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Give what you can during our campus food drive!

No Comments » Written on November 13th, 2015 by
Categories: Contests, Events, Feature, Students

We all know about Black Friday. And Cyber Monday. But have you heard of Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday, the first Tuesday of every December, is a globally celebrated day dedicated to giving back. That means charities, businesses, community centers and people around the world will join together to promote generosity.

Multnomah is celebrating by kicking off a campus-wide food drive that will donate all proceeds to the Oregon Food Bank.


About the food drive

Food drive kickoff

Monday, November 16

Last day to drop off donations

Tuesday, December 1, by noon

Where to drop off your contributions

Donation stations will be available in:

  • The Advancement Office
  • The seminary
  • The Student Lounge in the JCA

The Student Lounge will be the primary collection point.

Who can participate?

Everyone! Students, staff and faculty are all invited to participate. Don’t be surprised if you’re challenged by a department or student group to see who can collect more food items!

Join us

Your contributions will make all the difference to hungry families this season. Buy some healthy food choices at a local grocery store (choose items from the list below) and drop them off at one of our Food Bank Buckets. Tell your classmates and get your friends involved. The more the merrier!

What to donate

  • Canned meats (i.e., tuna, chicken, salmon)
  • Canned or dried beans
  • Canned fruits and vegetables (reduced sodium and reduced sugar)
  • Whole-grain foods such as brown rice, whole grain cereal and whole-wheat pasta
  • Soups, chilies and stews (reduced sodium and reduced fat)
  • 100 percent fruit juice (canned, plastic or boxed)
  • Shelf-stable milk
  • Unsaturated cooking oils

Giving Tuesday celebration

The food collection will culminate December 1 with a reflection chapel in the JCA, where we’ll stack all the food donations and take a group photo to celebrate God’s provision.

That afternoon, the food will be gathered up from MU and transported to the Oregon Food Bank. We’re looking for students to volunteer for this process. If you’d like to be involved, contact the Advancement Department at

80 ways to give

If you’re looking for even more ways to give, check out our 80 Ways to Give page that we made in honor of Giving Tuesday and our upcoming 80th birthday. Choose from the creative list of ideas, and start giving in new ways today!

Learn more

To learn more about Giving Tuesday, visit

To learn more about the Oregon Food Bank, visit

Student travels to Honduras, volunteers at orphanage

No Comments » Written on November 9th, 2015 by
Categories: Missions, Press Releases, Students

When Wendy Buller was on her way to Honduras this summer, she wasn't quite sure what to expect. The elementary education major had been on a few mission trips before, so she knew there would be hard work involved. But she'd never worked at an orphanage in Honduras before.

Buller first heard about the trip at Multnomah's 2015 annual Global Missions Conference. Hope Teams International, a nonprofit that works with orphans and street children in developing nations, was offering the trip as a raffle prize. "I think God put it on my heart to apply," she says. "I thought, 'Why not?'"

When Hope Teams announced that Buller had been selected for the trip, it was confirmation that she'd done the right thing. Buller and her team left for the 10-day trip in June. As soon as she arrived in Honduras, Buller was taken aback by the poverty she saw all around her. "It felt like walking into national geographic photo," she says.


Her team drove an hour outside the city to the orphanage. It was in the jungle, surrounded by a brick wall and fence; Buller guessed it was about the size of Multnomah's campus. The enclosed area included a school, play areas and dormitories for the 40 children who live there.

During the morning and early afternoon the volunteers painted the orphanage and worked on constructing a new school building. Once school ended later in the afternoon, the children flooded outside to spend times with their new friends.

"One of my favorite things about the trip was playing with the kids after they got out of school," says Buller. "The language barrier was frustrating for me, but they didn’t seem to care that we didn’t know Spanish; they still wanted to play."

And the more Buller played, the more she got to know the brave spirits behind each smiling face. "You wouldn’t have believed where theses kids had come from," she says. "When they shared their testimonies, it was shocking." Some had been abandoned by their parents. Others had been abused over and over. Some had families who simply couldn't taken of them, so they sent them away. Others had lost their parents to death or disease.

"Once kids have someone to love on them, they will shine," says Buller. "These kids grew up learning how to steal, but now they learn to hug and show their true gifts. All of them are very talented. It was amazing to see God working there with them."

