Arts in Family Ministry
  Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry
  Master of Arts in Pastoral Leadership
  Master of Business Administration, Executive track
2011 Master of Divinity
2013 Master of Arts in Urban Ministry
  Master of Arts in Christian Thought
2014 Master of Engineering Management

Degree-completion programs began at Olivet in 1980. The first official off-campus program was an Associate of Arts degree established for cadets from The Salvation Army School for Officers Training based in Chicago. The history of Olivet’s degree-completion programs:

  • Practical Ministries: The associate degree program with The Salvation Army continued until 1989. With the discontinuation of the associate degree for The Salvation Army, a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Practical Ministries (BSPM) specifically designed for The Salvation Army was started in 1990.
  • Nursing Degree-Completion Track: In 1985, a degree-completion track in nursing for RNs began on campus. The current Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree specifically designed for registered nurses began in 1991. In addition, an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree was inaugurated in 2012.
  • Administration - The Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management and the Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Leadership were first offered in 1990. The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree was first offered in 1998.  The Bachelor of Applied Science in Management was relaunched in 2015.
  • Criminal Justice - The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice was first offered in 2015.

Graduate Programs

In addition to offering the Doctor of Education degree in Ethical Leadership, the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies currently offers courses leading to the following master’s degrees: Master of Arts with majors in Religion, Biblical Studies, Christian Ministry, Family Ministry, Pastoral Ministry, Pastoral Leadership, and Urban Ministry; Master of Ministry; Master of Ministry (Spanish); Master of Divinity; Master of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction, and Reading Specialist; Programs leading to teaching endorsements in English as a Second Language (ESL), English Language Learner (ELL) for Indiana, Ethical Building Leader (for Indiana), Bilingual Education, Safety/Driver’s Education, Reading Teacher, Learning Behavior Specialist (LBS1), Teacher Leader (TLED), and some middle school endorsements are also offered; Master of Business Administration; Master of Organizational Leadership; Master of Science in Nursing with tracks in Education, Management/Leadership, and Family Nurse Practitioner.

Undergraduate Programs

In order to meet the needs of working adults, Olivet Nazarene University offers a number of degree completion program offerings as alternatives to the usual residential degree program. The offerings include the Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Bachelor of Science in Practical Ministries (only for Salvation Army Officers). Additionally, starting in 2016, the SGCS began offering an accelerated RN-MSN program, allowing candidates to complete both the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the Master of Science in Nursing degrees.  The degree completion options have several features that are designed to make them ideal programs for adults with other responsibilities.

  • Classes are either online or at locations that are convenient to students’ residences or work.
  • Classes usually meet online or onground once a week, or in extended sessions at a time compatible with students’ work schedules.
  • Course content is geared toward practical application in the everyday life and occupation of a student.
  • Because Olivet recognizes that adult students bring a wide variety of experiences and skills with them, college credit is awarded, under specified circumstances, for some of these appropriate experiences.
  • Students participate in and contribute to every class session using a variety of methods meaningful and appropriate to the adult learner.
  • Student/faculty class contact hours vary based on the objectives and intended outcomes of each course.
  • Adult cooperative learning strategies are utilized.

Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree Programs

The Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree Programs  allow a student enrolled at Olivet Nazarene University (ONU) an opportunity to complete the requirements for both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees at an accelerated pace.

Graduate Programs - SGCS