Author Archive

Six kinds of givers Jesus knew (Part 1 of 3): Faith Raising, Winter 2017

Comments Off on Six kinds of givers Jesus knew (Part 1 of 3): Faith Raising, Winter 2017 Written on January 6th, 2017 by
Categories: Newsletter
steve-cummings - office

Steve Cummings is Vice President of Advancement at Multnomah.

When it comes to giving generously, we can often feel inadequate. But the Bible has great lessons about people who lived attainable, generous lives on a daily basis. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus introduces us to men and women, both mature and immature in their faith. He describes both real and fictional characters engaged in very normal activities, and still they manage to live abundantly generous lives.

The Unsuspecting Giver

Luke 8:1-3 tells us about some of the early actions of the 12 disciples and several ladies. These early recruits were newbies in the faith, straight out of the marketplace. On top of that, the women are described as formerly having evil spirits, diseases and demons. Still, these early adopters, who are taking their first steps of faith, are said to be supporting Jesus “out of their own means,” and Jesus wants to make sure we know them. There are no high and lofty requirements to generosity — you just need to give.

The Called Giver

Luke 9:3 and 10:4 introduce us to an extreme giving request of Jesus. He called His early disciples, over 80 of them, to give up everything for the sake of a short-term mission trip. He sent them all out into the harvest, to share the good news and help people with their needs. Jesus called them to go while taking nothing with them, not a dime or a change of clothes, not even a snack. We are called to support Jesus at times by giving up all that we have. Don’t worry, you won’t be the first or last person Jesus asks or sends out — just one of many who have learned to enjoy the adventure.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series, which will be published in the Spring 2017 issue of the MU Connection.

Reflecting on a year of growth and progress

Comments Off on Reflecting on a year of growth and progress Written on January 6th, 2017 by
Categories: Newsletter


Greetings from Multnomah University.

We continue to experience God’s presence and empowerment as we work together to build a sustainable path for growth and increased mission fulfillment. Watching the Holy Spirit complete His work in the lives of our students through their MU experience encourages and reminds me that God persists in His effort to raise up godly leaders for His kingdom work.

Like Daniel, Esther, Nehemiah and Ezra, we believe God will place our students in unusual places where they can influence society for the sake of the gospel. How does the saying go? “Good acts produce goodwill that produces conversations to share about the Gospel of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

We finished the 2015/16 fiscal year strong, exceeding our revenue goals while keeping expenses below budgeted amounts. We welcomed new and returning financial partners and exceeded our annual student scholarship goal.

This fall our undergraduate student body increased by around 11 percent. Multnomah Biblical Seminary’s student body also grew slightly. Graduate school enrollment did see a decrease, which we are addressing. We rejoice that our enrollment is growing now and is projected to keep increasing.

We continue to work on crafting more intentional and comprehensive strategies to mature our students’ faith and character. Saturating the entire MU educational experience with our biblical and theological understandings remains at the heart of what we do. We also recently gained accreditation approval to begin offering new majors in environmental science and exercise science in the fall of 2017.

Thank you for your prayers, financial support, encouraging emails, and for recommending MU to prospective students.


Rev. G. Craig Williford, Ph.D.

Looking to the Prince of Peace

Comments Off on Looking to the Prince of Peace Written on December 12th, 2016 by
Categories: General


Amid a country deeply divided over the upcoming inauguration of America’s 45th president, we as believers in the King of Kings can find some much-needed encouragement from Isaiah 9:6.

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;

And the government will rest on His shoulders;

And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

As we embrace the Advent season and celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, this truth remains constant: After more than 80 years, the men and women at Multnomah University continue to be transformed in their faith as they trust God rather than allow the ways of the world to sway them.

Our commitment to Multnomah’s core values and goals remains undaunted. Our mission of equipping Christian students to be biblically competent, academically proficient, spiritually formed, and culturally engaged servant leaders, shaped to be a transforming force in their community and world remains stronger than ever.

