Multnomah University Updates — Spring 2015

Comments Off Written on April 16th, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Newsletter

Torah unrolls new learning opportunities

Torah_blogLast fall, Ken and Barbara Larson gifted a rare and valuable Torah to Multnomah Biblical Seminary. The Torah, a parchment scroll on which the first five books of the Old Testament were written, is hundreds of years old and was likely used in a synagogue in Eastern Europe.

The scroll’s formal dedication was hosted on campus February 5. “We can feel your enthusiasm in the air,” said donor Barbara Larson. “We’ve been impressed by your faculty and students, and we’re excited for what this Torah will do for the school.” Hebrew professor Dr. Karl Kutz says the scroll will help students learn about scribal work and the transcription process.

The dedication was followed by an on-campus colloquium, where Ancient Manuscripts Expert Dr. Scott Carroll treated listeners to the scroll’s history and features. “If this Torah could talk to us, imagine what it could say and what it’s seen,” said Carroll. “It was preserved through the Enlightenment and the Holocaust. Through a wonderful turn of Providence, it’s in your community now.”

Read the full story.

Spring Thaw energizes, educates 650 high school students

Spring Thaw 15 Blog 2MU’s sixth annual youth retreat led by Dr. Rob Hildebrand proved to be another success this March. The event drew 650 high school students who stayed on Multnomah’s campus for 44 hours filled with exciting games, rich theology seminars, comedy skits, worship, a petting zoo and limo rides.

Volunteers composed of MU students and staff planned, built and facilitated the retreat. A small group of students majoring in Youth Ministry took on larger leadership roles and served as interns. Four Multnomah professors led theology seminars covering topics ranging from missions to modern-day dilemmas.

“You guys put a lot of effort into Spring Thaw,” says Austin Thompson, a senior from Gladstone First Baptist Church. “And it’s not about getting people to attend MU — it’s a chance for people to come together. I think that’s an amazing, selfless thing for a university to do.”

Read the full story.

MU to launch a five-year B.A./M.Div. program

summit2_featureimageMultnomah University is launching Summit, a five-year Bachelor of Arts/Master of Divinity program that reduces the time and cost traditionally spent on the individual degrees. “Summit is an opportunity for people to get into ministry sooner,” says Roy Andrews, dean of Multnomah Biblical Seminary. “It’s five years of your time — not seven — and costs about 30 percent less than it would to take the programs separately.”

Once students jump into the program, they’ll be immersed in classes, service learning, mentored ministry and internships. “All these things are ingredients in the recipe for making people prepared for full-time ministry,” says Andrews. “Our students will get a lot of guided practical application. Though we’re condensing two programs, we won’t sacrifice the quality of either.”

Summit will launch in fall 2015 thanks to a $565,000 grant from The Kern Family Foundation, an independent grant-making organization based in Waukesha, Wis. The grant will be used to support a program director, student scholarships and marketing efforts.

Read more about Summit.

Business & Organizational Psychology degree set to launch this fall

FallGrad2014_featureimageMU will launch a business & organizational psychology degree in fall 2015.

Graduates will be skilled at assessing an entire organizational domain and focusing on aspects that affect the organization’s bottom line. Areas of occupational focus include:

  • Efficiency of the work environment
  • Conflict managements
  • Effectiveness of marketing campaigns
  • Motivation and performance
  • Stakeholder involvement

Graduates will utilize their training to create business policies and methodologies with the goal of improving the organization’s ability to better meet the expectations of its customers and stakeholders.

For more information, contact Admissions at 503-251-6485 or

Business Department announces concentration in accounting

Bernie_featureimageIn fall 2015, MU will launch an accounting concentration under its business program.

The four-year program will be rigorous. The degree is 127 credits, including 24 credits of accounting. All classes will be taught by practitioners in the field.

Students will be prepared for CPA licensure in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The program will also provide excellent preparation for the Certified Management Accountant Exam and the Certified Fraud Examiner Exam.

