Author Archive

Looking Forward: A Greeting from Dr. Craig Williford

Comments Off Written on January 8th, 2015 by
Categories: Newsletter

A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?

Proverbs 20:24, NIV

By Wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established. Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.  

Proverbs 24:3-4, NIV

craig_mainimage_portraitAs a young pastor, I fell into the mistake of developing what I thought were good plans for the church I served and then asking God to bless my plans. Quickly, I discovered my arrogance and the shortcomings of this approach.

Experience has taught me to seek God’s plans for the organizations I served first and then pray that he would enable us to mobilize the organization to accomplish his plans. This humble acknowledgement of our need for biblical wisdom and power — not our own human wisdom and power — is Multnomah University’s starting point and central focus for 2015.

For 2015 and beyond, we believe God wants us to continue building a global campus where more students can receive an MU education from anywhere and at anytime. Providing this less expensive and more accessible MU education will allow students who could not previously afford an MU education the opportunity to be trained and formed as Christ’s followers to serve in numerous capacities. More pastors and lay leaders will be able to gain an in-depth understanding of the Bible and theology. Lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers, civic leaders and those who aspire to serve in these capacities will gain an education saturated in the Bible and professional training.

Watch for the exciting and official news about our new fully online degrees that will be announced in the late spring. These high-quality educational experiences will start with our Bible and theology courses and quickly expand to include fully online options for numerous other programs we offer here at MU.

So, what is happening to our residential programs? I am pleased to say that we will continue to make our residential experiences vibrant and effective. At Multnomah Biblical Seminary, we are working on moving many of our courses to late afternoons, evenings and weekends so working students can find easier ways to complete their course work. We are also going to provide more of our intensive style courses that begin on a Monday and conclude the following Friday.

Also, our seminary dean and faculty are prayerfully considering how we might provide certificates and new programs that would better fit the needs of all those who could benefit from in-depth Bible and theological training. That means a church or community Bible study leaders could access a program uniquely suited for them without all the expense and time to earn a Master’s degree. Stay-at-home moms could take coursework provided in ways that fit the crazy demands and busy schedules they face.

Also, plan on attending one of the upcoming alumni events in your area during the 2015 Presidential Tour. Carolyn and I will be participating in many of these events, where I will be sharing more about MU’s future and answering questions you may have about the marvelous work God is doing at and through MU and its alumni. See you there.

Blessings,

Craig

Nathan Meeker captures NCCAA Division II National Championship

Comments Off Written on December 3rd, 2014 by
Categories: General

HOUGHTON, N.Y. – In frigid and snowy conditions, sophomore Nathan Meeker ran his best cross country race of the year and won the NCCAA Division II National Championship on Saturday, November 15. Read the rest of this entry »

Multnomah Biblical Seminary awarded national ‘Science for Seminaries’ grant

Comments Off Written on December 2nd, 2014 by
Categories: Press Releases

Update: PBS featured this grant in a recent national broadcast. Watch the video.

PORTLAND, Ore. − Multnomah Biblical Seminary is one of 10 seminaries nationwide selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for a combined $1.5 million in grants to incorporate science into core theological curricula.

SeminaryGrant_mainThe grant will provide resources to integrate science into select core courses, such as systematic theology, biblical studies, church history and pastoral theology. The courses will be developed and implemented over the next two years and provide seminarians with solid, science-focused instruction.

“Many people look to their religious leaders for guidance on issues relating to science and technology, even though clergy members may get little exposure to science in their training,” said Jennifer Wiseman, director of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion.

Dr. Paul Louis Metzger, MU seminary professor and director of its Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins, said evangelical Christianity has often experienced a difficult relationship with the contemporary sciences. “Ironically, the evangelical movement has benefited greatly from implementing scientific and technological advances in communication and media for gospel proclamation,” he said.

MU educates countless pastors, whose churches draw people from diverse backgrounds and vocations, including the sciences. “Often these parishioners feel like they live in two universes: one of faith and one of science,” said Metzger, who serves as the project leader. “Through New Wine, New Wineskins’ oversight and coordination, this generous grant will make it possible for our seminary faculty to equip students in the integration of faith and science. Our students will be more effective as pastoral leaders in serving their members, their vocations and their communities in our scientific age.”

