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Psychology graduate Erik Mendoza takes his skills to Adidas

No Comments » Written on June 25th, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Athletics, Feature, Students

A Multnomah degree won’t just qualify you for a rewarding career and equip you for grad school — it will set you apart as a redeeming force in the workplace. Erik Mendoza’s experience at MU provided a solid foundation for his future, and the principles he took from the classroom — and the basketball court — continue to inspire him.

The psychology major thrived while playing for the Lions. He served three years as team captain and was awarded the Pete Maravich Memorial Award, an annual honor given to the nation’s most outstanding NCCAA Division II athlete. He also volunteered with his teammates at a local children’s hospital and even traveled with them on mission trips to the Czech Republic and Taiwan.

“Those experiences make the basketball team more than a basketball team,” Mendoza says. “If you stick around, you’ll come out a better and stronger person.”

Upon graduating, Mendoza was hired by one of the world’s top sports brands: Adidas. Now he’s a retail marketing specialist for the company’s basketball, baseball and football divisions.

“My psychology degree taught me so much about how people work, and translating that into marketing hasn’t been hard,” he says. “I love my job. Multnomah challenged me academically and gave me the ability to work and perform at a high level. At the same time, it instilled in me a genuine love for people.”

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New scholarship named after beloved professor

Multnomah University is adding a new scholarship named after Distinguished Professor Emeritus David Needham, who taught at MU for 44 years. The David C. Needham Scholarship is being made possible by a generous donation from two Multnomah alumni — a married couple who wish to remain anonymous.

A heart for missions

The couple, who met at Multnomah in the 1960s, was struck by Needham’s humble style of teaching and tender heart for students. They have a deep appreciation for the friendship they’ve cultured with Needham and his wife Mary Jo for the past 45 years. By providing a scholarship under Needham’s name, they hope to celebrate their former teacher while blessing current students who feel called to missionary work.

“We are pleased to be giving this scholarship to students who have a heart for missions, particularly unreached peoples and East Africa,” they said.

After serving as missionaries in the Mexicali Valley for 15 years, the couple began developing ministries in Tanzania and East Africa — an adventure they have been committed to for the past 20 years.

Transforming forces in the world

Needham-SizedNeedham was thrilled to receive the news of the scholarship. “I was happily amazed when I heard about it,” he said. “This scholarship is helping MU fulfill its mission — equipping students to become transforming forces in the world.”

The price of a college education is high, Needham added, but he thinks the new scholarship will be a big encouragement to students who want to serve.

“I hope that Multnomah will accomplish its goal of teaching them to live the Christian life and share it with others,” he said. “I hope that they will have the proficiency to share the Gospel with people around the world, and I hope that this scholarship will continue to grow year by year.”

A gift from David Needham

Since Needham’s retirement from Multnomah in 2008, he has kept busy teaching adult classes at his church and writing. He has published four books, including “Close To His Majesty,” which he is offering to the Multnomah community for free.

In lieu of payment, we invite you to consider giving a gift to a student through the David C. Needham Scholarship. Visit our donation page to contribute any amount you choose.

Download your free copy of “Close To His Majesty.”

Psychology major combines biblical truth with cutting-edge theory

MU’s psychology major mixes psychological theory — perspectives from the past and today's cutting-edge ideas — with biblical truth.

“This major is designed to answer questions about human nature,” says Psychology Department Chair Dr. Elliott Lawless. “If you like to ask questions, think deeply and help other people, then you are the type of student who would do well in this program.”

Learn more about our psychology program.

‘Relationships are everything’: Business major Grant Warner puts people before profit

There are no limits at MU. You can develop a level of expertise that will prepare you for the finest graduate schools and the most prestigious companies — and you can align your studies with what you value most.

Grant Warner dreams of starting an organization that trains entrepreneurs in developing nations to run their own companies. He's convinced Multnomah is the best place to prepare.

"We can learn all the big business terms in class, but what business comes down to is focusing on relationships with others," he says. "I've learned that you're not just in ministry if you're a pastor or a missionary. Ministry is wherever you are."

While he lays the groundwork for a gratifying career, the business major is enjoying everything Multnomah has to offer, including the challenging classes and Christian fellowship.

The professors make MU unique," he says. "I meet with them regularly, and they're interested in my life. The want me to succeed."

