Northwestern Names New Vice President for Academic Affairs

Northwestern College has announced the hiring of Dr. D. Nathan Phinney as vice president for academic affairs. Phinney, the provost at Malone University in Canton, Ohio, will start his new position July 15.

Phinney will lead Northwestern’s academic program, seeking to raise the profile of the student learning experience and allocate the resources necessary to support academic excellence. He will also oversee such areas as the library, graduate and adult studies, computing services, audiovisual services, academic support and the registrar’s office.

“Nate has distinguished himself not only as a gifted teacher and scholar, but also as an academic leader skilled at strategically navigating current realities to achieve mission and vision,” says President Greg Christy. “He is passionate about colleges like Northwestern that prepare students for careers while at the same time inspiring them to care about things they may never have considered before. He also has a deep understanding of Reformed Christianity that makes him a great fit for Northwestern. I look forward to working with him to further our mission and unity as a Christian academic community.”

Provost at Malone since 2015, Phinney oversees the faculty as well as the operations of the university library, registrar’s office, distance learning and the Center for Student Success. He has been instrumental in the development of Malone’s undergraduate research program and has overseen the implementation of new academic programs. Phinney served as dean of Malone’s College of Theology, Arts and Sciences for six years and has been a member of the religion faculty since 2004. He won Malone’s Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching in 2007.

“I am excited to serve at Northwestern College—an institution, like Malone, that has the Christian faith at the center of its mission. I resonate with Northwestern’s vision to be the leading Christian college focused on student success and Christ-centered work for the common good,” says Phinney. “I grew up in North Dakota and consider myself a western prairie native, so Orange City feels a bit like coming home. I have been impressed with Northwestern’s authentic Christian community, strong academic programs, financial health and great facilities, and I’m eager to collaborate with others to enrich the college’s academic excellence.”

Among Phinney’s goals as he begins his new role are to get to know Northwestern’s faculty and staff well, and to make immediate contributions to the college’s key strategic priorities.

Phinney earned doctoral and master’s degrees in Old Testament from Yale University, as well as a master’s degree in religion from Yale Divinity School. He received a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies at Taylor University, where he later served as an admissions counselor and dean of admissions for the Fort Wayne, Ind., campus.

Phinney replaces Dr. Mark Husbands, who will become president of Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, July 1.