Events

Conference teaches church leaders how to respect, engage with science

No Comments » Written on April 28th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Feature, Programs, Seminary, Students

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Many see faith and science like oil and water — they’re impossible to integrate. But New Wine, New Wineskins thinks differently. On April 16 and 23, the institute hosted a conference aimed at dispelling the segregation of these communities through thoughtful dialogue. The conference, Church and Science: Partners for the Common Good, was made possible by a grant Multnomah Biblical Seminary received from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in an effort to integrate science into the seminary curriculum (view the 10 seminary courses that have adopted this integration here).

“It’s bound up with our ongoing, strategic effort at Multnomah to prepare seminary graduates in their pastoral calling to constructively engage our scientific age,” says Paul Louis Metzger, director of New Wine, New Wineskins. “It’s for the sake of their parishioners who have scientific questions and scientific vocational interests, and for the church’s own missional engagement with the surrounding culture.”

The event brought in speakers from Portland and across the country to explore several themes, including the history of faith and science, hermeneutical humility, and faith and scientific methods. Attendants delved into the themes through a variety of formats, such as plenary sessions, panels, workshops and thoughtful discussion times.

“Many young Christians are leaving churches because of what they perceive to be antagonism by the church toward science,” says Metzger. “It’s vitally important that pastors in training are equipped to develop an informed respect for science and discernment on how to articulate biblical faith in our scientific age.”

Many attendees walked away feeling more prepared and aware. “As a pastor, this conference opened my eyes to the tremendous need we have to address the role of science in our faith communities,” says Gaby Viesca, pastor to women at Cedar Mill Bible Church. “It also equipped me with practical tools to help people navigate their own questions and doubts, and how to engage in meaningful conversations around this topic.”

Jared Bennett, associate pastor at Grace Community Church called the conference “phenomenal” and found Dr. John Walton’s session especially insightful. “He stressed that the debate over young earth creationism/evolution is not what we should be focused on; the mechanics of ‘how’ are secondary to the agency of ‘who.’” Bennett claims to have walked away with a lot to think about. “I will continue to read, think and pray on what I learned at the conference in the hope that I can use that personal growth to better pastor my students,” he says.

Join the ongoing discussion. New Wine is hosting forums at local churches, and you can check out their website for information and updates. You can also read endorsements for the Church and Science conference here. Lastly, if you’re a youth pastor, New Wine wants to collaborate with you in order to care for teens wrestling with their faith in the midst of scientific questions. Stay tuned.

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President, COO of Horizon Air Dave Campbell to deliver commencement address

No Comments » Written on April 26th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Press Releases

President and Chief Operations Officer of Horizon Air Dave Campbell will be speaking at Multnomah University’s 2016 commencement on May 6.

DaveCampbell_vertical_blogCampbell’s career in commercial aviation began in 1988 as a mechanic at American Airlines, where he quickly took advantage of development opportunities. He transitioned into leadership positions in quality assurance and aircraft maintenance at American Airlines before being appointed senior vice president of technical operations and COO at American Eagle (a network of 10 regional carriers operating under a code share and service agreement with American Airlines) in 2007.

In 2009, Campbell returned to American Airlines as vice president of safety, security and environmental, and in 2013 he was named vice president of safety and operations performance. He moved to JetBlue in 2014 as vice president of technical operations, a position he held until joining Horizon Air as president and COO in August 2014. Campbell is focused on making Horizon a great place to work and a great partner for Alaska Airlines.

University President Craig Williford says he chose Campbell to deliver the commencement speech because he’s a dedicated follower of Christ, a faithful husband and father, and a successful business leader who has skillfully led large organizations.
“His life journey models what it means to connect faith and life through a chosen vocation,” Williford says. “I hope that our graduates will see how important it is for Christians to be highly skilled leaders and employees, and that all vocations are sacred opportunities to do so.”

Campbell holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Louisiana Tech University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Arlington. He resides in Portland, Ore., with his family. The Multnomah University Commencement will be hosted at Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin, Ore., at 7:30 p.m. on May 6. Contact the Registrar at (503)251-5370 for more information.

