Faculty

MU celebrates second annual Encouragement Week

No Comments » Written on March 13th, 2017 by
Categories: Events, Faculty, Students

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This week is officially the mid-semester mark. That means students will be surrounded by study guides, lecture notes, and textbooks as they prepare for mid-term tests and projects. That is why last week was a great time for some extra encouragement from MU faculty and staff.

Last week Multnomah celebrated its second annual Encouragement Week, when faculty and staff go out of their way to give students a little extra love before a stressful time of the school year. Associate Dean of Students Rich Ward, the man behind Encouragement Week’s creation, wants every student to feel that they matter and belong. “Students lead a lot of things on campus to show other students they are cared for, but this is one thing where we can make all students receivers,” says Ward.

There were signs of encouragement all around campus. In the JCA Student Center, there were posters with motivational words and students wearing bracelets with the hashtag #YouGotThisMU.  The registrar’s office is where these bracelets could be found, along with postcards that had an inspirational Bible verse printed on them. These postcards also have a comforting hashtag, #GodHasYou. The Marketing Department made various '80s-style buttons that were handed out in chapel.

“Jesus was about giving encouragement and showing love,” says Administrative Assistant to the Registrar Camilla Dolan. “In today’s culture with diverse opinions and views, it is easy to forget how to love one another, but we all need encouragement.”

Ward believes that on a practical level, positive messaging is just a good idea. “To know a specific person and institution cares about you helps develop a sense of belonging, which can lead to persistence in tougher times,” says Ward. His goal is that this positive event will become a tradition at Multnomah for years to come so that students will feel loved and encouraged in stressful times.

English major Monica Paterson shared a story about the encouragement she received this week: “The library staff is always loving and welcoming, but this week they put forth extra hospitality with quotes, snacks, and pieces of encouragement in our mail,” she says. “Thank you for being so encouraging!”

This post was written by global studies major and Marketing Assistant Meghan Krause.

Hebrew, Th.M. student accepted to Ph.D. program at Wheaton

No Comments » Written on March 6th, 2017 by
Categories: Faculty, Press Releases, Programs, Seminary, Students, Theology

Daniel

Master of Theology and Hebrew student Daniel Somboonsiri has been accepted to the Ph.D. in Biblical & Theological Studies program under Dr. Daniel Carroll Rodas at Wheaton College. Congratulations, Daniel!

What does this opportunity mean to you?

I'm really still in shock over having been chosen. I knew a few years ago that Dr. Carroll Rodas was the mentor who could best equip me for the research I want to do. I started reading his books, and the books he had read. We started emailing back and forth so that I could do whatever it took to be mentored by him.

After years of preparation, I was the one person chosen this year to work with Dr. Carroll Rodas. While I still do not know how God will provide for my family during my Ph.D. studies, I am overjoyed to have been selected. I had a rough childhood. To be where I am today is the miraculous grace of God, for which I am gratefully undeserving.

How has MU’s Hebrew program helped get you to where you are now?

Multnomah has one of the best Hebrew programs in the world. Though it is a smaller university, our Hebrew program is highly esteemed by those in academia who know of it. During the interview process, I was never asked to prove my capability with Hebrew. It seemed as though my Ph.D. supervisor was well aware of the language training I had received. Beyond the nuts and bolts of knowing the biblical languages, I was given the opportunity through Multnomah to co-author three papers on three unpublished Dead Sea Scrolls. While there was a lot of "on the job" learning for these projects and help from my academic mentors, those projects are now listed on my CV and likely helped me get noticed in the highly competitive Ph.D. application process.

My Ph.D. research will also lean heavily on what I have learned through The Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins. My research will integrate cultural studies and the Hebrew Prophets. Dr. Paul Metzger has been instrumental in training me to be an astute student of cultural issues and their relevance to biblical studies. Through my work with New Wine, I was given the opportunity to serve as editor on "Prophetic Lament" by Soong-Chan Rah, which also contributed to my development and application for Ph.D. studies. During the Ph.D. interview process, I was asked about my involvement with New Wine on issues such as interfaith dialogue and advocacy for the poor. In all, it is the overall development process, both academic and spiritual, which has prepared me to move on to study and teach at the highest level.

What are the highlights of MU’s Hebrew program?

We, the MU Hebrew family, do life together. We bond through learning the Hebrew Scriptures. We learn and pray together. This probably wouldn't happen at a larger university. The classroom size allows Dr. Becky Josberger and Dr. Karl Kutz to really invest in our lives and foster community.