The same goes for his classmates. "The people here actually want to know how you're doing when they ask you," he says. "You don't have to beg someone to pray for you — they just stop and do it."

Warner says MU is reinforcing the value of loving God and loving people. "The education I'm getting is exceptionally beneficial," he says. "It's showing me I don't have to be a genius to succeed. Studies are important, but relationships are everything."

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Alumna Kylie Cole launches business one year after graduating

Kylie Cole opened her own preschool just one year after graduation. “Multnomah gave me the tools for my toolbox that I needed,” says the elementary education major. “My education equipped me mentally, emotionally and spiritually for this.” Read the full story.

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Four seminary students selected for two-week internship in Oxford

If studying ancient manuscripts is a dream come true, then studying ancient manuscripts at one of the world’s best universities must be paradise.

Four seminary students from MU have been selected to attend the Logos Conference, a two-week internship at Oxford sponsored by the Green Scholars Initiative (GSI). Only students working on GSI projects were invited to apply for the summer conference, where world-renowned academic experts will teach them history, theology and textual studies.

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Haley Kirkpatrick (pictured) is studying in Oxford with classmates Becca McMartin, Daniel Somboonsiri and David Tucker.

Students from more than 60 schools across North America applied, but only 30 people were selected. Five additional students who participated in the 2014 internship were chosen to attend as second-year fellows. David Tucker and Becca McMartin will be attending the conference for the first time. Haley Kirkpatrick and Daniel Somboonsiri will be joining as second-year fellows.

Biblical Languages Chair Dr. Karl Kutz told his Hebrew students about the opportunity this winter and encouraged them to apply. McMartin, Kirkpatrick and Somboonsiri have assisted Kutz with two GSI projects, and Tucker has helped with one. Both projects focused on analyzing a never-before-seen Dead Sea Scroll fragment loaned to them from the Green Collection.

“These four are some of our best students, and I am delighted they have been selected,” says Kutz. “The invitation for them to participate speaks very highly of their skills and the quality of our program.”

McMartin says she waited on pins and needles to find out if she was chosen for the trip. When she heard the good news, she called Kirkpatrick, who had just received confirmation of her own acceptance. They screamed together in glee over the phone.

“This is almost unbelievable,” says McMartin. “Studying a Dead Sea Scroll fragment is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And everything we do in Oxford will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity too! It’s humbling, and it’s an honor.”

Kutz, who was invited to lead three sessions of a Logos Hebrew language seminar, will join his students in Oxford for five days. 

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Daniel Somboonsiri (pictured) and Haley Kirkpatrick will attend the Logos Conference as second-year fellows.

“I am excited for them to have the opportunity to learn from other leading scholars in the field of textual research,” he says. “I am also glad they get to rub shoulders with other junior scholars from around the world who will become their peers as they continue in their studies and careers.”

As second-year fellows, Kirkpatrick and Somboonsiri will give presentations on the two GSI projects they have tackled. They’ll discuss the particular fragments they studied, how they analyzed them, processes in research they took and more. In addition to presenting their findings, fellows will also lead small group discussions. “Our schedule in Oxford is packed!” says Kirkpatrick. “Group discussions are a way for us to process the experience as it’s happening.”

Although the internship is a flurry of chapels, lectures, tours, discussions and tea times, Kirkpatrick hopes McMartin and Tucker can slow down to soak it all in. “My hope is that their experience in Oxford affirms for them how well God knows them and what he’s called them to do,” she says.

McMartin says they wouldn’t be going to Oxford if it weren’t for their teachers. “Our professors have accepted a huge responsibility by taking on GSI projects so that we could have this opportunity,” she says. “I’m so thankful for their investment in us.”

Kirkpatrick agrees. “I appreciate their emphasis on teamwork, and I appreciate recognizing and encouraging strengths in your teammates,” she says. “Our professors have a keen understanding of the language complimented by curiosity. They invite their students into the process. I still think we have the best Hebrew program in the country.”

Learn more about MU's Hebrew program.

‘Our outreach is extensive’: Students volunteer down the street, across the world

Collectively, Multnomah students provide more than 38,000 hours to communities each year — and their contributions span the globe.

