About the Northwoods School of Ministry

What is the purpose of Northwoods School of Ministry?

At Northwoods Community Church, we invite broken-world people to experience complete freedom in Christ Jesus. Our grander vision is to lead people to live beyond themselves for greater kingdom impact! To accomplish our mission and in pursuit of our grander vision, NSM exists to equip men and women who are called to bring hope and healing to the world through the planting of local churches. Read the Northwoods Community Church Statement of Faith and related resources.

With what church movement is the Northwoods School of Ministry affiliated?

Northwoods Community Church is part of the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches (FEC).

Who are the Northwoods School of Ministry partners?

First, Northwoods School of Ministry partners with FEC, staffed by experienced ministry professionals in the field of establishing reproducing churches worldwide. Aspiring Pastors and Church Plant Team Members, who enter and complete the program, can apply for ministry credentials through FEC.

Second, NSM has also established a collaborative relationship with Lincoln Christian University (LCU) in Lincoln, Illinois, just one hour from our Peoria Campus. By making application to Lincoln Christian Seminary, one can pursue a 36 hour (approximately 2-3 years) M.A. in General Ministries. Because of this relationship, students have the potential to achieve a degree through LCU, an accredited University. At the same time, students will receive the best of Northwoods Community Church. In other words, Northwoods School of Ministry specializes in praxis, so students will be doubly blessed.

Where and in what format will classes be held?

A majority of Northwoods School of Ministry classes and ministry practicums will be held on our Peoria Campus or one of our multi-site campuses in the nearby communities of Galesburg, Chillicothe, Canton, and Princeton. A few classes will be available online in collaboration with LCU. And, a few classes can be taken on the LCU Campus in Lincoln in intensive week or block format. Classes taken on our Peoria Campus will generally be in block format with a sensitivity to student schedules.

About the Northwoods School of Ministry Team


Dr. Craig Smith leads the team that will guide you through the two-year Northwoods School of Ministry experience. He brings 32 years of church leadership experience, a true pastor’s heart, and an extensive background in Biblical education from Lincoln Christian (M.Div.) and Asbury Theological (D. Min.) Seminaries. He gives program oversight and leads the development of teaching and training opportunities for students, working alongside Northwoods Church Senior Pastor Cal Rychener and a core group of program area experts, including church planting professionals from the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches as well as senior leadership, staff, and ministry specialists.

Contact Us

school@northwoods.church • 309-243-1550 • 10700 N. Allen Rd • Peoria, IL 61615

About Northwoods Community Church

Inviting broken-world people to experience complete freedom in Christ Jesus.