For more information, contact Admissions at 503-251-6485 or

Intercultural Studies is now Global Studies

Greg_featureimageMU’s intercultural studies program was recently renamed the global studies program. Students will specialize in one of four new concentrations:

  • Applied Linguistics
  • Children at Risk
  • Culture & Diversity
  • Global Ministry

“Over the past couple of years, our department has been researching a way forward for our program given the complexities of our globalized world,” says Global Studies Chair Dr. Greg Burch. “If you’re interested in serving people, working with ethnic groups, church-planting, international vocations — this program is critical for you. You’ll be given the tools to thrive. Each concentration has its values and provides practical skills.”

Read the full story.

State of the University Address: A Message from Dr. Craig Williford

Comments Off Written on April 7th, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Newsletter, Pray For MU

Dear Alumni Family,


Greetings from Portland. I pray God’s presence in your life is strong and clear these days. Here at Multnomah University, we are fast approaching the end of the semester and graduation.

Each month we gather as a community of faculty, staff and administration for what we call Lionshare. The name is a combination of our athletic mascot, a lion, and our purpose for meeting — to share and update one another on what’s happening in the MU community. Each meeting we celebrate, communicate, encourage and pray. During this month’s Lionshare, I gave a State of the University address restating our university-wide commitment to Christ, the gospel and biblical integrity. I thought you might enjoy reading some of these thoughts.

Before I began my address, I asked our employees, “Why do you serve at MU?”  They listed the quality of our students, MU’s commitment to biblical integrity, MU’s godly faculty, how lives are impacted, and their belief in our mission and values. You might give many of the same answers if I asked you.

I followed this discussion by answering why I choose to serve at MU. I serve at MU because:

  1. I believe in Christian higher education, and I believe God meets and molds students at MU.
  2. I love showing students how to be a godly influence in all walks of life.
  3. I understand how critical biblical wisdom and power are to all human existence, so I value our biblical commitments.
  4. I enjoy the pursuit of Christ through the exploration of truth at a learning community committed to the Bible and honoring Christ.
  5. I fell in love with the people and community of MU.
  6. I respect the global impact of our alumni and professors.

During the next section of my address, I explained what we mean when we say “MU is building a biblical university.” As MU seeks to combine the strengths of a traditional Bible College with the strengths of a traditional liberal arts school, these are some of the unique characteristics you’ll find:

  • A place where we focus on pursuing biblical wisdom and power
  • A place where the study of the arts and sciences collaborate and collide with the study of Bible and theology to provide clarity to life’s most important questions
  • A university where the integration of our faith to all areas of study is intentional and comprehensive throughout the educational experience
  • A university where students learn to think and live biblically
  • A university that designs spaces where the Holy Spirit can craft a love relationship with his children
  • A university where students are shown how to be a godly influence for the enrichment of their communities
  • A university where God’s creativity is modeled in a learning environment filled with curiosity and creativity
  • A university where deeper levels of understanding are applied through the wise application of learning theory and educational technology
  • A university that skillfully connects theoretical and concrete learning
  • A university where students prepare for a career and discover a life that matters

In the month ahead, you’ll hear even more about this distinctive.

In the final section of my address, I gave numerous updates on new degrees and programs that we’re building. These include:

  • Four accredited, fully online degrees launching in fall 2015
  • A new residential degree in business and organizational psychology launching in fall 2015
  • A new concentration in business accounting launching in fall 2015
  • A new biology degree launching in fall 2016

We’re also launching Summit, a five-year B.A./M.Div. program, this fall. Summit provides a way for spiritually and academically gifted young leaders to complete a B.A. and M.Div. degree in five years instead of the usual seven years. Some students will receive full-tuition scholarships covering the undergraduate portion of the program. Additional scholarships are available for Summit students who don’t receive full-tuition scholarships. Check out our Summit page for more information.

This update simply cannot explain all the new programs, degrees and other exciting news. Keep watching our website and our monthly alumni updates for more information. Please continue to pray and stay in touch.



