Author Archive

Director of Alumni Relations

Person to Person: “Shake and Shine”

Comments Off Written on April 6th, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Newsletter

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house: Matthew 5:13-15

MichelleWhat a wonderful time these past few months have been. MU’s 2015 Presidential Tour is well underway. We’ve been traveling across the states and Alaska, connecting with alumni and friends of MU as we’ve introduced Multnomah’s new president, Dr. Craig Williford. Nine stops down and two more to go.

Though it’s been a bit tiresome given the rigorous schedule we’ve been keeping, my heart is full. I’m feeling refreshed after the wonderful opportunities to connect with the amazing men and women represented in our MU family.

During our last stop in Dallas, Texas, I had the privilege of attending church with one of our alums at Stonebriar Community Church. I was so encouraged by Chuck Swindoll’s message from Matthew’s gospel to “shake and shine.” As I sat and listened, I couldn’t help but think of Multnomah’s mission and the great privilege it is to be a part of a ministry whose sole focus is to do just that: to be salt and light in a world so desperately in need.

Multnomah’s mission is to become a globally influential biblical university that dynamically shapes Christian students into ambassadors of Jesus Christ, saturated in Scripture and ready to serve. As we aim to equip men and women through higher education to become biblically competent, academically proficient, spiritually formed, and culturally engaged servant leaders; we desire that they would be shaped to be a transforming force in the church, their community, and the world.

One of our passionate desires as Christians is to make a difference. We desire that our investment would cause others to be transformed for the better through the influence we have. Webster’s dictionary defines influence as “the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command.”

Swindoll shared, “In numerous ways, some of them intangible, influential people sway others’ opinions, prompt decisions, and encourage actions. Parents influence children. Teachers influence students. Mentors influence disciples. Leaders influence those in their organizations. In the same way, we Christians influence those we are around. The question is how? Jesus’ answer, given many centuries ago, is the best. We should shake the salt and shine the light!”

Then he challenged us: “Make people curious by the way you live. It’s not us; it’s Christ at work in us. It’s not that we carry salt and light; Scripture tells us that we are the salt and the light.”

Salt: a wonderful metaphor in a world that is decaying. As salt, we are to serve as preservatives. Salt adds taste to an otherwise tasteless world, and it creates a thirst. May we live vibrant, Christ-centered lives that cause others to become thirsty to know more of him.

Light: a beautiful image for a world that is plunged in darkness. You are the light in a world so desperately in need. You are a living lamp bearing his light. Let your light shine!

As Swindoll closed our time together, he left us with 3 simple don’ts that I thought noteworthy to share:

  1. Don’t overdo it. What happens when you put too much salt on something? You ruin the meal. Don’t shake too much.
  1. Don’t hold back. Risk standing alone. You’ll have thoughts that others won’t have, and you’ll have visions that no one else will see. Follow your heart and do what God is calling you to do.
  1. Don’t worry about the critics. They hated Jesus and the apostles as well. They’ll hate you, but stay engaged and be the salt and be the light!

The world is watching us as we shake and shine. People watch how we react to pressure and trials. They watch how we treat others. They watch how we handle promotions when we’re promoted and how we handle failures when we fail.

Salt that stays in the shaker does no good. A light turned off has no impact. My prayer for us today is that we would continue to shake and shine as we aim to walk in his wisdom and grace as ambassadors of Multnomah and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Shaking and shining for his glory,

Michelle M. Peel-Underwood

Director of Alumni Relations

Reflecting on Life’s Joys and Sorrows: Person to Person, Winter 2015

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

michelle_mainimage_portraitIn taking time to reflect on 2014, I was reminded of the sovereignty, goodness and faithfulness God shows when walking with his children. I found myself recalling moments of great delight and deep grief — a tapestry of joy and sorrow that had been woven so beautifully.

