One of the many new faces on Northwestern’s campus belongs to professor Doug Anderson. As a new addition to the business and economics department, Anderson stands out with his past education of seminary and his past experience with nonprofits.
A professor of practice, Anderson does not have a degree in education, and this is in fact his first official gig as an educator. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa in political science, and his graduate degree in Christian ministries from Evangel University.
Without previous knowledge of the college’s opportunities, Anderson’s journey to NW was unexpected. He first began his career in managing a congressional campaign in Maryland. After realizing this was not his calling, he enrolled in seminary school and began working with nonprofits.
Anderson always knew he wanted to teach, and in a way, he has been teaching his entire career in the nonprofit industry.
A job at a nonprofit was just a way to pay the bills until he finished his master’s degree, but Anderson soon found a temporary home in the nonprofit industry.
He spent most of his time in executive leadership roles: fundraising, program management, turning around failing nonprofits and teaching those around him how to run a successful nonprofit.
“I really just fell in love with it and how you can impact people and change their lives,” Anderson said.
He worked for a variety of nonprofits centering around youth development, troubled teenage girls and poverty elimination. Through his work at nonprofits, Anderson had opportunities to teach in smaller ways, but he always knew his goal one day was to teach on a larger scale.
“I realized, through praying a lot, that I didn’t want to teach the next generation of pastors. I wanted to teach the next generation of business leaders and nonprofit leaders,” he said.
Out of the blue, Anderson received a message on LinkedIn from a NW faculty member about the job opening and encouraged him to apply. He did apply, but he never thought he would get the job. However, God seemed at work during this process.
Once Anderson applied for the professor position, he received news that his nonprofit job in Kansas City, Missouri was being eliminated.
After different levels of phone and on-campus interviews, and even with a good experience on campus, Anderson still had doubts about getting the job. He was looking into other jobs, yet none of them seemed like the right choice.
When he was offered the job, he knew he was excited for the change, but he consulted his wife about it to see if she thought this move was in God’s will for their life. After talking and praying about it, they started looking for a home in Orange City.
As he learned more about the college, Anderson was intrigued by NW’s mission statement, specifically on “engaging students in courageous and faithful learning.”
“Everyone needs to learn math, marketing, history, and English… and you can learn all these things, but not understand how they integrate deeply into your faith and how we are each uniquely and wonderfully made,” he said.
In preparing for his first year of classes, Anderson is excited to see how NW’s faith integration is evident through their academics.
As Anderson continues his career, he hopes to continue to build personal relationships with students and his fellow faculty members. He hopes he can guide students in understanding that they have a calling from God, whether that is as a business leader, accountant or pastor; everyone has a calling that is unique to them.