G. Craig Williford, Ph.D.

Person to Person: “Shake and Shine”

Comments Off Written on April 6th, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Newsletter

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house: Matthew 5:13-15

MichelleWhat a wonderful time these past few months have been. MU’s 2015 Presidential Tour is well underway. We’ve been traveling across the states and Alaska, connecting with alumni and friends of MU as we’ve introduced Multnomah’s new president, Dr. Craig Williford. Nine stops down and two more to go.

Though it’s been a bit tiresome given the rigorous schedule we’ve been keeping, my heart is full. I’m feeling refreshed after the wonderful opportunities to connect with the amazing men and women represented in our MU family.

During our last stop in Dallas, Texas, I had the privilege of attending church with one of our alums at Stonebriar Community Church. I was so encouraged by Chuck Swindoll’s message from Matthew’s gospel to “shake and shine.” As I sat and listened, I couldn’t help but think of Multnomah’s mission and the great privilege it is to be a part of a ministry whose sole focus is to do just that: to be salt and light in a world so desperately in need.

Multnomah’s mission is to become a globally influential biblical university that dynamically shapes Christian students into ambassadors of Jesus Christ, saturated in Scripture and ready to serve. As we aim to equip men and women through higher education to become biblically competent, academically proficient, spiritually formed, and culturally engaged servant leaders; we desire that they would be shaped to be a transforming force in the church, their community, and the world.

One of our passionate desires as Christians is to make a difference. We desire that our investment would cause others to be transformed for the better through the influence we have. Webster’s dictionary defines influence as “the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command.”

Swindoll shared, “In numerous ways, some of them intangible, influential people sway others’ opinions, prompt decisions, and encourage actions. Parents influence children. Teachers influence students. Mentors influence disciples. Leaders influence those in their organizations. In the same way, we Christians influence those we are around. The question is how? Jesus’ answer, given many centuries ago, is the best. We should shake the salt and shine the light!”

Then he challenged us: “Make people curious by the way you live. It’s not us; it’s Christ at work in us. It’s not that we carry salt and light; Scripture tells us that we are the salt and the light.”

Salt: a wonderful metaphor in a world that is decaying. As salt, we are to serve as preservatives. Salt adds taste to an otherwise tasteless world, and it creates a thirst. May we live vibrant, Christ-centered lives that cause others to become thirsty to know more of him.

Light: a beautiful image for a world that is plunged in darkness. You are the light in a world so desperately in need. You are a living lamp bearing his light. Let your light shine!

As Swindoll closed our time together, he left us with 3 simple don’ts that I thought noteworthy to share:

  1. Don’t overdo it. What happens when you put too much salt on something? You ruin the meal. Don’t shake too much.
  1. Don’t hold back. Risk standing alone. You’ll have thoughts that others won’t have, and you’ll have visions that no one else will see. Follow your heart and do what God is calling you to do.
  1. Don’t worry about the critics. They hated Jesus and the apostles as well. They’ll hate you, but stay engaged and be the salt and be the light!

The world is watching us as we shake and shine. People watch how we react to pressure and trials. They watch how we treat others. They watch how we handle promotions when we’re promoted and how we handle failures when we fail.

Salt that stays in the shaker does no good. A light turned off has no impact. My prayer for us today is that we would continue to shake and shine as we aim to walk in his wisdom and grace as ambassadors of Multnomah and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Shaking and shining for his glory,

Michelle M. Peel-Underwood

Director of Alumni Relations

Reflecting on Life’s Joys and Sorrows: Person to Person, Winter 2015

Comments Off Written on January 8th, 2015 by
Categories: Newsletter

michelle_mainimage_portraitIn taking time to reflect on 2014, I was reminded of the sovereignty, goodness and faithfulness God shows when walking with his children. I found myself recalling moments of great delight and deep grief — a tapestry of joy and sorrow that had been woven so beautifully.

As it is with the ebbs and flows of life’s journey, there are often seasons of intense grief amid great joy. And while it’s completely natural to want to fast forward through life’s pain, we can miss what God has for us in these seasons if we’re not careful.

As we learn to embrace life’s moments — the joys and the sorrows alike — we can truly appreciate the gifts wrapped inside: peace, patience, grace, growth, character, spiritual maturity and a deeper dependence upon him.