I want to share just a few ways God continues to bless Multnomah. Our undergraduate enrollment is up by 11 percent. Our new biology program is drawing more students. Giving continues to increase. Our donor base is expanding. More alumni around the country are engaging us through our new smart phone app. Our annual audit was clear and positive, reflecting wise management and stewardship of the resources God entrusted us with.

It’s because of faithful givers like you who give so sacrificially and generously with what God has entrusted to you that we can fulfill the mission of Multnomah. I am deeply grateful for your gifts to assist our students so they can afford to attend Multnomah.

Thank you for remembering Multnomah in your year-end giving. On behalf of our students, faculty and staff, may you be richly blessed this Christmas season!

Growing in generosity,


Rev. G. Craig Williford, Ph.D.

give now

News You Can Use

Comments Off on News You Can Use Written on September 2nd, 2016 by
Categories: Financial Aid, Newsletter, Students


Financial Aid News

  • Parent PLUS Loans Originated between July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017 will accrue a reduced interest rate of 6.31% (down from 6.84% for 2015-16).
  • October 1, 2016:  The 2017-18 FAFSA becomes available ( using 2015 tax data.  Families are encouraged to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for accuracy.

If you have further questions about Financial Aid for your student, contact us at 503-251-5335.

Student Accounts

The Student Accounts Office is here to serve you and answer any questions you may have about paying for school.  Please contact Student Accounts at 503-251-5345 or email us at

Spring 2017 tuition is due December 15, 2016.

Financial aid and payment arrangements, including a payment plan, need to be in place by December 15.  A 1.5% monthly finance charge may be applied to all balances not covered by a payment plan or financial aid. Make a Payment.

24-hour account access:
After logging in, go to the Finance Tab to see your account balance by semester, make an online payment or view statements.

Payment Plan Information

We offer a variety of payment plan options to assist you with the payment of your student account. For a small fee, a payment plan can be set up with automatic payments to manage your student account balance.

Veteran’s Education/Army Tuition Assistance Benefits

If you are utilizing one or both of these benefits, please contact the VA Representative at Multnomah by calling 503-251-5372.

Family Education Privacy Act (FERPA)

If you would like to allow others to have access to your student account information, please fill out the FERPA form:

Connecting through the new MU App

The new MU app is available from the App Store.  Type “Multnomah University” for it to show up.  Cruise around the App to connect to Social Media, Athletics, the MU Calendar, New Wine New Wineskins, Parent Resources, Prayer, Daily Verses, a Bible and more!  Questions?  Contact the Advancement Department at

Connecting with Multnomah through AmazonSmile

Did you know that while you are purchasing items from Amazon you can also be supporting the University every time you shop… at no extra cost to you?  At, you’ll find the exact same low prices, a vast selection and a convenient shopping experience with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price back to the charity of your choice.  Multnomah University is a registered charity, so it’s easy to begin.  Visit on your desktop or mobile phone browser and simply select “Change your Charity” in “Your Account.”  Thanks for supporting your MU student!

Important Dates to Remember – No classes for students

  • October 14 and 17 – Fall Mid-semester Break
  • November 24 and 25 – Thanksgiving Break
  • December 16 – Close of Fall Term
  • January 9-13 – January Term
  • January 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day, No Classes
  • January 17 – Spring Term begins for traditional students

Move in date January 13th for new students and January 14th for returning students. Classes resume on Tuesday, January 17, 2017.

Important Links

Student Store:

Gift Baskets for Your Student:

MU Lions Athletic Schedules:

Helping Students Succeed

Comments Off on Helping Students Succeed Written on September 2nd, 2016 by
Categories: Newsletter, Students


Student Success Center

Multnomah University is continuing to improve on the academic support that we offer to students by formalizing a Student Success Center – now open! We have provided free tutoring in the past, but we are now adding to that effort with academic coaching.  This can include support and training for students in the areas of time management, study skills, writing strategies, life management, ongoing accountability and more!

We aim to maximize the learning experience of all our students. We are located in the JCA Student Center and are available by walk-in and appointment. Please encourage your student to come see us at any time!

