Press Releases

MU adds exercise science, environmental science programs

No Comments » Written on May 18th, 2017 by
Categories: Press Releases

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Two new majors at Multnomah reflect the care and concern our students have not only for humanity, but also for the environment. Beginning in fall 2017, students will have the opportunity to major in exercise science and environmental science for the first time in school history.

Dr. Daniel Scalberg, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, says environmental science is a natural fit for a school that’s deeply committed to maintaining the quality of life we enjoy in the Pacific Northwest. “As stewards, we seek to be responsible keepers of God’s earth,” says Scalberg. “We have a Genesis mandate to take proper care of the world we live in.”

Scalberg added that exercise science is a great option for students who want to pursue careers in a variety of fields, including sports medicine. “We deeply care about humanity, because it’s the humanity Christ cares for,” he says. “These sciences are ways to invest in eternal purposes.”

For more information, visit our environmental science and exercise science pages.

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About Multnomah University

Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with a teaching site in Reno, Nevada. 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 multnomah.edu.

Graduates celebrate accomplishments, God’s blessings

No Comments » Written on May 16th, 2017 by
Categories: Press Releases

Last Friday, our spring graduates walked across the stage of Rolling Hills Community Church to receive their diplomas. Among them were Parker Jones, Nicole Verrett, Katie Schefter Sheron, Moses Clark, Ashleigh Rich, Gregory Stansel and Susie Amato, seven students who picked up much more than a quality education at MU. They took some time to reflect on what they’ve learned, how they’ve changed — and where they plan to go next.

parkerParker Jones

Hometown: Yakima, Washington

Undergrad majors: Bible and Theology and Youth Ministry

Favorite MU experience: My freshman year while I was living in community, making some life-long friendships and going to all the Multnomah sports games with my friends.

Favorite class: Abnormal Psychology with Professor Velez, Mission with Children at Risk with Dr. Burch and all of the science field-trips with Dr. Swenson.

Favorite thing about MU: The community of students. I also love being able to learn from all the students and professors while really getting to know them.

Favorite thing about Portland: I love the various city ministries to get involved in, the Blazers, the variety of different foods here, and being outdoors in the springtime (when it’s not raining) with my friends.

Plans after graduation: After high school, I started a sign advertising business. I was blessed with this opportunity, as it has opened many doors through these five years. But before coming to Multnomah, I knew I wanted to help out in youth groups. So this summer I will be working in a church as an intern for the summer in youth ministry. After this summer, I want to get involved in a Christian nonprofit for youth in the areas of education, sports and community development. I look forward to continuing my entrepreneurial dream in starting another business.

How MU impacted your spiritual journey: Multnomah has not only given me Bible knowledge, but it has transformed my relationship with Christ in a new way. I have grown in my reverence for God. I value the local church more now and the importance of trusting in the Lord in every season. Through my years at Multnomah, I’ve learned that when I hold tight to my plans and things I want to do, I’m cheating myself of what God wants for me. Coming into Multnomah I had so many ideas and expectations for my life, and as I graduate from Multnomah I am more open and confident in the Lord’s plan for me in the coming seasons.

Advice to your first-year self: The relationships you make at Multnomah will matter equally as much as the education you receive. Don’t neglect the opportunities you are given in your time at school. Don’t be afraid to do new things and be challenged.

nicoleNicole Denise Verrett

Hometown: Vallejo, California and Murrieta, California

Program: Bible and Theology & Global Studies

Favorite MU experience: My favorite MU experience was playing for Multnomah’s Women's Basketball team. Also building relationships with the professors and the community.

Favorite class: All the Intercultural Study Classes: World Religions, Intercultural Communications, Strategies of Evangelism, Theology of Missions, Spiritual Warfare, Pressing Issues, etc.

Favorite thing about MU: The professors. They care for and love the students so much. The professors are what make Multnomah University, at least in my opinion.

Favorite thing about Portland: There is good food, lots of wonderful hikes, and the people are open-minded.

Plans after graduation: I intend to finish my practicum, travel and find a job, while living a life of servanthood.

How MU impacted your spiritual journey: MU has grown my spiritual awareness for Christ. It has helped me build my relationship with Christ. MU has encouraged me to build relationships with people as well.

Advice to your first-year self: Be yourself, be open-minded, love God and love others. Challenge yourself, take risks and get out of your comfort zone. Don’t be discouraged if things don’t go the way you want them to. Be kind and loving. Become a servant, a servant of Christ.

katieKatie Schefter Sheron

Hometown: Yakima, Washington and Vancouver, Washington

Program: Master’s of Arts in Counseling

Favorite MU experience: Getting to be a part of a counseling triad from the very start of our program. We are all from Vancouver and are graduating together. 

