Alumni

Why you are part of the ripple effect

No Comments » Written on June 2nd, 2017 by
Categories: Alumni, Students

 

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Dear MU Family,

Celebration and sighs of relief are in the air at Multnomah University! The light pink cherry blossoms are in full bloom, much like the burgeoning graduates who recently received their hard-earned diplomas. One of them — a global studies major named Kevin Perry — has an amazing story I’d like to share with you.

The youngest of six children, Kevin was born into a military family and raised on a military base in Germany. Youth camps, outreach groups, and missions organizations visited the base frequently, but one group changed the course of his life forever.

In 2010, Youth Ministry Department Chair Dr. Rob Hildebrand brought a group of Multnomah students to minister to the military kids on Kevin’s base. One of these students was Anthony Beatty, who was given the opportunity to share the gospel. Though Kevin had heard the story many times before, Jesus had been preparing his heart for the special moment when he prayed with Anthony. With tears streaming down his face, Kevin committed his life to Christ, no matter the cost.

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When you follow Christ, your faithfulness creates a profound ripple effect. In fact, you may never know how many people your converted life touches.

Anthony grew up in a spiritually mixed home comprised of atheism and Christian Science. Even still, he came to know the Lord through his youth pastor, Will Vollstedt. Will was a Multnomah graduate.

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Anthony (left) and Kevin (center) hike with a group to Oneonta Gorge.

The ripple effect connects Will, Anthony and Kevin to this day. Will is now the senior pastor at Grace and Glory Community Church in Vancouver, Washington. He is still one of Anthony’s pastors. Anthony runs his own video company called M25 Productions (named after the parable of the talents in Matthew 25). He regularly works with clients such as Nike, Old Trapper, Timbuk2 and even Multnomah. He and Kevin have remained close friends. And now that he’s graduated, Kevin and his wife (also an alum) are committing to full-time missionary work in Austria.

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Kevin and Rachel Perry on their wedding day

We recently got the chance to hear Anthony and Kevin retell their remarkable story in person:

Friends, it’s incredible to see these lives bonded by continued friendship, a love for Jesus Christ and Multnomah University. From Will’s obedience, to Anthony’s faithfulness, to Kevin’s acceptance, there are two things for certain: The Gospel will never cease to go out, and Multnomah will never stop equipping people to share it.

In Matthew 28, Jesus shared his vision for the entire world with his disciples:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing

them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the

Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

As the president of Multnomah University, I’m proud to share that we take this mission to heart, and we take it very seriously. Christ’s mission, the Great Commission, is our mission! I also have the responsibility to strategically implement ways to equip our students to meet the world’s current needs while embodying both the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

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To be a pivotal transforming force in the world, we need several things, and they all require you!

First, we need you to tell more people about Multnomah. More than 94 percent of our students came here because a friend, family member, alum, pastor or coach recommended it. In fact, prospective students are over nine times more likely to enroll by a word-of-mouth referral than any other source!

Second, we need your prayer. You already know Multnomah was founded on the bedrock of prayer. On February 14, 1936, Reverend John G. Mitchell came together with Portland-area ministers to pray about this place, which was still an ethereal idea at the time. Eighty-one years later, we are still here, because of prayer and because of God’s blessing through you.

Third, we need your faith. We need your faith that God will supply all of Multnomah’s needs as we seek to follow his will for this place. We need your faith that he will provide for your needs as you help meet ours. The simple fact is Multnomah would cease to exist if it weren’t for your help.

We still need to raise $609,491 by June 30. We whole-heartedly believe in God’s ability to stir the hearts of MU family members like you. We need your help. Will you help us reach our goal by June 30? There are so many opportunities to participate — cash gifts, stock gifts, and IRAs are just a few ways you can help.

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Your gifts, your support, your prayer and your recommendations are vitally essential for us to heed Christ’s command — to go out and make disciples!   

Thank you for furthering the mission of Multnomah, and for being a part of the ripple effect.

Faithfully,

Rev. G. Craig Williford, Ph.D.
President

Alumnus Paul J. Pastor releases “The Listening Day”

No Comments » Written on May 26th, 2017 by
Categories: Alumni, Books, Media

MU alum Paul Pastor has released volume one of his new book series entitled “The Listening Day: Meditations On The Way” (Zeal Books, 2017). “The Listening Day” is a collection of 90 devotional readings to help readers enter God’s passionate invitation to know him today. It will release in multiple volumes throughout 2017-18, and then be collected with bonus material and readings into a single year-long devotional. You can order “The Listening Day” on Amazon, Apple, Christianbook.com, Kindle or Kobo.