 

A tale of two forests: MU prof reflects on forest regeneration in honor of Earth Day

No Comments » Written on April 18th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Faculty, Press Releases

Dr. Keith Swenson, professor of natural sciences, shares some fascinating thoughts on forest regeneration in honor of Earth Day, celebrated nationally on April 22.

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There still seems to be a common understanding within some circles that Earth Day and Christians don’t mix. Is this perception flawed? Let’s consider two of our great western forests.

I remember when Mount St. Helens blew. That was 36 years ago. Our family was on the Oregon coast that beautiful Sunday morning, so we didn’t witness the initial blast. But as we drove home to Portland later in the day, we saw an eruption plume rising 60,000 feet over the volcano. Later we began to learn the full extent of that day’s eruptive activity and its effects on people, landscapes and the region as a whole.

Certainly the great forest surrounding Mount St. Helens did not escape the volcanic maelstrom. Instead of producing an upward column of ash, St. Helens’ first salvo surprisingly was sideways, directly over the forest to the north. This oven-hot “stonewind,” as it was called, spread outward, producing a fan-shaped area of destruction, later named the “blast zone.” In the space of only three minutes, 230 square miles of old-growth and plantation forest was “disturbed” (to use the language of ecology) to an extreme degree. Days later, scientists observing the monotonous gray desolation, exuded dire predictions concerning the forest’s return to life. Many called it a “sterile landscape,” predicting it would be at least decades before significant recovery occurred.

But a surprise awaited! The forest began recovering from its destruction much more rapidly than prophesied. Within three years, 90% of the forest’s plant species were back and much of the animal life as well. It appeared that the forest ecosystem was equipped with mechanisms enabling it to rapidly react to cataclysmic disturbance. In ecology, an ecosystem’s ability to respond to a disturbance is termed “resilience,” and the blast zone forest at Mount St. Helens proved itself to be highly resilient.

But is an ecosystem’s resilience bounded by limits? Can humans, for example, do whatever they wish — or think best — to a forest, assured that it will bounce back? Could a forest be highly resilient and yet somewhat fragile at the same time? Let’s consider a second forest.

In 1910, a seminal event catapulted the U.S. Forest Service into national prominence. That event was a great wildfire in the northern Rockies of Montana and Idaho, usually referred to simply as the “fire of 1910,” or the “big burn.” In the span of 48 hours, three million acres of prime western white pine forest was incinerated, along with human lives and property, including the mining town of Wallace, Idaho. The fire was so monstrous that it got the attention of the nation. Something had to be done to protect our forests from fire. That job fell to the fledgling Forest Service, which over the better part of the twentieth century attempted to prevent forest fires – with some measure of success. Fires on the public lands of the West were markedly contained, but at what cost?

Through careful scientific study, much more has been learned about forest fire in more recent years. For many forests, fire is as essential for their health as good soil and adequate rain. Periodic fires control the buildup of brush and other forest fuels, provide a needed pulse of nutrients into the soil and enables certain tree species, including Douglas-fir, to regenerate. Oregon State University forest ecologist David Perry puts it this way: “We now know that fire played a crucial ecological role in these systems, and its removal set in motion a chain of events that wrecked the health of forests throughout the region, increasing their susceptibility to insects and pathogens, and making them vulnerable to fires that are much more destructive (and difficult to control) than we fought to exclude.”

So, on this Earth Day, how should we view our relationship to our forests that are sufficiently resilient to rebound, but fragile enough to degrade from decades of fire suppression? The Bible provides some guidance.  First, it tells us that the “earth is the Lord’s” (Psalm 24:1). He created it, and He owns it. But to our first parents (and to all mankind) God gave dominion over His creation – a mandate to “rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air . . .  and over all the creatures that move along the ground” (Genesis 1:26). It’s clear now that Christians and Earth Day do mix. But how are we supposed to successfully rule over the fish of the sea (like Pacific Salmon), the birds of the air (Osprey) and creatures that move along the ground (Red-legged Frogs) today when all these creatures are dependent on healthy Northwest forests?