Favorite class: Spiritual Integration and Social Concern. I loved how Dr. Feil was able to integrate counseling and spiritual issues in such a practical and applicable way.

Favorite thing about MU: I loved my cohort!  We were a small but mighty group, and I am forever grateful for the relationships that I gained after taking on this journey together.

Favorite thing about Portland: The view of Mt. Hood on a sunny day.

Plans after graduation: Immediate plans?  To recoup and love on my kids for a bit. Professionally, I know God has called me into the counseling field to sit with hurting people and walk alongside them in their journey to find healing and hope.

How MU impacted your spiritual journey: MU and the MAC program came to me at a crucial junction in my life. Having to choose to trust God’s plan, even when it didn’t make sense along the way, was a major part of my growth and healing over the past two and a half years.

A theme in your life: Galatians 6:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

Advice to your first-year self: Trust God. It will all turn out OK.  And hang on tight!  The time goes so fast.

 Musa (Moses) Clarkmoses

Hometown: Allat, Cameroon

Program: Masters of Arts in Global Development and Justice

Favorite MU experience: After class on Wednesdays, a group of us in Cohort 3 go to East Glisan Street Pizza, two blocks away, and enjoy their $1 New York Style Pizza after 10 p.m. It is a great time of fellowship and setting aside all of the stresses of life to enjoy yummy pizza and share some laughs.

Favorite Class: Conflict, Refugees, and Complex Disasters with Dr. Karen Fancher. This class really taught us about approaching difficult situations in a nurturing and holistic way. God came to seek and save the lost, so should we come alongside our brothers and sisters in a loving and delicate way. This class taught us a lot about being involved in humanitarian development, and we researched case studies around the world implementing different methods as organizations took into consideration location, culture, and prudence.

Favorite thing about MU: It may just be Cohort 3 in the MAGDJ program, but there is such a close bond and connection within our community. We all encourage each other, pray for each other, rant about homework, challenge growth and are really investing daily. It is hard to believe that in just two short years, so much will have happened, but we’ve created a strong network of support which is exactly what makes global development successful; a strong global network.

Favorite thing about Portland: I love the pace of life and the activities that are always going on in the city. Portland is a city where you get the city feel, but not overwhelmingly like major US cities. The vibes surrounding the Portland Timbers, Blazers and Thorns has been really fun to experience firsthand as part of a great fan base. I love the location of Portland, with the coast in one direction and the mountains the other. I’ll have to say the trees are what really strikes me as wonderful. Growing up in Sub-Saharan Africa, you learn to appreciate green trees when you see them.

Plans after graduation: I plan to continue working at RH Construction as a Project Engineer. I will continue to network and develop relationships with international organizations as I make plans to return to Africa and partner global development with construction engineering and business. There are some amazing organizations doing wonderful things in transformational development directed around building. But beyond building buildings in His name, I want to build relationships that will last for eternity.

How MU impacted your spiritual journey: MU greatly emphasized the need to look at development from a biblical perspective, similar to my undergraduate experience at John Brown University. They ensure that with whatever you are learning, you are applying a Christian perspective and engaging your community missionally. Living out Micah 6:8 in its entirety is something that has ignited a passion in my heart as I prepare to obey the Great Commission.

Advice to your first-year self: Prepare your eyes for an insane amount of reading. I read and wrote more the first semester than all 5 years of undergrad combined. When you do a math-based engineering degree, then switch to a Master of Arts, there is a shift in what your brain is used to. I had to push myself to stay engaged. 

ashleighAshleigh Rich

Hometown: I’ve moved several times in my life (lived in Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, and now Oregon), but most recently and for the greatest number of years, I’ve lived in West Chester, Ohio.

Program: Masters of Divinity, Theological Studies

Favorite MU experience: My experience at MU has been great all around, but I think one of my favorite experiences was being a part of the Hebrew tutoring program last year. It was just a really unique opportunity to connect with other students and to get to know Dr. Josberger and Dr. Kutz in a more relaxed, relational way. The Hebrew family is awesome.

Favorite class: This is a really hard one. I’ve really enjoyed a lot of my classes and I feel like there have been so many that have changed my thinking in one way or another. It might be a three way tie between Dr. Metzger’s Readings Ethics class, Patristics with Dr. Robertson, and Ecclesiastes in Hebrew with Dr. Josberger.

