Alumni

Fanning the flames of generosity at Multnomah

Comments Off on Fanning the flames of generosity at Multnomah Written on January 6th, 2016 by
Categories: Alumni
Fanning the flames of generosity at Multnomah

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A special word from our VP of Advancement

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Vice President of Advancement Steve Cummings

Multnomah Family:

What a delight 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 His faithfulness.

Two traits related to our students and graduates get me really excited these days. They exhibit spiritual maturity, and they have a deep love for God and His Word. I have personally witnessed our students giving from their limited resources to help a fellow student go on mission trip and send another home to Africa on Christmas break. Who does that? Not just our students. I see selfless generosity in the graduates I meet across the country.

Every year at graduation, I have the privilege to fan the flame in our graduates hearts so they may grow in the grace of giving. It’s a privilege to do this because Im speaking to mature Christ-followers who understand that all they have comes from the hand of God. I remind them that when they get to heaven, God will ask each one of them to give an account of how they used what they had to bring Him glory. Its my desire that each one will be ready to share how they used their time, talent and treasure to advance God’s kingdom. That’s how we roll at Multnomah today – and many of you who have gone before are leading the way!

Participating in Gods work

Americans live in the richest nation, and yet statistics show that the “average Christian” gives 2.43% of their income to charitable causes. Do you know we gave more to charity as a nation during the Depression than we do now? That means we have room for growth, and  we understand this at MU.

Thats why were fostering a culture of generosity thats taking root and bearing fruit in amazing ways. Were 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 the privilege of participating in God’s work.

Across the globe, I learn about members of the Multnomah community who appear as joyful distributors rather than hoarders of God’s resources. Their lives are rich toward God (Luke 12:21) and inspire us to grow as faithful stewards. Just the other day I was visiting with one of our alums from 1973, and I asked him why he gives to Multnomah. His response was simple yet powerful: “Multnomah invested in me, and I just wanted to say ‘thank you!’”

Why do we tell their stories in emails, social media posts and snail mail? Because we want you, the Multnomah family, to experience the rich joy of giving to God out of gratitude for what He has already given to you. We hope you will excel in the grace of giving (2 Cor. 8:7), no matter where the LORD stirs your heart to give!

A free gift

Bless you, dear MU community, for your prayers and support. We could not do what the LORD has called us to do without you. We would like to thank you in a tangible way by giving you a free copy of Chris McDaniel’s book “Ignite Your Generosity – A 21 Day Experience in Stewardship”!

If you would like a copy, send an email to advancement@multnomah.edu or leave a message with your name and phone number at 1-877-9-ALUMNI (877-925-8664). One book per person, please.

A special word from the author

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Author Chris McDaniel

I am so excited for the Multnomah Family and their vision to grow givers’ hearts who are rich towards God. It reminds me of Acts 2, where we witness early believers giving and sharing with one another. As a result, the “Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (verse 47). That’s what Multnomah University is all about: equipping leaders who reach the lost and disciple mature believers.

When you are generous, you accurately bear the image of God to a lost and hurting world. He gives us life, relationships, our basic needs and His own Son so we can live with Him eternally. God’s a giver! That’s what makes Christianity different than religion: radical generosity. We can give because we have all we need and because we follow a generous God. So stand bold in your faith and live generously. My prayer is that God uses “Ignite Your Generosity” to speak directly into your hearts and that He “ignites” a unique journey of generosity!

Chris McDaniel

Author of “Ignite Your Generosity – A 21 Day Experience in Stewardship”

Join our students in this season of giving

Comments Off on Join our students in this season of giving Written on December 8th, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Pray For MU, Students

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God’s generosity in sending His Son cannot be matched. It’s the greatest gift ever given! For 80 years here at Multnomah our students have celebrated Christ’s birth and shared generously at Christmas time. Let me share two recent instances.

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On Giving Tuesday (December 1), our students collected food for the hungry by partnering with the Oregon Food Bank. Despite the limitations of their student budgets, they donated four large barrels of food and personified God’s generosity. It was really amazing to see!