Here are some memorable moments of 2014.

  • January began with the celebrations of two milestone birthdays: my step-son’s 16th birthday and my husband’s 50th.
  • March saw us honoring Senior Vice President and CEO of Wycliffe Bible Translators Russ Hersman (Class of ’78) as Multnomah’s 2014 Alumnus of the Year.
  • April was filled with incredible hope and excitement when Dr. Craig Williford was selected as Multnomah’s fifth president.
  • May was a special month of celebration as MU’s class of 1964 had its 50-year reunion and we honored our spring graduates with a commencement ceremony.
  • June was full with wedding celebrations in support of students and sweet friendships the Lord has given me at Multnomah.
  • July brought difficult news of the loss of our fourth president, Dr. Dan Lockwood. I never imagined it would be so difficult to say good bye to such a great leader and dear friend.
  • August was filled with more celebrations: my first wedding anniversary and my father-in-law’s 75th birthday. The month was not without its challenges though. I totaled my jeep after hitting a bull elk (ironically the day right before opening season). I escaped with minor cuts and bruises, but that’s more than I can say for the elk. We are thankful for God’s protection, as it could have been much worse.
  • September brought the exciting news that our seminary was selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to receive part of a $1.5 million grant to incorporate science into our core theological curricula.
  • October offered reasons for celebration again with the scheduled events of Dr. Craig Williford’s Presidential Inauguration. But that was followed by the difficult news that some dear friends (Multnomah alumni) had tragically lost their youngest son. My heart continues to break for them as they grieve incredible loss and learn what it means to lean into Jesus in new ways.
  • December saw our winter graduates walk across the stage of Central Bible Church to receive their diplomas. As they move into graduate school, the workforce or wherever God leads them, we prayed for his blessing and peace on their lives.

Now here we are at the top of a new year. I’m not sure what 2015 will hold, but I keep learning what it means to trust in the one who does.

As you reflect back on 2014, my prayer is that you too would realize his goodness and faithfulness in new ways — even perhaps amidst suffering. For suffering, though difficult, can be God’s way of enhancing our sense of his presence within our lives. It’s often within these difficult places that we find some of his sweetest gifts.

As you walk by faith into seasons unknown, may you walk with confidence, knowing that he walks beside you. And may he continue to weave a beautiful tapestry, through joy and pain, as he shapes you into a deeper dependence upon him and into a greater likeness of his son.

For his glory,


Multnomah University Updates — Winter 2015

Comments Off Written on January 8th, 2015 by
Categories: Newsletter

Looking back on 2014

crosscountry_mainNathan Meeker wins NCCAA Division II National Championship

Nathan Meeker is the first runner from Multnomah University to win an NCCAA cross country title and the first person in MU history to win any type of individual-sport championship. Meeker ran the 8K course in 26 minutes, 39 seconds. His teammate, junior Ryan Brown, finished third in 27:46. 

The rest of the University men's cross country team, as well as Sindy Larson from the women's team, also competed at the championship event, hosted in Houghton, N.Y. “The state of Oregon has a long and rich history of successful distance runners,” Coach David Lee said. “Multnomah is now a part of that history.”

Read Meeker's full press release.

Read Sindy Larson's article.

Community counseling center is open, accepting new clients

CounselingCenter_featureimageThe MU Community Counseling Center, which opened in October 2014, is now seeing and accepting clients. Sandwiched between Sutcliffe Hall and Montavilla Park, the center meets two vital needs: training MAC interns and serving Portland 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 counseling center is also available for Multnomah alumni. Visit the counseling center page to learn more, check prices or make an appointment.

Read the full article.

Seminary awarded national 'Science for Seminaries' grant

SeminaryGrant_thumbLast fall, Multnomah Biblical Seminary was one of 10 seminaries nationwide selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for a combined $1.5 million in grants to incorporate science into core theological curricula.

The grant will provide resources to integrate science into select core courses, such as systematic theology, biblical studies, church history and pastoral theology. The courses will be developed and implemented over the next two years and provide seminarians with solid, science-focused instruction.

