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Multnomah University Updates — Fall 2014

Comments Off Written on September 30th, 2014 by
Categories: Newsletter

Couple donates 18th-century Torah to MU

Ken and Barbara Larson, from Bonita Springs, Fla., are giving a rare and valuable Torah to Multnomah Biblical Seminary. The Torah is a parchment scroll on which the first five books of the Old Testament were written. This particular scroll is more than two centuries old and was likely used in synagogues. It’s durable enough to be used for decades to come.

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 says. “It will bring an added dimension to their educational experience that will last for many years.” The scroll’s formal dedication will be hosted on campus and is tentatively set for early February.

New community counseling center opening in October

MU will be opening a community counseling clinic on October 15. The clinic will offer discounted counseling sessions for people in the surrounding neighborhood while simultaneously providing internships for MU students earning their Master of Arts in Counseling degrees.

 “We are so excited to engage in this new venture,” says clinic coordinator Chris Cleaver. “We get to be a part of win-win-win situation. Our students learn through experience, our university gets an additional revenue stream and our neighbors are afforded the hope and love of Jesus!”

The clinic will have a grand opening on January 14, 2015.

Seminary students return from Oxford internship

This summer, Haley Cloyd and Daniel Somboonsiri attended the Logos Conference, a two-week internship in Oxford where world-renowned academic experts taught them history, theology and textual studies. Hebrew professor Dr. Karl Kutz participated in the second week of the conference, which was sponsored by the Green Scholars Initiative. 

Cloyd and Somboonsiri stayed in a Victorian manor within walking distance to Oxford. Their days were filled with lectures, workshops, guided tours, homework — and lots of tea. “I loved the opportunity to develop my own academic network; now I have friends at Cambridge, Gordon-Conwell,” says Cloyd. “The most important thing I learned is that my interests don’t limit my career path. This experience has been instrumental in shaping how I move forward.”

Somboonsiri agrees. “We got a lot of advise on pursuing the Christian life within the world of academia,” he says. “And Dr. Kutz was an invaluable help — he talked over the lectures with us. I’m excited about more GSI projects coming to MU, and I’m excited for more students to have similar opportunities to what Haley and I experienced.” 

New students attend orientation with different dreams, common purpose 

Business owner. Teacher. Counselor. Our new students have different goals, but they all want to make the world a better place, wherever God leads them. Their first step? Right here. Incoming students from across the U.S. — some from as far as Germany — congregated on campus August 21 to kick off MU’s four-day orientation. 

Louie Idlett, a business major from Longview, Wash., hopes to start his own company one day. He’s confident that MU’s biblical foundation will help him succeed. “As a Christian, you’re called to keep a higher standard of business,” he says. “It’s not all about the profit margin. It’s about loving God, loving your community and loving what you do — because you’re doing it for Him.”

New athletic teams begin competing 

MU’s Athletic Department has officially added six new sports teams for the fall 2014 season: women’s basketball, men’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, and men’s and women’s golf. MU’s cross country, golf, soccer and volleyball teams are currently in season and competing in the National Christian College Athletic Association Division II. Our men’s and women’s basketball teams are currently practicing.

“This is one of the most exciting times in the history of Multnomah’s athletic department, says Athletics Director Lois Voss. We have more athletes participating than ever before and some really great things have already happened: We have a runner who qualified for the National Cross Country tournament, a golfer who missed the national tournament by one shot, and we scored our first goal in soccer. New things are being written in our history books.


‘A Time of Celebration and Thanksgiving’: Dr. Craig Williford’s Inauguration Set For October 17

Comments Off Written on September 26th, 2014 by
Categories: Newsletter

Multnomah University will officially inaugurate Dr. Craig Williford as the institution’s fifth president during a ceremony the afternoon of Friday, October 17, at Rolling Hills Church. The University will close at noon and classes from 1:30 p.m. on will be cancelled so all faculty, staff and students can attend.