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Then, when hearing of needs within their midst, MU students surprised two other students by taking up collections to send one to Thailand for a missions trip and the other home to Africa for Christmas. No fanfare. No announcements. No applause. Simply sacrificial sharing so there was no needy one among them.

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Why do we give to those in need and share with those who have limited resources? God’s greatest gift to us inspires our greatest response to others!

At this time we are praying that God will provide for the financial needs of our students through generous giving. Would you pray with us? To date, Multnomah alumni and friends have given $715,388 toward Student Aid of our $1.45 million goal for this fiscal year.

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God, indeed, is with us at Multnomah, and our students’ hearts are reflecting His character through their generosity. Will you join with our students and remember Multnomah in your year-end giving? We invite you to invest and participate in what God is doing at Multnomah.

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Your gift will be doubled, thanks to God’s provision of a match, so that Multnomah students will be equipped to show His generous love for a lifetime of ministry and service.

Growing in generosity,

Craig

Rev. G. Craig Williford, Ph.D.

President

Humble dependence: Person to Person, Fall 2015

Comments Off on Humble dependence: Person to Person, Fall 2015 Written on November 2nd, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Newsletter

MichelleDear Multnomah Family,

Once every fall and spring, Multnomah cancels classes for the day so our students can devote their whole morning to service. Volunteering at locations around the Portland area, we have what we call our traditional Day of Outreach. Our fall focus was centered on serving people within the community and sharing Jesus' love with them.

I was able to work together with a couple of our freshmen students, roommates Abigail and Hannah, and I was so encouraged by our time together. As we walked through the streets — picking up trash and conversing with pedestrians and business owners — it was such a joy to hear their stories and watch them interact with one another. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia and pleasure in thinking about former MU students, as well as the amazing men and women God continues to lead to Multnomah today.

Abigail’s grandfather, James Bruce Sinclair (Dip '39), was from the first graduating class of Multnomah. He spent a lifetime of commitment to the Lord, training and teaching in the back roads and barrios of the Philippine Islands. As I understand it, he also built a Christian High School in the Hawaiian Islands. Now, nearly 80 years later, Abigail follows in his footsteps as a music major and elementary education minor, with aspirations of teaching young people and furthering God’s kingdom for His glory.

Though Abigail never had the privilege of meeting her grandfather in person, she feels his prayers and support today. “As soon as I came to Multnomah, it felt like home,” she said. “I had looked at other schools and felt that they could be a good fit in support of my goals, but by choosing MU it was as if I was putting my life in God’s hands. I knew it was His choice for me.”

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Abigail Green (right) and Hannah Ferguson.

In just the few short weeks that Abigail has been on campus, she has already jumped into ministry and is helping lead worship in our weekly chapels. She would say that, though it has been a challenging few weeks, her faith has grown and she is learning to trust Him more in this season. “I could chart my own course in choosing a direction that seemed more predictable, or I could move in the direction I felt the Lord leading and allow Him to chart my course,” she said. Such great wisdom for us all.

No matter where you may find yourself on the continuum of MU’s legacy, whether you graduated 50+ years ago, or just last year; my prayer for us all today is that we too would walk in such humble dependence. As we yield our lives, our wills, our plans to Him, may He chart our course and use our stories for His glory.

Thank you for the part you play in the ongoing legacy of Multnomah.

Michelle M. Peel-Underwood

Director of Alumni Relations
Multnomah University

Greetings from the Vice President — Fall 2015

Comments Off on Greetings from the Vice President — Fall 2015 Written on November 2nd, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Newsletter, Pray For MU

Dear Multnomah Family,

I am on a journey to grow my heart to be rich toward God (Luke 12:21).  It hasn’t always been easy, as I used to see my money as…well...MY money. That is, until God got a hold of my heart one day in a very subtle way. It was about 6 years ago, but it seems just like yesterday. I was working for Prison Fellowship, enjoying my new role of raising resources for the kingdom and encouraging those that God put in my care to be generous. I pulled up to the post office with 200 letters tucked under one arm.  I was excited to sow seeds of biblical truth and encourage others to respond, no matter where God led them to give.