They serve as role models for at-risk teens in Portland. They partner with nonprofit agencies in the greater community. And this Friday, the men’s basketball team is heading to Taiwan for a trip filled with service projects, community outreach and basketball games.

The Lions will compete in nine games, including Lovelife, a high-profile annual event that raises awareness and money for children with cancer. Teammates will present the Good News during each half-time.

“This trip is important because it’s an exceptional opportunity to share the gospel,” says sophomore business major Tanner Schula. “God has blessed us with the platform of basketball for ministry. Through basketball, we can first connect with the Taiwanese on a personal basis — and then share Christ.”

During the nine-day trip, the Lions will visit several schools, churches and an assisted living facility.

“It’s exciting that a small Christian school can have such a large capacity for ministry,” says Schula, “This trip displays Multnomah’s expansive reach.”

‘What Multnomah is all about’

Head Basketball Coach Curt Bickley puts a heavy emphasis on outreach and community service; he’s led his teams on mission trips to the Czech Republic and Taiwan for the past seven years. This is the fifth time the Lions are traveling to Taiwan.

“We’re looking forward to seeing old friends, spreading the Gospel, and playing basketball in a great place,” says Bickley. “It’s very exciting that our university has such an emphasis on mission work and that we get to take part in such a great trip.”

The athletes don’t stop serving when they’re back in the States. For the past eight years, the Lions have hosted a free basketball clinic for children at a Native American reservation in Washington. The clinic gives the team an opportunity to impart their skills — and share their faith. “Kids have gotten saved at these events,” says Bickley.

The Lions also volunteer at Providence Children’s Hospital, just down the street from campus. The athletes connect with boy and girls, some of them terminally ill, for a few hours each week. They play games, read, color or just talk.

“Our outreach is extensive,”says Bickley. “This team reflects what Multnomah is all about.”

Communicating values through action

The trip to Taiwan closely follows another service event Multnomah has observed for decades — Day of Outreach. Once every spring and fall, students volunteer at several locations in the Portland community in need of their time and energy. A volunteer site can be anywhere: a nonprofit organization, a school, a community center. Even a neighbor’s home. MU cancels classes for the day so students can devote their whole morning to service.

Senior psychology major Brenna Coy has been attending Day of Outreach since she transferred to MU as a sophomore. “Volunteering encourages me and other students to reach out to our neighborhood,” she says. “It builds bridges in the community.”

Theology and philosophy professor Dr. Mike Gurney agrees. He appreciates the opportunity to impact local organizations while interacting with students outside the classroom. Multnomah requires half of its professors to participate in each Day of Outreach event.

“As Christians, it’s not just about what we say; it’s also about what we do,” he says. “We want to communicate our values through action.”

One fall, Gurney and Coy joined a group of student volunteers at Portland Metro Arts (PMA), a nonprofit community arts organization in Southeast Portland. For several hours they dusted, wiped, polished and swept.

Nancy Yeamans, PMA’s executive director, played classical music from a small boom box as students bustled around her. A vacuum hummed in the background, and the smell of Windex hung in the air.

“I know you think that cleaning is probably not a big deal,” she says. “But to us it’s a huge deal because we rely a lot on volunteers. It’s meaningful beyond what you can imagine.”

‘We need to love people’

Besides international trips and Day of Outreach, students participate year-round in Service Learning, a campus-based program that connects them with local nonprofits. Students volunteer weekly at more than 70 organizations across the Portland metro area. They also gain priceless wisdom from field specialists who double as mentors.

“We’re committed to helping students integrate what they’re learning in the classroom with real life,” says Service Learning Director Dr. Roger Trautmann. “Whatever service God puts on their hearts is a possibility. From skateboarding to helping the homeless, from children’s ministry to working with seniors, we can connect them with more than 1,500 churches, ministries and service organizations.”

Sophomore Bible and theology major Katie Mansanti says Service Learning connected her to Adorned in Grace Design Studio, an outreach to at-risk teen girls in Northeast Portland. People donate all kinds of fabrics to the nonprofit, where volunteers like Mansanti teach the girls how to sew. The studio aims to prevent sex trafficking by empowering young women to become advocates on behalf of their sisters and friends.

Volunteers provide snacks, help with homework, offer workshops, run a mentorship program and lead a Bible study. “This is a safe place for them to hang out after school and have someone to talk to,” Mansanti says.