“This event will be a time of celebration and thanksgiving as the MU family, Carolyn and I express our mutual joy in God’s blessings,” said Williford. “The inauguration will signal to the Northwest learning community that MU is beginning a new season as it continues to build upon 78 years of faithful ministry.”

The University’s first inauguration since 1997, the event will kick off at 2 p.m. with a traditional academic procession. Board members, administration, faculty, and delegates will proceed in full academic regalia. A formal ceremony will follow, which will include an inaugural address from alumnus Dr. Luis Palau.

The University Board of Trustees will then present to and authorize Williford to wear the presidential medallion of the University. “The medallion will serve as a visual sign of my role as senior leader,” said Williford. “Receiving it for the first time while I am kneeling will symbolize my dependence upon God and that I am here to serve the MU family.”

Williford will give a presidential address before the benediction and recessional. A reception, also hosted at Rolling Hills, will begin at 3:30 p.m. All are invited to attend.

Williford noted that the inauguration recalls the sacred trust that exists between God, the Willifords, and all past, present and future Multnomah family members. “I am personally reminded of my responsibility to lead wisely and faithfully,” he said. “Carolyn and I are humbled as I formally assume the role of president. I’m excited about publicly declaring my loyalty to Christ and expressing how honored I feel to serve along such a dedicated and talented group of people.”

Paul J. Pastor wins 2014 Distinguished Young Alumni Award

1 Comment » Written on September 26th, 2014 by
Categories: Newsletter

Paul J. Pastor had no idea what he wanted to do when he began his freshman year, but his passion for God’s Word had instinctively led him to Multnomah.

paul_primary“I craved fuel for my imagination,” said Pastor, MU’s 2014 Distinguished Young Alumni Award Winner. “The Scriptures fuel, inform and ground you like nothing else can.”

Now the 2008 graduate is informing and challenging countless Christians through his gift of writing. Pastor is associate editor of Christianity Today’s Leadership Journal, an iconic magazine for pastors and ministry leaders. He’s also the editor of PARSE, Leadership Journal’s blog, which provides insight and analysis on ministry and culture.

Although PARSE made its debut in January 2014, it’s already attracted strong attention, including being listed as one of the top 10 ministry blogs in the world by the industry standard list.

“That was a pleasant surprise!” Pastor said. “But my personal metric of success? Simply to highlight stories, conversations and resources that I'm personally intrigued by. If we publish content that’s interesting, good for the soul and a little out of the norm, I think we've succeeded as a publication.”

‘Someone who wants to make the world a different place’

Pastor’s job requires a heavy dose of artistry, and he credits MU with cultivating his vision.

“Multnomah is great for a creative person; someone who wants to make the world a different place,” he said.

And Pastor is making the world a different place, one article at a time. Boiled down, his job is about stories — finding ones that matter, crafting them well and convincing people to read them.

“I work to tell stories that challenge the way we currently think about things and pull our hearts toward the margins, where I’m convinced Jesus spends most of his time,” he said.

Pastor lives in his hometown of Portland, Ore., but the search for good stories has taken him to Israel, Palestine and all across the U.S. He’s sat in offices, churches, pubs, coffee shops, art galleries, auditoriums, living rooms and hotel ballrooms.

“I’ve talked with anonymous sources, big-name pastors, rural ministers, authors, culture-makers, church planters, professors, musicians, artists, missionaries, parents, global evangelists, abolitionists, entrepreneurs, the failed, the successful, the wise, the foolish and various combinations of all of the above,” he said. “I love it.”

A pen instead of a pulpit

Pastor will officially accept the Distinguished Young Alumni of the Year Award during a special chapel, hosted in the JCA, on October 21 at 10 a.m. Michelle Peel-Underwood, Multnomah’s director of alumni relations, said Pastor’s passion for the Lord and love for the Word are key reasons he was selected.

“Paul’s journey has been awe-inspiring,” Underwood said. “He lives intentionally, depends upon the Lord and carries insight into how the truths of Scripture inform our daily living.”

