Alumni

Multnomah University Updates — Spring 2015

No Comments » 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.

State of the University Address: A Message from Dr. Craig Williford

No Comments » Written on April 7th, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Newsletter, Pray For MU

Dear Alumni Family,

craig_mainimage_portrait

Greetings from Portland. I pray God’s presence in your life is strong and clear these days. Here at Multnomah University, we are fast approaching the end of the semester and graduation.

Each month we gather as a community of faculty, staff and administration for what we call Lionshare. The name is a combination of our athletic mascot, a lion, and our purpose for meeting — to share and update one another on what’s happening in the MU community. Each meeting we celebrate, communicate, encourage and pray. During this month’s Lionshare, I gave a State of the University address restating our university-wide commitment to Christ, the gospel and biblical integrity. I thought you might enjoy reading some of these thoughts.

Before I began my address, I asked our employees, “Why do you serve at MU?”  They listed the quality of our students, MU’s commitment to biblical integrity, MU’s godly faculty, how lives are impacted, and their belief in our mission and values. You might give many of the same answers if I asked you.

I followed this discussion by answering why I choose to serve at MU. I serve at MU because:

  1. I believe in Christian higher education, and I believe God meets and molds students at MU.
  2. I love showing students how to be a godly influence in all walks of life.
  3. I understand how critical biblical wisdom and power are to all human existence, so I value our biblical commitments.
  4. I enjoy the pursuit of Christ through the exploration of truth at a learning community committed to the Bible and honoring Christ.
  5. I fell in love with the people and community of MU.
  6. I respect the global impact of our alumni and professors.

During the next section of my address, I explained what we mean when we say “MU is building a biblical university.” As MU seeks to combine the strengths of a traditional Bible College with the strengths of a traditional liberal arts school, these are some of the unique characteristics you’ll find:

  • A place where we focus on pursuing biblical wisdom and power
  • A place where the study of the arts and sciences collaborate and collide with the study of Bible and theology to provide clarity to life’s most important questions
  • A university where the integration of our faith to all areas of study is intentional and comprehensive throughout the educational experience
  • A university where students learn to think and live biblically
  • A university that designs spaces where the Holy Spirit can craft a love relationship with his children
  • A university where students are shown how to be a godly influence for the enrichment of their communities
  • A university where God’s creativity is modeled in a learning environment filled with curiosity and creativity
  • A university where deeper levels of understanding are applied through the wise application of learning theory and educational technology
  • A university that skillfully connects theoretical and concrete learning
  • A university where students prepare for a career and discover a life that matters

In the month ahead, you’ll hear even more about this distinctive.

In the final section of my address, I gave numerous updates on new degrees and programs that we’re building. These include:

  • Four accredited, fully online degrees launching in fall 2015
  • A new residential degree in business and organizational psychology launching in fall 2015
  • A new concentration in business accounting launching in fall 2015
  • A new biology degree launching in fall 2016

We’re also launching Summit, a five-year B.A./M.Div. program, this fall. Summit provides a way for spiritually and academically gifted young leaders to complete a B.A. and M.Div. degree in five years instead of the usual seven years. Some students will receive full-tuition scholarships covering the undergraduate portion of the program. Additional scholarships are available for Summit students who don’t receive full-tuition scholarships. Check out our Summit page for more information.

This update simply cannot explain all the new programs, degrees and other exciting news. Keep watching our website and our monthly alumni updates for more information. Please continue to pray and stay in touch.

Blessings,

Craig

G. Craig Williford, Ph.D.
President

Shake and Shine: Person to Person

No Comments » 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

michelle_mainimage_portraitWhat 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

Chaplain and seminary graduate Emil Khooda: ‘New Wine, New Wineskins is a hidden gem’

When Emil Khooda decided to earn his M.Div., a friend recommended Multnomah for its out-of-the-box thinking and cultural engagement program — New Wine, New Wineskins. That program had a lasting impact on Khooda’s life.

“Christians can get insular and forget to engage with people outside their faith,” he says. “New Wine is a hidden gem — it paints a vivid reflection of who Christ is and how he interacted with people.”

The seminary graduate says the program equipped him to meet his calling as a hospital chaplain. “Now I can meaningfully speak into peoples’ lives,” he says. Read Emil’s story.