Dave Perry suggests the following: “Avoiding similar disasters in the future will take more than good intentions (those early foresters had the best of intentions); it will require knowledge” (emphasis mine). I see an implicit requirement in God’s dominion mandate to scientifically study the creation He’s given us (such as forest ecosystems) in order to understand it and thereby successfully manage it for His glory – and the benefit of mankind. We will never do that perfectly, but we can do it better.

EDITOR NOTE:

  • “Mount St. Helens” is always written with an abbreviation for “saint.” The Baron of St. Helens, for whom the mountain is named, is said to have been so humble he never wanted “saint” in his title spelled out.
  • Reference on the Dave Perry quotes:  David A. Perry, Forest Ecosystems (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), p.9

Local nonprofit creates unique internship opportunities for business students

No Comments » Written on April 15th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Programs, Students

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Business Department Chair Lee Sellers is passionate about integrating practical experience into his students’ education. So when Andrew Stone at Kingdom Ministries needed interns to help support his young nonprofit, an on-going partnership was created.

“It seemed like a good opportunity to give young people real world experience while helping the organization grow more efficiently,” says Stone, who started the Portland nonprofit with his father, Multnomah alumnus Kevin Stone. Joined by their families, the father-son team equips ministries in Italy by connecting them to volunteers who serve in their summer camps, English classes and city festivals.

Mike Kamlade, Lindsey Weaver, Miranda Schmillen, Grant Warner and Lucia Morud are the interns supporting this mission. Over the course of the school year, the five business majors have diligently worked in finance, marketing and project management roles to promote, arrange and fund this year’s summer camps. They’ll see the culmination of their work in June when they travel with other Kingdom Ministries volunteers to Italy.

Although they’ve encountered a number of hurdles throughout the planning process, the interns say the hiccups are undeniably constructive. “It's teaching me to adapt to my surroundings and be open to learning new things,” says finance intern Mike Kamlade.

Project management intern Lindsey Weaver had to adapt too. “Once you get out of the classroom and deal with people in real life, it changes things,” she says.“I looked for this kind of opportunity in high school, but nothing ever came up.” Weaver’s duties include liaising with contacts, coordinating schedules and planning trip logistics.

Miranda Schmillen, who’s responsible for tracking donations and budgeting, admits the internship would be much harder if she was unequipped. But luckily she has a semester of accounting under her belt. “My accounting class totally helped me,” says the finance intern.

Stone’s instruction has only built upon students’ knowledge, and his attentiveness has inspired them to do their best. “He’s super ambitious and has these huge ideas, but he’s also hands-on and shows you how to do things,” says Schmillen.

Stone has simply created an optimal space for trial, error and learning.“They’re getting experience they won’t get anywhere else,” he says. “It’s a very safe environment to learn in.”

It may have been safe, but it wasn’t easy. The interns have bonded through shared struggles and successions — and they’ve emerged stronger than ever. “This internship has blessed me more than I expected because of the relationships I've built with the other interns and the Stone family,” says Kamlade. “They are all great people.”

For more information about this internship and Kingdom Ministries, visit BuildingTheKingdom.org.

Spring Thaw unites, inspires local youth groups

Comments Off Written on April 5th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Programs, Students

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Spring Thaw kicked off last weekend, and attendees filled MU’s campus with the contagious energy only 650 high school students could bring. From Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, the weekend was packed with activities, including a comedy show, paintball, a game truck, sports tournaments and a photo booth.

For the past six years, Multnomah has been hosting a weekend-long retreat for local high school youth groups. The theme changes from year to year, but there’s always dynamic speaking and teaching, interactive games, and limitless space for students to experience God outside their usual routine.

This year’s theme, PDXperience, brought almost every Portland stereotype onto one campus. A swarm of camping tents were pitched in the North Bradley lawn, an array of food carts circled the gym parking lot, and the main stage was propped with iconic Portland symbols like the White Stag sign. At night, Roger’s Cafe was transformed into a hipster coffee shop. A live piano filled the room with jazz while students fueled up on caffeine before competing in Nerf challenges and Library Laser Tag.

“It’s super fun; the whole thing is enjoyable,” remarked Julia, a student from Grace Point Community Church in Tigard, who said there wasn’t one thing she didn’t like.