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About Multnomah University

Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with teaching sites in Reno, Nevada, and Seattle, Washington. Composed of a college, seminary, graduate school, degree completion program and online distance-learning program, Multnomah issues bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as professional certifications and endorsements. For more information, visit multnomah.edu.

MU joins the #GivingTuesday movement

Comments Off Written on November 26th, 2014 by
Categories: Events

GivingTuesday_v2Hello, MU Family!

Are you weary like me of how much our consumer-driven culture bombards us to buy, buy, BUY for our self, self, SELF on Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

On Tuesday, December 2, Multnomah University invites you to take a moment to consider what it means to give. We are uniting with charities worldwide to encourage God’s people to deploy some of his resources on #GivingTuesday.

WHAT IS #GIVINGTUESDAY ALL ABOUT?

#GivingTuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back. It’s really a simple idea. We believe it brings a smile to the Father’s face to see his children responding in love and generosity — no matter where he stirs their hearts to give.

Unite with the Multnomah family of givers and join a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity. Here’s what your gift to Multnomah could do:

• $50 provides a professor to help one student translate The Dead Sea Scrolls.
• $75 feeds an MU student for a week.
• $100 supports a seminary student for a day of Bible and theology classes.
• $170 houses a student for a week.

When you commit to supporting MU on #GivingTuesday, you are bringing to life this vision God has provided for our University:

  • Creating a global campus
  • Inspiring an infectious love of service within our students
  • Building moldable and resilient Christian character within our students
  • Developing a diverse learning community

Soon Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will have come and gone. But when you stand in support of Multnomah University on #GivingTuesday, you impact lives for the kingdom that will last for generations.

But just as you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge,
in complete earnestness and in your love for us — see that you also excel
in this grace of giving.

2 Corinthians 8:7

steve-cummingsGratefully,

Steve Cummings
Vice President of Advancement

I will give on #GivingTuesday

 

MAGDJ program launches Night of Dialogue

1 Comment » Written on October 28th, 2014 by
Categories: Events, Faculty, Programs

MAGDJ Program Director Greg Burch introduces the first Night of Dialogue event on November 12

file2701271716451As evangelical believers, what roles do justice and development play in our desire to see the world reconciled to its Creator? How will biblical justice and development help us bring transformation to our communities? Through a TED talk style forum, a Night of Dialogue on Justice and Development brings together active scholars in this field to explore biblical understandings in these critical areas.

The event will be held on November 12th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the JCA Lounge (just outside of Roger’s Café) on campus and is being sponsored by the Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice degree program.

Join us as we hear from Multnomah professor Paul Louis Metzger, lawyer and adjunct professor Mark Loomis and Ron Werner, Jr. of the organization Bend Youth Collective. In addition, several partnering nonprofits will be on hand to provide opportunities to get involved locally and internationally. We hope to see you there!

Learn more about Multnomah’s M.A. degree in Global Development and Justice.

Missing Links: On Faith and Science

Comments Off Written on October 21st, 2014 by
Categories: Seminary

Multnomah Biblical Seminary was recently awarded a national grant  that addresses the missing links between faith and science in a seminary education. MU seminary professor Paul Louis Metzger, Ph.D., comments.

All truth is God's truth

metzger_mainIt is well known that Evangelical Christianity has often experienced a difficult relationship with science. The Scopes “Monkey Trial” in 1925 left an indelible mark on the psyche of many segments of the movement. As George Marsden wrote, “It would be difficult to overestimate the impact” of the trial “in transforming fundamentalism.” George Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism — 1870-1925 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 184.

Ironically, the Evangelical movement has benefited greatly over the decades in various ways from implementing scientific and technological advances in communication and media for gospel proclamation and archeology for apologetics. Given the widespread Evangelical conviction that all truth is God’s truth as centered in Christ and Christian scripture, it is incumbent upon Evangelicals, including their universities and seminaries, to extend the interface of faith and science to other spheres.

They live in two universes

At its home in the Pacific Northwest, Multnomah Biblical Seminary serves numerous thriving Evangelical churches that draw people from diverse backgrounds and vocations, including science, medicine, and technology. Still, one wonders how well the pastoral leaders in these Evangelical congregations integrate faith and science in service to their parishioners and their vocations. All too often, these parishioners feel like they live in two universes — one of faith and one of science. Links are missing that will help us make these two universes one. If church leaders are not able or prepared to help young people make constructive connections, what will happen to the next generation of Evangelical Christians and beyond?