Career Services

Is your student looking for career direction?  MU’s Career Services provides career coaching from the time a student enters their first year and throughout their entire time here.  And these services continue to be available even when they become alumni!

Here are some areas Career Services can assist your student in:

  • Are they struggling with finding the best fit in a major?  Coaching in discovering who they are is strength in our department.
  • Would vocational testing tools help? Strength Finder, personality testing, Spiritual gifts, and other discovery tools are available for free at any time. Strengths Finders is included in their freshman Spiritual and Personal Formation course. More specific vocational information is contained in their course on Career Development in either their Junior or Senior year.
  • Service Learning and internships help in the area of practical experience and with recognizing transferable skills.
  • Optimal Resume, an online service, provides an electronic job board that includes information on part-time jobs while in school, as well as full-time career positions.
  • There’s a section of the Student Success Center for informal browsing through vocational information in handouts, books and notebooks full of examples of resumes, articles and other tools.
  • Help in resume writing, cover letters, mock job interviews and networking is available for any stage.

Encourage your student to stop by. A casual conversation with Carley Wecks, the Career Services Coordinator with a degree in counseling and 25 years of experience at MU, might be just the next step for your student in their personal and vocational journey.

The Career Services office is located in the Student Success Center on the first floor of the JCA.

Specific webpages can be seen at

Student Employment at MU

Parents: Be sure your student brings with them original documents they will need to secure employment.  Whether on campus or off, your student will need original, unexpired identification and work authorization documents in order to be hired for pay.

Samples of acceptable documents for completing the Federal I-9 form include:

  • US Passport, or foreign passport with work authorization
  • Social Security Card
  • Driver’s License or Identification Card
  • Certified Birth Certificate
  • US Military Identification Card
  • Military Dependent ID Card

You can also view a list of our open student employment positions here.

Athlete Profiles

Comments Off on Athlete Profiles Written on September 2nd, 2016 by
Categories: Athletics, Newsletter, Pray For MU, Students

Meet some of our student athletes

Three students have graciously shared how they have been impacted by both Multnomah and the Athletics Department.

Katherine Edmonds (basketball)

Katherine_blogMeet Katherine Edmonds, a senior Business Administration and Bible and Theology Major AND a member of our Women’s Basketball Team.  Katherine was recruited to play ball for Multnomah, but before deciding to join, she traveled up from California to visit the campus.  “I fell in love with it,” she says. “From the beautiful campus to the friendly people… it felt like home immediately.”

“When I consider what I like most about MU, I would say it’s the genuine people: my classmates, teammates, professors and coaches,” she continues.  “My coach, Tim Bieri, is an amazing coach and individual.  Through tough personal times, Coach Tim has been a prime example for us athletes to always put God first and put our full trust and faith in him, even when it may seem difficult.  I also appreciate my Business Professor, Donald Lee Sellers.  He is very encouraging and supportive of student athletes and cares about our success in all aspects of our time here at MU.

Like other students, I had opportunities to go to other colleges, but I am SO GLAD I chose Multnomah.  Being here has been a life-changer.  It’s amazing to see what doors God opens for people, and I am thankful he opened this door for me.”

To see Katherine and her Basketball teammates in action on the court, visit for a complete schedule of games.

Manny Olivares (soccer)

Meet Manuel “Manny” Olivares, a Multnomah University Business student and member of our Men’s Soccer team.  “It was soccer that brought me to Multnomah, but it’s the support of everyone around me that has kept me here,” he says.  Manny is the first in his family to graduate high school and attend college.  “The community we have at this school is amazing,” he says.  “My coaches and professors have influenced me to be the best that I can be, pushing me physically and mentally.  Also, they have explained the Bible to me and have shown me how to become closer to God.”


Manny is grateful to his family in Las Vegas and in Mexico, to God and to his friends here at MU.  “Without their support and encouragement to never give up, I would have never been able to come to Multnomah,” he says. “It’s important to pick yourself up whenever you fall, never look back, just keep looking forward.”