Emil_featureimage

You’re invited to MU’s free 2015 Athletics Alumni Day

Comments Off Written on January 13th, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Athletics

On Saturday, February 14, Multnomah Athletics is hosting a special Athletics Alumni Day to celebrate all past and current MU athletes.

This event is free, and everyone – alumni, students, staff and faculty – is invited and encouraged to bring friends, family, neighbors, youth groups and anyone else who will enjoy the day.

Come prepared to dive into 11 hours packed with games, competition, camaraderie and lots of fun. No RSVP necessary. Contact Coach Tim Bieri at tbieri@multnomah.edu for more info.

2015 Athletics Alumni Day Schedule

9:00 AM

  • Multnomah Community Run/Walk
  • Sponsored by the Multnomah University Cross Country Team
  • 5 kilometer course on paved streets ($10 onsite)
  • Start and finish in front of MU gym
  • Doors to gym lobby open at 8:00 AM
  • Dog’s & strollers welcomed
  • 2 water stations provided
  • Special Valentine's Day prizes

11:00 AM

  • Volleyball Alumni Mixer & Scrimmage
  • Volleyball alumni are invited to come mix and play with the current MU volleyball team.
  • Bring your knee-pads and a smile.

1:00 PM

  • Basketball Alumni Open Gym
  • Basketball alumni are invited to come enjoy some friendly games of full-court 5 on 5.

3:00 PM

  • Men’s Basketball JV vs Mt. Angel Seminary

5:00 PM

  • Women’s Basketball vs TBD

7:00 PM

  • Men’s Basketball vs Northwest Indian College
  • At half-time we will be honoring:

> 1996 Men's Basketball National Championship Team
> Nathan Meeker - the 2014 NCCAA DII Men's Cross Country National Champion

GET A FREE HOT DOG AND NACHOS WITH THE PURCHASE* OF ADMISSION!

*MU Students, Staff, & Alumni get in for FREE. Regular price of Admission: Adults $7 - Kids (6-12) $2 - Seniors $5

Executive director and DCP alumna Gayle Fidanzo: ‘I wouldn’t be the leader I am without MU’

Comments Off Written on January 12th, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Press Releases, Students

When Gayle Fidanzo was offered a job at Christian Family Adoptions, she was reluctant to accept.

“We all want the desires of our heart — but I didn’t know my heart yet,” says the leadership and ministry major. The DCP graduate dreamed of taking risks, working overseas and rescuing women from slavery. “I thought an adoption agency would be boring,” she says.

It was quite the opposite. Read Gayle's story.

GayleKFidanzo_featureimage

 

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

 

Multnomah University Updates — Summer 2014

Seminary Students Attend Oxford

Seminary students Haley Cloyd and Daniel Somboonsiri have been selected to attend the Logos Conference, a two-week internship in 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.

Cloyd has been working on MU’s GSI Dead Sea Scrolls project since last fall, and Somboonsiri began analyzing the fragment this spring. Biblical Languages Chair Dr. Karl Kutz has been directing the project. “I’m not surprised Haley and Daniel were selected,” he said. “They are both very capable. I’m very proud of them.”

Spring Thaw Unites 800 High School Students

The fifth annual youth retreat led by Dr. Rob Hildebrand proved to be another success. More than 800 high school students filled Multnomah’s campus for 44 hours filled with unforgettable games, teaching, laughter, worship, Disney characters and donuts. They left feeling inspired, united and encouraged.

More than 200 volunteers — composed of MU students and staff — planned, built and facilitated the April retreat. A small group of students majoring in Youth Ministry took on larger leadership roles and served as interns. "I think it's great that MU can open up and do this for us," said Tim Blank, a senior from Abundant Life Church in Sandy, Ore. "It says a lot about the school. I'm glad I got to be here."

MU Partners with Portland Police

Multnomah hosted an all-day training exercise with the Portland Police Bureau's Rapid Response Team (RRT) on campus in April. The RRT, a group composed of 70 law enforcement members, spent the day practicing crowd control procedures and techniques. More than 30 law enforcement officials from the Portland metro area, Washington and California observed the scenarios.

