The humble beginning of Northern Luzon Adventist College (NLAC) was established in 1923 which started as a Church School with 37 pupils distributed into five grades with only one teacher, then Prof. Tomas A. Pilar. The lone school building was made of cogon and bamboo with bare earth as its flooring. Today, that site of that school building is already the Artacho National High School (formerly a Barangay High School then).

In 1926 or so, the school moved to its present site and became known as Ilocos Junior Middle School offering Grades I-VII.

In 1931, the school started to offer secondary program and became known as Northern Luzon Academy (NLA). Mrs. Cora Lugenbeal, wife of an American, Elder Edward Lugenbeal, became the first principal who served until 1939.

The idea for a college program in NLA was an intitiative of its then principal and later its founding president, Pastor Petronilo J. Barayuga (from 1988-2000). In February 1990, the idea became a proposal of Northern Luzon Mission Executive Committee (NLM-Ex Com) with the plan for NLA to become a mission college. On April 11, 1992, the said proposal was endorsed to and approved by then North Philippine Union Mission (NPUM), now a Conference; and later a deliberation of that matter, as brought up by Pastor Barayuga, before the Far Eastern Division (FED) then in Singapore, on May 6 of the same year 1992. Though, the idea for a collegiate program already started in summer 1990 with the first college instructor, Pastor Nestor C. Rilloma. That was, when Bible subjects were offered to non-Adventist school graduates who were employed at NLM and NLA then to qualify themselves working in the Adventist denomination.

The college further received its accreditation to operate from the Department of Education (DepEd), the International Board of Education (IBE) of the General Conference (GC) of the Seventh-day Adventists, and the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP) through the Association of Christian Schools, Colleges, and Universities-Accrediting Agencies, Inc. (ACSCU-AAI).

The following is a list of principals and presidents of then NLA and now NLAC: Tomas A. Pilar (pioneer teacher) from 1923-1931; Cora G. Lugenbeal (first lady principal, an American) from 1931-1939; Roman E. Senson (first Filipino principal of an Adventist academy in the Philippines) from 1939-1942; {World Wars Years from 1943-1944}; Jose Herrera from 1945-1948; Urbano M. Oliva from 1948-1952; Juan O. Afenir from 1952-1953; Victor C. Cabansag (the only principal that served the institution twice) from 1953-1956 & 1966-1972; Demetrio M. Echanova, Jr. from 1956-1958; Bangele B. Alsaybar from 1958-1963; Justiniano Tawatao from 1963-1966; Juanito Afenir from 1972-1976; Alejandro P. Miguel from 1976-1978; Victor A. Areola from 1978-1980; David R. Rafanan (an administrator that serves twice the institution as principal of then NLA and as 3rd president of NLAC) from 1980-1984 & 2005-2006; Nova V. Tambaoan (the second lady principal and first Filipina lady principal) from 1984-1987; Angelina M. Corpuz & Florendo H. Par (the only administration that come in tandem and duo) from 1987-1988; Petronilo J. Barayuga (served first as principal of NLA then became the founding and first president of NLAC) from 1988-2000; Arnulfo N. Castillo from 2001-2005; David R. Rafanan from 2005-2006; Nestor C. Rilloma (first academic supervisor of budding NLAC before becoming president from 2006-2012; Claribel M. Dingoasen (first lady president of NLAC) from 2013-2015; and Nepthali J. Mañez from 2016-current time).

Though mellowed with age, the school is on her toes seeking new ways and means to give the youth to whom she owes her existence a service that is higher than the biggest human thought can comprehend…through the guiding four-fold objectives of developing harmoniously the physical, intellectual, social and {emotional}, spiritual dimensions of life that will produce responsible citizens of the land and abled Christian leaders of the church and the community.

Today, it can never be thought that the former NLA, now NLAC, has grown and prospered this much in terms of enrollment, facilities, faculty and staff, programs and courses offered among others. It all started with sincere and genuine faith in God as exercised by the pioneering administrators, teachers, staffs, students, supporters, donors, and alumni local and abroad.

Through the years, NLAC has become a model institution with regards to rendering Christian education to all learners who come and go through and leave the four corners and portals of this College. As any student and who studies and who studied at NLA-C, one may say: “We enter to learn, and we depart to serve; carrying with us the true traits of being an NLAian/NLACian which is the love to serve others and fellowmen but foremost to God.”

Indeed, NLAC has been and was built foremost by faith to the Lord God Almighty and with the initiatives, efforts, and sacrifices of human leaders in the past and at current the time. That despite difficulties and crises that come along way, any on-going adminsitartors/administration believe in the power and divine providence of the Almighty. To God all the glory!