Northern Christian College
60 Years of Christ-Centered Development
For 60 long years, an institution of higher learning in Northern Luzon has been unselfishly dedicating itself to Christ-centered development not only among the youths that come under its wings to learn but also among the hordes of believers hungry for spiritual nurturing and enlightenment. This is the Northern Christian College (NCC) with its unique mission of turning out professionals steeped in moral and spiritual values and ministers who are dedicated to and focused on their faith and ministry.
The Northern Christian College, one of the private institutions of higher learning in Ilocos Norte, is located at the northwestern portion of Laoag City proper. Its operations started in 1946 after the liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese. A group of evangelical leaders in the Ilocos thought of putting up a college offering both religious and secular courses. The plan was presented to the Convention of the Churches of Christ of Northern Luzon in 1946. This was approved with great enthusiasm and came into realization on March 14, l946.
NCC opened its doors to the youths of Northern Luzon on July 8, 1946. On August 19, 1946, the College was incorporated under the laws of the Philippines through the efforts of Rev. Silvestre Morales, Dr. Juan F. Santos and Atty. Evaristo Tagatac with the following members of the Board of Trustees: Bishop Cecilio Lorenzana as chairman; Rev. Pablo Bringas, vice-chairman; Atty. Evaristo Tagatac, secretary; and Mrs. Manuela Ablan and Mr. Cesario Paguyo, members.
During its first year of operation, the College had in its curriculum the first year preparatory courses in Law, Medicine, Nursing, Business and Commerce, Education, Engineering, Junior Normal, General Course and the Ministry with emphasis on Christian character. All these courses were recognized by government.
Dr. Juan F. Santos was installed as the first president of NCC and he served for 32 years. In the first ten years, the school operated as a cooperative until it became a non-stock, non-profit corporation and a church-related educational institution in 1956. Three more presidents and two officers in charge came after Dr. Santos.
Milestones were made under each of the five preceding administrations. But even with funding assistance from private and foreign agencies, especially during the incumbency of the third president, losses were incurred under each administration resulting to very big amounts that would scare any incoming administrator with weak resolve. Financial assistance came from the Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE), the Association for Christian Schools and Colleges (ACSC), the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (UBCHEA) and Evangelische Zentralstelle fur Entwicklungshilfe (EZE) of Germany.
NCC’s life as an institution is one of a bright start gradually leading to severe financial distress and to revival – a story of transformation from a severely financially strapped institution that was heavily dependent on external financial assistance especially from abroad and in the red for at least 16 years until 1997. It took one brave, committed man who was molded in the corporate world to revive the gasping institution. Today, it is a progressive, vibrant, and stable school with millions of surplus. It is the "New Northern Christian College."
Unknowing of the problems ahead of him, the incumbent president, Dr. Caesar I. Agnir, was asked why after 32 fruitful and powerful years in the corporate world, accepted the presidency of a small college. His response was, "to answer a call to an important ministry and to reinforce the emotional investments of my forebears". He was installed on September 27, 1995 as the fifth president of NCC.
After taking stock of the situation and unmindful of the destabilization attempts of some detractors to sabotage his efforts of cleansing the school, he installed new operating systems and procedures and put into practice the theories and principles fortified by his experiences and exposure as a high-level professional manager in a corporate world. At the end of his third full financial year, the almost R6 million accumulated loss and more than R6 million in depreciation account deficit he inherited in September 1995 had been totally erased. By the end of May 2006, NCC had a net income of R17.8 million and a total asset of over R114 million. As of June 28, 2006, NCC had the highest level of cash surplus of R47.10 million in all its financial history. It has so far deployed capital expenditures of over R75 million without any bank loans, using only internally generated funds. There has been absolutely no financial assistance from outside, either local or foreign, for President Agnir put an end to the "begging bowl". About R44 million is invested in the money market earning R3-4 million per year.
Human Resource Development
Under President Agnir’s presidency, the faculty and staff have enjoyed bonanzas through annual compensation increases. These are sometimes given twice, even thrice a year, even when there are no tuition fee increases. This is also true with performance and Christmas bonuses. There are even faculty members and staff whose salaries have been quintupled or more since he took over.
In terms of professional development, NCC gives 100 percent free tuition fee to its faculty enrolled in the College’s graduate programs, and 50% discount if they are enrolled in other institutions. They are also encouraged to attend, all expenses paid, relevant seminars, conferences and conventions although the College is wary of trainings that are recycled and are used as moneymaking business.
One program that is the envy of other schools is the partially funded group foreign educational trips of deserving faculty and staff given every two years. On November 22 to 26, 2003 the group went to Bangkok, Thailand; August 17 to 22, 2005 to Beijing and Shanghai, China. Another group is scheduled to go to Hong Kong this July 2007.
