Today marks an important beginning for Multnomah—for two reasons. First, on this day we begin operating as Multnomah University. And second, as Multnomah University we now occupy a significant footprint in Reno, Nevada, right in the heart of the mountain west.
Our Reno-Tahoe presence has been a long time in the making. Conversations began over nine years ago when several church and business leaders from northern Nevada approached Multnomah about the possibility of creating a Bible college in Reno.
“Many of our young people leave Reno for their college education,” says Multnomah alum Tony Slavin, one of the original trustees who serves on the pastoral staff of Grace Community Church, “but then they would never return to Nevada. We needed a place in Reno where they could be equipped to minister in the church here.”
For seven years, Multnomah, pursuing regional accreditation with NWCCU, could not launch extension education. However, Dr. Larry Ayers, a Multnomah adjunct faculty with higher education experience, spent a year in Reno organizing their board and securing approval from the State of Nevada to operate Meadows Bible Institute (MBI) as a state-authorized Bible institute, the only faith-based institution of its kind.
Then, last February, Multnomah’s board of trustees approved a recommendation to take over the facility in Reno for the purpose of offering accredited, biblical education for northern Nevada. After MBI’s board accepted this recommendation, Multnomah and Meadows negotiated an agreement that would transfer all its assets to Multnomah. We signed this historic agreement the evening of June 30, 2008, with joy, prayer, and celebration.
Now the work begins. Jason Daniels will continue as administrative director of the Reno-Tahoe site, reporting to me and working with each of the Portland campus departments. In cooperation with our accrediting agencies, we hope to begin offering accredited courses, perhaps as early as this fall.
Rejoice with us! God has, I believe, opened a portal of opportunity to enlarge Multnomah’s mission and ministry into the mountain west region of the United States!