As it is with the ebbs and flows of life’s journey, there are often seasons of intense grief amid great joy. And while it’s completely natural to want to fast forward through life’s pain, we can miss what God has for us in these seasons if we’re not careful.

As we learn to embrace life’s moments — the joys and the sorrows alike — we can truly appreciate the gifts wrapped inside: peace, patience, grace, growth, character, spiritual maturity and a deeper dependence upon him.

Here are some memorable moments of 2014.

  • January began with the celebrations of two milestone birthdays: my step-son’s 16th birthday and my husband’s 50th.
  • March saw us honoring Senior Vice President and CEO of Wycliffe Bible Translators Russ Hersman (Class of ’78) as Multnomah’s 2014 Alumnus of the Year.
  • April was filled with incredible hope and excitement when Dr. Craig Williford was selected as Multnomah’s fifth president.
  • May was a special month of celebration as MU’s class of 1964 had its 50-year reunion and we honored our spring graduates with a commencement ceremony.
  • June was full with wedding celebrations in support of students and sweet friendships the Lord has given me at Multnomah.
  • July brought difficult news of the loss of our fourth president, Dr. Dan Lockwood. I never imagined it would be so difficult to say good bye to such a great leader and dear friend.
  • August was filled with more celebrations: my first wedding anniversary and my father-in-law’s 75th birthday. The month was not without its challenges though. I totaled my jeep after hitting a bull elk (ironically the day right before opening season). I escaped with minor cuts and bruises, but that’s more than I can say for the elk. We are thankful for God’s protection, as it could have been much worse.
  • September brought the exciting news that our seminary was selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to receive part of a $1.5 million grant to incorporate science into our core theological curricula.
  • October offered reasons for celebration again with the scheduled events of Dr. Craig Williford’s Presidential Inauguration. But that was followed by the difficult news that some dear friends (Multnomah alumni) had tragically lost their youngest son. My heart continues to break for them as they grieve incredible loss and learn what it means to lean into Jesus in new ways.
  • December saw our winter graduates walk across the stage of Central Bible Church to receive their diplomas. As they move into graduate school, the workforce or wherever God leads them, we prayed for his blessing and peace on their lives.

Now here we are at the top of a new year. I’m not sure what 2015 will hold, but I keep learning what it means to trust in the one who does.

As you reflect back on 2014, my prayer is that you too would realize his goodness and faithfulness in new ways — even perhaps amidst suffering. For suffering, though difficult, can be God’s way of enhancing our sense of his presence within our lives. It’s often within these difficult places that we find some of his sweetest gifts.

As you walk by faith into seasons unknown, may you walk with confidence, knowing that he walks beside you. And may he continue to weave a beautiful tapestry, through joy and pain, as he shapes you into a deeper dependence upon him and into a greater likeness of his son.

For his glory,

Michelle

Celebrating the Past and Embracing the Future: Person to Person, Fall 2014

Comments Off Written on October 1st, 2014 by
Categories: Newsletter

It’s an exciting time in Multnomah’s history. Our presidential inauguration for Dr. Craig Williford is just a few weeks away now. As a community, we are energized and enthusiastic in looking forward to this significant celebration. Our focus will be one of “Praise and Worship” – a theme most fitting, I believe, in response to God’s overwhelming blessing to MU at this time.

On the trails of such a difficult season, with the loss of Dr. Lockwood, it feels as if new life is being breathed into the University in beautiful and undeniable ways. I am humbled and honored to be an eye witness participant.

dan and michelle

Dr. Dan and I

As it is with any season of transition, I am learning anew the importance of letting go and of joyfully embracing the future. While, no doubt, history plays a significant role in shaping us and feelings of great loss often accompany that of letting go; it is with this understanding and a hopeful expectation that I look forward to what God has ahead.

I’d like to commemorate this season, if I may, by reflecting on history past and sharing with you a few of my favorite “Dr. Dan” memories.

When I think of Dr. Dan, I remember a man of humility, wisdom, strength, character and ‘over the top’ optimism.