As I walked up, I saw a young man, 19 or 20 years old, standing near the door holding a 3x5 card. He needed $3.00 for a bus fare and lunch.  I did what we all do.  I avoided eye contact and kept moving.

Side note: I used to love to collect change in my car ashtray: quarters, dimes and nickels. I loved to watch it pile up. I never used it. My family knew not to touch “Dad’s coin tray.” It’s for looking at and admiring the collection as it grows. It made me feel like I was saving up for something special, for some rainy day that never came. It gave me a sense of control. Because, after all, it was MY money.

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So, I’m standing in line with this mass mailing I’m sending out for God to help His people be generous, and instantly I hear the Holy Spirit nudge me and quietly speak into my heart:  “You know all that change you have in your ashtray? I want you to give it ALL to him.” 

But LORD! I immediately protested, That’s MY... — but as soon as I said the word “my,” I stopped. Here I was being the “good messenger of God” and the Spirit was speaking to me to lead by example. How could I encourage others to give generously when I myself needed to let go of “my stuff” and see it as His? Everything I have been blessed with is “His stuff.” I am just privileged to manage it for my Master.

After mailing my letters, I went immediately to my car, with exuberant joy in my heart for what I was about to do. I couldn’t wait to see the expression on his face. It took me awhile to scoop out the  $30 worth of change and get it all into my two cupped hands, but I did it, and I walked up to him with a huge ear-to-ear grin.

“Hi, I’m Steve. What’s your name?”  He gets a pen out and writes his name down for me. It turns out he is deaf. “Mark,” he scribbles. I said, “Mark – God asked me to give this to you. It’s for you. He wants you to know He loves you and is taking care of you.”

You should have seen his eyes bug out. He only needed $3. I just gave him $30 of God’s money!

I wish I could say Mark came to Christ that day, but I don’t know. But I do know that I will never forget that day. God changed my heart that day — or should I say my wallet? I took a major step forward in my journey of generosity and haven’t looked back. Who do you think was blessed MORE: Mark or Me? I believe it’s always the giver who receives the greatest joy. It is a joy to steward all that God has entrusted to us: our time, our talent and our treasure for the kingdom.

steve-cummingsThat’s exactly what we are fostering here at Multnomah. Not because God needs our money. He already owns it and is really the “Chief Fundraiser” here at MU. God wants our hearts. I pray you stay engaged with us and grow with us in your journey of generosity.

Steve Cummings, M.Div.

Vice President of Advancement
Multnomah University

MU alumni, missionaries impact students during recent visit

Comments Off on MU alumni, missionaries impact students during recent visit Written on November 2nd, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Missions, Students

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

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

Youth ministry major Miguel Ruiz’s attention was undivided during their presentation. Hearing their stories and well-spoken wisdom unexpectedly awakened something in his heart. “My plan was to be a soccer coach, and now…” the freshman trails off, shaking his head and chuckling at his sudden change of heart. “I think God is putting me somewhere else.”

The Hartley’s vision and devotion acted as a catalyst within Ruiz — he now finds himself lying awake at night, thinking about his potential new path. Although he’s unsure of the future, he’s confident in God’s plan for his life. “It’s His will, not mine,” he says.

Making it clear that their work as missionaries isn’t always easy, the Hartleys were honest about past struggles with self-doubt and self-identity. “I needed to understand not just who I am in Christ, but whose I am,” says Dan.

It’s not by chance that past failures often hinder our mission and vision, especially when you’re working for the Lord. “We have a target on our backs, and that doesn’t go away just because we step into ministry,” he says.

But hardship can be overcome by choosing to rely on God for strength, not on ourselves. Janell advised students to come to the Lord with questions as a way to overcome self-reliance.