“The evangelical movement has benefited greatly from implementing scientific and technological advances in communication and media for gospel proclamation,” said Dr. Paul Louis Metzger, MU seminary professor and director of its Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins.

Read the full press release and FAQ.

Looking ahead in 2015

MU to host Torah dedication ceremony

scroll_featuredLast fall, Ken and Barbara Larson gifted a rare and valuable Torah to Multnomah Biblical Seminary. The Torah, a parchment scroll on which the first five books of the Old Testament were written, is more than two centuries old and was likely used in synagogues.

The scroll’s formal dedication will be hosted February 5, 2015, in the Joseph C. Aldrich Student Center. All alumni are welcome to attend the event, which includes a special chapel at 10 a.m. and colloquium at 11 a.m.

RSVP before January 27 by contacting Joy Kruger at 503-251-5361 or

Read the full press release.

President to share vision for MU's future during national tour

This is your chance to meet MU's new president, Dr. Craig Williford, and hear his vision for Multnomah, which includes:

  • Creating a global campus
  • Inspiring an infectious love of service
  • Building moldable and resilient Christian character
  • Developing a diverse learning community

Vice President of Advancement Steve Cummings and Alumni Director Michelle Peel-Underwood will join Craig as he connects with alumni and friends of MU across the U.S. Visit the presidential tour page for a full list of events and locations.

50-year alumni society event

50YearAlum_thumbMultnomah annually honors its graduates of 50 years by inducting them into our 50-Year Alumni Society. To applaud this important achievement, we have a special day of celebration planned on Friday May 8, 2015. The day's activities will include a baccalaureate chapel, special luncheon and induction ceremony, 50-year class reunion, tour of the campus, and participation in Multnomah's graduation ceremony that evening. This special event is a great way to reconnect with friends and review the Lord's faithfulness for the last 50 years.

RSVP by contacting Michelle Peel-Underwood at 503-251-6458 or

Looking Forward: A Greeting from Dr. Craig Williford

Comments Off Written on January 8th, 2015 by
Categories: Newsletter

A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?

Proverbs 20:24, NIV

By Wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established. Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.  

Proverbs 24:3-4, NIV

craig_mainimage_portraitAs a young pastor, I fell into the mistake of developing what I thought were good plans for the church I served and then asking God to bless my plans. Quickly, I discovered my arrogance and the shortcomings of this approach.

Experience has taught me to seek God’s plans for the organizations I served first and then pray that he would enable us to mobilize the organization to accomplish his plans. This humble acknowledgement of our need for biblical wisdom and power — not our own human wisdom and power — is Multnomah University’s starting point and central focus for 2015.

For 2015 and beyond, we believe God wants us to continue building a global campus where more students can receive an MU education from anywhere and at anytime. Providing this less expensive and more accessible MU education will allow students who could not previously afford an MU education the opportunity to be trained and formed as Christ’s followers to serve in numerous capacities. More pastors and lay leaders will be able to gain an in-depth understanding of the Bible and theology. Lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers, civic leaders and those who aspire to serve in these capacities will gain an education saturated in the Bible and professional training.

Watch for the exciting and official news about our new fully online degrees that will be announced in the late spring. These high-quality educational experiences will start with our Bible and theology courses and quickly expand to include fully online options for numerous other programs we offer here at MU.

So, what is happening to our residential programs? I am pleased to say that we will continue to make our residential experiences vibrant and effective. At Multnomah Biblical Seminary, we are working on moving many of our courses to late afternoons, evenings and weekends so working students can find easier ways to complete their course work. We are also going to provide more of our intensive style courses that begin on a Monday and conclude the following Friday.

Also, our seminary dean and faculty are prayerfully considering how we might provide certificates and new programs that would better fit the needs of all those who could benefit from in-depth Bible and theological training. That means a church or community Bible study leaders could access a program uniquely suited for them without all the expense and time to earn a Master’s degree. Stay-at-home moms could take coursework provided in ways that fit the crazy demands and busy schedules they face.