Manny’s dream is to play professional soccer and go around the world teaching soccer and sharing his story about what God did for him.  Your prayer support of Manny and the MU Lions Soccer team is helping that dream come true.

Miranda Halverson (volleyball)

Miranda_blogMiranda Halverson is a Multnomah University Business/Accounting student and a member of our Women’s Volleyball team.  “Even though I was recruited to come play volleyball for MU, it was important to me to visit the campus before making a decision,” she says.  “I wanted to love the school for its professors, classes, degrees, the people and the atmosphere. After taking a tour, I was hooked.  I loved the campus!  So, volleyball lead me to the school, but God called me here.”

Currently in her sophomore year, Miranda reflects on what continues to bless her about MU:  “I love the Bible classes and the students the most.  The Bible classes challenge me and reassure my faith.  I feel stronger in my relationship with Christ.  It’s also good to know that the students around me are walking the same journey as well.  The coaches and professors help me to stay focused on my relationship with Christ and grow stronger as an individual.  I am encouraged that God alone is good and I am in His will… that makes me successful.”

Multnomah Athletics

The mission of the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Intramural Sports is to bring students, faculty, staff and alumni together in educational activities that promote healthy lifestyles, enhance a sense of community, foster growth in leadership and teamwork skills, and encourage the pursuit of excellence.

You, parents, are a part of that community, and we hope that you’ll be able to attend some of our sporting events to encourage your student and his or her teammates.  Visit for a complete schedule of sports.

StadiumChair_blogIn addition, if you love watching games but have a hard time sitting on the bleachers, our Athletic Department is now taking orders for individual Stadium Chairs at a purchase price of $50/chair.  Proceeds benefit the Athletic Department.

Contact Debbie Chin at or call 503-251-6400 if you want to place an order.  Allow three weeks for delivery.  A limited amount of chairs will also be available to rent for $5/game.

Connecting with Student Life

Comments Off on Connecting with Student Life Written on September 2nd, 2016 by
Categories: Financial Aid, Newsletter, Students

Watch the Student Welcome video from New Student Orientation last month!

As you and your student navigate this season of transition to college, scan the encouragement and tips below. This material was taken directly from the August 25th Parent Information Session during New Student Orientation on campus.

Tips for parents after launching their child to college:

  • Judy Glanz, MU faculty and parent of a recent MU alum, shared wisdom from her experience, including these three gold nuggets:
    • In the transition to adult relationship, let your student initiate as much as possible, and be ready to respond when they are (even if it’s a phone call at 11 p.m.)!
    • MU is academically rigorous. As adults, students need to learn to advocate for themselves.
    • In this transition, trust your parenting, trust God, trust us, and – most importantly – pray.  Students push boundaries.  It’s part of healthy growth.
  • Remember that for some parents, launching a child into college is a joyous occasion. For others, it is a time of grief. Many parents experience a combination of both emotions. What is most important is to allow each of these emotions to be okay, as they are a very natural part of this transition. You don’t need to feel guilty if you’re happy, and you don’t need to mask your sadness if you’re grieving. Acknowledging and processing both ends of this emotional spectrum will also help family members and your student know that it’s okay for them to experience a wide range of emotions too.

Adjustments for Students after being launched to College:


Your son or daughter may experience a different way of living than what they have experienced in the past. They may need to deal with:

  • Potentially losing their support system at home.
  • The complicated dynamics of older relationships changing.
  • As they anticipate new freedom and responsibilities, they may fear making errors or not knowing what to do.
  • If they live on campus, they are navigating the loss of privacy, comforts of home, or the many things you did for them which they now need to do on their own.

What Multnomah provides:

  • A balance of lots of support and challenge toward the goal of greater personal growth.
  • A safe community in which to have open conversations about how they feel and what they are learning.
  • We will remind them that they aren’t alone…they are surrounded by other students going through similar transitions who are asking similar questions.
  • We will also provide many opportunities to enjoy social activities and outings, which will cultivate a sense of belonging to the Multnomah community.