Dr. Kutz, with the help of Dr. Josberger, has put together a method for teaching biblical Hebrew that is unlike anything else. They teach Hebrew in a way that brings the language to life and allows it to stick without memorizing hundreds of rules and charts.

What are you hoping to do with your Ph.D.?

My emphasis will be on social ethics in the Hebrew Prophets. My research proposal is to look at Micah through the lens of the social sciences and literary analysis to show how Micah can in part be recognized as social theory. In Micah, God condemns an wicked society that fosters poverty and oppression of all sorts. In contrast, Micah envisions a future world ruled by God in which nations live together in community without war and oppression.

While my Ph.D. work will focus on the book of Micah in its ancient context, my life's goal is to research, teach, and write on how the biblical prophets can serve to shape the life of the Church and the Church's engagement of culture in ever changing contexts.

Want to read more student stories? Check out our student stories page!

MA in Global Development and Justice students travel to Rwanda

Comments Off on MA in Global Development and Justice students travel to Rwanda Written on February 6th, 2017 by
Categories: Faculty, Missions, Programs, Students

Dr. Greg Burch, chair of the Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice program, recently returned from a two-week stay in Rwanda with the MAGDJ program's very first online cohort. Students in the online MAGDJ program spend the first two weeks of their program in Rwanda, where they glean insights from guest speakers, study the world’s most pressing issues and team up with NGOs that are involved in compassion initiatives, poverty alleviation and combating injustice. You can learn more about the online MAGDJ program here

Learning on the Road in Rwanda

by Dr. Greg Burch

Rwanda is a known as the land of a thousand hills.

Rwanda is a known as the land of a thousand hills.

On January 3, Multnomah inaugurated its new blended online development and justice (MAGDJ) program in Rwanda. Students coming from California, Colorado, Oregon, Kenya and Rwanda joined together for a two-week experiential learning course that included a focus on learning from development organizations throughout the country. Learning from social entrepreneurs, community-based child care workers, refugees, and micro-finance and savings clubs participants proved significant for students working in the fields of international development and global justice.

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Memorial site in Kigali, Rwanda's capital city, where more than 250,000 victims of the 1994 genocide are buried. All in all, the 1994 genocide left nearly 1 million people dead.

One primary focus of the trip was learning from a country that suffered a genocide in 1994. Rwanda has faced significant suffering and also profound transformation since that time. Genocide memorials, including a visit with a perpetrator and a victim helped the students understand the profound nature of forgiveness and reconciliation. In meeting with Emmanuel (a genocide perpetrator) and his victim, Alice, who survived a machete and spear attack from Emmanuel and the loss of her baby, met with us to describe their healing process and what Christ has done in their lives to bring them into a close relationship today. The conversation was truly stunning. We learned forgiveness and reconciliation is possible even with the most heinous of crimes.

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Visits also included time with a number of non-government organizations and ministries, including Africa New Life Ministries, Tearfund, World Relief, These Numbers Have Faces, Prison Fellowship, International Teams, Word Made Flesh, and Arise Rwanda. The course led us through the importance of a solid biblical understanding for engaging in transformational development and biblical justice with an emphasis on peace and reconciliation, micro-finance and job creation, savings clubs, refugee resettlement, and education in poverty contexts, just to mention a few.

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Learning about World Relief with country director Moses Ndahiro.

There are a number of standout experiences from our time in Rwanda, but Alice and Ariana demonstrated a powerful example in their entrepreneurial efforts as electrical engineering students in designing and preparing to manufacture solar lamps that will provide light for children studying at night in refugee camps in the country. What was so capturing was that they themselves come from refugee backgrounds and struggled to read at night with candles.

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Learning from social entrepreneurs Alice and Ariana, and from the program These Numbers have Faces.

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Beans – a staple in a country where malnutrition continues to plague many communities, despite valiant efforts.

Another significant event was our time in a refugee camp. Eighteen thousand people, primarily Congolese people who have been forced out by insecurity and conflict, live just across the border in Rwanda in a cramped camp managed by the UNHCR. Our primary focus in the camp was on access to education by the 9,000 children and youth in the camp. Much of our time was spent with students, the very few, that have access to school through sponsorship programs. Spending time with refugees and hearing their stories was moving. Stories that involved faith, hope and patience as they await placement in countries around the world, with many having to wait eighteen or even twenty years as governments decide on permanent location.

These MAGDJ students will spend the next 18 months in online courses and internships reflecting on these and other field experiences as they take classes on micro-finance, refugees, nonprofit leadership, human rights and the like. For more information on our online Global Development and Justice program, go here.

