A Brief History

The story of the Nazarene Strengths Institute was birthed in the mind and heart of Dr. “Chip” Anderson.  Chip was born into a Nazarene home, attended Pasadena College (now Point Loma Nazarene University or PLNU), earned his Ph.D. at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), and spent most of his adult career on the faculty at UCLA.

NSI TimelineIt was at UCLA that he heard of Donald Clifton who was doing research at the University of Nebraska concerning the “strengths” of individuals.  Chip became a part of the formation of what we now know as “StrengthsFinder,” an online assessment tool that results in an individual obtaining the definition of his/her five (5) “signature” themes of talent, which, when practiced become an individuals “strengths”.

Norm Shoemaker and Clarence “Clari” Kinzler were invited to a “perceivers” training seminar given by Dr. Clifton in 1993.  As a result, Norm and Clari received a basic understanding of the “strengths” concept.

Dr. Anderson was passionate about the Church of the Nazarene catching the depth of meaning of people’s strengths that would result in their engagement in ministry.  Upon Chip’s passing in 2005, Norm and Clari conceived the idea of opening the door of the Church of the Nazarene to a strengths-based understanding that would lead to engaging and re-engaging the local church in ministry.

President Bob Brower of PLNU was an early adopter of the idea and opened the gate for PLNU to become our model of a strengths-based university  The school would also serve as the launching point to the districts and local Churches of the Nazarene in the Southwest region of the United States.

Soon, President David Alexander opened the door for Strengths-based understandings at Northwest Nazarene University (NNU).  Then, Eastern Nazarene College (ENC),  Southern Nazarene University (SNU), and the Global Ministry Center made commitments to what has now become the NSI network.

Today, the NSI is  comprised of five NSI regional centers, with more anticipated to come on board. Through these five regional centers, it is estimated that there is an awareness of strengths, as well as continued training opportunities and resources, available in 21 districts across the United States and Canada.

On a global scale, the NSI has made an impact for strengths in a large number of Central and South American countries including Columbia, Peru, Paraguay, and Argentina, as well as in both the African, and Asia-Pacific Regions.

 Will you join us on the journey?

More on the Mission of the NSI