David Kinnaman addresses this concern and many others in You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church...And Rethinking Faith (Baker Books, 2011). Kinnaman quotes a young man named Mike, who says: “I knew from church that I couldn’t believe in both science and God, so that was it. I didn't believe in God anymore” (p. 138; italics added). While Mike’s statement may seem to some a bit rash, still, it points to a growing sense of need among many for pastoral leaders to help equip their congregations to engage in serious discussion and the integration of faith and science. Such equipping will also include vocational preparation for people in their congregations entering scientific fields.

We have a responsibility

Seminaries have important roles to play in equipping pastoral graduates for effective ministry in a scientific age. But are they seizing the opportunity? It makes sense for pastoral and missional reasons that institutions become more intentional in preparing its pastoral candidates and alumni to engage science in constructive ways. Just look around. The scientific realm is expanding. Take for example my region, the Greater Portland Area in Oregon. Intel, Tektronix, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), as well as other organizations dedicated to scientific progress, are located nearby.

Portland prides itself on its attentiveness to scientific concerns and progress. For all the talk of alternative forms of spirituality in addition to Christianity that flourish in the region, there is also a great deal of antagonism on the part of certain sectors in the scientific community to faith of any kind. Secularism, including the New Atheism, is very robust in Portland and in other places in the Pacific Northwest. Given Multnomah Biblical Seminary’s commitment to preparing our graduates for effective ministry in a very diverse culture, we have a responsibility to assist the churches we serve in cultivating a thoughtful, irenic and comprehensive approach to the integration of faith and science.

Effective ministry in our scientific age

For these various reasons, I am delighted to report that Multnomah University’s seminary was awarded a National “Science for Seminaries” grant. Multnomah Biblical Seminary is one of 10 seminaries nationwide selected by The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for a combined $1.5 million in grants to incorporate science into core theological curricula. The grant will provide resources to integrate science into select core courses, such as systematic theology, biblical studies, church history and pastoral theology. It should be noted that the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion does not advise on theological content, but only provides support for science through resources and mentor recommendations. The courses will be developed and implemented over the next two years and provide seminarians with solid, science-focused instruction.

“Many people look to their religious leaders for guidance on issues relating to science and technology, even though clergy members may get little exposure to science in their training,” said Jennifer Wiseman, director of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER). The Science for Seminaries grant for “Integrating Science into Core Theological Education” through AAAS in collaboration with our accrediting body, the Association of Theological Schools, will make it possible for our seminary to focus energies on equipping pastors and pastoral candidates for more effective ministry in our scientific age.

The theater of God’s glory

Through Multnomah University’s Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins’ oversight and coordination, Multnomah Biblical Seminary faculty will integrate subject matter pertaining to astrophysics, human cognition, and macro-biology in select seminary courses. A New Wine conference and Cultural Encounters journal issue will help make the findings available to the community at large. The aim is to help our seminary graduates increase their scientific awareness of pressing issues and integrate faith and science in constructive ways as they equip their congregations for truthful and meaningful witness in the twenty-first century. This scientific pursuit will assist us in discerning more clearly how the whole creation is the theater of God’s glory.

In closing, I should add that my seminary colleagues have joked (perhaps half-joked!) about their ulterior motives in their research for this grant: the grant will provide them the opportunity to prove their long-standing hypothesis that I am the “missing link” in the evolution of species. So much for the age old tension in Evangelical circles between faith and science!

 

Paul Louis Metzger, Ph.D. is a Multnomah University seminary professor, director of its Institute for the Theology of Culture, and project leader for the grant initiative at Multnomah Biblical Seminary.

 

Contact: Kristina Rhodes, Communications Specialist, 503-251-6469 or krhodes@multnomah.edu

President’s Greeting — Fall 2014

Comments Off Written on October 2nd, 2014 by
Categories: Newsletter

Dear Multnomah Family,

The new school year is successfully under way. I am thankful for all our new and returning students. God enabled us to meet or exceed almost every one of our new student enrollment goals.

Carolyn and I just returned from the All School Retreat, and it was a blast. The Young Life Washington Family Ranch in Eastern Oregon is a beautiful facility. The students, staff and faculty who attended seemed to have a wonderful time. There was such a positive and exciting spirit among all who attended. I judge God was moving in our midst, and I was honored to experience His presence with our students.