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Participating in a savings and loan club in rural Rwanda with Arise Rwanda.

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Clean water in Boneza – Arise Rwanda has dug 12 wells for the community of 24,000 people.

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Clean water projects are critical to reduce water-borne diseases.

Students enjoyed a beautiful rest on Lake Kivu in the town of Kibuye.

Students enjoyed a beautiful rest on Lake Kivu in the town of Kibuye.

Dr. Kristen White to join MU as director of MAC program

Comments Off on Dr. Kristen White to join MU as director of MAC program Written on January 31st, 2017 by
Categories: Faculty

PORTLAND, Ore. — Dr. Kristen M. White has been selected as director of Multnomah University’s Master of Arts in Counseling program. She will begin serving in her new role in April. Read the rest of this entry »

Pastoral Ministry major to be renamed Church Leadership

Comments Off on Pastoral Ministry major to be renamed Church Leadership Written on November 15th, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Students

Multnomah University is changing the name of the pastoral ministry major to church leadership. The revision will take effect at the start of the 2017 spring semester. “In many ways, the two titles are synonymous,” says Practical Theology Division Chair Dr. Hildebrand. “The heart of the program will remain the same, and the training will largely remain the same.”

The switch was initiated by Pastoral Ministry Chair Dr. Jay Held, who says the program’s title has been a hindrance to students who want to lead in the church, but not as pastors. “While the word ‘pastoral’ accurately describes some of the primary roles of leadership within the church, it does not describe all of them,” says Hildebrand. “Our hope is that we can reach more potential Christian leaders now. We’re attempting to remove a barrier.” The church leadership program will continue providing excellent preparation for students who want to become pastors.

The proposal for the name change went through many years of consideration before being approved this year. The pastoral ministry major has been a staple at Multnomah since 1994, and was offered as a minor before that. “Christian ministry training has been close to the heart of Multnomah since our inception,” says Hildebrand. “We have been pleased to prepare thousands of missionaries, pastors, youth leaders, and other Christian workers for service in the Kingdom of God.” After more than 20 years of educating church leaders, the church leadership program will seek to equip even more students under an inclusive title.

If you have any questions about this decision, please contact Youth Ministry Chair Dr. Rob Hildebrand, Pastoral Ministry Chair Dr. Jay Held, or Seminary Dean Dr. Derek Chinn.

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Global ministry trends and issues, part 8: Mission training in the 21st century

Comments Off on Global ministry trends and issues, part 8: Mission training in the 21st century Written on October 6th, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Missions, Press Releases, Programs, Students

A few years ago I was invited to consult on a mission and development project that was focused on caring for at-risk kids. As I approached the residential group home where several dozen young people were being cared for, I couldn’t help but notice the despair in the eyes of the mission volunteers and caretakers of the children. You see, the missionaries were passionate about seeing young lives transformed by the gospel. There was no doubt in their sincerity to see these lives restored, but the tools and training they had received did not match the challenges they were facing.

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Whether it be working with at-risk youth and children or church planting, cross-cultural workers need proper preparation. When our academic and training programs fail to properly prepare them for the immensely difficult task of working in a new culture, communicating with a different set of standards and training in specializations needed in the field, we prevent them from fully thriving. Fortunately, some see the need and will seek additional training, some will burnout and unfortunately others will cause harm to the very ones they seek to care for. Sadly, this was the case with the group mentioned above and they were eventually closed by the local government authorities despite our best efforts.

 

Mission education and training (on both the undergraduate and graduate level) must continue to reinvent itself in the coming years. The field of mission training, as I argued in my first blog post, must keep pace with global changes and issues. This means that mission education must also keep up and even in some cases lead the way on strategy and best-practices. Mission programs are by nature an applied discipline. Developing practical skills is critical to whatever field one aspires to work in. Jim and Judy Raymo conclude that, “Skills and training are essential for successful workers of every generation” (39). As described by Moreau, Corwin and McGee, training can take place through informal, nonformal and formal opportunities (173). While all of these areas are important for mission preparation, I deeply believe that formal academic training provides students with the best opportunity to establish themselves and prepare for a thriving ministry and career in international and local contexts.

The World Evangelical Fellowship recently identified four critical skills as essential for lessening attrition rates and providing an environment in which future cross-cultural workers will thrive. They are: Spirituality, Relational Skills, Ministry Skills and Training (Taylor xiv-xv). I would argue that both undergraduate and graduate programs related to the field of mission, international development and global studies should seek to incorporate these components.