What you, as a parent, can provide:

  • Your listening skills (if they want to talk)
  • Assurance of your love and belief in them
  • Encouragement to talk to a staff member if there is a concern they need help with – we have many capable and caring personnel ready to help!
  • Care packages!


Your son or daughter may experience a different way of learning than what they have experienced in the past. They may need to deal with:

  • Balancing pride of being in college with fear that they may not be able to keep up with the academic demands
  • Thinking they are coming to summer camp and not fully appreciating the requirement for serious study and academic discipline
  • How to schedule their time and balance academic requirements with social and other responsibilities throughout the day…this is a very different pace than high school.

What Multnomah provides:

  • Academically rigorous yet very personal faculty who care about each student
  • Tutoring, time management and study skill resources provided through the Student Success Center
  • Disability services and other accommodation capabilities

What you, as a parent, can provide:

  • Encouragement, rather than nagging
  • Suggestions to utilize resources available, like setting up a meeting with a professor or scheduling a study skills session in the Student Success Center

Spiritually and Personally

Your son or daughter may experience a different way of growing than what they have experienced in the past. They may need to deal with:

  • The struggle to maintain their own spiritual disciplines as they spend time in the Word in classes, chapels and assignments.
  • They may be challenged as they evaluate their thoughts and beliefs accepted since childhood and wrestle with deep spiritual issues.
  • They may be faced with peers or faculty who have different theological perspectives that provide ways of thinking they’ve never considered.

What Multnomah provides:

  • A wide range of faculty and staff willing to mentor, disciple or even just pray with your child
  • A dynamic spiritually formative chapel program offering multiple venues for worship and growth
  • A free counseling center, providing counsel from a professional Christian counseling staff
  • An open and honest community of peers, staff and faculty, living out a shared mission

What you, as a parent, can provide:

  • Prayer for wisdom, peace, personal discipline and a deep sense of God’s presence and love.
  • Counsel, as appropriate.
  • Respect for their decisions and reminding them that their spiritual journey is their own to discover with the Lord – and that you support them in that growth!
  • Assurance that you are there for them and supportive of their good decisions. If in the process of growing they make unwise decisions, you won’t abandon or reject them.

Finally, remember:

God loves your children even more than you do. Put them back in His hands, but keep them close in your heart, and continue to reach out to them in love.

Connecting through Worship: MU Chapels

At Multnomah, we highly value worshiping God in the context of our community. As we study His Word and grow in knowledge, we also seek to grow in relationship with Him by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in and through our lives. Christian education is transformational and demands a response of the heart and will. Chapels provide intentional opportunities beyond the classroom for us to come together for encouragement and support so we may learn to live authentically and fully for Him.

If you are in the area, please join us for a Chapel service.  Here are a few we think you’d enjoy attending:

  • Thursday, September 29, 2016, 10:00 a.m. – University Chapel, Dr. G. Craig Williford, speaker
  • Thursday, October 6, 2016, 10:00 a.m. – Alumni Chapel, “Alumnus of the Year: Tim Mackie”
  • Monday, November 21, 2016, 10:00 a.m. – Thanksgiving Chapel

For a complete list of Chapel offerings, please contact Student Life at

Connecting Parent to Parent

Comments Off on Connecting Parent to Parent Written on September 2nd, 2016 by
Categories: Newsletter, Students

Dear MU Parent,

steve-cummings - office

I am extremely fortunate that I am able to enjoy not only serving at MU as Vice President of Advancement, but also as an MU parent.  Our two youngest, Jamilyn (junior Global Studies major) and Jackson (sophomore Pastoral Ministry major) attend Multnomah and live on campus.  This is their second year here at MU, and they could not be any more different in how they approach school.  One is a “planner” and gets the books bought, papers written and schedules time to study.  The other “wings it” and has discovered how to get A’s and B’s without ever buying a single book, leaves papers till the night before and manages to do well on exams with little to no studying – which drives me absolutely nuts!  But guess what?  It works for him.  (Oops… I spilled the beans on who I was talking about.)