When it was time to leave in July, Buller felt like a different person. She thinks about the orphanage often, and she even began sponsoring a young boy she befriended there.


"I love those kids so much!" she says. "I made a lot of good relationships with them. This trip made me want to do even more mission trips with kids. I love that I was able to see God working in another place across the world."

Buller says she wants to work with kids full-time one day, perhaps as a teacher. But for now, the junior is preparing for her career by taking advantage of MU's rigorous courses and supportive professors. "I love the classes here; they make me want to work harder," she says. "And the professors have a way of inspiring you to keep learning more outside of class."

But something very close to her heart is the university mission statement. "I love that it’s about equipping us to be missionaries wherever we are," she says. "MU wants its students to go into the world and be like Christ. Because of Multnomah, I feel prepared for a job — and I feel prepared to stand up for my faith."

Students reflect on blessings, thank MU givers

No Comments » Written on November 6th, 2015 by
Categories: Faculty, Financial Aid, Students

As Thanksgiving approaches, we're taking time to remember all the blessings God has given us over the past year, including his amazing work through Multnomah givers.

At our recent Day of Thanks event, students signed a massive card dedicated to the Multnomah family members who generously donate their resources so men and women from around the world can receive a timeless education that equips them for careers in service to Jesus.

Thank you to all our wonderful givers! Your gifts really do change lives.

Seminary Preview on November 9

Comments Off Written on October 23rd, 2015 by
Categories: Events, Seminary

Connect the Word to the world

Your calling is unique, but the call to Christian leadership in every field requires biblical wisdom, spiritual maturity and cultural awareness. Those are the qualities you'll develop at Multnomah Biblical Seminary. Read the rest of this entry »

Multnomah University Updates — Fall 2015

Comments Off Written on October 23rd, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Newsletter

MU celebrates Alumnus of the Year Dave Munson, CEO of Saddleback Leather


Multnomah University was proud to give Dave Munson the Alumnus of the Year award in September. After graduating from Multnomah with a degree in Bible and Theology, Munson moved to Mexico and began teaching English. He looked everywhere for the perfect carry-on to hold his school books, but nothing fit his criteria. That’s when he collaborated with a local craftsman to design his first leather bag.

When the bag started receiving multiple compliments a day, a lightbulb turned on in Munson’s head. He scrimped and saved for more bags and then sold them — first out of his Land Cruiser, then via eBay, and now through Saddleback Leather Company, his thriving business that crafts high-quality luggage, wallets, backpacks and more.

“Even if I knew the path of my life back then…even if I knew that one day I’d own Saddleback, I would go to Multnomah again,” says Munson. “It was instilled in all of us there to be honest. There was a constant pounding on the drum for integrity.”

Read more about Dave Munson and his kingdom-minded business model.

Different dreams, one purpose: Students from all over the world join MU

ClassOf2019Students with different dreams and goals arrived on campus for fall orientation. Some had included MU in their plans for years, while others made last-minute decisions to attend. But regardless of their backgrounds, all of our new students desire a higher purpose in their careers. They look to their faith to infuse meaning in all they do.

Miguel Ruiz traveled all the way from his hometown in Mexico to experience MU. “I basically came to follow my dream,” he says. “I want to have a sports ministry. I have played soccer my whole life, and I want to go back to Mexico and share the gospel there through soccer.” The youth ministry major is convinced MU is the perfect place to pursue his ambitions. He says he wants to learn everything he can while he’s here. 

Read more about our new students and fall orientation.

MU alumni, missionaries impact students during recent visit


Dan (’97) and Janell (’00) Hartley have a desire to transform lives. For the past 10 years, they have been sharing the gospel as missionaries in Southern Africa. During a recent trip to their alma mater, the couple brought their passion for the gospel to Dr. Karen Fancher’s Pressing Global Issues class.

“As alumni, our hearts are connected to Multnomah,” says Janell. “We hope that our stories — the chapters we have done well and the chapters we have learned from — will be a blessing and ignite a passion for doing missions.”

Read more about the Hartleys and the students they inspired.