Spiritual Formation: There is no substitution for spiritual formation. One’s spirituality must seek to develop an intimate relationship with God. This will prove critical in those moments of despair and hardship. J.D. Payne discusses the importance of “being continually filled with the Spirit of Mission (Eph. 5:18)” as part of our daily task in serving Christ in mission (165). One of the goals of formal Christian training should include, “genuine growth toward spiritual maturity” (Moreau, Corwin and McGee 173). This growth should be nurtured while the student prepares to serve cross-culturally. This takes place through the integration of spiritual discipline practices in the classroom and assignments related to this.

Interpersonal Skills: Relational skills provide an atmosphere for which team-work and friendships can develop. Academic programs in this field must focus on demonstrating humility and teachability as two key skills. These skills can be nurtured in students preparing to serve on a team (especially a multicultural team). According to Moreau, Corwin and McGee “these attitudes are built on proper self-appraisal” as we encourage mission students to reflect on their purpose and service in the kingdom (176). Teachability is a critical skill in developing global partnerships. Students should be prepared to learn from others from different cultural backgrounds. “A teachable person is one who recognizes the inherent worth and wisdom of others” (Moreau, Corwin and McGee 176). Most agree that “loud, impatient, demanding people with weak interpersonal skills often fail on the mission field and in team situations” (Raymo and Raymo 45).

Ministry Skills: These skills are another critical piece to developing and preparing future cross-cultural workers.        Learning to disciple others is critical to forming leaders who will bring transformation. Whether students are working in humanitarian contexts, business contexts, diplomacy or other areas, discipleship must be emphasized. Cultural sensitivity is also an area that must be developed inside the classroom through simulation activities and group interaction.

Another area that deserves attention is professional development. Professional skills must be viewed as part of our training. Integrating both ministry skills and professional skills not only opens up more opportunities for students of mission, but provides them with the foundation they need to succeed. One of the ways to develop these skills is by providing practical experiential opportunities.

Practical Training: When working with a multicultural team or engaging with unreached people groups one notes the critical training in cross-cultural communications and competency. This is often times referred to as Cultural Intelligence. These skills can be discussed in the classroom, but must be developed on the field. This is where experiential opportunities such as internships and practical assignments move the student from the classroom to a real-life laboratory. Guided internships provide opportunities to develop these skills. According to researchers Jim and Judy Raymo, internships are an essential tool in preparing cross-cultural workers in today’s world (50). Another viable means for ensuring an experiential learning environment is through study abroad programs. In particular, study abroad programs that incorporate first-hand interaction with the culture and social realities is most valued. These and other experiences are key for practical training.

“Equipping God’s people to accomplish the missio Dei in the twenty-first century will require more diversity and cooperation than has been known hitherto” (Elliston 232). The complexity of mission training has only increased. As Edgar Elliston rightly notes, the preparation for global mission engagement will require more diverse efforts.

Andrew Kirk calls for a listening of two voices when reading Scripture. We are to listen to the voice of God (Scripture) and the voice (cry) of the people. This process will help us to combine the “universal nature and intention of the Christian’ foundation document with the particular reality of every situation into which the message and life of Christ comes” (14). The cry in our world today has been highlighted in the issues and trends discussed in this eight-part series. The voice of God will continue to shed light on healthy global engagement with these issues and many more that we will face in the coming months and years as we seek to be salt and light in our communities and world.

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If you would like additional information on either the B.A. in Global Studies or the M.A. in Global Development and Justice degree programs, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Greg Burch via email at gburch@multnomah.edu

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Works Cited

Elliston, Edgar. “Moving Forward from Where We Are in Missiological Education.”  In Missiological Education for the 21st Century: The Book, the Circle and the Sandals, edited by Edgar J. Elliston, Charles Van Engen and J. Dudley Woodberry. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1996.

Moreau, A. Scott, Gary Corwin and Gary B. McGee. Introducing World Missions. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2015.

Payne, J.D. Pressure Points: Twelve Global Issues Shaping the Face of the Church. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson 2013.

Raymo, Jim and Judy Raymo. Millennials and Mission: A Generation Faces a Global Challenge. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. 2014.

Taylor, William David, ed. Too Valuable to Lose: Exploring the Causes and Cures of Missionary Attrition, World Evangelical Fellowship, Globalization of Mission Series. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. 2007.