Now, you need to know I am a recovering “control parent.”  Ask my wife Julia; she will tell you.  She is a marriage and family therapist, and I take my cues from her when it comes to raising our kids.  The single hardest thing for me, as my kids come to their college years, is letting go.  In the early years, I had to learn to not send the text message asking them about getting a job, buying their books, making sure they study for classes, and just about every other need that comes up.

I have come to discover that I can’t play the Holy Spirit in their life.  This is where the road ends for us recovering “control parents.”  If I truly have trusted my kids to the LORD, and if I truly believe they belong to Him and I am merely a steward of their lives – I have to let go and let the LORD do His work in them, even when they stumble and fall, and I see it before they do.


My two youngest kids, Jamilyn and Jackson.

Remember when they were toddlers and wobbled across the room and fell and cried?  They have to do the same thing now while they are in college.  There is a strong community of believers here at Multnomah. My kids will find their way, and I believe they’ll come out of MU with a deeper, richer meaning that they can own because they were left to experience life themselves.  In the end – they figure it out.

That brings me to the second thing I want to say.

The Multnomah campus is fertile soil for kingdom learning and the transforming power of God’s Spirit.  It’s been going on for 81 years and hasn’t stopped.  Talk to any alumni today from any decade, and they will tell you the same thing: The DNA of Multnomah is the community that is created here on these 25 acres, year in and year out.

Our kids could not be in a better place on this earth to fall deeper in love with Jesus and discover and live out their true identity as children of God in whatever discipline they are gifted to serve His world.

Early in Jackson’s first semester last year, he was struggling with doubts about his faith.  I remember taking him to the Burgerville across the street from campus one night and just listening to his heart and not trying to “fix” him and tell him why he was off.  I just sat there and listened.  When he was done talking about his doubts, which would send fear into any parent’s heart that have raised their son or daughter in the faith, I told him “I’m glad you’re struggling with owning your faith, Jack.  You could not be in a better pace on this earth to ask those questions and not feel out of place or judged.”  

He looked at me, bewildered. It was not what he was expecting me to say.  I pushed him away from me as his primary source of wisdom and encouragement toward the godly faculty at MU, who have been speaking truth into students’ lives for decades, while allowing them to ask the tough questions – all the while creating a safe environment and a “no-shame” zone to do so.

Guess what?  God showed up in Jackson’s life. And because he was given that space to doubt and question and ask – he has a much deeper understanding of who God is, his identity in Christ, and he’s more passionate about fulfilling his calling in life.  In a sense – he has owned it.  He’s God’s child first and Steve and Julia’s son second.  I have to remember that daily.

So, moms and dads – I am here to say that I understand those of you who have a hard time letting go, or who need to send a daily text to check in on your son or daughter.  Fight the urge.  They are in the best of kingdom shaping hands.  They will figure it out.  If they don’t text back, it’s not because they don’t love you.  They are getting deeply involved in the community here – and that’s a GOOD thing!

Steve Cummings
Vice President of Advancement

In each edition of the MU Parent Connection, we give the opportunity to one of you to reflect on something the LORD puts on your heart to say to other MU parents in the “Parent to Parent” section.  If you would like to contribute something in a future edition, please contact Christine Thiessen at  We’d love to hear your story!

What could God accomplish through your giving?

Comments Off on What could God accomplish through your giving? Written on September 2nd, 2016 by
Categories: Alumni, Newsletter, Pray For MU

The following is an excerpt from Chris McDaniel’s book, “Ignite Your Generosity – A 21-Day Experience in Stewardship”:

steve-cummings - officeIn the late 1800s, a young girl named Hattie May Wiatt attended a very small Pennsylvania church, which was regularly overcrowded. She heard that future plans included building a larger church and Sunday school room.

Sometime after learning this, she got very sick and died. After her funeral, her mother brought 57 cents to the pastor of their church. Hattie May Wiatt had been saving this money as her contribution toward a larger facility that could hold more children. The pastor took the gift and had it changed into pennies. Then he took the pennies to the members of the church and stated that they had received their first contribution toward a larger facility. He offered the 57 pennies for sale.

