A Call to Worship for the Tragedy in Charleston

No Comments » Written on June 19th, 2015 by
Categories: Faculty, General

The Multnomah community grieves the tragic loss of nine of our brothers and sisters in Christ at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Once again we find ourselves mourning because of a senseless and evil act of racially targeted violence. Our hearts are broken.

We echo this liturgy shared by one of our local churches in expressing our heartfelt cry unto the Lord on behalf of our kingdom family in Charleston. Read the rest of this entry »

Nathan Meeker captures NCCAA Division II National Championship

Comments Off Written on December 3rd, 2014 by
Categories: General

HOUGHTON, N.Y. – In frigid and snowy conditions, sophomore Nathan Meeker ran his best cross country race of the year and won the NCCAA Division II National Championship on Saturday, November 15. Read the rest of this entry »

New center offers low-cost counseling for community

Comments Off Written on November 25th, 2014 by
Categories: General

Counseling. Say the word to anyone, and pop-culture stereotypes abound. The Freudian therapist. The clingy client. The exorbitant fees. Many think counseling is a waste of time — or only for people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Master of Arts in Counseling student Riley Hall disagrees. “The needs people bring to counseling take on many forms,” he says. “Compare it to physical illness. Sometimes you get a cut on your finger that takes a few days to heal. But other times you might have a more serious issue that can cause harm if not treated. It’s the same with counseling.”

Hall is an intern at MU’s newly opened Community Counseling Center. Sandwiched between Sutcliffe Hall and Montavilla Park, the center meets two vital needs: training MAC interns and serving local community members with low-cost therapy.


Counseling Center Coordinator Chris Cleaver helped his interns develop a sliding scale that charges session fees based on clients’ household incomes. Cleaver says the scale makes counseling affordable for people who might not otherwise be able to pay for therapy. “I see this center as a gateway to our community,” he says. “Our interns have great training, and we’re passionate about serving people.”

The best way to serve, says Hall, is by building strong relationships with clients. “You don’t get nearer to someone’s heart than in a counseling room,” he says. “We’re here to provide a nonjudgmental ear and a place for them to give voice to their sorrows.”

Fellow intern Chelsea Thurlow agrees. “Unfortunately, it can be rare to have a relationship in which you feel heard without being judged,” she says. “Counseling is a safe relationship focused on you. It gives you accountability to set goals. It’s also helpful to talk with someone who’s not personally involved in your situation.”

Although Multnomah is a biblical university, the counseling center doesn’t cater to Christians exclusively. “We are still under the counseling code of ethics, which means we will never impose our beliefs on clients,” says Thurlow. “We’re not the authority in their life. Their values will be the weight in the room.”

Approaching counseling can seem defeating or embarrassing to some, but Thurlow feels honored to walk with people through their troubles. “I find joy in empowering them to take steps toward the changes they desire,” she says.

Hall concurs. “When left in the dark, issues can destroy someone’s life,” he says. “Counseling works because relationships are healing. It gives people their lives back.”

Learn more about the counseling center, check prices or make an appointment.

Images of the Inauguration

Comments Off Written on October 20th, 2014 by
Categories: General

On Friday, October 17, Multnomah University formally ushered Dr. Craig Williford into his role as president with an inauguration at Rolling Hills Community Church. Students, alumni, staff, faculty, MU's board of trustees and delegates from local universities attended the event.

In his inaugural address, Williford shared his vision for creating a global campus, closing the gap between those who can afford higher education and those can't, and empowering students with biblical wisdom and love of service. "Society needs Christians who have been restored in their weaknesses," he said. "Thank you all for working with me to build upon the legacy of Multnomah."


Gordon Conroy performed "Amazing Grace" for the academic processional.


Dr. Roy Andrews, dean of MU's School of Biblical & Theological Studies, welcomed attendants. "Craig and Carolyn have been clear that they don't want this event to focus on them," he said. "They want the focus to be on Christ."

Dave Needham, professor emeritus, gives the invocation.

Dave Needham, professor emeritus, gave the invocation. "We ask Your favor as we turn to a fresh page in Multnomah's history," he prayed. "We trust that You have brought Dr. Williford here to lead us."

MU student Natalie Tidswell gives a musical performance.

MU student Natalie Tidswell gave a musical performance.

Student senate president Jesse Duckett welcomes Dr. Williford. "We wanted a visionary and a motivator," he said. "You bring energy to our campus."

Student senate president Jesse Duckett welcomed Dr. Williford to the MU family. "We wanted a visionary and a motivator," he said. "You bring energy to our campus."