Until you can get your hands on a copy, Pastor answers our questions about “The Listening Day” and the unique vision behind it.

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What compelled you to write “The Listening Day”?

We live in a Christian culture awash with information, but often lacking in formation — growing to be like Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I love information, and am a voracious reader. But I am haunted by the question of how our lives and world would change if Christians paired a vibrant life of the mind with a life of true imitation of Jesus.

Great, right? But here’s the thing: we can’t imitate Christ without listening to the Father. The Listening Day works to put the Father’s voice, as revealed through the Bible and the Spirit, into words spoken directly to you and me.

The Listening Day is written to cut through the distractions (yes, even the good distractions) of the Christian in today’s culture to recapture a rich, humble, beautiful devotion to God’s voice.

 How might reading “The Listening Day” benefit the journey of a Christ-follower?

Great question! For starters, it will point them to the Bible — every single day. Each entry starts with two passages, some of which are familiar, and some of which are very obscure. I want the reader’s attention to cling to those words, and my entries are designed to bring them to life in some encouraging, challenging, or surprising way.

But besides that commitment to Scripture, The Listening Day will bring a creative, poetic angle to faith in daily life that I simply love. I’ve had many people say things like, “This is a devotional for people who don’t read devotionals,” or “I hate ‘devotionals,’ but I love whatever this is!” That speaks to me. I am not a reader of daily devotionals — not because there aren’t fine ones out there, but because most simply do not offer the richness, depth, quality, and theological vibrancy that I long for to point me to God.

The Listening Day offers a daily deep-dive into the Word and primes the heart to listen for God. It is often strange, and (I think) beautifully crafted. It will point Christians, daily, to the Lord.

What are your hopes for this book?

I hope that it touches the lives of many thousands. Specifically, I hope that it helps other hear God’s voice the way that I do in the Bible and through his Spirit.

For many of us, often because of how we were raised, God the Father tends to have a booming, borderline angry voice. We as Christians have largely adopted a vision of a Gary Larson “Far Side” God: old, curmudgeonly, beard-to-his-knees, and just waiting for us to mess up so he can arbitrarily smite, plague, or damn us.

While the Father has a ferocious side, it is always in the service of love and restoration. All-powerful? Yes! And also limitlessly merciful. Kind. Welcoming. One who runs to weep and feast with the returning prodigal. It’s that voice that speaks belovedness, welcome, and kindness (along with restoration, reproof, and longing for our true repentance) that comes through in these pages.

My hope? That people truly hear that voice, for themselves, and grow in their love for its Speaker.

How has Multnomah influenced your journey as a writer?

Profoundly. My writing — whether reporting, essay, non-fiction, or devotional — is deeply influenced not only by the subject matter of the Bible, but its style, imagery, poetry, mystery, and imaginative scope. Encountering the Bible through the lenses of my Multnomah professors — particularly Ray Lubeck, Domani Pothen, Doug Schaak, and Garry Friesen during his tenure — did not only deepen my knowledge of scripture, but my love for it — and the One who gave it to us.

Though I attended Multnomah before the English program began, many of my formative moments as a writer happened as a tutor for Pothen’s writing and literature courses, a lab instructor for Lubeck’s literature-oriented Bible Study Methods class, and an (I think) glorious one-off survey with Schaak of pretty much everything Herman Melville ever wrote (a daunting, life-changing class).

I’m grateful for those experiences. They didn’t just educate my fact-holding mind; they helped form my imagination. I felt free to pursue excellence in prose and poetry (a lifelong journey), combining seemingly unrelated themes from across my studies into some kind of cohesive whole that both inspired my spirit and expressed my growing self-expression as an artist who happens to have a pastoral call too.

You can learn more about Paul J. Pastor on his website, pauljpastor.com.

Meet our new director of alumni and parent relations

Comments Off on Meet our new director of alumni and parent relations Written on February 10th, 2017 by
Categories: Alumni

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For Natalie Correll, Multnomah isn’t just another university — it’s a gift. The new director of alumni and parent relations, who graduated from MU in 2016, says her own experience compelled her to take on this unique role with energy and passion.