Also, plan on attending one of the upcoming alumni events in your area during the 2015 Presidential Tour. Carolyn and I will be participating in many of these events, where I will be sharing more about MU’s future and answering questions you may have about the marvelous work God is doing at and through MU and its alumni. See you there.



President’s Greeting — Fall 2014

Comments Off Written on October 2nd, 2014 by
Categories: Newsletter

Dear Multnomah Family,

The new school year is successfully under way. I am thankful for all our new and returning students. God enabled us to meet or exceed almost every one of our new student enrollment goals.

Carolyn and I just returned from the All School Retreat, and it was a blast. The Young Life Washington Family Ranch in Eastern Oregon is a beautiful facility. The students, staff and faculty who attended seemed to have a wonderful time. There was such a positive and exciting spirit among all who attended. I judge God was moving in our midst, and I was honored to experience His presence with our students.

Biblical wisdom and power in contrast to human wisdom and power is one of the main themes I am exploring with our Multnomah Family this year. The Apostle Paul said, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel — not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (NIV, I Corinthians 1: 17). And King Solomon told us that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

I suggest the sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ may be the most complete expression of God’s wisdom and power. When we pursue biblical wisdom we are actually pursuing Christ, who is the living example of biblical wisdom and power.

So, I am calling our Multnomah Family to pursue Christ together this year. I am asking if we, as the body of Christ here at MU, might deepen our love for Him over the months ahead.

On another note, you probably have heard me call Multnomah University a “biblical university”. It may help if I explain in more detail what I mean when I use that descriptor. Here at MU we are biblical university that:

  • Combines the strengths of the Bible college with the strengths of the Christian liberal arts school as we pursue biblical wisdom and power
  • Commits to the inspired, inerrant, authoritative word of God as it frames our explorations and expressions of God’s truth
  • Intentionally works so that biblical and theological studies collaborate and collide with studies in arts and sciences to provide clarity to the most important questions of life
  • Prepares graduates to effectively and faithfully serve in a variety of vocational settings (like full-time, vocational ministry or the public market place) with passion for Christ, a servant’s heart, and a Holy Spirit-formed mind and soul

May I ask a favor? With this deeper understanding of MU as a “biblical university”, will you share the exciting story of MU with your friends and family? Will you continue to pray that God will empower us to do this work He has called us to do?

When you are on campus please introduce yourself — I value meeting members of the MU Alumni Family.

God’s blessings.

Craig Williford

President, Multnomah University

Celebrating the Past and Embracing the Future: Person to Person, Fall 2014

Comments Off Written on October 1st, 2014 by
Categories: Newsletter

It’s an exciting time in Multnomah’s history. Our presidential inauguration for Dr. Craig Williford is just a few weeks away now. As a community, we are energized and enthusiastic in looking forward to this significant celebration. Our focus will be one of “Praise and Worship” – a theme most fitting, I believe, in response to God’s overwhelming blessing to MU at this time.

On the trails of such a difficult season, with the loss of Dr. Lockwood, it feels as if new life is being breathed into the University in beautiful and undeniable ways. I am humbled and honored to be an eye witness participant.

dan and michelle

Dr. Dan and I

As it is with any season of transition, I am learning anew the importance of letting go and of joyfully embracing the future. While, no doubt, history plays a significant role in shaping us and feelings of great loss often accompany that of letting go; it is with this understanding and a hopeful expectation that I look forward to what God has ahead.

I’d like to commemorate this season, if I may, by reflecting on history past and sharing with you a few of my favorite “Dr. Dan” memories.

When I think of Dr. Dan, I remember a man of humility, wisdom, strength, character and ‘over the top’ optimism.

He was inspiring as a biblical scholar, and a remarkable orator with an unbelievable ability to alliterate. His Dr. Dan Magic shows were an all-time favorite for many — an entertaining illusionist extraordinaire.

Over the past decade and a half, I had the privilege of working alongside him and witnessing up close a faith that was awe-inspiring. He was indeed a man of intense faith, demonstrated consistently in his response to what it meant to trust God amidst adversity and in times of life’s unknowns.