Adrienne Fajen, alumni leadership council president, greeted the president on behalf of MU's 19,000 alumni.

Adrienne Fajen, alumni leadership council president, greeted the president on behalf of MU's 19,000 alumni.

Dr. Luis Palau gave the keynote address and reflected on his time as a Multnomah student. "It was a very challenging education," he said. "I found joy in what I learned. It was revolutionary to my life!"

Dr. Luis Palau gave the keynote address and reflected on his time as a Multnomah student. "It was a very challenging education," he said. "I found joy in what I learned. It was revolutionary to my life!"

Carolyn Williford holds the Bible as Craig Williford promises to safeguard MU's standards and lead well.

Carolyn Williford held the Bible as Craig Williford promised to safeguard MU's standards and lead well.

Dr. Williford is given the presidential medallion, a symbol of institutional authority.

Dr. Williford was given the presidential medallion, a symbol of institutional authority.

MU's board of trustees surround Dr. Williford as board member Steve Mitchell prayed. "Our confidence is not in this man, but in his love for You," he said.

MU's board of trustees surrounded Dr. Williford and prayed, "Our confidence is not in this man, but in his love for You."

Dr. Williford gave his inaugural address. "People have been asking me what I'll do now that I'm in charge," he said. "I tell them, 'I'm not in charge. God is.' He is the shepherd; I am the undershepherd."

Dr. Williford gave his inaugural address. "People have been asking me what I'll do now that I'm in charge," he said. "I tell them, 'I'm not in charge. God is.' He is the shepherd; I am the undershepherd."

A reception, also hosted at Rolling Hills, followed the ceremony.

A reception, also hosted at Rolling Hills, followed the ceremony.

The couple greeted many attendants together.

The couple greeted many attendants together.

They happily spoke to everyone who stopped to congratulate them.

They happily spoke to everyone who stopped to congratulate them.

The board of trustees posed alongside the president and first lady.

The board of trustees posed alongside the president and first lady.


Congratulations, Craig and Carolyn! We are so happy — and so blessed — you're at Multnomah University!

Steve Cummings joins MU as vice president of Advancement

Comments Off Written on August 4th, 2014 by
Categories: General, Press Releases

PORTLAND, Ore. — Steve Cummings has been selected as vice president of Multnomah University’s Advancement Department.

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Cascade Collegiate Conference Approves MU’s Membership Application

Comments Off Written on June 19th, 2014 by
Categories: General, Press Releases

PORTLAND, Ore. —The Cascade Collegiate Conference approved Multnomah University’s membership application this week, moving the Lions one step closer toward conference participation during the 2015-16 season. Read the rest of this entry »

Graduates Reflect on Years Well Spent

Spring term has now come to a close. Last Friday night graduates walked across the stage, accepted their diplomas and tossed their hats into the air in celebration. I sat down with several of our exceptional graduates from our college, graduate school and seminary to hear more about their experiences and the impact a Multnomah education has had on them. 


GradFall2014_3Name: Danae Cowan

Hometown: Sweet Home, Ore.

Majors: Bachelor of Arts

Favorite MU memory: “During a late-night study session with my roommate in Memorial Hall, we were struggling to stay awake. Every hour on the hour, without a word, we’d drop our books and run one lap around our dorm. By the second and third time, we were laughing so hard we couldn’t stop.”

Dream job: “I’d love to work with women who are hurting and are in need of healing.”

Favorite professor: Dr. Val Clemen, who taught her Gender in Ministry class. “I love the way she connected with her students. She has such a huge love for Jesus and her students.”

Local perks: “I went to the Portland Art Museum this year and loved it. I also enjoy just walking through the city and people watching.”

Lesson learned: “Multnomah is a place where I learned about grace.”


GradFall2014_4Name: Ethan Knudson

Hometown: Renton, Wash.

Majors: Bachelor of Arts

Favorite MU memory: One night during his junior year when he and his friends were playing soccer. “My friend Charlie said to us, ‘If I make this next goal, you have to copy me and do whatever I do next. Deal?’ He made the goal, and then we all had to run through the sprinklers, which had just come on. That was a fun night.”

Dream job: After earning a master’s degree in teaching, Ethan hopes to become a theology professor and team teach alongside his fiancée. “I want to be in a position that allows me to connect with students and mentor them.”

Favorite professor: Dr. Karl Kutz, his Hebrew professor. “He’s brilliant. He cares about the heart and soul care of each student. He prepares you to face tough questions and tough seasons in life.”