“When I wake up I pray, ‘Good morning, Lord. What do you want me to accomplish?’” she says. “Learn what his heart is.”

The students attentively soaked up their advice for navigating the ebb and flow of challenges that missionaries often encounter. In closing, the Hartleys offered a way to react to those challenges: “We stopped asking, ‘Why?’ and asked God, ‘What are you doing, and how can we be a part of it?’”

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Visit the Hartleys’ website at www.magezi.org if you’d like information about their vision to share the gospel with unreached people groups in Sub-Saharan Africa. Contact Janell to request email updates or newsletters at janell@magezi.org. Most importantly, remember to keep them in your prayers.

Multnomah University Updates — Fall 2015

Comments Off on Multnomah University Updates — Fall 2015 Written on October 23rd, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Newsletter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about our new students and fall orientation.

MU alumni, missionaries impact students during recent visit

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

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

Read more about the Hartleys and the students they inspired.

Athletes kick off first season in NAIA

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

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

Read more about our Athletic Departments historic achievement.

Students experience the power of service

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

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

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

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

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

Comments Off on Founder Dr. Mitchell’s radio program still airing across the US and beyond Written on September 30th, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Faculty, Theology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KBGN    AM1060                 M-F     10:30 a.m.          Caldwell, Idaho

kccsonline.net (internet)    Sunday-Saturday     5:30am, 11:30am, 11:30pm

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

The best days are ahead

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

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Dear Multnomah family,

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

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

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

This intentional response has brought about some exciting changes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Craig

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

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

CEO of Saddleback Leather Co. Dave Munson chosen for 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award

Comments Off on CEO of Saddleback Leather Co. Dave Munson chosen for 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award Written on July 29th, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Students

PORTLAND, Ore. – Multnomah University is proud to announce the recipient of the 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award: Dave Munson, CEO of Saddleback Leather Company.

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Munson began attending MU in 1992 after a mission trip inspired him to study the Bible like never before. “I wanted to do ministry the rest of my life, so I knew I needed more education,” he says. “I came to Multnomah because I was trying to be obedient.”

After graduating with a degree in Bible and Theology, Munson moved to Mexico and began teaching English. He looked everywhere for the perfect carry-on to hold his school books, but nothing fit his criteria. That’s when he collaborated with a local craftsman to design his first leather bag.

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

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

Munson hasn’t only applied those principles to his personal life — he’s built his entire business around them. Saddleback is committed to investing in its employees and cultivating a sustainable work environment for them. This fall, the company’s factory in Mexico will start providing free day care and school for employees’ children. Factory workers can also enroll in complimentary parenting classes, marriage seminars, counseling sessions and English courses.

Saddleback also shows its English teachers how they can respectfully share the gospel with employees. So far this year, 104 people have accepted Jesus in Munson’s factory. “This is not a business created for just financial motives,” he says. “If God had a factory, we think this is how he would run it.”

Michelle Underwood, Multnomah’s director of alumni relations, says Munson’s heart for serving his employees is one of the reasons he was selected as this year’s award recipient. “Dave is a graduate who has not only distinguished himself as a business owner, but has also demonstrated that his business is a ministry to his employees and customers,” she says. “His passion, drive, humility and generosity make him a wonderful selection for the 2015 Alumnus of the Year.”

Munson will be honored with the Alumnus of the Year award at 10 a.m. on September 7, 2015. All staff, faculty and students are welcome to attend the celebration. During the event, Munson will share more about his personal journey and business model.

Alumna, naturopathic doctor Mia Potter infuses faith with career

Comments Off on Alumna, naturopathic doctor Mia Potter infuses faith with career Written on July 17th, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Press Releases, Students

Mia Potter isn’t your typical doctor. She doesn’t see dozens of patients each day. She isn’t fixated on conventional medicine. And she doesn’t focus on your symptoms.