The 57 pennies sold for $250. This initial gift of 57 cents led to the formation of the Wiatt Mite Society, which went on to raise additional funds as the congregation grew to over 5,600 by 1912. This same church founded several institutions including Samaritan Hospital, now called Temple University Hospital, which has helped cure and minister to thousands, as well as Temple University, which has educated more than 80,000 young people.

The thought of such an eternal impact is mind-boggling. God used a little girl with a sacrificial heart to accomplish great things through a simple act of faith. What could he accomplish through you?

Thank you for your sacrificial giving to Multnomah University.

Steve Cummings

P.S. For a free copy of McDaniel’s book, simply email our Advancement Department at or call 800-352-4253.

Focus on the Provider. Not the problem.

Comments Off on Focus on the Provider. Not the problem. Written on September 1st, 2016 by
Categories: Alumni, Pray For MU, Students

Dear Multnomah Family Member,

You’re probably familiar with a certain miracle God did through Elijah in 1 Kings. But maybe, like me, it’s been a while since you’ve thought about the connection this story has to your life.

One day, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food” (1 Kings 17:8-9).

Zarephath was full of wicked idolaters and worshippers of Baal. The vile King Ahab was sovereign in the land. Furthermore, King Ahab was searching for Elijah so he could kill him.

OliveOil_vertical_blogFor Elijah, God’s command was a real test of faith, and the prophet needed to learn this lesson quickly: To follow the Lord by faith is to do so without succumbing to the fear of the cost.

Elijah journeyed 100 miles to Zarephath, where he found a widow at the city gate. He asked her to bring him a little water and a piece of bread. Her response was heart-breaking: “As surely as the LORD your God lives, I don’t have any bread – only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, so that we may eat it — and die” (1 Kings 17:12).

But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a loaf of bread for me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land’” (1 Kings 17:13-14).

The widow did as Elijah said, and the miracle took place: The flour and oil didn’t run out!

How often do we focus on the problem, rather than the Provider? This narrative is a great reminder to ask myself: Have I prayed about it as much as I’ve worried about it?

The beauty of this story is the faith required of both people involved. God told Elijah that a widow would be taking care of him. This was a fearful predicament, as widows were the first to die off in times of famine or drought. The situation was not unlike relying on a homeless person to provide for you.

The widow also faced a terrifying reality: God had commanded her to give away everything she had left to a perfect stranger — a fugitive. At face value, it seems like a cold-hearted request. But when asked to deny her basic instinct of self-preservation, she responded in faith — and her faith was rewarded with bounty.


This is the place our Father desires us to be. He longs for us to trust Him fully and walk by faith despite circumstances. Where are we today? Are we in a place of full surrender where we can truly give everything when we hear Him call?

Beloved, Multnomah is indeed hitting the marks. We finished the 2016 fiscal year well thanks to the faith and generosity of our supporters. Student enrollment is up. We’re launching a biology degree this fall. And for the last 12 years, Multnomah’s students have consistently scored significantly higher in reading comprehension and critical thinking than national averages of other universities.

At the same time, we hear the groans of our society call out for the return of Christ, whether they know it or not. As we witness U.S. shootings, terrorist killings across the globe, and the false promise of politicians as saviors, we know without a doubt: People still desperately need our Savior and King Jesus. Multnomah is responding by raising up Spirit-led men and women who fight injustice, cultivate peace and share the radiant message of Christ in a world filled with violence and turmoil. That’s why your generous gifts to Multnomah are needed now more than ever. Every gift, no matter how small, makes a difference. We invite you to participate however you can.

Secondly, we ask you to pray fervently every day. Can we stand together and pray as Multnomah trains men and women who will impact the world for Jesus? Pray for God to grow our faith so our offerings to Him will be multiplied for all eternity. Pray for us all to have faith like Elijah and the widow. Let us come together and put our full trust in God.

Growing in faith,


Dr. G. Craig Williford
Multnomah University

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