Pastor said he’s deeply honored to receive the recognition.

“This award is an affirmation of the path I've chosen and an encouragement that my work is making a difference,” he said. “As a student, I had a professor and mentor, Domani Pothen, say she thought my calling was to ‘steward God's Word for God's people.’ This confirms that I'm discovering what that means for my life — I’m just stewarding the Word with a pen instead of a pulpit.”

Growing givers’ hearts: An interview with VP of Advancement Steve Cummings

Comments Off Written on September 26th, 2014 by
Categories: Newsletter

True joy in giving

Steve Cummings stepped into his role as vice president of Advancement in August and hit the ground running. Cummings, who holds an M.Div. in Christian Education, brings 18 years of marketing and production experience to the position. For the past six years, he served as a senior director of development for Prison Fellowship Ministries, where he built relationships with donors in Hawaii, Alaska and California.

Cummings Family Photo

Steve Cummings with his family.

“I believe my calling is to serve God’s kingdom by growing givers’ hearts,” Cummings says. “I challenge them to become cheerful and sacrificial stewards who experience true joy in their giving while growing deeper in their relationship with Jesus Christ.”

MU President Dr. Craig Williford is delighted to have Cummings and his wife, Julia, join the Multnomah family. “Their deep commitment to Christ and desire to serve will contribute to our university mission,” he says. “Steve’s expertise in advancement has prepared him to lead us as we focus on equipping people to be faithful stewards.”

Steve and Julia have been married for 26 years and are proud parents of four adult children and one daughter-in-law. Julia will be continuing her counseling internship at MU’s Community Counseling Center, set to open October 15.

I asked Cummings to share a few highlights about his role at MU.

What made you want to work here?

Multnomah has always been, in my mind, one of the premiere biblical universities in the country and certainly the top one in the Pacific Northwest. I have known MU alumni and crossed paths with MU missionaries, pastors and others who either gave to Multnomah or served here, and the school was always so well spoken of.

When I received the call from Craig Williford in May asking if I was interested in joining his executive leadership team, there was never a hesitation on my part. I knew what Multnomah stood for and its commitment not only to the Scriptures but to spiritual formation and shaping students with a close-knit, stellar faculty. The decision was an easy one.

What are some things you like most about your job?

No hesitation here – the faculty and staff. My first 30 days here made me feel like I'd been here 30 months. The love for Jesus this Body of Christ has and for each other is simply amazing! There are no agendas here, no factions, no selfish attitudes. From the Board of Trustees to the President’s Council to the faculty, staff and student body – it’s a slice of heaven on earth here at these 25 acres in Portland.

The Advancement team I inherited is beyond amazing. They have jumped on board with open hearts and not looked back as we seek to build an advancement ministry at Multnomah the way God intends that will please Him and elevate givers' hearts heavenward.

I have a cool office, too, where I can look out and see students walking by, reminding me of why I am here.

How does your role fit into Multnomah’s mission?

Advancement leads this university in our mission and, as the leader, I take this responsibility very seriously. I depend on prayer and daily ask the Lord for His wisdom, favor and grace to accomplish what He sets out for us to do each day. I’m convinced that if we are faithful in the little things and to our calling, He will grant the success, the outcomes and the growth.

I am zealous about success and growth. I am zealous about prayer, faithfulness and serving together as a Body of Christ that pleases Him. When we do that, it brings a smile to the Father’s face, and I know then we have accomplished what He has set before us. Mountains like Mt. Everest are conquered one step at a time.

What are your hopes for MU?

That the Lord will gather His people for such a time as this to renew our hearts and do great and mighty things for the kingdom. The world is changing constantly and not for the better. There is a sense of urgency to what God has called us to do as we equip and train students to fulfill the mission of Multnomah as the Lord has directed us.

Our Advancement team is here to be used by the Lord to build a culture of generosity across the Multnomah campus and with God’s people who faithfully, sacrificially and generously give to Multnomah. Our role is to advance and facilitate every believer’s faith in and worship of God through a Christ-centered understanding of stewardship that is solidly grounded on Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Ex. 35:21).