He was a man with a beautiful servant’s heart and a genuine interest in people. While there are many things I admired about Dr. Dan, probably one of the most significant memories I have was during the summer of 2009 when I was facing a season of my own adversity. I had been suffering from a relapse of malaria that I had picked up on a mission’s trip a few weeks prior.  Dr. Dan came into my office and sat across from my desk and, with compassion and concern in his eyes, inquired about my health and the decision I had made to follow through with an upcoming alumni trip. He was genuinely concerned. It didn’t matter to him the events that had been scheduled, the plans that had been made, the airfares that had been purchased, or the hotels that had been booked. What he communicated clearly to me that day, was that I mattered!  People were important to him. I was important to him, and he wanted me to be sure that I knew it.

There are no words deep and/or meaningful enough to express the impact of his leadership and the great privilege it has been to know him and serve alongside him these past eighteen years.

I will never forget his last chapel as Multnomah’s president, when he announced to the MU community the grim prognosis from his doctor, and the recommendation to step down from his presidency in order that he might spend some cherished time with family. He spoke with such courage and confidence that day — full of faith and optimism, as one would only imagine coming from Dr. Dan. He said, If ever you are wondering, ‘Is God really a God who loves me...a God who cares for me…is God one who is concerned about every aspect of my life?’...just remember Dan Lockwood as someone who can testify — even in the midst of cancer, maybe near the end of that journey and looking forward to the next great adventure, that God has been good, God has been faithful and God can be trusted.” He graciously and humbly shared from a heart of gratitude that saw God at work even in the face of intense adversity. His cancer journey truly demonstrated what it meant to live a life of faith with full endurance to the finish line.

The values and characteristics of his life have indelibly marked this University and those he has served. Today on Multnomah’s campus, you’ll find in our prayer circle a bronze plaque placed in his honor that reads: “Honoring A Legacy of Faith – Dr. Daniel R. Lockwood, Multnomah University’s Fourth President, 1997-2013. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6.” We have also changed the name and focus of the Multnomah Fund to “The Dr. Dan Lockwood Student Aid Fund”.

My hope is that this commemorative plaque and Dr. Dan’s student aid fund will serve as a continued reminder to the Multnomah community of the faith he demonstrated in the life that he lived.

Whether or not you knew Dan personally, my prayer for all of us today is that our hearts would be encouraged and challenged to live with such faith. As we embrace the future, the unknowns and what God has ahead, let us not forget: “God is good. God is faithful, and God can be trusted.”

Celebrating the past and embracing the future,

Michelle M. Peel-Underwood  B.A. '00, M.A. '10

Director of Alumni Relations

P.S. I’m looking forward to helping introduce Multnomah’s fifth president, Dr. Craig Williford, during our Presidential tour coming next spring. Look for more details to come.


Learn more about the Dr. Dan Lockwood Student Aid Fund or continue his legacy by contributing to it. 

Multnomah University Updates — Fall 2014

Comments Off Written on September 30th, 2014 by
Categories: Newsletter

Couple donates 18th-century Torah to MU

Ken and Barbara Larson, from Bonita Springs, Fla., are giving a rare and valuable Torah to Multnomah Biblical Seminary. The Torah is a parchment scroll on which the first five books of the Old Testament were written. This particular scroll is more than two centuries old and was likely used in synagogues. It’s durable enough to be used for decades to come.

Vice President of Advancement Steve Cummings said the gift will further ignite students’ passion for God’s Word. “This is an incredible and generous gift,” he says. “It will bring an added dimension to their educational experience that will last for many years.” The scroll’s formal dedication will be hosted on campus and is tentatively set for early February.

New community counseling center opening in October

MU will be opening a community counseling clinic on October 15. The clinic will offer discounted counseling sessions for people in the surrounding neighborhood while simultaneously providing internships for MU students earning their Master of Arts in Counseling degrees.

 “We are so excited to engage in this new venture,” says clinic coordinator Chris Cleaver. “We get to be a part of win-win-win situation. Our students learn through experience, our university gets an additional revenue stream and our neighbors are afforded the hope and love of Jesus!”

The clinic will have a grand opening on January 14, 2015.