Athletes kick off first season in NAIA

Athletics Banner Blog

MU students have officially started playing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), which announced its acceptance of Multnomah in April, marking a historic achievement for the university. The NAIA is the largest sports association the institution has been involved with since MU’s establishment in 1936.

I am thrilled that MU has been accepted into the NAIA,” Athletic Director Lois Vos said. “This historic time is directly related to the hard work each person has invested in MU to make it an athletic department that stands for excellence and for making it the best experience we can for the student athlete. We are truly blessed!” Vos has been serving at Multnomah for 26 years, and she said this is the most significant development during her tenure as athletic director.

Read more about our Athletic Departments historic achievement.

Students experience the power of service


Once every fall and spring, undergraduate students volunteer at several locations in the Portland community. A volunteer site can be anywhere: a nonprofit, a community center, a school. Even a MAX station. MU cancels classes for the day so students can devote their whole morning to service.

During Day of Outreach this fall, the commuters waiting to ride the nearby MAX Light Rail brightened up as Multnomah students offered them steaming cups of coffee and fresh donuts. Freshman Megan Flikkema loved the opportunity to brush shoulders with people she wouldn’t normally meet.

“It’s a great connector,” she said. “It’s an easy way to pass out breakfast and talk about Jesus.” Flikkema was right: Many students took time to engage in meaningful conversations with people they encountered, listening intently to their life stories.

Read more about Day of Outreach, and the students who made it successful.

Free documentary screening, discussion of “Professor Norman Cornett” November 2

Comments Off Written on October 9th, 2015 by
Categories: Events, Faculty, Media

New Wine, New Wineskins at Multnomah University is proud to host a public screening/discussion of the documentary “Professor Norman Cornett: Since when do we divorce the right answer from an honest answer?” on November 2, 2015.

About Professor Norman Cornett

NormanCornett_blogProfessor Cornett is a specialist in theology and culture, particularly theology and the arts. He developed a method of teaching which he calls, “dialogic, ” that uniquely engages students’ creativity. He lost his job at McGill University over the impact of this methodology, and his former students rallied around him.

The documentary

Professor Cornett’s innovative views on learning are portrayed in “Professor Norman Cornett,” a documentary by Alanis Obomsawin, one of Canada’s most distinguished filmmakers. The National Film Board of Canada released the film in 2009, and it now screens in universities throughout North America and Europe. Immediately after the showing at MU, Professor Cornett will lead a “dialogic” discussion with audience members, fielding questions and speaking about his unique vision for education.


Monday, November 2, 2015


4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.


The Multnomah University campus, classroom L101


THIS EVENT IS FREE and OPEN to the public, including all MU students, staff and faculty.

More about Professor Cornett

A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a BA with distinction in history, Norman Cornett came of age amidst the counterculture fervor of the ’60s. He completed a PhD. in church history at McGill University, going on to teach there for 15 years as a lecturer in the Faculty of Religious Studies. Employing creative learning methods, he used his courses to address complex issues ranging from palliative care and jazz improvisation to First Nations history and Afghanistan. Professor Cornett lives in Québec, Canada. Learn more about him on his website.

Dr. Metzger introduces latest book, announces public reading at Powell’s

Comments Off Written on October 8th, 2015 by
Categories: Books, Press Releases, Seminary, Students, Theology

Dr. Paul Louis Metzger — Professor of Christian Theology and Theology of Culture and Director of New Wine, New Wineskins — has released his latest book, “Evangelical Zen: A Christian’s Spiritual Travels with a Buddhist Friend” (Patheos Press, August 2015). The work features Metzger’s late friend, Zen Buddhist Priest Kyogen Carlson, who wrote the foreword and responded to Metzger’s essays.

A book reading for “Evangelical Zen” is set for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, at Powell’s City of Books. The event will include readings from Metzger and Sallie (Jiko) Tisdale, who will be reading one or two reflections from Abbot Kyogen Carlson’s contributions in the volume.

Until then, Metzger answers our questions about “Evangelical Zen” and the unique vision behind it.


Can you give us a brief synopsis of the book?

“Evangelical Zen” is part Augustine’s “Confessions” and part Robert Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” As an Evangelical Christian theologian, I reflect on my spiritual journey — an inner pilgrimage of sorts that weaves through a physical 40-day journey with my family in Japan.

