The mission of the massage therapy school at Northwestern Health Sciences University is:

  • to educate therapists as leaders in the field,
  • to elevate the standards of practice,
  • and to advance the profession through scientific research.

We prepare massage therapists who are committed to service and lifelong learning, and who are qualified to practice both independently and as members of integrated healthcare teams.

Graduates of NHWSU’s massage therapy program will ground their work in scientific knowledge, clinical proficiency, and the highest standards of ethical and professional behavior.


In the late 1990’s, then NWHSU President Dr. John Allenburg envisioned transforming what was then a single college into a multi-program health sciences university, including a school of massage therapy.

Dr. Allenburg assembled a team of massage therapists who became the founding faculty members. They sought to elevate massage therapy education to a university level – providing a depth and quality previously not available in Minnesota.

This vision led to the creation of the School of Massage Therapy in September 2000.


  • By 2003, the school established its own teaching clinic.
  • By 2005, the certificate program became accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation, the first in the state to achieve this standard.
  • In its first 10 years, the school established numerous clinical partnerships – expanding massage therapy into clinics, hospitals, social service agencies and rehabilitation centers.
  • In 2015, the school was reorganized as the Massage Therapy Program in the newly created College of Health and Wellness.