If I can help start a revolution in generosity that causes the Multnomah family to grow in their love relationship to God through their giving to the kingdom – I will die a happy man. It’s not about the gift. It’s about the giver.

What are your hopes for our alumni and donors?

First – let’s do away with the term “donors.” People who give are God’s people who invest God’s money to do God’s work. We like to refer to believers who do that as “givers” or “partners.”

My only hope is this: That we can come together in a spirit of unity – for such a time as this – and mobilize our time, talent and resources to advance the cause of Christ until He returns.

We need your help in doing that. You are our best ambassadors. To reach our full potential as a university that God has for us, we need the Lord’s wisdom, favor and grace to share our message with other believers. We can invite them to participate with us in this great mission.

Service with a smile: Students build friendships off campus

A cloudy sky and thin veil of rain greeted more than 130 Multnomah University students as they left campus to participate in Day of Outreach on September 23.

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.

OutreachFall2014_1"Now we get to give"

The living room at ElderPlace Laurelhurst, a care facility for seniors on Glisan Street, is a bright space filled with round tables where students talk and laugh with elderly men and women over cups of juice and coffee. Colorful flags hang from the ceiling and a giant white teddy bear looks down from an old piano.

Senior Olivia Morud is chatting with Phyllis, a curly-haired woman with blotchy hands and tiny glasses. The two have just finished playing a card game. Morud, an English major from Scappoose, Ore., says she loves being able to listen. "They have so much to say, so many stories," she says. "As students, we are given so much in the classroom. Now we get to give."

Volunteering is important, she says, because Jesus was a servant. "He would be doing this if he was here today," she says."It's close to his heart."

OutreachFall2014_2"A real picture of the Gospel"

Volunteers at Harrison Park School on 87th Avenue, their shoes caked with soil, are constructing a community garden. Some students build raised garden beds while others clear away debris and pull weeds.

Freshman Kimberly Marshburn and junior Maggi Schlosser are filling a garden bed with dirt. Marshburn, a Bible and theology major from Bakersfield, Calif., has been attending MU for only a month, but she's excited to serve the community so soon.

"I was talking to some students the other day who were concerned that we'd become secluded at MU," she says. "But this day shows me that we're living what we say we are. School is the practice zone and then we get to go out and live life together. It's a real picture of the gospel."

"A desire to serve"

OutreachFall2014_4Just a few blocks from campus, senior Cory Howatt is starting a lawnmower in front of a small pink house. Dotty, an wispy woman with hunched shoulders and worn moccasins, looks over her property.

"I've lived in this house for 66 years," she says. "My husband died 30 years ago, and this yard is too much for me to keep up." She smiles. "You guys have been coming to see me for a long time now."

Several volunteer sites, including those featured in this story, are permanent fixtures on the sign-up sheet. That way, students can nurture
friendships over time.

OutreachFall2014_3Howatt, a pastoral ministry major from Koloa, Hawaii, says the day shows people who Christ is through students' service. "Who we get to work with is the best part," he says. "I get to meet people like Dotty."

"We serve out of a desire to serve," he adds. "We may not benefit from any compensation, but we benefit from building relationships."

Be A Part Of SEVEN

Comments Off Written on September 8th, 2014 by
Categories: Events

What is SEVEN?

Seven is a week-long event focused on praying for Portland.

When is SEVEN?

Sunday, September 21 through Saturday, September 27.

Where can I get involved in SEVEN?

There are five participating regions within the Portland metro area. Groups in each region meet at a different location each night of the week to pray and worship together. On the final day of SEVEN, all regions will gather in downtown Portland.

seven_instagram_3Click on a region to view a schedule.

  1. SEVEN Clark County
  2. SEVEN East
  3. SEVEN Portland
  4. SEVEN Southeast County
  5. SEVEN West

How is MU involved in SEVEN?