“The faculty at MU constantly create spaces where people can become who they want to be,” says Correll. “They loved me as I was, but they also saw what I was capable of. It was incredibly inspiring. When you’ve been given that gift, you want to create that space for someone else.”

Correll’s new responsibilities will include managing the university’s alumni network, meeting with the Alumni Leadership Council, traveling to various alumni events across the US, and working with university volunteers and student employees. Her work as the university’s parent relations director will include building relationships with parents, as well as managing the Parent Connection, a quarterly newsletter written especially for MU parents.

“In the past, we haven’t had as much parent involvement as we’ve wanted, so I’m excited to invite them to connect with us,” says Correll. “We’re not just looking for parents who have unlimited free time — there will be a level of involvement for everyone. I want to hear their ideas and collaborate with them. ”

Vice President of Advancement Steve Cummings says his team is delighted to welcome Correll on board. “Natalie’s love and loyalty to Multnomah exudes from her vibrant personality, and I’m confident our more than 17,000 alumni worldwide will enjoy connecting with her,” he says. “I’m especially pleased that we’ve expanded this position to now include parent relations, something Natalie has experience with thanks to her time in Admissions. This will enable us to broaden our reach amongst all aspects of the Multnomah community.”

Correll, who previously worked for the Admissions Department as campus visit coordinator, will be taking over for Michelle Peel-Underwood, who served MU as alumni director for more than 11 years. “I’m excited to deepen the existing relationships that have been poured into by Michelle and the Advancement Department,” says Correll. “I put such a high value on narratives, and I can’t wait to share our alumni’s stories.”

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MU alum partners with Disney to serve families through Circle

Comments Off on MU alum partners with Disney to serve families through Circle Written on October 13th, 2016 by
Categories: Alumni, General

Walking into the offices of Circle Media Inc. is a little like stepping through a portal into another, more fantastic world. Read the rest of this entry »

What could God accomplish through your giving?

Comments Off on What could God accomplish through your giving? Written on September 2nd, 2016 by
Categories: Alumni, Newsletter, Pray For MU

The following is an excerpt from Chris McDaniel’s book, “Ignite Your Generosity – A 21-Day Experience in Stewardship”:

steve-cummings - officeIn the late 1800s, a young girl named Hattie May Wiatt attended a very small Pennsylvania church, which was regularly overcrowded. She heard that future plans included building a larger church and Sunday school room.

Sometime after learning this, she got very sick and died. After her funeral, her mother brought 57 cents to the pastor of their church. Hattie May Wiatt had been saving this money as her contribution toward a larger facility that could hold more children. The pastor took the gift and had it changed into pennies. Then he took the pennies to the members of the church and stated that they had received their first contribution toward a larger facility. He offered the 57 pennies for sale.

The 57 pennies sold for $250. This initial gift of 57 cents led to the formation of the Wiatt Mite Society, which went on to raise additional funds as the congregation grew to over 5,600 by 1912. This same church founded several institutions including Samaritan Hospital, now called Temple University Hospital, which has helped cure and minister to thousands, as well as Temple University, which has educated more than 80,000 young people.

The thought of such an eternal impact is mind-boggling. God used a little girl with a sacrificial heart to accomplish great things through a simple act of faith. What could he accomplish through you?

Thank you for your sacrificial giving to Multnomah University.

Steve Cummings

P.S. For a free copy of McDaniel’s book, simply email our Advancement Department at advancement@multnomah.edu or call 800-352-4253.

Watching God shape the lives of students: Person to Person, Fall 2016

Comments Off on Watching God shape the lives of students: Person to Person, Fall 2016 Written on September 2nd, 2016 by
Categories: Alumni, Events, Newsletter, Pray For MU, Students
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Michelle Underwood is Director of Alumni Relations at Multnomah University.

As alumni director, I not only have the joy of keeping MU alumni connected to the university, but I also have the honor of witnessing the work God does in the lives of our current students.

This past year, I had the privilege of mentoring one of our incoming students, music major Abigail Green. I remember meeting Abi on her first day of school at New Student Orientation. One year ago, almost to the day, she arrived on campus with her mom and dad.