Favorite thing about MU: I really love the community at MU and the access you have to your professors. That’s one of the nice things about a smaller school and small class sizes: You really get to know your classmates and your professors in a way that isn’t possible in other places. I knew no one at Multnomah when I started, and now it feels like a second home to me.

Favorite thing about Portland: Probably the Timbers. I love going to games with my husband. He has a season tickets in the Timber’s Army, and it is fun to go to the games with him and cheer the team on. It’s a really unique environment, unlike any other sporting event I’ve ever been to. I wasn’t really a big soccer fan before I moved here, but the Timbers have converted me. Also, there’s a ton of great food in the city that’s really unique.

Plans after graduation: Right now I have a part-time, summer position at my church, Beaverton Foursquare, as the Camp Office Director (mostly doing administrative stuff for their four summer camps). I’ll be doing that until the end of July. I’m also working on a book in my spare time (which I’ll have more of after graduation), so I’ll probably keep working on that and see if it goes anywhere. After July, I’m not sure what I’ll be doing, but I’m eager to see what God has in store.

How MU impacted your spiritual journey: MU has had a big impact on my spiritual journey. I’ve been a Christian all my life, and it’s been easy for me to think that I know pretty much everything there is to know about Jesus and how to live like him. My time at Multnomah has opened my eyes to so many other facets of theology that I hadn’t thought of before, and to other ways of thinking about the things I had thought about. It’s also been great to interact with so many brothers and sisters in Christ who think differently from me. I love the diversity at Multnomah. It gives me hope for greater unity in the midst of diversity in the church at large. That’s been a huge spiritual development for me as well.

Advice to your first-year self: Make sure you always have margin space in your life, whether that’s a free day each week or even just a couple of hours. It can be easy to let homework and school commitments take over your life, but make sure you always have some space to just enjoy life with God, your family, and friends. School only lasts for a couple of years, but those relationships last forever. Sometimes it’s better to say no to an opportunity (even if it’s a good one) than to make your life overly hectic.

gregGregory Stansel

Hometown: Tarkington, Texas

Program: Masters of Divinity, Theological Studies 

Favorite MU experience: My favorite MU experience is being part of the Hebrew family and working through this beautiful language with my fellow students. Not only did we deepen our knowledge of the Word and the Hebrew language, but we also developed a family. We were able to speak the Word into each other’s lives, pray for each other, laugh and grow.

Favorite class: There is no possible way to decide just one favorite, so I am going to give you three. First was BIB 502 – The Prophets with Dr. Josberger. In this class I fell in love with the Old Testament, how the Scripture is beautifully woven together, and how to really read the prophets. Second, TH 628 – Contemporary Theologies with Dr. Metzger; this class changed the way I looked at theology, the marginalized, and Kant (just don’t tell Dr. Metzger). My last (but not least) favorite course was BTH 633 – Methods in Biblical Theology with Dr. Baylis. I cannot say enough about this course, but it has changed the way I read Scripture and how I preach forever.

Favorite thing about MU: My favorite thing about MU is the diverse nature of the student body. I have grown more being in classes with those who have different points-of-view than I could have anywhere else. I have been humbled and strengthened getting to know the diversity of the body of Christ because of MU, and I am eternally grateful.

Favorite thing about Portland: My favorite thing about Portland has to be the coffee, Powell’s Books and of course MU.

Plans after graduation: I am pursuing several different opportunities in pastoral ministry at the moment, and I am confident that God will place my family and me in the perfect place. Regardless of where we land, I am confident that God has called me to preach the Word (2 Tim. 4:2).

How MU impacted your spiritual journey: I would say that the greatest way MU has impacted my spiritual journey is by helping me fall in love with the Word of God.

Advice to your first-year self: What a great question! I would say to my first-year self, “Schedule your time well, protect your Sabbath rest, family is much more important than grades, and get involved with the MU community.” I have the tendency to get lost in my work, and it is very important to remember what the important things are in life and godly living.

suzieSuzie Amato 

Hometown: Sherwood, Oregon

Program: Degree Completion Program, Leadership and Ministry

Favorite MU experience: Being in a cohort with three other amazing women that I probably would have never met otherwise, and sharing our lives, our hearts and our passion for Christ.

Favorite class: Acts and Pauline Letters, Pentateuch, and Effective Communication of Scripture. I grew the most in my faith and as a person through each of those classes. I learned that the Bible is a beautiful, living, breathing story about creation, redemption and restoration and that I, personally, fit into that story. 

