Numbers that Tell a Story: Trends in Global Nazarene Higher Education

Numbers that Tell a Story: Trends in Global Nazarene Higher Education

Observing data and trends helps to paint a picture of the impact of Nazarene higher education around the world.

Nazarene institutions of higher education conferred the largest number of degrees in the history of the denomination in 2018. Our 51 Nazarene schools reported an enrollment of 51,839 students and presented a total of 11,740 degrees in 2018. When accounting for the extension efforts of these 51 schools, the Church of the Nazarene operates higher education locations in over 120 world areas.


Over the last decade, the Eurasia Region posted the largest percentage gain in degrees conferred at 574 percent (from 92 degrees in 2009 to 620 in 2019). The Africa Region reported the largest numerical gain of degrees conferred with an increase of 1,274 (up from 598 to 1,872).

The USA/Canada Region accounted for the largest total number of degrees conferred for each of the last 10 years; in 2018 this region produced 57.2% of all degrees conferred worldwide. However, as a percentage of total degrees awarded by all Nazarene institutions, the USA/Canada share has dropped from 71.7% to 57.2% in the last 10 years.

Enrollment in Nazarene institutions continues to increase, with 2018 seeing the second highest enrollment in the history of the denomination at 51,839. This is an increase of two percent over 2017 enrollment and an increase of 8.2 percent over the last decade. The year of highest enrollment was 2012, with a total of 52,439 students. 

The Eurasia Region posted the largest decadal percentage gain in enrollment with a 36.2 percent increase from 2,466 to 3,358. The Africa Region posted the largest decadal numerical gain in enrollment with an increase of 2,081 students (from 8,265 to 10,346). Overall, the USA/Canada Region has had the largest enrollment of the six regions over each of the last ten years.

The number of Nazarene institutions providing these degrees and educating students worldwide has been steady over the last 10 years. While there has been a decrease in the total number of institutions over the past decade, from 54 to 51, there has only been one school closed, while three other schools merged with other institutions and one new institution opened on the Asia-Pacific Region in 2011.

Bill Kirkemo is Coordinator of Research Services for the Church of the Nazarene.

Holiness Today, Jul/Aug 2019