She was a little shy and reserved at first, but it was no time at all before she had jumped into campus ministry. She took advantage of worship opportunities, and she networked within the community so she could teach music lessons to children.

Every other week, Abi and I met together on Friday afternoons. I felt so honored to be an eye witness to the transformation taking place within her life. Through joys and sorrows, I listened as God shaped her right before my eyes. Abi recently applied to TEAM, a global missions agency, and she hopes to serve as a worship leader in Guatemala next year.

This week we welcomed another 160 undergraduate students into the Multnomah family. As they begin their journeys, with stories yet to be written, will you join me in praying for them? I can’t wait to see what God has in store.

Focus on the Provider. Not the problem.

Comments Off on Focus on the Provider. Not the problem. Written on September 1st, 2016 by
Categories: Alumni, Pray For MU, Students

Dear Multnomah Family Member,

You’re probably familiar with a certain miracle God did through Elijah in 1 Kings. But maybe, like me, it’s been a while since you’ve thought about the connection this story has to your life.

One day, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food” (1 Kings 17:8-9).

Zarephath was full of wicked idolaters and worshippers of Baal. The vile King Ahab was sovereign in the land. Furthermore, King Ahab was searching for Elijah so he could kill him.

OliveOil_vertical_blogFor Elijah, God’s command was a real test of faith, and the prophet needed to learn this lesson quickly: To follow the Lord by faith is to do so without succumbing to the fear of the cost.

Elijah journeyed 100 miles to Zarephath, where he found a widow at the city gate. He asked her to bring him a little water and a piece of bread. Her response was heart-breaking: “As surely as the LORD your God lives, I don’t have any bread – only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, so that we may eat it — and die” (1 Kings 17:12).

But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a loaf of bread for me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land’” (1 Kings 17:13-14).

The widow did as Elijah said, and the miracle took place: The flour and oil didn’t run out!

How often do we focus on the problem, rather than the Provider? This narrative is a great reminder to ask myself: Have I prayed about it as much as I’ve worried about it?

The beauty of this story is the faith required of both people involved. God told Elijah that a widow would be taking care of him. This was a fearful predicament, as widows were the first to die off in times of famine or drought. The situation was not unlike relying on a homeless person to provide for you.

The widow also faced a terrifying reality: God had commanded her to give away everything she had left to a perfect stranger — a fugitive. At face value, it seems like a cold-hearted request. But when asked to deny her basic instinct of self-preservation, she responded in faith — and her faith was rewarded with bounty.

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This is the place our Father desires us to be. He longs for us to trust Him fully and walk by faith despite circumstances. Where are we today? Are we in a place of full surrender where we can truly give everything when we hear Him call?

Beloved, Multnomah is indeed hitting the marks. We finished the 2016 fiscal year well thanks to the faith and generosity of our supporters. Student enrollment is up. We’re launching a biology degree this fall. And for the last 12 years, Multnomah’s students have consistently scored significantly higher in reading comprehension and critical thinking than national averages of other universities.

At the same time, we hear the groans of our society call out for the return of Christ, whether they know it or not. As we witness U.S. shootings, terrorist killings across the globe, and the false promise of politicians as saviors, we know without a doubt: People still desperately need our Savior and King Jesus. Multnomah is responding by raising up Spirit-led men and women who fight injustice, cultivate peace and share the radiant message of Christ in a world filled with violence and turmoil. That’s why your generous gifts to Multnomah are needed now more than ever. Every gift, no matter how small, makes a difference. We invite you to participate however you can.

Secondly, we ask you to pray fervently every day. Can we stand together and pray as Multnomah trains men and women who will impact the world for Jesus? Pray for God to grow our faith so our offerings to Him will be multiplied for all eternity. Pray for us all to have faith like Elijah and the widow. Let us come together and put our full trust in God.

Growing in faith,

Craig

Dr. G. Craig Williford
President
Multnomah University

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Dr. Tim Mackie chosen for 2016 Alumnus of the Year Award

Comments Off on Dr. Tim Mackie chosen for 2016 Alumnus of the Year Award Written on August 29th, 2016 by
Categories: Alumni, Events
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Tim Mackie (right) and Jon Collins editing a script for The Bible Project.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Multnomah University is proud to announce the recipient of the 2016 Alumnus of the Year Award: Dr. Tim Mackie, a teaching pastor at Door of Hope Church and professor of biblical studies at Western Seminary. He also works as a creative writer for The Bible Project, a nonprofit he founded with MU alum Jon Collins.