Favorite thing about MU: I felt a sense of peace and calm that is unexplainable come over me each and every time I was on campus. No matter what was going on in my life, the outside world seemed to stop for a little while, and learning about God in the cohort setting was like a beautiful act of worship each week. The DCP staff and instructors all come in a close second to that. There was always a sense of community pulling for you to succeed. The passion displayed by the faculty who taught us was contagious, and the love and grace shown by the staff of the DCP office made Multnomah feel like home. 

Favorite thing about Portland: The location is the best; equally close to the beach and the mountains. The food is pretty amazing too! And when the sun is shining I can’t think of a better place to be.

Plans after graduation: I’m still trying to discern between pursuing a Master’s Degree in Leadership or going to seminary. But ultimately, I’ll go where the Lord leads. 

How MU impacted your spiritual journey: I came to understand God’s character in ways that I never fully understood before. Not only through my education, but through relationships I built here with people I met and during quiet times spent alone on campus. It felt as though God used MU as the place in which to show me how to fully depend on Him and how to take my eyes off the horizon and only think about my next step, one at a time.

Advice to your first-year self:

God led you to MU in his perfect timing, and he will not allow you to fail. So enjoy every moment without worrying, and put 100% of yourself into the experience in order to get the most out of it.
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" Matt 6:34.

Global studies, MAGDJ students study abroad in Costa Rica

Comments Off on Global studies, MAGDJ students study abroad in Costa Rica Written on April 12th, 2017 by
Categories: Faculty, Press Releases

The following post is written by Giovanni Gravino, a student in MU’s MA in Global Development and Justice (MAGDJ) program.

Pura Vida! Over spring break from March 22 to April 3, students from the undergraduate Global Studies program and the graduate MAGDJ program set out on a short-term study abroad opportunity to Costa Rica. Our team was led by Dr. Greg Burch, director of Global Studies Department, who had previously lived and worked in Costa Rica for numerous years. His experience and relationships provided us with extensive insight into the Latin American society.

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On the grounds of La Montaña Christian Camps with the active Arenal volcano in the distance.

This trip, which is part of a course for both undergraduates and graduates, focused on youth and children in the Latin American context, as well as engaging in some of the cultural and recreational activities Costa Rica has to offer. We were exposed to effective ministry models, and it was a joy to learn from professionals who have a deep understanding of the context in which they are working. It was valuable to see these positive examples of what is working well with these organizations.

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Morning lecture with Alexander Cabezas and Mark Padgett.

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Basilica de los Angeles, a well-known Roman Catholic Church located in the city of Cartago.

Costa Rica is a respected and beautiful country, as well as being considered one of the most bio-diverse areas in the world. It is known as an environmentally sustainable country as well as a tourist destination that offers numerous activities and sights to see. The collectivist and polychronic culture was refreshing to be a part of. It was a good reminder of the importance of relationships. Being submersed into the language and culture was fun for us all.

Our cross-cultural experience began in Costa Rica’s capital city, San José, and each day consisted of lectures, site visits, and/or cultural and recreational activities. All of the lectures better equipped us in understanding the Latin American context within regard to youth and children, culture, religion, human rights and economic systems, and government policies. Along with lectures, we partook in site visits of a few Christian non-profits and learned from their models. Finally, being exposed to cultural and recreational activities provided us with great insight into the culture as well as memories that will be with us for a long time. These activities included visiting the Basilica de los Angeles, Volcán Irazu, Doka coffee plantation, Orosí valley, and even some Latin dance lessons, just to state a few.

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A trip to the beautiful Orosí Valley.

Two non-profit organizations we visited that stood out to us were Roblealto Child Care Association and Casa Viva. Casa Viva is one of the only Latin American organizations that centers on a healthy foster care program. MAGDJ student Amy Brownell highlighted that she was significantly impacted by these two organizations.

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Pamela Scianna, Development Director of Roblealto, giving a tour of the grounds.

Roblealto and Casa Viva are two organizations which have transitioned into a more just model of ministry with children at risk,” she said. “Instead of building orphanages and perpetuating the cycle of abandonment, these organizations assist families in working through their challenges and provide foster families for children who need to temporarily live apart from their families while they do the necessary work to become healthy and whole families once again. The holistic model these organizations provide help families and children in their physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual health.”

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Learning about campaigns and the need to promote Jesus-like tenderness in our families, communities and society from World Vision Latin America’s Marcela Ballestero.

