Early life and spiritual journey
I was born and raised on the mission field in Africa along with my five siblings. My parents, Dean and Alice Jongeward (MSB 1946), met here at Multnomah, married, and launched into foreign missions from Multnomah. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior as a young boy while attending missionary boarding school in Ethiopia.
In high school after a serious car accident took the life of my brother, I fully committed myself to God, making Jesus Christ the Lord of my life. It was this deep commitment to God which caused me to want to invest my life for whatever God wanted, ultimately leading me into full-time ministry and now spiritual and academic leadership at Multnomah University.
Education and ministry
After my formal education at Wheaton College, Wheaton Graduate School, and Western Seminary, I spent six years as a youth pastor in my home church, West Side Baptist Church, in Yakima, Washington. I still enjoy speaking at youth retreats, camps, seminars, and conferences, and have a special love for youth ministry and missions. I have been involved in all kinds and aspects of ministry; sports, camping, teaching, youth ministry, small groups, missions, preaching, church planting, administration and leadership. Ministry is my heart and passion. I have a special love for cross-cultural missions, and have been involved in ministry trips to southern Africa, Eastern Europe, and Mexico.
I have completed all my Ph.D. coursework and am currently finishing my dissertation on “The Impact of Father Absence on the Formation of Christian Male Leaders” as a Ph.D. Candidate in Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, in Spokane, Washington.
Multnomah history and responsibilities
I joined the Multnomah faculty in the summer of 1985, as the Director of Student Ministries. In those early years, I also taught classes in Youth Ministry, Psychology, Personal Evangelism, Apologetics, Worldview (Philosophy), various PE classes, and was the player coach of the Multnomah tennis team. In addition to serving on the Academic Dean's Council (ADC) for over 20 years, I have also been involved in academic leadership serving as the Chair of the Arts and Sciences Division, Chair of the Christian Ministries Division, and helped develop, start, teach, and lead the Youth Ministries program and the Psychology Minor, phasing it into a major. I have served on numerous committees, helped recruit, train and mentor many faculty, and have loved teaching and doing administration here at Multnomah now for over 26 years.
What I love about working at Multnomah
I believe Multnomah University is the best place for me at this time in my life, to utilize my talents, gifts, training, and life experiences to make the most significant and strategic impact for God and His Kingdom. Multnomah’s academic environment constantly stimulates my thinking and growth. The student environment constantly keeps me energized and desiring to serve others. I will never cease to enjoy hanging out with college students. Faculty friendships, camaraderie, and mutual collegiality are unsurpassed here. I love being here at Multnomah!
Family and personal stuff
I married my wife, Debbie Taplett from Wenatchee, Washington, in the summer of 1976 after I graduated from Wheaton College. We have four grown children Abigail (married to Karl), Andrew (married to Lisa), Adam, and Allegra. I am very committed to my wife and family, and have taken my role as husband and father very intentionally and seriously.
I love people – meeting them, encouraging them, mentoring them, and working with them in ministry. I love to travel on ministry trips and on vacations. I love all kinds of sports, and have played tennis, basketball, and volleyball fairly seriously for many years, but most recently, due to sore knees, I now ride my bike. Some would say I am an avid bike-rider; I would say I do it mostly for recreation and exercise. But I do ride to work almost every day, over 20 miles round-trip to and from Vancouver, Washington.
In summary, my passions are family, ministry/missions, sports, and traveling. One of my personal highlights was taking my family on a six-month sabbatical mission’s trip to Swaziland, Africa – living, serving, and doing missions as a family. It was one of the defining moments of my life and my family’s. My wife and I really enjoy being involved in Living Hope Church in Vancouver, Washington.