Multnomah will be hosting Night 6 in the SEVEN East region. We're the first university to host a SEVEN event, and we're honored to serve our community this way.

Come to the JCA cafeteria at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 26, for communal worship and prayer for our city — and all the people who live in it.

Want to spread the word on social media?

Let people know about SEVEN by using these images on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.

Join the conversation by using the hastag #sevenpdx when you share thoughts and photos.

Students Arrive with Different Dreams, Common Purpose

Comments Off Written on August 22nd, 2014 by
Categories: Events, Students

Business owner. Teacher. Counselor. Our new students have different goals, but they all want to make the world a better place, wherever God leads them. Their first step? Multnomah University.

NSO2014_photo1Incoming students from across the U.S. — some from as far as Germany — congregated on campus August 21 to kick off MU’s four-day orientation. Director of Student Services Dr. Karen Fancher said the event’s name, Heaven’s Poetry Etched on Lives, was taken from Ephesians 2:10 — “For we are the product of His hand, heaven’s poetry etched on lives, created in Jesus, to accomplish the good works God arranged long ago.”

“We believe God has specific things meant for you,” she told the group of new students. “Remember that you are unique. Don’t ever feel like you have to look a certain way or be a cookie-cutter Christian — be yourself, and engage with others in the way you’re created to.”

NSO2014_photo2Louie Idlett feels called to engage with others through the marketplace. The business major from Longview, Wash., hopes to start his own company one day, and he’s confident that MU’s biblical foundation will help him succeed. “As a Christian, you’re called to keep a higher standard of business,” he said. “It’s not all about the profit margin. It’s about loving God, loving your community and loving what you do — because you’re doing it for Him.”

Tara Osburn, from Hillsboro, Ore., dreams of teaching in South America. The elementary education major said she was attracted to Multnomah’s close-knit community. “I like the family feel and the small classes here,” she said. “And I like my teachers knowing who I am.” Osburn is also looking forward to being a Lion — she’ll start playing on the women’s basketball team this year. “Coach Tim is awesome,” she said. “And I’m excited to get some guidance from the more experienced players.”

NSO2014_photo3Jordan Lovell, from Medford, Ore., plans on being a counselor. The psychology major said Multnomah’s professors drew him to the university. “I thought they were great teachers,” he said.  “I’m most excited for my classes with them.” Lovell is passionate about equipping himself to help people through life — emotionally and spiritually. “The great thing about getting a psychology degree at MU is that you also get the Bible and theology degree. That way, you stay balanced and don’t go too far to one side.”

Staying balanced — and staying true to God’s unique call on your life — is what MU is all about.

Steve Cummings joins MU as vice president of Advancement

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

PORTLAND, Ore. — Steve Cummings has been selected as vice president of Multnomah University’s Advancement Department.

Read the rest of this entry »

Connecting Continents: Students Reach Out to Rwanda

Comments Off Written on July 24th, 2014 by
Categories: Missions, Students

This summer, a group of MU students traveled to Kigali, Rwanda, to serve alongside former MU professor, Dr. Garry Friesen, who now teaches at the Africa College of Theology. During the trip, the team visited The Dream Boys, a nonprofit program that feeds and educates homeless Rwandan children.

"Getting to spend time with these boys was one of the main highlights of our trip," says sophomore Heidi Birch. "We got to play games with them, read them Bible lessons, act out skits, and teach them how to make bracelets. I will never forget the love that radiated from their hearts. This trip has changed my life forever."

Read the full story, Impacted by Love: My Trip to Africa.

Reflections on a Life of Faith and Service

Comments Off Written on July 10th, 2014 by
Categories: Dr. Lockwood

In light of Dr. Dan's passing, we've created a special page honoring his life and time at Multnomah.

On our Tribute to Dr. Dan page, you can:

  • Share your favorite memories of Dr. Dan
  • See how Dr. Dan has touched the lives of others
  • Watch his last chapel recording
  • View the official press release
  • Listen to Dr. Dan's memorial service recording
  • Read our commemorative story