He was inspiring as a biblical scholar, and a remarkable orator with an unbelievable ability to alliterate. His Dr. Dan Magic shows were an all-time favorite for many — an entertaining illusionist extraordinaire.

Over the past decade and a half, I had the privilege of working alongside him and witnessing up close a faith that was awe-inspiring. He was indeed a man of intense faith, demonstrated consistently in his response to what it meant to trust God amidst adversity and in times of life’s unknowns.

He was a man with a beautiful servant’s heart and a genuine interest in people. While there are many things I admired about Dr. Dan, probably one of the most significant memories I have was during the summer of 2009 when I was facing a season of my own adversity. I had been suffering from a relapse of malaria that I had picked up on a mission’s trip a few weeks prior.  Dr. Dan came into my office and sat across from my desk and, with compassion and concern in his eyes, inquired about my health and the decision I had made to follow through with an upcoming alumni trip. He was genuinely concerned. It didn’t matter to him the events that had been scheduled, the plans that had been made, the airfares that had been purchased, or the hotels that had been booked. What he communicated clearly to me that day, was that I mattered!  People were important to him. I was important to him, and he wanted me to be sure that I knew it.

There are no words deep and/or meaningful enough to express the impact of his leadership and the great privilege it has been to know him and serve alongside him these past eighteen years.

I will never forget his last chapel as Multnomah’s president, when he announced to the MU community the grim prognosis from his doctor, and the recommendation to step down from his presidency in order that he might spend some cherished time with family. He spoke with such courage and confidence that day — full of faith and optimism, as one would only imagine coming from Dr. Dan. He said, If ever you are wondering, ‘Is God really a God who loves me...a God who cares for me…is God one who is concerned about every aspect of my life?’...just remember Dan Lockwood as someone who can testify — even in the midst of cancer, maybe near the end of that journey and looking forward to the next great adventure, that God has been good, God has been faithful and God can be trusted.” He graciously and humbly shared from a heart of gratitude that saw God at work even in the face of intense adversity. His cancer journey truly demonstrated what it meant to live a life of faith with full endurance to the finish line.

The values and characteristics of his life have indelibly marked this University and those he has served. Today on Multnomah’s campus, you’ll find in our prayer circle a bronze plaque placed in his honor that reads: “Honoring A Legacy of Faith – Dr. Daniel R. Lockwood, Multnomah University’s Fourth President, 1997-2013. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6.” We have also changed the name and focus of the Multnomah Fund to “The Dr. Dan Lockwood Student Aid Fund”.

My hope is that this commemorative plaque and Dr. Dan’s student aid fund will serve as a continued reminder to the Multnomah community of the faith he demonstrated in the life that he lived.

Whether or not you knew Dan personally, my prayer for all of us today is that our hearts would be encouraged and challenged to live with such faith. As we embrace the future, the unknowns and what God has ahead, let us not forget: “God is good. God is faithful, and God can be trusted.”

Celebrating the past and embracing the future,

Michelle M. Peel-Underwood  B.A. '00, M.A. '10

Director of Alumni Relations

P.S. I’m looking forward to helping introduce Multnomah’s fifth president, Dr. Craig Williford, during our Presidential tour coming next spring. Look for more details to come.

 

Learn more about the Dr. Dan Lockwood Student Aid Fund or continue his legacy by contributing to it. 

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Of the many activities held during commencement, our 50-year alumni society event has traditionally been one of my favorites. This year was no different. We inducted 24 members from the class of 1964 into Multnomah’s 50-year alumni society, and I was, once again, struck by the significance of this half-century mark that underscores the legacy of a Multnomah education. I believe it is a tangible expression of our rich heritage that demonstrates God’s faithfulness throughout the generations and the importance of a vital daily relationship with Him.