The experiences of that journey, the beauties of Japan, its culture, and its religion become for me a lens on a deeper quest: I am searching for and, I believe, finding a global humanity in conversation with my friend and literary traveling companion, Abbot Kyogen Carlson, a Zen Buddhist Priest.

Can you define what you mean by “spiritual travels”?

Our travels through life as Christians are ultimately spiritual, not secular. We should never compartmentalize our faith, even in seemingly secular and pluralistic cultural settings.

Moreover, our faith is not static. While our eternal destination as Christians is secure through personal faith in Jesus Christ, our faith is an ongoing journey. Thus, our encounters with various people, places and things in life can serve as sign posts of faith as we seek to love God with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves.

What compelled you to write this book?

I felt compelled to write this book because my spiritual journey has taken me to Japan over the years through marriage to my wife Mariko, a Japanese national. Our children Christopher and Julianne have joined us on that journey. I have come to deeply love Japanese culture. Through my experiences in Japan, I have come to love Jesus more while also loving people across the globe. My travels there have helped me in my endeavors to become more sensitive to people of various cultures here and abroad.

Such growth here has been enhanced through my friendship over the years with Zen Buddhist Priest, Kyogen Carlson, who founded Dharma Rain Zen Center in Portland with his fellow abbot and spouse, Gyokuko. Since we first met in 2003, and until his sudden passing from a massive heart attack in September 2014, Kyogen and I developed a deep, abiding friendship. He agreed to write responses to the various essays, as well as a foreword to the whole book. For all our theological and philosophical differences from one another revealed in the book, Kyogen’s thoughts complete mine in this volume as we seek to understand life and humanity better.

How might reading this book be beneficial for a Christ-follower?

Evangelical Zen will help Christians navigate life and our increasingly diverse and multi-faith culture in such a manner that we can love God through Jesus more without having to love our diverse neighbors less. In fact, I believe our Christian faith, if cultivated well, makes it possible for us to love people of diverse paths better and with more sensitivity here and abroad.

Why is it important to build friendships with people of other religions?

I believe God’s love has been on display over the years with my Buddhist friends here in Portland, as my students and other Christians have joined the Carlsons, Dharma Rain Zen Center parishioners, and me for potluck meals and dialogues where we discuss key aspects of our respective faiths, including what divides us. We don’t sweep our differences under the table, nor do we stop short of engaging one another relationally. Instead, we go through our differences to build bridges of authentic trust that bind us together in the midst of culture wars that could easily divide us.

My students value such opportunities to engage people of diverse faiths. After all, they also live in an increasingly religiously diverse society. Like all of us, they need to learn how to engage their multi-faith society well in grace and truth. Their neighborhoods, the marketplace and ministry contexts (such as in the various spheres of chaplaincy and pastoral visitation) require that they become sensitive and adept at presenting biblical truth in a truly meaningful and gracious way. As our former MU president Dr. Joe Aldrich used to say, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  That is equally true here in the States, Japan, and anywhere else in the world.

Founder Dr. Mitchell’s radio program still airing across the US and beyond

Comments Off Written on September 30th, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Faculty, Theology

One of Multnomah's beloved founders, Dr. John G. Mitchell, used to host a popular radio show called "Know Your Bible Hour," which was later changed to "The Unchanging Word." This wonderful program is still airing on radio stations across the US — and even around the world. Tune in to one of the following stations for a refreshing time of devotion:


KKPZ    AM1330                 Thursdays 6:00 p.m.       Portland Oregon

KIAM     AM630                  Sunday 10:30 a.m.         State of Alaska

KYAF    FM94.7                 Sunday 8:30 a.m.             Firebaugh, California

KYKN    AM1430                Sunday 8:30 a.m.           Salem, Oregon

KYKN     AM1430                M-F 12:00 a.m.              Salem, Oregon

KAJC    FM90.1                 M-F  5:30 a.m.               Independence, Oregon

KDPT    FM102.9              Sunday 8:30 a.m.            Dos Palos, California

KKJC    FM93.5                 M-F  10:00 a.m.              McMinnville,Oregon

KTRW     FM530               M-F    11:00 a.m.              Spokane, Washington

KGDN     FM101.3             M-F   11:00 a.m.                Walla Walla, Washington

KTBI     AM810                     M-F 11:00 a.m.            Wenatchee/Moses Lake, Washington

KTAC    FM93.9               M-F   11:00 a.m.               Moses Lake, Washington

KYAK    AM930                 M-F   11:00 a.m.             Yakima, Washington

KSPO     FM106.5             M-F    11:00 a.m.           Spokane, Washington

KBGN    AM1060                 M-F     10:30 a.m.          Caldwell, Idaho (internet)    Sunday-Saturday     5:30am, 11:30am, 11:30pm

ACN.CC (internet)            M-F  11:00 a.m.