Youth Ministry Department Chair Dr. Rob Hildebrand has been running Spring Thaw since he dreamt it up in 2010, but he decided to take a well-deserved hiatus this year. Luckily for youth groups everywhere, Director of Auxiliary Services Bobby Howell stepped in to fill Hildebrand’s shoes. A team of volunteers from the Multnomah community and Central Bible Church worked hard alongside him to produce this year’s event.

When students weren’t noshing on food cart fare or darting around the pitch-black library with plastic laser guns, they were soaking up the wisdom of A.J. Swaboda, a local pastor, professor and author who served as the event’s main speaker. Swaboda pushed the high schoolers to examine their faith more deeply by candidly explaining what following Jesus really requires. The students thought he was relatable and straightforward.

“It’s nice that A.J. is addressing what it’s like to be a Christian,” said Kaylea, a sophomore from Grace Community Church in Gresham. “He’s addressing a reality.”

Brianne, who’s also from Grace Community, agrees. “I like how honest A.J. is,” she said. “He doesn’t sugarcoat things.”

Youth ministry major Brian Hall has been involved with Spring Thaw for the past four years. Aside from garnering skills and experience vital to his field of study, he truly enjoys seeing the impact the retreat has on students. “They’re getting real life stuff from people other than their youth pastors,” he said. “And it’s a fun time for the Kingdom.”

Youth Director Michael Calquhoun from Gladstone First Baptist brings his youth group back every year for that very reason. And because they don’t stop talking about it once they’ve left. “It’s a good way to build community,” he said “We get to know each other better and share common experiences. And we fall more in love with God.”

Words like that are music to Howell’s ears. “We wanted to provide a setting with quality teaching, where any youth group from any denomination could attend and enjoy the camaraderie of being with other youth groups,” he said. “I want students to be energized to take up the cross past this event — to take it back to their everyday lives. I want them to be the light of Christ.”

Register for the April 6 info session

Comments Off Written on March 31st, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Programs

Are you or anyone you know interested in a career focused on global development and justice initiatives? Read the rest of this entry »

Seminary students selected third year in a row for internships at Oxford

Comments Off Written on March 30th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Faculty, Programs, Seminary, Students

The polished halls of Oxford University have been steeped in centuries’ worth of scholarly culture. Their crevices contain manuscripts, statues, engravings and echoes of the past. What better place for world-renowned biblical experts and students to gather?

For the third year in a row, a handful of Multnomah seminary students has been selected to attend the Logos Conference, a two-week internship in June sponsored by the Scholars Initiative. Any students who have worked on Scholars Initiative projects are invited to apply to the workshop. Scholars from more than 60 schools in North America submit applications, but only 30 students are chosen for the trip.

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 ‘Shocked and overjoyed’

Oxford3_blogChad Woodward had his eyes on Oxford ever since his classmate Daniel Somboonsiri was selected two years ago. “It was a goal I’d set for myself,” Woodward says. “I was on the edge of my seat waiting, and when I heard I was chosen, I felt validated as a Hebrew scholar.”

Alyssa Schmidt is equally enthusiastic. “I’m really excited to be around people who are passionate about God’s word, and to have so much opportunity for learning within two short weeks,” she says.

Ruben Alvarado received his invitation two weeks later than his classmates. He thought he hadn’t made it in. When he finally heard the news, he was ecstatic. “I couldn’t sleep that night,” he says. “I was shocked and overjoyed.”

 ‘Engaging and exploring’

Biblical Languages Chair Dr. Karl Kutz encouraged Woodward, Alvarado and Schmidt to apply for the intership. “We really enjoy our students and are proud of them,” he says. Kutz will join his students at Oxford for three days of the conference.

The conference schedule is packed with activity. There will be excursions to Winchester Abbey and Tyndale House, evensong services at Christ Cathedral, lectures from renowned scholars, tours to the Bodlian and Parker Libraries, and discussions around pots of tea. Guests will even be lodging in an ivy-cloaked Victorian house up the lane.