Sgt. David Abrahamson, RRT member and former Multnomah student, led the training. For Abrahamson, the opportunity to join Multnomah in a communal effort was inspiring. “This process has blessed all of us,” he said. “MU has gone above and beyond to help us. I can't say enough good things about this school.”

College and Grad School Hire New Leaders  

Dr. David Manock has been selected as director of Multnomah’s Master of Arts in Counseling Program. A licensed marriage and family counselor, Manock has nearly two decades of experience running a private practice. “I’m looking forward to learning how I can help the MAC students succeed as professionals,” he said. “I’m committed to excellence in clinical counseling so that students will know their craft and find their place in the community.”

The University has also hired Lee Sellers to lead its undergraduate Business Administration program. Sellers, who holds an MBA, has owned and operated his own consulting business for more than 14 years. “I enjoy challenge, and I’m excited to build something at MU,” he said. “I want to develop a world-class program that prepares students to go into the real world and make connections with people that reflect the Gospel.”

Seminary Offers Free Lectureship Series to Public

Multnomah sponsored an opportunity for the general public to hear from some well-respected speakers the University had brought in for its DMin and MAAT programs. The free lectureship series, geared toward ministry practitioners, gave the speakers a chance to talk about their unique ministries and what they saw as relevant for the local church in the current culture.

The guest speakers were George Hunsberger, professor of missiology at Western Theological Seminary; Josh Butler, pastor of local & global outreach at Imago Dei Community; Terry Muck, executive director of The Louisville Institute; Hugh Halter, author and speaker; Carolyn Custis James, the president and founder of Whitby Forum; and Christena Cleveland, associate professor of reconciliation studies at Bethel University.

MU Applies to Cascade Collegiate Conference 

The Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) approved Multnomah University’s membership application, moving the Lions one step closer toward conference participation during the 2015-16 season. MU’s membership in the CCC is contingent on admission to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. MU will apply to the NAIA in September, and a decision is expected next spring.

“It is a great honor for Multnomah’s application to be accepted by the Cascade Collegiate Conference,” said Dr. Wayne Strickland. “We could not be more pleased to be associated with such a prestigious conference, and we look forward to building lasting and meaningful relationships.”

A Greeting from Dr. Craig Williford

Dear Alumni Family,

It’s an honor and a great privilege to assume my role as Multnomah’s fifth president today. I’m humbled by the legacy and rich heritage of Multnomah University and want to personally thank each of you for the ways you have represented Multnomah with godly distinction.

The strength of any university lies within the quality of its alumni, and Multnomah University is strong because of the ways you've invested your life in service to others — either in the marketplace or vocational ministry, locally or around the world.

As president, I want to express my complete and unreserved affirmation of Multnomah’s faith statements, mission and core values. As a biblical university, our continued aim will be to integrate the Bible into all aspects of our educational experience as we prepare alumni to be biblically competent, academically proficient, spiritually formed and culturally engaged. We trust that God will continue to infuse our future alumni with servants’ hearts and faithful lives — just like yours.

I’m excited about what lies ahead. MU faces some external and internal challenges, like many other faith-based universities. But we’re committed to prayerfully embracing these challenges while also identifying the exciting opportunities that exist as we seek to expand the work of the Gospel. As we seize these opportunities, we’ll continue to add new majors and grow our online course offerings to ensure that as many people as possible are able to benefit from the Multnomah educational experience.

I invite you — a vital part of Multnomah’s ongoing legacy — to join with us in this critical effort. If I may, I’d like to challenge you in the following three ways:

  1. Continue to tell your story. Prospective students seek advice from people they trust — people like you. Historically, our alumni have proven to be our strongest recruiters, so use your influence to motivate people to attend MU. You might even consider taking more course work yourself. We continue to expand our degree offerings and would love to have you back on campus.
  1. Join us in prayer. The board and I are calling the MU community to a day of prayer Saturday, August 16, and we would love to have you join us on campus that day. You also can join us through the spirit of prayer from wherever you live. I believe that prayer places us in a posture of humility that enables us to hear God’s voice and wisdom. Our plan is to pray in every classroom, office, dorm and gathering space throughout the entire campus as we ask God to use our human interactions in these spaces to help us fulfill our mission. We desire a strong presence of Christ on our campus and endeavor to create relationships, spaces and experiences where the Holy Spirit can transform our students. We will give more details regarding our day of prayer soon.
  1. Be a part of Multnomah’s ongoing legacy. Prayerfully consider how you might invest your time, talents and treasures to support MU in its eternally-focused mission.