Mansanti’s knack for sewing and heart for teens was a perfect fit for the studio. “It’s nice to take something that’s second nature to me and share it with these girls,” she says. “We all need someone to nudge us along and tell us we’re doing a good job.”

Volunteering may be a time commitment for students, but Mansanti doesn’t see it as a burden. “Service Learning allows you to give back,” she says. “Helping people is important to God. We need to love people and be Jesus to them.”

Youth Ministry major gives students firsthand training, global opportunities

MU’s youth ministry major gives students firsthand training, unforgettable internships and global opportunities — from Germany to Japan.

"We get to take everything we learn in the classroom and apply it hands on," says youth ministry major Kayla Linscott.

Youth Ministry Chair Rob Hildebrand challenges his students to serve passionately and think big. "This major is designed for people who love God, love young people and want to make this world a better place," he says. "The youth worker has one of the most important jobs in the church. Young people are looking for guidance. What could be more important than having people love and care for them?"

Students in MU’s Summit program can earn a B.A. and M.Div. in five years

Multnomah University is launching Summit, a five-year Bachelor of Arts/Master of Divinity program that reduces the time and cost traditionally spent on the individual degrees. “Summit is an opportunity for people to get into ministry sooner,” says Roy Andrews, dean of Multnomah Biblical Seminary. “It’s five years of your time — not seven — and costs about 30 percent less than it would to take the programs separately.” The savings amount to $41,000, and that’s before scholarships are added.

Summit will target high-achieving high school seniors who aspire to be church leaders. Some students will receive full-tuition scholarships covering the undergraduate portion of the program. The scholarships are primarily designed for recent high school graduates, although transfer students with a minimum 3.0 GPA will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Additional scholarships are available for Summit students who don’t receive full-tuition scholarships.

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Andrews says anyone may join the program as long as they’re prepared for the academic rigor and intensive training. “Summit’s program director will help potential students figure out if they’re called to pursue ministry,” says Andrews. “Then they’ll discern if students are ready for the program. Some students might not have thought about it and just need to be exposed to it. But it’s not about arm wrestling them into it; it’s about introducing ideas.”

Besides MU’s standard admission requirements, eligible students will need a minimum 3.5 high school GPA and an additional reference letter from a church leader. “We want to affirm from their church’s perspective that they’re a good candidate,” Andrews says.

Once students jump into the program, they’ll be immersed in classes, service learning, mentored ministry and internships. “All these things are ingredients in the recipe for making people prepared for full-time ministry,” says Andrews. “Our students will get a lot of guided practical application. Though we’re condensing two programs, we won’t sacrifice the quality of either.”
Summit students will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Theology before earning a Master of Divinity. To remain enrolled, they must maintain a 3.0 GPA and meet all character and activity requirements for the program.

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Andrews is confident Multnomah’s option will stand out from other five-year B.A./M.Div. programs. “Some products look the same on the shelf, but when you see how they’re produced, you realize they’re different,” he says. “The other programs do a fine job educating people. But we give great attention to the Word of God, and it’s part of MU’s ethos to hold in tension the two commandments of Christ: loving God and loving your neighbor. With a thankful heart, we think we’re the best at doing that.”

Summit will launch in fall 2015 thanks to a $565,000 grant from The Kern Family Foundation, an independent grant-making organization based in Waukesha, Wis. The foundation, which funds broad-impact, long-term programs, is committed to promoting strong pastoral leadership and educational excellence.

The grant will be used to support a program director, student scholarships and marketing efforts.

“The Kerns are passionate about getting young people into ministry faster with little to no debt,” says Andrews. “Summit graduates won’t be bound to the indebtedness that prevents many from getting into vocational ministry. We do have a responsibility to help these students, so this is a great gift.”

Learn more about Summit.

Multnomah University Updates — Spring 2015

Comments Off Written on April 16th, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Newsletter

Torah unrolls new learning opportunities

Torah_blogLast fall, Ken and Barbara Larson gifted a rare and valuable Torah to Multnomah Biblical Seminary. The Torah, a parchment scroll on which the first five books of the Old Testament were written, is hundreds of years old and was likely used in a synagogue in Eastern Europe.