"Our years of training at Multnomah have resulted in much fruit, both here and abroad," said 50-year society member Dr. Tim Aldrich. The former faculty member was encouraged by the reunion with his former classmates — and by meeting MU's new president, Dr. Craig Williford, at the event.

"During the last 50 years, Multnomah has changed in response to the needs of a changing world by adding facilities, new majors and faculty members," Aldrich said. "And yet, at its core is a solid commitment to the transforming power of the Word. Having met Dr. Williford, I am confident that he will continue the Multnomah tradition and its commitment to the Word of God."

Anticipating What is Ahead

It is an honor and a great joy to be a part of the ongoing legacy of Multnomah. As I reflect back on our history, in anticipation of what is ahead, I am excited for the future. While admittedly it has been a challenging season, I have never been more encouraged to see God at work in such amazing ways.

It has been a season of prayer, as we’ve collectively sought the Lord for the man or woman who would lead the ministry of Multnomah in this next chapter. Thank you for the part you’ve played in partnering with us here. God has far exceeded our expectations and we are humbled by His graciousness in His selection of Multnomah’s new president.

I’m excited for you to meet Dr. Craig and his wife Carolyn. I think you’ll find that beyond the wealth of experience in higher education, leadership and pastoral ministry that Craig brings, he and Carolyn both have a heart for the Savior and a recognition of  their deep dependence upon Him.

A Man of Humility and Prayer

“We humbly take our place within the distinguished line of former and current trustees, faculty, staff, administration and presidents who served so sacrificially,” Craig said in response to the board of trustee’s invitation to serve as Multnomah’s fifth president. In reading his latest book, "How to Treat a Staff Infection — Resolving Problems in Your Church or Ministry Team", I’ve been encouraged to see his heart for people and ministry, as well as his incredible insight and vision for leadership. His obvious dependence on the Lord, his humility and his heart for prayer is most inspiring.

In closing, I want to leave you with the charge Craig gave to his readers: “May you always lead with godliness, humility, wisdom, courage, grace, mercy, respect, and love. As under-shepherds who report to the Head Shepherd — Christ himself — how else will we mobilize others to serve in God’s kingdom with distinction? What an awesome responsibility!”

What an awesome responsibility indeed, and what a privilege it is to serve and be a part of what God is doing this side of heaven.

In awe of God’s grace,

Michelle M. Peel-Underwood,  B.A. '00, M.A. '10

Director of Alumni Relations

Multnomah University

 

MU Celebrates its 50-Year Alumni during Graduation Week

Comments Off Written on May 7th, 2014 by
Categories: Alumni, Events
Every year, Multnomah honors its graduates of 50 years by inducting them into our 50-Year Alumni Society. To applaud this important achievement, we have a special day of celebration planned on Friday May 9, 2014. This year will mark our 13th annual celebration.
MU's 50-Year Alum Society

MU's 50-Year Alum Society

The day's events

The day's activities will include baccalaureate chapel, a special luncheon and induction ceremony, a 50-year class reunion and tour of the campus. The day will conclude with participation in Multnomah's graduation ceremony at Rolling Hills Community Church. It will be a wonderful time to reconnect with friends and review the Lord's faithfulness over the last 50 years.

'These society members are a testimony to us and to the generations that have followed'

I think there is something very special about this half-century mark that underscores the legacy of a Multnomah education. I believe it's a tangible expression of our rich heritage that truly demonstrates God’s faithfulness throughout the generations and the vitality of our daily relationship with Him. These 50-Year Alumni society members are a testimony to us and to the generations that have followed.

In speaking with Bill Kramer, one of this year’s 50 year society members, I was so encouraged by his heart for our graduates and his desire to encourage them in the journey ahead. I hope you enjoy his story and words of wisdom.

Encouragement to the Class of 2014 from 50-Year Society member Bill Kramer

Class of 2014, you’re not finished yet. Be ready to let Him amaze you. He delights in doing more than you can imagine. He will put before you opportunities that will force you to totally depend on Him. You are His servant. You are called to glorify Him and Him alone.