I look forward to meeting you and hearing from you in the days and weeks ahead.

With deepest appreciation,

Craig

Tawny Johnson: Cultivating Knowledge

This week we're featuring a student story about Tawny Johnson, who graduated from both our college and seminary. When Johnson started attending undergrad classes at 45, she had no idea why God had called her to MU. Nearly ten years later, she knows exactly why.

“Isn’t that a guy’s thing?” Tawny Johnson had just told someone she was going to seminary, and that was his response.

Johnson paused. She had never thought that learning about God was gender exclusive — but she was finding that many Christians did.

“There’s a common impression that studying theology at a master’s level is just for men,” Johnson says. “But theology is not masculine.”

Multnomah welcomes men and women into all its programs; nevertheless, its seminary is currently composed of mostly men. This never bothered Johnson; it only highlighted the importance of a seminary education for all Christians, regardless of gender.

'Take responsibility' 

“There’s been an emphasis in some areas of the Church to rely on men, but women need to delve into things themselves and take responsibility for their own spiritual lives,” Johnson says. “Regardless of what you think about men and women leadership roles in the church…that’s beside the point. It’s not a gender issue — it’s a Christian issue.”

Tawny_mainJohnson and Multnomah go way back.

In the ‘80s, she worked full-time for Multnomah Press, a publishing company previously owned by Multnomah. After 13 years filled with administration, marketing, foreign publishing, design, advertising and product development, she left her job in 1992, when Multnomah sold the press to another publishing company.

The right thing

Johnson took the loss of a successful career as a gain in her family life: She spent the next 13 years homeschooling her two daughters.

In 2005, she felt God leading her to Multnomah. She didn’t know why she was supposed to go. All she knew was that it was the right thing to do. So, with the support of her husband and children, she enrolled, not realizing that she was beginning a nine-year journey.

'It wasn't about me'

Freshman orientation in the undergrad program found her surrounded by 18-year-olds. Johnson was 45. “It was a bit intimidating to come back to school as an older adult,” she says. “But I knew that it wasn't about me — it was about what God wanted to do in me.”

For six years, Johnson attended MU while working part time as a receptionist at a hair salon. In 2010, she graduated with a minor in English. After she accepted her diploma and took her seat, she watched as MU’s master’s students were fitted with hoods — a sign of their academic achievements.

“I thought, ‘I want one of those!’” she says. One year later, she was back at Multnomah — this time for a Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree.

'Part of a whole'

“I chose theological studies because it was a chance to integrate my love of theology and my love of history,” she says. “Now I have a broader view of the Church — I feel like I’m a part of a whole, and I appreciate the people who came before me in sacrifice and obedience.”

One of her favorite things about seminary was her teachers. “The professors at Multnomah are its strength,” she says. “They care about the student, and they cultivate an environment of stimulating exchange. They also help you think critically and address some misconceptions you probably have.”

One faculty member in particular, Dr. Brad Harper, taught several of Johnson’s theology classes over the years. “One time, he asked me if I felt out of place in the seminary,” she says. “I absolutely did not. My classmates and I all felt called to be there. Gender was never an issue with the professors or with my — almost exclusively male — counterparts.”

'My dream job'

Last month, Johnson finally earned her “hoodie”, as she affectionately calls it. “I threatened my husband that I was going to wear it to the grocery store, just to get some mileage out of it!” she jokes.

But Johnson began reaping the benefits of her degree before she was even finished with seminary. Just a few months before graduation, she was invited to join D.C. Jacobson & Associates as a literary agent.

“It’s my dream job,” she says. “My education in recognizing exceptional writing, depth of content and theological integrity has led me to this career. Multnomah was instrumental in cultivating that passion and knowledge which will assist me as I assess Christian books for publication. I will always feel connected to MU, and I'm sincerely grateful for the role it has played in my life.”