Local perks: Eating at Salt and Straw and food carts like Thai Garden. “I love going to Townshend Tea with my fiancée and reading.”

Lesson learned: “Being at MU has been the most life-defining experience I’ve had. I’ve learned to be OK with not having all the answers, whether it’s about theology or life in general. That’s been freeing and has allowed me to enjoy life.”


GradFall2014_2Name: Clarissa Smith

Hometown: Golini, Kenya

Majors: Bachelor of Arts

Favorite MU memory: “One night Danae Cowan and Kayla Thomas and I dressed up and went out to dinner in Portland. It’s was pouring rain. You should have seen us balancing umbrellas in our heels trying to find the restaurant. We had a blast. After dinner, we went to Fred Meyer and bought roses to bring to Oregon Health and Sciences University Hospital. While we were at Fred Meyer, our car broke down! After we got it running, we took the tram up to the hospital and delivered the roses to nurses. That was super fun. The women I’ve become friends with at MU are wonderful. Together we laugh, cry, go on adventures and share what God has been doing in our lives.”

Next job: She’s moving to China to teach English for one year. “Only the Lord could take a girl who grew up in a tribal village in Kenya and send her to the big cities in China to teach English.”

Favorite professor: Dr. Ray Lubeck, who taught her Old Testament and Biblical Theology class: “His ability to take big concepts and present them in a way that’s understandable and relatable is unique. He gives his students a curiosity to learn for the rest of their lives.”

Local perks: “I love going to Monty’s Café for chai tea or Palio’s for a late-night study session. Another favorite activity is going to get frozen yogurt at YoCream (frozen yogurt.) Also, the international food scene here in Portland is really good.”

Lesson learned: “To live my life with open hands.”


GradFall2014_1Name: Jason Cybulski

Hometown: Burlingame, Calif.

Degree: M.A. in Pastoral Studies/Christian Leadership

Favorite MU memory: Jason, who lives in married housing with his wife and two daughters, spoke highly of the Multnomah community. “There’s nothing better. It’s great to meet new people and live life together with our families.”

Next job: Teaching Pastor at Potter’s Hands in Tigard, Ore.

Favorite professor: “That is an unfair question. One of my favorites is Prof. Tom Schiave, who taught my Theology of Community in Ministry class. He took time away from academia to shepherd those of us who wanted to go into vocational ministry.”

Local perks: He and his family enjoy discovering new places to eat. “The food here in the city of Portland is great.”

Lesson learned: “It’s important to cultivate the mind of a scholar, but that’s not worth anything without a pastor’s heart that can shepherd people.”


GradFall2014_5 Name: Rie Doss

Hometown: Kyoto, Japan

Degree: Master’s in Divinity, Chaplaincy track

Favorite MU memory: Rie remembers the MU community fondly. “I enjoyed learning from my classmates.” The M.Div. program is so rigorous that Rie stressed the importance of the support she found at MU. “We encouraged each other.”

Next job: Chaplain Fellow at Portland VA Medical Center

Favorite professor: Dr.  Roger Troutmann, her advisor. “He was a great mentor — always there for me and very encouraging.”

Local perks: Hiking in the Gorge during the spring and summer and snowshoeing in the winter opened doors for her to enjoy God’s creation.

Lesson learned: “Trust in God. Keep working. At the beginning, I felt very scared. But I took one week at a time and one class at a time.”


Dr. David Manock Joins MU as Director of MAC program

Comments Off Written on May 1st, 2014 by
Categories: General, Press Releases

PORTLAND, Ore. — Dr. David Manock has been selected as director of Multnomah’s Master of Arts in Counseling Program.

Manock, who holds a Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy, brings a wealth of experience to the position. In addition to teaching at three universities and one seminary on the West Coast, he’s a licensed marriage and family counselor with nearly two decades of experience running a private practice.

Manock said he’s excited about meeting the MAC students at Multnomah University. “I’m looking forward to learning how I can help them succeed as professionals,” he said. “I’m committed to excellence in clinical counseling so that students will know their craft and find their place in the community.”

Multnomah’s history of having a passionate relationship with Jesus Christ drew him to the University.  “Although MU values academic excellence, the school is about more than education,” he said. “Multnomah cares about the heart of each grad.”

Manock clearly has a heart for families. He ran a marriage and family therapy private practice in Pasadena, Calif., from 1996 to 2005, and has run the same practice in Salem, Ore., since 2006. He also has served in various pastoral roles within assorted churches over the past 39 years and currently serves as a part-time teaching pastor in Salem.

