Prof. John Runcie

John Runcie
Prof. John Runcie B.R.E., M.Ed.TESL
  • TESOL Professor



B.R.E. -Multnomah Bible College; M.Ed.TESL -Concordia University

Favorite Quote

“If I had a thousand lives to live I would live them all for Christ.” –Hudson Taylor

Where I come from

I was born in Stockton, California, but most of my youth was spent in the city of San Jose. My family was not a Christian family, even though God's name was spoken often....(in moments of anger). Looking back, I realized that I had grown up in a dysfunctional family. After graduation from high school, I began dating a young lady who came from an incredible loving Christian home. I had never before experienced the unconditional love and peace that I saw in that home. Through their family testimony and the preaching of God's Word from their pastor, I came to realize that I was a sinner who desperately needed a Savior. During that next year, I came to Christ and to a marriage altar. My wonderful wife and I have now been married for 45 years!

After serving a tour of duty in Vietnam, my wife and family moved from San Jose to Portland. The man who discipled me as a new believer had also just moved to Portland. He talked me into joining him at Multnomah Bible College. I graduated from Multnomah in 1975 with a Bachelors degree in Religious Education. Following graduation, I began a 28 year career at United Parcel Service. In 2003, I suffered a career ending injury at UPS and was forced to retire. Pamela Reeve and Joyce Kehoe, long time Multnomah faculty and staff, encouraged me to go back for my Master’s degree. At the age of 55, I returned back to school, and in 2005, I graduated with my M.Ed. TESL degree from Concordia University. Since that time, I have had the privilege to teach at numerous college and university campuses including Portland Community College and Multnomah. I often tell people, "If God can take an 'old' broken-down truck driver and turn him into an English teacher, then God can do anything!"

Why I teach at Multnomah

Multnomah has graduates from the MA TESOL program who are now teaching all over the world. It is my privilege and joy to have a small part in preparing them to become excellent teachers.

Current ministry outside class

My wife and I are active members at Damascus Community Church. I also enjoy connecting with many ethnic church pastors in the Portland and Vancouver area. One of my ministries has been to teach ESOL classes in the local ethnic churches.


One of the areas that I have focused on in the field of ESOL has been pronunciation and communication. A survey I did during my master's program found that many ESOL teachers feel that there is nothing that really works to improve student pronunciation. Since that time, I have had the opportunity to teach numerous pronunciation and communication classes, and this has given me the opportunity to pilot a philosophy and approach to teaching pronunciation which I believe does show measurable improvement.

People who inspire me

I was greatly motivated and inspired by Dr. John G. Mitchell the founder of Multnomah. As I recall, he was an "old" machinist when he was saved. I have also been tremendously motivated by the testimonies of men like George Mueller and Hudson Taylor.

Favorite quote:

I foolishly asked Dr. Mitchell a question one day in class about how he had memorized so much scripture. He soundly rebuked me (in love) by saying, "Humph!! I NEVER memorize scripture! I read my Bible over and over and over!"

Favorite book in the Bible

My favorite book of the Bible is Ephesians. I meditated and memorized through Ephesians during my UPS truck driving days. I am still deeply moved today by the incredible riches and Spiritual blessings that we have as our inheritance in Christ!

Extra-curricular, non-ministry activities

My wife and I spend most of our non-ministry or working time with our family. We are very blessed to have two grown and married children, an awesome daughter in law, a terrific son in law, and five incredible grandchildren.