Watch the 2015 All College Retreat video

Comments Off Written on September 15th, 2015 by
Categories: Events, Students

Every fall, MU students kick off the semester with a weekend getaway at Washington Family Ranch. The retreat is a perfect opportunity to glean wisdom from a medley of speakers, make new friends, and jump start the school year with a whole lot of fun. A big thanks to our Student Life team, who were instrumental in making this retreat a wonderful experience for everyone involved!

The best days are ahead

“Now Moses was 80 years old, and Aaron 83 years old, when they spoke to Pharaoh.”
Exodus 7:7


Dear Multnomah family,

The significance of this simple verse is often overlooked. Moses had been through a lot up until this point in his life. But at 80 years old, he was just getting started! The exodus from Egypt, the wilderness wanderings and the Promised Land awaited him. But first he must risk everything and stand before Pharaoh.

As Multnomah nears its 80th anniversary, Moses’ story reminds us that some of our best days are yet ahead of us. And just as Moses had Aaron by his side, we have the MU family — alumni, friends, staff, faculty and students. Aaron gave Moses confidence and courage. The MU family strengthens us every day with love, support, prayers and service.

MU is entering a new chapter as we expand our degree programs, sports and online offerings (check out for more details). We move forward deeply committed to prayer, outreach and the Bible, living out our mission in a way that’s relevant in today’s world. Just as we started in 1936 as a response to what the Pacific Northwest needed then — we respond today to what the world needs now.

This intentional response has brought about some exciting changes:

The business program’s growth is certainly a reply to the world’s clamor for more business graduates. But in a culture obsessed with money and power, business leaders who are ethical, fair and conscientious are needed more than ever.

That’s where our graduates come in. One of them, Dave Munson ’96, is accepting our Alumnus of the Year Award later this month. Even though Munson graduated long before our business major was around, MU equipped him with the foundation he needed to launch Saddleback Leather Company, his thriving business that crafts high-quality luggage, wallets, backpacks and more.

“Even if I knew the path of my life back then…even if I knew that one day I’d own Saddleback, I would go to Multnomah again,” says the CEO. “It was instilled in all of us there to be honest. There was a constant pounding on the drum for integrity.”
Munson hasn’t only applied those principles to his personal life — he’s built his entire business around them. Saddleback is committed to investing in its employees and cultivating a sustainable work environment for them. Read Munson’s full story.

Support from our Multnomah family helped Dave go into the world and make a difference. It prepares our graduates for careers in service to Jesus. And it sustains our mission: helping students become spiritually-formed and culturally-engaged servant leaders. Thank you for standing with us over the years like Aaron beside Moses! Will you boldly move forward with us and participate in an inspiring opportunity?

A wonderful friend of Multnomah has chosen to match — dollar for dollar — every gift* from MU alumni who have never given to MU or have lapsed in their giving. This friend will also match every gift from current givers that goes above what they gave last year. For instance, if you gave $1,200 last year and give $1,500 this year, the friend will match the $300 increase in your giving. Here is the really exciting part: This friend has committed up to $500,000 to MU!

Would you consider partnering with MU in response to this wonderful opportunity? Think about it: If every one of our alumni gave $80 in honor of our 80th year, we could meet the matching gift of $500,000 and launch more graduates like Dave Munson.

Please prayerfully give according to your ability. No gift is too small. To participate with your gift, fill out our gift form.

Your prayers, service and offerings strengthen Multnomah’s impact every day. Stand with us, like Aaron with Moses. Imagine all God has in store for us!


Rev. G. Craig Williford, Ph.D.

*All gifts must be received by June 30, 2016.