Founded in 1999 by Melissa Morriss-Olson, the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University was established to honor Nils Axelson, who retired from the Covenant Benevolent Institutions after serving for 40 years as its president. Throughout his long career, Nils endeavored to create an organizational culture that valued moral responsibility on an individual and collective level. This desire grew not only out of his strong personal convictions, but also from the significant synergy such a combination creates in the workplace. To Nils Axelson, the need for, and benefits resulting from, nonprofit professionals possessing a “moral compass” was clear.
As a sister institution to Covenant Benevolent Institutions, North Park University is uniquely positioned to offer the kind of nonprofit management program Nils envisioned. At North Park, with its rich tradition of academic excellence in a Christian context, a framework of values and moral responsibility provides the foundation for nonprofit management training and education. The Axelson Center is part of the School of Business and Nonprofit Management (SBNM), which offers graduate degrees and certificates in several disciplines including nonprofit administration. SBNM Dean Wesley Lindahl is the Nils Axelson Professor of Nonprofit Management at North Park University and serves on the Axelson Center’s Advisory Board. Pier Rogers, Director of the Axelson Center since 2007, also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in nonprofit management.
Over the years, the Axelson Center has provided professional, non-credit trainings to thousands in the Chicago region. Today, we offer several programs: in-person workshops (spring and fall), an annual conference, custom trainings, and BootCamp for New Nonprofits CEOs. We look forward to serving you.