Mackie began attending Multnomah in 1996 and was immediately captivated by biblical studies and languages. “Professors Ray Lubeck and Karl Kutz ignited an insatiable appetite for learning and discovery,” he says. “Those years shaped the trajectory of my life in every way.”

After graduating with a major in Greek and a minor in Hebrew, Mackie went on to earn his master’s and Ph.D. In 2012 he reconnected with former classmate Jon Collins, who pitched an idea: What if they created a series of animated videos that explained biblical themes and narratives? Mackie loved the idea, and the two launched The Bible Project in 2014.

The Bible can be intimidating, says Mackie. Many dive in with gusto and good intentions, but their understanding of the text isn’t strong enough to sustain their momentum. That’s where The Bible Project videos come in.

“We want a new generation to feel empowered to read the Bible for themselves,” says Mackie. “We want these videos to give Christians confidence while also helping skeptics understand what a Christian worldview is claiming and why it’s worth investing in.”

Today The Bible Project has 15 full-time employees and is supported by more than 4,000 monthly donors. You can watch their videos at thebibleproject.com. You can also hear Mackie speak at the Alumnus of the Year Chapel at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 6, 2016.

Multnomah community celebrates 80th birthday

1 Comment » Written on February 22nd, 2016 by
Categories: 80th Anniversary, Alumni, Newsletter, Students

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On February 12, graduates from almost every year of MU’s history met in the JCA Student Center. As they shared in a banquet celebration, the room was rich with stories, and the air was steeped in nostalgia.

“Being at Multnomah was one of the best experiences I’ve had,” said Alex Paterno ’11.

Bonny Lloyd ’59 agreed. “For me, Multnomah was life-changing,” she said. “I’m still teaching the Bible to young women. It’s been my life.”

University President Dr. Craig Williford addressed the importance of upholding Dr. Mitchell’s vision of loving the Savior as Multnomah continues to expand its program options. “More than ever before, the world needs MU graduates who know the Bible,” he said.

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Distinguished Professor Emeritus David Needham reminded everyone to reflect on the Lord’s steadfast love over the years. “We’re here to affirm the faithfulness of God,” he said. “The God who is faithful is the God who will always love us.”

As MU moves forward in a flurry of new programs and initiatives, a time to pause and reflect on our past is a welcome oasis. “The school has come a long way,” said Mildred Dunham ’44. “My time at Multnomah was a lot of fun and a great learning experience.”

A lot may have changed, but 80 years later, one thing remains the same: Multnomah is serious about providing a life-changing education deeply rooted in God’s Word.

Multnomah thanks supporters with a gift from the heart: Fanning the Flame, Winter 2016

Comments Off on Multnomah thanks supporters with a gift from the heart: Fanning the Flame, Winter 2016 Written on February 22nd, 2016 by
Categories: 80th Anniversary, Alumni, Newsletter, Pray For MU
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Steve Cummings is Vice President of Advancement at Multnomah.

What a delight it is for me to serve at Multnomah amidst sold-out disciples of Jesus Christ and countless others like you who have walked this campus, studied God’s Word and grown deeper in your faith. These 25 acres have been a sacred space in Portland for 80 years and counting as God continues to transform lives in and out of the classroom. Multnomah has an amazing legacy rooted in God’s faithfulness.

We are fostering a culture of generosity that is taking root and bearing fruit in amazing ways. We are proclaiming truth, and people are responding in obedience. Here at MU, we tell our students, staff, faculty alumni and friends: “We don’t want your money.” Instead, we urge them to deploy God’s money to accomplish God’s purposes. In that light, we celebrate what we want for people — not from them. We want everyone to enjoy with us the privilege of participating in God’s work.

Bless you, dear friends of Multnomah, for your prayers and support! We could not do what the Lord has called us to do without you. We would like to say thank you in a tangible way. We have a free copy of “Ignite Your Generosity – A 21 Day Experience in Stewardship” for anyone who would like one. Request your copy by sending an email to advancement@multnomah.edu or by leaving a message with your name and phone number at 1-877-9-ALUMNI (877-925-8664).

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