New biology professor integrates faith and science

Comments Off on New biology professor integrates faith and science Written on September 21st, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, General, Press Releases, Programs

For the true scientist, faith is something that must be simultaneously held at arm’s length and embraced. Being in a field where knowledge is tested, retested and tested again forces the scientist to stand at a certain distance from what he or she knows. Some scientists who are perched in that place see faith as a distraction, or at worst a limitation. Some, however, see their faith as precisely the force that gives them courage to delve fearlessly into the mysteries of life. Dr. Sarah Gall, chair of the biology department at MU, is this latter type of scientist. Read the rest of this entry »

Campus Happenings, Fall 2016

Comments Off on Campus Happenings, Fall 2016 Written on September 2nd, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Newsletter, Pray For MU, Programs, Students

Dr. Derek Chinn selected as interim dean of Multnomah Biblical Seminary

Dr. Derek Chinn, who directs the seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program, assumed his new role on August 1. “I’m going to work closely with my colleagues to pursue what God is calling Multnomah to be in our rapidly changing society,” he says. Chinn takes over for Dr. Roy Andrews, who served as seminary dean for the past three years.

MU community raises support for family of Khen Tua Tang

Khen Tua Tuang was getting ready to start his second year of the Global Development and Justice program when he was tragically killed in a car accident on July 28. He left behind his wife Huai and their young daughter ZemZem, who will need tremendous financial help in the months ahead. You can support them by contributing to the Khen Tua Tuang Family Fund here.

Multnomah announces arrival of new student center

MU is excited to introduce The Den, a student gathering space opening in January 2017. The industrial-style lounge will serve as a living room for commuter students on weekdays. During evenings and weekends, it will be a go-to spot for general student events. The Den concept was born thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor and the creativity of various university employees and student leaders.

Business students volunteer in Italy

MU’s business program has forged an on-going partnership with Kingdom Ministries, a local nonprofit that equips ministries in Italy by connecting them to volunteers who can serve in their camps, English classes and city festivals. Five business majors interned in finance, marketing and project management roles to promote, arrange and fund this year’s summer camps. “They’re getting experience they won’t get anywhere else,” says Kingdom Ministries co-founder Andrew Stone. The interns’ work culminated in a trip to Italy in June.

Athletics Department adds indoor track and field

The Athletics Department is happy to announce the addition of indoor track and field to its sports lineup, which also includes outdoor track and field, basketball, cross country, golf, volleyball and soccer. Stay connected to our sports teams by visiting gomulions.com.

Global ministry trends and issues, part seven: Unreached people groups

Comments Off on Global ministry trends and issues, part seven: Unreached people groups Written on September 2nd, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Feature, Missions, Theology

This is the seventh post in a series of articles on global ministry trends and issues presented by Dr. Greg Burch, Director of the Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice program and Chair of the Global Studies Department. You can read more articles from Dr. Burch on his personal site, The Burch Blog. Read the rest of this entry »

MA TESOL students run Bible camp in Japan

Comments Off on MA TESOL students run Bible camp in Japan Written on August 31st, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Missions, Programs, Students

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This month, a team of MA TESOL students and professors led an English Bible camp for college, high school, junior high and elementary students in Kobe, Japan. In addition to preparing English lessons for each day of camp, the group also planned games, rallies, campfires, worship services and special activities. Team members spent a week before the 12-day trip studying Japanese culture and taking a collaborative approach to camp planning.

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The team worked with Pastor Akinori Taniguchi of Youth Harvest Church, which offers English Bible Club classes throughout the week. For Taniguchi, TESOL is a way to engage his community, build relationships and share the gospel. “Churches in Japan are small, and the work can be discouraging,” says MA TESOL Director Kristyn Kidney. “Our collaboration with this local church allowed us to support, encourage and pray over their workers.”

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It also allowed them to richly bless their Japanese students. “They had a lot of fun, and they learned a lot of English,” says Kidney. “We saw first-time professions of faith. We saw campers memorizing scripture together and discussing the meaning of the verses. We even saw some attend church for the very first time.”

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But the campers weren’t the only ones who were impacted. “It was amazing to see how God spoke to our team members through this experience,” says Kidney. “Some discovered new confidence in their teaching as they relied on God and found him faithful. Others felt a new tug on their heart to connect their TESOL training to overseas missions.”

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The theme for this year’s camp was Great Discoveries. “Both campers and our team discovered a great deal about language, friendship, and love of God,” says Kidney. “We delighted in getting to know them, teaching them English and seeing God work in their hearts.”

Youth Harvest Church has invited the team to return next year.

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