“This seminar is helpful for two reasons,” Kutz says. “First, students will be able build friendships with peers in the same position. Second, they will be exposed to key scholars who have figured out what it’s like to live as a Christian in the academic world.”

Dr. Rebekah Josberger, who teaches Hebrew at Multnomah, is thrilled to see how her students will grow through this opportunity. “Learning isn’t about ‘arriving’ and knowing everything,” she says. “It’s about engaging, asking questions and exploring. This all happens at the conference.”

Needless to say, this environment of exploration will boost the future careers of attendees. “It’s continued exposure to what I love and enjoy,” Woodward says. “It will bring my studies to a different level.”

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 ‘A community of excellent teachers’

All three students are brimming with praise for the quality of Multnomah’s Hebrew program. “Our professors have created a program that’s different,” says Schmidt. “It’s not just classes, but a community of excellent teachers.”

Kutz prioritizes time with his students during the trip. While other professors wander off on their own adventures, he joins his group in a pub to discuss the highlights of the conference.

“The Hebrew community is a family,” says Woodward. “It’s not just instructive; professors take an active role in our lives and come alongside us as friends.”

Alvarado wholeheartedly concurs. “It’s been the experience of a lifetime to study under Dr. Kutz and Dr. Josberger,” he says. “They teach us the language and teach us how to live life.”

Although the two weeks are crammed with scholastics, MU students are also looking forward to sightseeing. Schmidt will be stopping by Paris on her way home. Alvarado will visit several of London’s tourist attractions like the British Museum, the Tower of London and the National Gallery.

Woodward is planning to take full advantage of the international experience. It’s his 10th wedding anniversary, and he just bought a plane ticket for his wife so they can explore England together after the conference. “It will be a good balance between work and play,” he says. Cheers to that.

Interested in counseling? Attend our April 7 info session.

Comments Off Written on March 30th, 2016 by
Categories: Events

Are you or anyone you know interested in a career in counseling?

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On Thursday, April 7, our MA in counseling program is hosting an info session for anyone curious about becoming a certified counselor. Come talk with faculty and current students, sit in on a class, explore financial aid options, and develop a vibrant vision for your future. The info session is from 4:30 to 7:30/8 p.m. 

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Remember: When you visit campus, you’ll qualify for our $500 Campus Visit Scholarship!

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You’re invited to the March 30 info session

Comments Off Written on March 24th, 2016 by
Categories: Events

Are you or anyone you know interested in teaching English to non-native speakers?

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On Wednesday, March 30, our MA in TESOL program is hosting an info session for anyone curious about a master’s degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages. Come talk with faculty and current students, sit in on a class, explore financial aid options, and develop a vibrant vision for your future.

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Remember: When you visit campus, you’ll qualify for our $500 Campus Visit Scholarship!

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MU initiates Encouragement Week, supports students during midterms

Comments Off Written on March 11th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Students

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Midsemester often finds students buried in flashcards, wading through pages of reading and  furiously typing out last-minute papers. It’s the perfect time for some encouragement from MU staff and faculty.

Associate Dean of Students Rich Ward was inspired to coordinate a new event — Encouragement Week — because he wanted each student to feel supported and loved during one of the most stressful times of the semester. “When people know that they matter, they feel that they belong,” he says.

If you walk down the hall of the JCA Student Center, you’ll notice posters with inspirational messages littering the walls. If you take a peek into the business office,  you’ll be treated to a table of donuts and handwritten Bible verses. Just around the corner at the registrar’s desk, a bowlful of green apple lollipops is flanked by signs that say, “You rock”.

“It’s a great way for staff to connect with students,” says Chris Thiessen, who works in Advancement. “We don’t have that opportunity as often as the faculty do.”

Ward planned surprises for each day of the week: bracelets on Monday, designated prayer for students on Tuesday, intentional time during lunch on Wednesday, gift packages and notes from alumni on Thursday, and fist bumps on Friday. “I wanted to incorporate all five love languages throughout the week,” he says.

Bible and theology major Jennifer Kildal is one of the many students who appreciates the thoughtfulness. “It’s cool to be at a school where they actually appreciate their students,” she says.