Biblical wisdom and power in contrast to human wisdom and power is one of the main themes I am exploring with our Multnomah Family this year. The Apostle Paul said, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel — not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (NIV, I Corinthians 1: 17). And King Solomon told us that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

I suggest the sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ may be the most complete expression of God’s wisdom and power. When we pursue biblical wisdom we are actually pursuing Christ, who is the living example of biblical wisdom and power.

So, I am calling our Multnomah Family to pursue Christ together this year. I am asking if we, as the body of Christ here at MU, might deepen our love for Him over the months ahead.

On another note, you probably have heard me call Multnomah University a “biblical university”. It may help if I explain in more detail what I mean when I use that descriptor. Here at MU we are biblical university that:

  • Combines the strengths of the Bible college with the strengths of the Christian liberal arts school as we pursue biblical wisdom and power
  • Commits to the inspired, inerrant, authoritative word of God as it frames our explorations and expressions of God’s truth
  • Intentionally works so that biblical and theological studies collaborate and collide with studies in arts and sciences to provide clarity to the most important questions of life
  • Prepares graduates to effectively and faithfully serve in a variety of vocational settings (like full-time, vocational ministry or the public market place) with passion for Christ, a servant’s heart, and a Holy Spirit-formed mind and soul

May I ask a favor? With this deeper understanding of MU as a “biblical university”, will you share the exciting story of MU with your friends and family? Will you continue to pray that God will empower us to do this work He has called us to do?

When you are on campus please introduce yourself — I value meeting members of the MU Alumni Family.

God’s blessings.

Craig Williford

President, Multnomah University

Couple donates 16th-century Torah to MU

Comments Off Written on September 4th, 2014 by
Categories: Press Releases

PORTLAND, Ore. — Ken and Barbara Larson, from Bonita Springs, Fla., are giving a rare and valuable Torah to Multnomah University.

scrollThe Torah is a parchment scroll on which the first five books of the Old Testament were written. The Larsons purchased several scrolls, all of which are hundreds of years old, in Israel.

Ancient Asset Investments, a brokerage firm dealing in rare biblical artifacts, is assisting the couple with the donation process. Todd Hillard, the firm’s owner, said the Larsons had a vision for placing the Torahs in leading seminaries. “The Larsons have a deep passion for seminary education,” he said. “They want history to influence future scholars.”

Vice President of Advancement Steve Cummings said the gift will further ignite students’ passion for God’s Word. “This is an incredible and generous gift,” he said. “It will bring an added dimension to their educational experience that will last for many years.”

Although the scroll is centuries old, Hillard said it’s durable enough to be used frequently for decades to come. “All Torahs are innately priceless,” he said. “This one is in perfect condition.” He added that the scroll — which is two feet tall and 89 feet long — was likely used in synagogues.

University President Dr. Craig Williford said the artifact will help sharpen students’ interpretation skills while enhancing their appreciation for the Bible’s reliability. “Having direct access to such an important historical copy of the Torah will enable them to connect to the rich heritage of biblical transmission and translation work,” he said.  “This will affirm their appreciation of the Scriptures as God’s inspired, authoritative word.”

The scroll’s formal dedication will be hosted on campus and is tentatively set for early February.

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About Multnomah University

Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with teaching sites in Reno, Nevada, and Seattle, Washington. Composed of a college, seminary, graduate school, degree completion program and online distance-learning program, Multnomah issues bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as professional certifications and endorsements. For more information, visit multnomah.edu.

Former Multnomah University President Dr. Dan Lockwood Dies at 65

Comments Off Written on July 10th, 2014 by
Categories: Press Releases

PORTLAND, Ore. — Dr. Daniel Lockwood, former president of Multnomah University, has passed away at age 65.

Lockwood died peacefully in his Portland home July 9. He was surrounded by family when he entered into the arms of Christ.

“We are all thankful for the way Dr. Dan invested his life in others as a dedicated follower of Christ, leader, teacher, encourager and humble servant,” said Dr. Craig Williford, Multnomah’s current president. “Serving others in the name of Christ was his passion and life commitment. He positively impacted our lives in numerous ways. We will miss him.”

Lockwood worked at Multnomah for more than 34 years. He taught theology for 11 years before serving seven years as seminary dean. In 1997, he became Multnomah’s fourth president. Throughout his time at MU, Lockwood continued to teach theology.

Due to health concerns related to cancer, he retired from the presidency November 1, 2013. He spent the past eight months in close connection with his family.