The Adamson Hall built in the 1920s, NCC’s oldest structure, and three other buildings, i.e., Founders’ Hall, Science building and the EZE building, all depreciated, have been fully restored/renovated. After its renovation, the Founders’ Hall, once condemned by the Commission on Higher Education as risk to life and limb, now houses a mini hotel lobby, bar and restaurant laboratory, and hotel laboratory for the practicum of the Bachelor of Science in Tourism and Hotel and Restaurant Technology (BSTHRT) students. The restoration/renovation of the other old buildings was the first step in Dr. Agnir’s infrastructure development program.
Among the new buildings, a Community Health Center for the training of nursing and midwifery students was constructed in a northern town of Ilocos Norte. The auditorium was extended to be able to seat 1,000 people at one time with state-of-the-art sound system. With a wall separating it at the back is the New Media Center for midweek prayer meetings, Bible studies, seminars, meetings and conferences. Above the auditorium are the Library and 12 additional classrooms for the Graduate School.
Completed in July 2005 is the five-storey Science and Technology worth R20 million and equipped with facilities worth R5 million. It houses the laboratories for the science classes and the facilities for the Medical Transcription Course. NCC was the first of two institutions offering the Medical Transcription Course in Northern Luzon.
In keeping with the advances in science and technology, NCC installed major technological and laboratory equipment such as state-of-the-art hospital simulation facilities, internet connections, and more units of computers for administrative and instructional use,
high tech speech laboratory, customized chemistry and modern nutrition laboratories. High ranking education officials who visited the simulation hospital say that it is the best in the northern part of the Philippines if not in the whole country.
NCC maintains an E-Library where students and faculty have internet access. The faculty members are given a certain number of hours of free internet access.
NCC has a dormitory that is open for female faculty, staff, and students. A newly acquired mini bus is being used by the College for transporting students and faculty for educational trips, community extension work, and for Lakbay Ebanghelio, the College of Theology community service to far flung barangays.
One thing that is emphasized in the rebuilding of NCC is the uniqueness of how it is being done. Every peso spent in the process is internally generated. There are no bank loans, no outside assistance and no debt incurred. An unsolicited remark of a supplier of construction material to a building contractor says it all: "NCC is the cleanest institution in Ilocos Norte. Not only do they pay their bills on time; they also do not expect, much less demand, any commissions or kickbacks."
Being a Christian school, NCC’s flagship programs are under the College of Theology. These are: Bachelor of Arts in Theology (ABTh); Bachelor of Pastoral Theology (BPTh); Bachelor of Religious Education- major in Early Childhood Education (BRE-ECE); and Master of Theology (MTh).
The theological program now emphasizes pastoral theology. This is NCC’s immediate response to the call of its faith community for workers who will minister to the hordes of believers hungering for spiritual nurturing and enlightenment. Another new feature in the Theology curriculum is a more vigorous practicum program called Lakbay Ebanghelio for all Theology students at all levels. The College of Theology responds to invitations from various UCCP churches to worship with them.
To complement the curricular innovation, the College of Theology embarked on a daring and long range "church-planting" program wherein the Theology group regularly conducts Bible studies and mini services every Saturday afternoon in communities where there are no evangelical churches. This is done until the end of the semester and resumed the following year. When the time is ripe and the community feels a need for a place of worship, then the "harvest" is done.
To encourage students to go into the Theology Program NCC gives a monthly stipend of P900 to deserving students. This is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from generous benefactors such as the Agnir clan. The donations are duly acknowledged and receipted for by the Cashier’s Office and the stipends are distributed personally by the Vice President for Administration .
At the Graduate School three programs are offered: Doctor of Education, Master of Arts in Education with different major fields of specialization, and Master in Public Administration. It is NCC’s pride that majority of the school administrators in Northern Philippines are products of its Graduate School including the Regional Director of the Department of Education of Region 1.
Other courses offered are: Bachelor of Arts with different fields of specialization, Bachelor of Elementary Education, Bachelor of Secondary Education with major fields of concentration, Bachelor of Science in Commerce, Bachelor of Science in Office Administration with a 2-year Certificate in Computer Secretarial Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Social Work, Bachelor of Science in Nursing with Associate in Health Science Education and Graduate in Midwifery. NCC is the only school offering Bachelor of Science in Social Work. Starting first semester, school year 2006-2007, NCC offered the 6-month Medical Transcription Course and the 160-hour Medical Transcription Finishing Course. It also offers High School, Elementary, and Kindergarten
In the licensure examinations conducted each year, NCC is proud of the performance of its graduates in Nursing and Education, especially for the administrative positions. Starting in second semester of 2006-2007, the school commends these graduates who pass the licensure examinations and those who do outstanding work in their field of discipline by formally recognizing them through a program. They are dubbed the New Breed of NCC’s Flag Bearers (NBNFB). This will be a continuing activity to inspire and encourage the graduates of NCC. ( Virginia A. Duldulao, Ph D)
For more information about NCC, email them at email@example.com