I completed my work at Multnomah in 1964. On November 28, 1967, Cadence International asked me if I would be willing to open a ministry with the U.S. Air Force in Ubon, Thailand. Their goal was for me to be in Thailand by the first of the year. That was in 30 days.

'God amazed me'

I had known for years I would end up somewhere overseas. But I was thinking, “Who will support me? I am a nobody.  I’m a farmer from Kansas.” One truth I had not grasped was that God is in charge. He delights in taking a nobody to show that He is somebody. What He does, He does for His glory.

I had 30 days to get my passport, my visa and my financial support. To my knowledge, my 70-year-old dad was not a believer. Every time I would bring up the subject, he would say, “I don’t want to talk about it.” I wanted to go back to Kansas to see my parents and talk to my dad one more time before I left for Thailand.

50YearAlum_main2

Bill and Jeannette Kramer

God amazed me. My support came in. My passport and visa were in order. And what thrilled my heart most was that my dad received Jesus a few days before I returned to Portland and departed for Thailand.

'We have found your wife'

Then God started to amaze me by the growing number of men he brought to my ministry. When I had been in Thailand for about a year, a close friend who was teaching at an elementary school wrote to me: “We have found your wife.”

My future wife, Jeannette, had been in Cameroon, Africa, teaching at a teacher training college, but was now teaching at the same school as my friend. I started writing to Jeannette. Our relationship via letters grew so naturally.

After five months, I proposed, and she accepted. In September of 1969, I returned to the States to meet  and marry Jeannette. As the aircraft  began its descent on the Portland Airport,  it hit me that there was a woman down there that I loved and was looking forward to spending the rest of my life with. Yet we had never met. That was almost 45 years ago. Jeannette was perfect for me.

'He is about to write His story on your life'

We were with Cadence for 23 years. We have worked in Thailand, Korea, Japan and Spain. God has given us fruit who are serving Him all over the U. S. and some overseas. We worked in pastoral ministry for another 20 years. For the last four years, we have been providing pastoral counselling and Bible Study materials for men in four different prisons.

God took me, that Kansas farmer, and amazed me by doing what I could have never imagined. He is about to write His story on your life.  Let Him, and you will be amazed.

— Bill Kramer

Change, Challenges and Opportunities

These past few months have been characterized by change — a season that has marked me, shaped me and continued to challenge me towards a deeper dependence on Jesus than I have ever known.

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Listen to Dead Sea Scrolls Expert Via Live Stream

Dr. Robert Duke, who graduated from Multnomah in 1996, will present his research on the Dead Sea Scrolls at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 15. Michelle Peel-Underwood, director of Alumni Relations, provides details below.
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Being Transformed Into His Image

Comments Off Written on May 30th, 2013 by
Categories: Alumni, Faculty, General, Students

"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."
II Corinthians 3:18

“Dr. G” – As He is Affectionately Known

The auditorium erupted into applause and a standing ovation as Dr. Garry Friesen, this year’s commencement speaker, was introduced and presented with the special honor of Professor Emeritus by Multnomah’s President and Board of Trustees. The influence “Dr. G” has had in the lives of students, faculty, staff and alumni alike is remarkable.  The evening was especially significant for our Multnomah community in light of Garry’s retirement announcement after 37 years of teaching on Multnomah’s faculty.
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Stretching to Grow

Stretching to Grow

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Being Stretched

Welcome to Multnomah University! You’re going to be stretched during your time here,” Dr. Lockwood challenged our students at this year’s spring convocation chapel.

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A New Year’s Beginning

A New Year’s Beginning

"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." - Psalm 90:12

Pastoral Reflections

Sunday I had the privilege of hearing from my pastoral staff, all Multnomah alumni, as they reflected on this past year. My senior pastor spoke excitedly about a PhD program he began this year with an emphasis in homiletics. Read the rest of this entry »