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Center for Open and  Relational Theology

Northwind Theological Seminary and The Center for Open and Relational Theology have an Articulation Agreement to offer Certificate and Degree Programs.


  • Certificate programs are offered through Northwind Institute.

  • Degree programs are offered through Northwind Seminary. 

The Center for Open and Relational Theology began in 2019. It fosters networks, develops resources, sponsors projects, and promotes events that deepen and broaden open and relational theologies. It appreciates and builds from the important work of previous open and relational thinkers.

“Open and Relational Theology” is an umbrella label under which a variety of theologies and believers reside. This variety shares at least two ideas in common:

  1. God experiences time moment by moment (open)

  2. God, us, and creation relate, so that everyone gives and receives (relational)


Most open and relational thinkers also affirm additional ideas, such as the idea love is our ultimate ethic, creatures are free at least to some extent, all creation matters, life has purpose, genuine transformation is possible, science points to important truths theology needs to incorporate, and more.

Dr. Thomas J Oord is the Director of the Center. He holds a ​Masters of Divinity from Nazerene Theological Seminary; a Masters of Arts in Religion, and a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University.

While pursuing graduate studies, he was a part-time associate pastor in Bloomington, Ca. Oord taught philosophy at Eastern Nazarene College for three years. In 2002, he returned to the Northwest to teach at his undergraduate alma mater. He taught at Northwest Nazarene University for sixteen years and serves now as Senior Research Fellow for the university’s Wesley Center.

Dr. Oord is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. He serves in various consulting and administrative roles for academic institutions, scholarly projects, and research teams.

Certificate Programs