During Lockwood’s 16-year tenure as president, the University constructed seven buildings on its Portland campus, opened a campus in Reno, Nev., and launched a teaching site in Seattle, Wash. Eight graduate and seminary degree programs were created, and nine undergraduate majors were initiated. The Adult Degree Completion Program, which now provides three majors, was born in 2007. Multnomah was granted university status in 2008.

The Multnomah community mourns the loss of a gentle leader and an outstanding teacher. He leaves a legacy of theological integrity and unreserved faith in Christ.

Lockwood is survived by his wife of 41 years, Jani, and their daughter, Elise. A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, July 25, at Lake Grove Presbyterian Church in Lake Oswego, Ore. All are invited to attend.

UPDATE: Listen to Dr. Dan's memorial service recording.

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About Multnomah University

Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with teaching sites in Reno, Nevada, and Seattle, Washington. Composed of a college, seminary, graduate school, degree completion program and online distance-learning program, Multnomah issues bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as professional certifications and endorsements. For more information, visit multnomah.edu.

Impacted By Love: My Trip To Africa

Heidi Birch, a sophomore majoring in educational ministries, shares about her recent trip to Rwanda with a group of MU students.

The adventure of a lifetime

As I started my freshman year of college at Multnomah, I had no idea that by the end of the academic year I would be sharing God’s glory all around The Land of a Thousand Hills — that’s the nickname given to Rwanda, Africa, thanks to its beautiful, mountainous landscape.

This February, after Dr. Garry Friesen had retired from teaching at MU, he moved to Kigali, Rwanda, to teach at the African College of Theology (ACT), a newly formed Bible college. Dr. Friesen has a vision to build a bridge between the students of Multnomah University and the students of ACT, so he invited a team of six students from MU to visit Kigali in May this year.

When I first heard about this trip, I was extremely skeptical. I wasn’t sure if I could get the time off work or where God was guiding me in life. But I felt something tugging on my heart to at least interview for a spot on the team. Two short weeks later, I was signing papers and fundraising to go on the adventure of a lifetime.

heidiburch_group_main

My team and me hanging out with the Dream Boys

Dream Boys

And six months later, there I was, standing alongside five others students, breathing in the African air.

First our team visited the African College of Theology. We got to sit in on classes, meet fellow Bible majors, and pray and worship alongside ACT students.

Then for three days of our trip, we got to help out with the Dream Boys, a nonprofit program that helps feed and educate the street boys of Rwanda. Getting to spend time with these boys was one of the main highlights of our trip. We got to play games with them, teach them Bible lessons, act out skits, and teach them how to make bracelets.

Though we taught them a lot, I feel as though they taught us more. Not only did they teach us words in their language, Kinyarwanda, but they also taught us how to smile — even in tough situations. One of the boys, Providence, had lost a finger just two weeks prior, due to an infection from a cut. But he was always one of the first to greet us with a grin on his face and joy in his heart.

Florence

After spending time with the Dream Boys, we got to drive out to two schools located in Kageyo, a village close to the border of Rwanda and Tanzania. At the second school, we got to go on our first Hope Visit to see a little girl named Florence. A Hope Visit is where a child who is not yet sponsored gets visited by one of the teams.

heidiburch_main

Florence, her family and me

From the moment I saw Florence, we became instant friends. Florence is one of four children who live with their widowed mother. When we arrived at her house, her mother looked at me holding her daughter’s hand. With tear filling her eyes, she embraced me tightly. I will never forget her face. It was a face of desperation, a face of hope, and a face filled with love.

When we first went to Florence’s home, she was unsponsored. But by the time we left, I knew that I had to sponsor her. Later the next day, I signed the papers, and she became my lifetime pen pal. I never realized what it meant to a child and their family to be sponsored till I sat in the house of one. A sponsorship can change a child’s life forever. It’s more than just a direct withdrawal and a letter now and then. It’s a uniform, an education, insurance, food, and a chance to thrive in a poor community.

I will never forget the love

This trip has changed my life forever. I will never forget the faces of those I met. I will never forget the love that radiated from their hearts. I will never forget the way that they trust their Savior — even in the most trying times of their lives. I am so grateful that Multnomah gave me the chance to experience a missional lifestyle outside of the U.S., and I’m excited for future opportunities to travel abroad to share the love of our Father with others.