The scroll’s formal dedication was hosted on campus February 5. “We can feel your enthusiasm in the air,” said donor Barbara Larson. “We’ve been impressed by your faculty and students, and we’re excited for what this Torah will do for the school.” Hebrew professor Dr. Karl Kutz says the scroll will help students learn about scribal work and the transcription process.

The dedication was followed by an on-campus colloquium, where Ancient Manuscripts Expert Dr. Scott Carroll treated listeners to the scroll’s history and features. “If this Torah could talk to us, imagine what it could say and what it’s seen,” said Carroll. “It was preserved through the Enlightenment and the Holocaust. Through a wonderful turn of Providence, it’s in your community now.”

Read the full story.

Spring Thaw energizes, educates 650 high school students

Spring Thaw 15 Blog 2MU’s sixth annual youth retreat led by Dr. Rob Hildebrand proved to be another success this March. The event drew 650 high school students who stayed on Multnomah’s campus for 44 hours filled with exciting games, rich theology seminars, comedy skits, worship, a petting zoo and limo rides.

Volunteers composed of MU students and staff planned, built and facilitated the retreat. A small group of students majoring in Youth Ministry took on larger leadership roles and served as interns. Four Multnomah professors led theology seminars covering topics ranging from missions to modern-day dilemmas.

“You guys put a lot of effort into Spring Thaw,” says Austin Thompson, a senior from Gladstone First Baptist Church. “And it’s not about getting people to attend MU — it’s a chance for people to come together. I think that’s an amazing, selfless thing for a university to do.”

Read the full story.

MU to launch a five-year B.A./M.Div. program

summit2_featureimageMultnomah University is launching Summit, a five-year Bachelor of Arts/Master of Divinity program that reduces the time and cost traditionally spent on the individual degrees. “Summit is an opportunity for people to get into ministry sooner,” says Roy Andrews, dean of Multnomah Biblical Seminary. “It’s five years of your time — not seven — and costs about 30 percent less than it would to take the programs separately.”

Once students jump into the program, they’ll be immersed in classes, service learning, mentored ministry and internships. “All these things are ingredients in the recipe for making people prepared for full-time ministry,” says Andrews. “Our students will get a lot of guided practical application. Though we’re condensing two programs, we won’t sacrifice the quality of either.”

Summit will launch in fall 2015 thanks to a $565,000 grant from The Kern Family Foundation, an independent grant-making organization based in Waukesha, Wis. The grant will be used to support a program director, student scholarships and marketing efforts.

Read more about Summit.

Business & Organizational Psychology degree set to launch this fall

FallGrad2014_featureimageMU will launch a business & organizational psychology degree in fall 2015.

Graduates will be skilled at assessing an entire organizational domain and focusing on aspects that affect the organization’s bottom line. Areas of occupational focus include:

  • Efficiency of the work environment
  • Conflict managements
  • Effectiveness of marketing campaigns
  • Motivation and performance
  • Stakeholder involvement

Graduates will utilize their training to create business policies and methodologies with the goal of improving the organization’s ability to better meet the expectations of its customers and stakeholders.

For more information, contact Admissions at 503-251-6485 or admissions@multnomah.edu.

Business Department announces concentration in accounting

Bernie_featureimageIn fall 2015, MU will launch an accounting concentration under its business program.

The four-year program will be rigorous. The degree is 127 credits, including 24 credits of accounting. All classes will be taught by practitioners in the field.

Students will be prepared for CPA licensure in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The program will also provide excellent preparation for the Certified Management Accountant Exam and the Certified Fraud Examiner Exam.

For more information, contact Admissions at 503-251-6485 or admissions@multnomah.edu.

Intercultural Studies is now Global Studies

Greg_featureimageMU’s intercultural studies program was recently renamed the global studies program. Students will specialize in one of four new concentrations:

  • Applied Linguistics
  • Children at Risk
  • Culture & Diversity
  • Global Ministry

“Over the past couple of years, our department has been researching a way forward for our program given the complexities of our globalized world,” says Global Studies Chair Dr. Greg Burch. “If you’re interested in serving people, working with ethnic groups, church-planting, international vocations — this program is critical for you. You’ll be given the tools to thrive. Each concentration has its values and provides practical skills.”

Read the full story.