In 2011, Manock founded the NW Institute for Integrative Counseling and Training, which equips students to use emotionally focused therapy and intersubjectivity psychoanalysis. He has been involved in more than 24 publications and presentations, and he’s currently involved in seven research projects.

In addition to his Ph.D., Manock holds a master of divinity degree and a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling. His teaching experience includes positions at George Fox University, Western Oregon University, Azusa Pacific University and Fuller Theological Seminary.

As Manock walked around the Multnomah University grounds for the first time, he was moved when he spotted the prayer chapel in the middle of campus. “It’s the smallest building here, but it struck my heart because it concretely spoke to the heart of the University,” he said.

During the interview process, Manock was impressed by the love and care shown by MU administrators. “Multnomah really embodies the incarnate presence of Christ,” he said. “You could tell they were a secure family. I’ll be able to find a home here.”


About Multnomah University

Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with teaching sites in Reno, Nevada, and Seattle, Washington. Composed of a college, seminary, graduate school, degree completion program and online distance-learning program, Multnomah issues bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as professional certifications and endorsements. For more information, visit

Dr. Craig Williford Selected as President of Multnomah University

Comments Off Written on April 7th, 2014 by
Categories: General, Press Releases

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Multnomah University Board of Trustees announced today that the Rev. Dr. Craig Williford will serve as the University’s next president.

Williford will take on some leadership responsibilities immediately as president-elect and assume full presidential duties July 1. “Carolyn and I are honored to join the Multnomah family to serve as president and spouse,” he said. “We humbly take our place within the distinguished line of former and current trustees, faculty, staff, administration and presidents who served so sacrificially.”

The Board of Trustees selected Williford on a unanimous vote this past weekend. Board Chairman Jack Dryden said God’s faithfulness was evident throughout the presidential search process. “The Board of Trustees has been praying earnestly for some time that God would direct us to the person He was calling to lead Multnomah University for the next season,” Dryden said. “We are thrilled, but not surprised, that our gracious and kind Father in Heaven has exceeded our expectations. We are grateful for this gift.”

Over the past five years, Williford served as the president of Trinity International University (TIU), where he earned his doctorate in 1995. During his time at TIU, the university doubled its endowment and instituted numerous curricular improvements. TIU also secured funding for a new student success center while facilitating campus improvements such as remodeled classrooms and updated educational technology.

Prior to TIU, Williford spent eight years as president of Denver Seminary. He provided leadership as the seminary underwent a remarkable transformation in terms of its enrollment, curriculum, faculty development, financial health and campus facilities. He also taught pastoral leadership courses on the master’s and doctoral levels and continues to mentor five pastoral and nonprofit leaders who serve throughout the United States.

In addition, Williford served as a pastor for 20 years. His duties included leading pastoral and program staff, facilitating the strategic thinking process, preaching, leading significant change initiatives, designing new ministries, facilitating church planting strategies and pastoring two mini-congregations.

Godly, cross-cultural, innovative leadership focused on reaching the world is his passion. He researches, writes and speaks on this topic whenever he has the opportunity. Williford loves to help leaders embrace the spiritual dimensions of their calling as Christ leads them in their lives and their organizations.

The Willifords have been married for 41 years. They have four grandchildren (Tucker, Abby, Tyler and Nathan) and two sons: Robb, who died suddenly in December 2010, and Jay, who lives in Colorado with his wife, Rachael.

The Willifords are also authors and seminar speakers. Carolyn has written four non-fiction books and three novels that address areas of spiritual formation. Their latest co-authored books are “Faith Tango,” a practical guide on how to deepen one’s marriage through spiritual formation, and “Questions from the God Who Needs No Answers,” a devotional book for individuals, couples and small groupsCraig’s latest book is “How to Treat a Staff Infection.”

Williford will take over for Acting President Wayne Strickland, who assumed presidential duties when Dr. Daniel Lockwood stepped down Nov. 1. Williford said he and his wife are excited about the next chapter in their lives. “Please join us in praying that God will provide the faith, courage and wisdom needed as I now assume presidential responsibilities,” he said. “We look forward to meeting all members of the Multnomah community as soon as possible.”

About Multnomah University
Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education, located in Portland, Oregon with teaching sites in Reno, Nevada and Seattle, Washington. Made up of an undergraduate Bible college, a biblical seminary, a graduate school, an adult degree completion program, and an online distance-learning program, Multnomah issues bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees, and professional certifications and endorsements. For more information, visit

Change, Challenges and Opportunities

These past few months have been characterized by change — a season that has marked me, shaped me and continued to challenge me towards a deeper dependence on Jesus than I have ever known.

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