The local church also plays a pivotal role in this process. It was great to hear about so many cases leading to family reunification. “It was exciting to visit these organizations and learn about their work keeping families intact,” Brownell concluded. There is great importance in children living in a family unit. These models provided such great insight and enhanced our education regarding at-risk children as we learned from those working in this context.

Other organizations and speakers included ICADS (Institute for Central American Development Studies), La Montaña Christian Camp, World Vision Latin America, evangelical theologian Don Juan Stam, ESEPA Bible College and Seminary, and PANI (Costa Rica’s Child Protective Services). We gained knowledge from each of these various organizations and speakers, leaving us with much to reflect on.

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Dr. Greg Burch (left) and our Costa Rican contact, Alexander Cabezas (right) with Don Juan Stam (center) during our visit to his home as he passionately spoke on theology and mission.

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Getting ready for the Superman zip line over the cloud forest.

This educational trip also included eco-tourism, which plays a huge role in sustaining Costa Rica. We had the opportunity to explore the cloud forest in Monteverde and were able to tour butterfly gardens, hike, and zip-line through the vibrant and lush forest. One of our MAGDJ students, Jessica Resendiz, reflected, “In the cloud forest, I experienced the creativity and perfection of the Lord. His fingerprints were everywhere. It drew my heart to worship Him and refreshed my soul.” I believe all of us felt a divine connection with God at some point during this trip.

Our trip concluded with a debriefing time at the warm and sunny beach on the Pacific coast, before coming back to a rainy Portland, Oregon. Global Studies student, Tessa Shackelford explained that the end of the trip was incredibly relaxing. “It enabled me to simply pray and also reflect on what I learned over the past two weeks…I had a profound experience at the sheer magnitude and greatness of God”, as she spoke on the vastness of the ocean she stood in.

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In awe of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean during one of our last nights in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is truly a beautiful country. We had the opportunity to soak in all the flora and fauna, mountains, volcanoes, the beach, the people and the culture. God is the greatest artist and we were graciously astounded by the masterpiece of His creation. This experience was truly captivating as well as a joy to learn about and be engaged in the wonderful culture of Costa Rica.

Cloud Forest_web

The lush and magnificent cloud forest in Monteverde.

The Global Studies Department offers a Global Immersion course (IS310) for undergrads and Topics in Global Development and Justice (IS660) for graduates. These courses include a guided trip to Costa Rica or Israel, with future study abroad trips being planned. Next spring, the course will be heading to Israel. For more information, please contact Dr. Karen Fancher directly at kfancher@multnomah.edu.

Two Hebrew students selected for research trip in Israel

Comments Off on Two Hebrew students selected for research trip in Israel Written on March 28th, 2017 by
Categories: Faculty, General, Press Releases, Programs, Seminary, Students, Theology

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Multnomah seminary students Chad Woodward and Alyssa Schmid will embark on a one-of-a-kind research excursion this summer in Israel. The two Hebrew students will partake in several archaeological digs, take various tours of the Holy Land and learn about Israel’s history from the Bronze and Iron Ages up through the modern day.

Woodward views the trip as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “It’s always been my desire to experience the Holy Land and see the places mentioned in Scripture,” he says. “I think this trip has a great mix of work and sight-seeing.”

The month-long expedition is made possible by the Scholars Initiative, the research arm of the Museum of the Bible, one of the world’s largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts. Multnomah has been connected with the Scholars Initiative since 2013, when Biblical Languages Chair Dr. Karl Kutz was chosen to translate a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls with four of his students.

Since then, MU has been trusted with even more research projects, which opened the door for students to apply for trips sponsored by the Scholars Initiative. Over the past three years, seven Hebrew students have been selected to attend the Logos Conference, a two-week internship at Oxford. Similar to the Oxford internship, the Israel trip is limited to students working on Scholars Initiative projects.

Kutz couldn’t be more proud of his students. He views the trip as a great addition to Woodward and Schmid’s academic experience.  “The chance to work on a dig is a tremendous opportunity,” he says. “The students will get to see firsthand how the archaeological process works and learn from scholars who have devoted their lives to this area of study.”

The trip, which starts in Jerusalem in mid-June and ends in Bethlehem in mid-July, will be an immense privilege for Woodward and Schmid, who are already so familiar with the ancient Near East. As the two students travel, they will take with them all the passions and skills gained during their time at Multnomah.

“I’m honestly humbled by this,” says Woodward. “I think the Hebrew program really supports their students well and creates amazing opportunities.”