Seminary students return from Oxford internship

This summer, Haley Cloyd and Daniel Somboonsiri attended the Logos Conference, a two-week internship in Oxford where world-renowned academic experts taught them history, theology and textual studies. Hebrew professor Dr. Karl Kutz participated in the second week of the conference, which was sponsored by the Green Scholars Initiative. 

Cloyd and Somboonsiri stayed in a Victorian manor within walking distance to Oxford. Their days were filled with lectures, workshops, guided tours, homework — and lots of tea. “I loved the opportunity to develop my own academic network; now I have friends at Cambridge, Gordon-Conwell,” says Cloyd. “The most important thing I learned is that my interests don’t limit my career path. This experience has been instrumental in shaping how I move forward.”

Somboonsiri agrees. “We got a lot of advise on pursuing the Christian life within the world of academia,” he says. “And Dr. Kutz was an invaluable help — he talked over the lectures with us. I’m excited about more GSI projects coming to MU, and I’m excited for more students to have similar opportunities to what Haley and I experienced.” 

New students attend orientation with different dreams, common purpose 

Business owner. Teacher. Counselor. Our new students have different goals, but they all want to make the world a better place, wherever God leads them. Their first step? Right here. Incoming students from across the U.S. — some from as far as Germany — congregated on campus August 21 to kick off MU’s four-day orientation. 

Louie Idlett, a business major from Longview, Wash., hopes to start his own company one day. He’s confident that MU’s biblical foundation will help him succeed. “As a Christian, you’re called to keep a higher standard of business,” he says. “It’s not all about the profit margin. It’s about loving God, loving your community and loving what you do — because you’re doing it for Him.”

New athletic teams begin competing 

MU’s Athletic Department has officially added six new sports teams for the fall 2014 season: women’s basketball, men’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, and men’s and women’s golf. MU’s cross country, golf, soccer and volleyball teams are currently in season and competing in the National Christian College Athletic Association Division II. Our men’s and women’s basketball teams are currently practicing.

“This is one of the most exciting times in the history of Multnomah’s athletic department, says Athletics Director Lois Voss. We have more athletes participating than ever before and some really great things have already happened: We have a runner who qualified for the National Cross Country tournament, a golfer who missed the national tournament by one shot, and we scored our first goal in soccer. New things are being written in our history books.


‘A Time of Celebration and Thanksgiving’: Dr. Craig Williford’s Inauguration Set For October 17

Comments Off Written on September 26th, 2014 by
Categories: Newsletter

Multnomah University will officially inaugurate Dr. Craig Williford as the institution’s fifth president during a ceremony the afternoon of Friday, October 17, at Rolling Hills Church. The University will close at noon and classes from 1:30 p.m. on will be cancelled so all faculty, staff and students can attend.

“This event will be a time of celebration and thanksgiving as the MU family, Carolyn and I express our mutual joy in God’s blessings,” said Williford. “The inauguration will signal to the Northwest learning community that MU is beginning a new season as it continues to build upon 78 years of faithful ministry.”

The University’s first inauguration since 1997, the event will kick off at 2 p.m. with a traditional academic procession. Board members, administration, faculty, and delegates will proceed in full academic regalia. A formal ceremony will follow, which will include an inaugural address from alumnus Dr. Luis Palau.

The University Board of Trustees will then present to and authorize Williford to wear the presidential medallion of the University. “The medallion will serve as a visual sign of my role as senior leader,” said Williford. “Receiving it for the first time while I am kneeling will symbolize my dependence upon God and that I am here to serve the MU family.”

Williford will give a presidential address before the benediction and recessional. A reception, also hosted at Rolling Hills, will begin at 3:30 p.m. All are invited to attend.

Williford noted that the inauguration recalls the sacred trust that exists between God, the Willifords, and all past, present and future Multnomah family members. “I am personally reminded of my responsibility to lead wisely and faithfully,” he said. “Carolyn and I are humbled as I formally assume the role of president. I’m excited about publicly declaring my loyalty to Christ and expressing how honored I feel to serve along such a dedicated and talented group of people.”