Potter is a naturopathic doctor (N.D.). She completed a naturopathic medical doctoral program*, passed the national and state board exams for licensure, and works as a primary care physician at Selah Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

Her initial appointments with patients last between 60 and 90 minutes; follow-up visits are 30-45. An average appointment with a conventional doctor is 15 minutes.

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“I have space with people to hear their stories,” she says. “It’s so rewarding when someone feels heard and when a treatment plan works.”

Potter’s treatment plans are as varied as the patients she sees; she doesn’t settle for a one-size-fits-all approach. “If three different people come to me with headaches, they might need three different treatments,” she says.

It takes time and patience to find and remove the root cause of an illness, and Potter is committed to finding the truth — not merely suppressing symptoms. “A headache might be caused by hormones, an allergy, lifestyle, diet, ergonomics or something else,” she says. “I try to be a detective with my patients.”

‘We want to be fixed quickly’

Many of the people Potter helps are disappointed with conventional medicine and desperate for lasting relief. But the naturopathic approach to health is not necessarily the fastest.

“We want to be fixed quickly, but it took many years for most of us to create the patterns that impact our health,” she says. “It takes years, if not a lifetime, to relearn how to live and function differently.”

Years of retraining may seem daunting, but Potter knows the rewards are worth the struggle. “It’s very much like our walk with the Lord,” she says. “As we change and grow, it can be new and awkward and confusing, but God has created things to support us. My hope is that I can journey with people while encouraging, empowering and equipping them to live healthier lives.”

‘A transformative year’

Potter’s own journey to naturopathic medicine began years before she knew what a naturopathic doctor was. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science from UC Berkeley before becoming a nutritionist. Through a conference she met Mission: Moving Mountains, a holistic community development agency serving countries around the world.

Potter decided to join their ministry in Senegal, Africa, but she had to prep first: One of the requirements was a strong biblical foundation. That’s how she found herself enrolled in the graduate certificate program at Multnomah.

The 12-month course was a pivotal point in her life. “It was a transformative year,” she says. “I grew up in church and was taught a doctrine, but at Multnomah there were so many different perspectives. I was in awe. The box I had God in got exploded.”

Living on campus only enhanced her experience. “My roommates became my closest friends — we studied, prayed, cried and had a lot of fun together,” she says. “It was a really special, supportive community. I still have friends from then.”

‘A better resource’

Once Potter graduated she joined Mission: Moving Mountains in Africa, where she served on a team as a nutritionist. After six months, she returned to Oregon and married a young man she’d met at Multnomah.

The next season of Potter’s life was filled with career development as she conducted exercise and diet research at the Portland VA Hospital and Oregon Health and Science University. She worked part-time as a nutritionist in between her research jobs.

“My job made me discover that I wanted to be a better resource for my patients,” she says. That’s when her husband stepped in. “He told me I should be a naturopathic doctor. I said, ‘What the heck is that?’ But once I looked into it, I realized it fit perfectly into the path the last decade of my life had taken.”

‘The ultimate holistic healer’

That path has led her right to Selah Natural Medicine, where she practices as a primary care physician. She also teaches classes on nutrition and eating disorders to graduate students at the Helfgott Research Institute.

The biblical wisdom she cultivated at Multnomah continues to inspire Potter and her career. “My faith influences every aspect of my work,” she says. “So much of naturopathy is steeped in the Scriptures. Think about the manna for the Israelites and the living water for the woman at the well. God provides for people in the ways they need; he goes to the root cause of their issues. He is the ultimate holistic healer.”

Potter says MU fostered an openness to talk with the Lord that still influences her prayers today. “There are so many things I took from Multnomah,” she says. “I learned to walk with open hands. I pray for my patients. I trust that God will bring them to me if they’re supposed to cross my path.”

And when they do, Potter is ready to hear their stories — and help change their lives.

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*Accredited, naturopathic medical doctoral programs are comprised of the hard sciences, clinical and lab diagnosis, pharmacology, treatment modalities such as botanical medicine, homeopathy, nutrition, and physical medicine, as well as clinic internships. Learn more about naturopathic medicine.