Multnomah University launches six-year Doctor of Chiropractic program

Comments Off on Multnomah University launches six-year Doctor of Chiropractic program Written on March 15th, 2017 by
Categories: General, Press Releases, Programs, Students

examining

PORTLAND, Ore. – The path to a career in medicine just became a little less daunting for biology majors at Multnomah University.

MU is teaming up with University of Western States to offer an accelerated program that allows students to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree in six years. The program involves three years of biology at Multnomah and three years of study at UWS, saving students an entire year of academic work and tuition compared to the traditional DC route.

“This is a first for us – this is a new day,” said Dr. Daniel Scalberg, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Multnomah. “It means that we’re now in the same league as Portland State and Oregon State, who have the same agreement. For students who are motivated, they can be a fully certified DC six years from the time they arrive at MU.”

Under the agreement, MU students will be admitted to UWS when they complete the pre-chiropractic program with a minimum 3.25 GPA. They’ll finish their fourth year of undergraduate work at UWS to earn their biology degree, and then they’ll be poised to wrap up the DC program two years later.

Multnomah students will have access to state-of-the-art lab facilities and equipment at UWS, which offers numerous degree options for aspiring allied health professionals. Students also will have access to the admissions staff at UWS to ensure a smooth transition between schools.

“Our students will be able to call their Admissions office anytime, and their folks will be excited,” Scalberg said. “They will welcome our students as their own.”

For more information, visit the Doctor of Chiropractic page.

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About Multnomah University

Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with a teaching site in Reno, Nevada. 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 multnomah.edu.

About University of Western States

University of Western States, located in Portland, Oregon, offers a Doctor of Chiropractic degree program; master’s programs in Exercise and Sports Science; Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine; and Sports Medicine; master’s and doctoral programs in Sport and Performance Psychology; and a Massage Therapy certificate program. The university also provides health services in four Portland locations through the Health Centers of UWS clinic system.

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

Comments Off on Hebrew, Th.M. student accepted to Ph.D. program at Wheaton 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!

MU celebrates fall graduation

Comments Off on MU celebrates fall graduation Written on December 19th, 2016 by
Categories: Press Releases, Students

Last Monday, 73 Multnomah students gathered with friends and family members at Central Bible Church to celebrate graduation. As each student walked across the stage, they shook hands with University President Craig Williford and received their diplomas.

Below are some pictures taken from that night. Well done, graduates! We are very proud of you all.

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MU celebrates grand opening for Veterans Resource Center

Comments Off on MU celebrates grand opening for Veterans Resource Center Written on November 21st, 2016 by
Categories: Press Releases, Students

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If you walked through the JCA Student Center on Veterans Day, you would have seen tables decorated in red, white and blue with food and drink on top. A watermelon carved to resemble a bald eagle was the centerpiece of this patriotic display. A podium, surrounded by chairs, stood in front of an American flag. This small area was set up to celebrate the grand opening of The Multnomah University Veterans Resource Center.

The resource center, located in the JCA’s West Lobby, will be a safe place for veterans in the Multnomah community to receive support from their peers. Veterans can shop at the center’s food pantry, browse pamphlets for off-campus resources, and connect with plenty of friendly veterans. The resource center will be open weeknights, and the food pantry will be open Saturdays.

Multnomah’s community of veterans will be working hard to create a place where the brotherhood and sisterhood of military service can support one another in a place of understanding. The center will be completely run by student volunteers, with oversight provided by Veterans Faculty Advisor Dr. Michael Gurney.

At the grand opening, retired Air Force Col. and MU Board of Trustees Member Brent Mesquit spoke to Multnomah’s veterans on behalf of the university. “Thank you for your sacrificial service to our great nation,” he said. “It is held in high regard at Multnomah University.” After  Mesquit’s acknowledgments, the student veteran who started it all was given the chance to speak.

Psychology major Matthew Comprix used to run the resource center out of his on-campus apartment. He’s elated to have a new space where he can continue serving his fellow veterans. “Every one of us gave of ourselves, with the possibility of giving all of ourselves, for the greater good of our great nation,” he said. “Student veterans need an outlet for their servant hearts. To serve other veterans and the community they’re in is a great outlet for them.”

 

The resource center needs volunteers!

If you’re interested in volunteering at the Veterans Resource Center, contact Matthew Comprix at mcomprix@my.multnomah.edu. You do not need to be a veteran to volunteer.

If you are interested in earning Service Learning credit through volunteering at the resource center, contact Dr. Roger Trautmann at rtrautmann@multnomah.edu.

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 »