Programs

Local nonprofit creates unique internship opportunities for business students

Comments Off on Local nonprofit creates unique internship opportunities for business students Written on April 15th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Programs, Students

theFive_blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mixing Bible with career: business owner joins degree completion program

Comments Off on Mixing Bible with career: business owner joins degree completion program Written on April 7th, 2016 by
Categories: Programs, Students

curt

Curt Heitschmidt worked in construction for more than 20 years. His cabinet business was successful, and he was enjoying life with his wife and three kids.

But he was ready for something different.

“I decided to drop everything and finish my degree because I wanted to learn more about business after owning one for so long,” Heitschmidt says. “I knew that I could study business anywhere, but the business and Bible combination was what I really wanted.”

Multnomah stood out as his best option. He applied to the management & ethics program (which recently changed its name to the business management program) in MU’s Degree Completion Program. Heitschmidt was accepted, and he entered the program with anticipation.

Studying business and the Bible with his classmates has not been disappointing. They even make things more fun by bringing food each week to share with each other. “My cohort experience has been a good mix,” he says. “It’s great to come together around a meal and support each other.”

Going back to school is always challenging, and Heitschmidt’s journey is no different. “Chaos is a constant theme in my life right now,” he says. “My family and I have just moved, my wife works nights, and I’m enrolled full-time in the degree completion program.” But he has no regrets. He even insists his homework load has been manageable alongside his other duties.

Heitschmidt says he’ll probably return to construction after he graduates. But he’ll reenter the field with a revived understanding of what it means to combine Bible with career.

“I’m learning that the Bible isn’t just a handbook,” he says. “It never specifically tells you what to do in each situation. You have to figure out how to bring its principles into the work environment.” Multnomah is equipping him with the tools to do just that.

Spring Thaw unites, inspires local youth groups

Comments Off on Spring Thaw unites, inspires local youth groups Written on April 5th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Programs, Students

SpringThaw2016_foodtrucks_blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Register for the April 6 info session

Comments Off on Register for the April 6 info session Written on March 31st, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Programs

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

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

Comments Off on Seminary students selected third year in a row for internships at Oxford Written on March 30th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Faculty, Programs, Seminary, Students

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

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

Oxford2_blog

 ‘Shocked and overjoyed’

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

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

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

 ‘Engaging and exploring’

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

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

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

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

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

Oxford1_blog

 ‘A community of excellent teachers’

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

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

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

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

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

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

MU to launch biology program in fall 2016

Comments Off on MU to launch biology program in fall 2016 Written on March 15th, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Programs

blog bio

Multnomah University’s new biology program will open the door to an array of career options for students who are serious about faith and science.

The four-year program will offer a major and a minor, along with an optional emphasis in science education for those considering a career in secondary education. In addition to core classes, students will explore non-science disciplines and interdisciplinary courses to broaden their scope of education. This will provide a smooth transition into a chosen occupation, or into graduate or professional health schools.

“I’m excited that our students will be able to prepare for graduate studies in medical, dental and veterinary doctoral programs,” says Admissions Counselor Becca Ovall. “MU students are passionate about serving others, and this program opens up new avenues to do so in the health field.”

Dr. Daniel Scalberg, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, couldn’t agree more. “God gave humans the custodial care of creation,” he says. “We need to task people to take care of it.”

The interactive courses will allow students to explore their interests down to the molecular level, while devoted faculty will provide insight for potential careers and give students the in-depth knowledge they need to excel as professionals in their chosen fields. The combination of lab research and biblical and theological studies will complement the integration of faith and learning in the arts and sciences tradition.

“There doesn’t need to be a war between faith and science,” says Scalberg. “Rather, there should be a partnership in knowing about and worshipping the Creator.”

Ovall concurs. “Our biology program will include a depth of faith integration that’s hard to find elsewhere,” she says.  “Because our students complete a substantive core of Bible and theology courses, they’ll bring a level of biblical competence to their studies that will broaden their understanding of biology.”

This integration is something that motivates Dr. Sarah Gall, who will join Multnomah faculty on June 1 as associate professor of biology. “I think deeply about my faith and how to conduct scientific research to the glory of God,” she says. “I look forward to working at a university that encourages students to contemplate how their faith and vocation can be integrated coherently.”

Gall, who received her Ph.D. in Molecular Cell Biology from Washington University School of Medicine, will be teaching a number of biology subjects at MU, including microbiology, anatomy and physiology, genetics, immunology, human biology, and senior student biology research. She says she’s looking forward to joining an institution that takes integration of faith and learning seriously.

The reaction to the announcement of the biology major has been very positive. “So far, there has been an overwhelming influx of response,” says Admissions Counselor Ashley Sikorski. “We’re fielding phone calls, applications and emails from students who are reaching out to us since they heard the news. By making biology available, we can prepare the next generation of Christian doctors and scientists with a rigorous core of solid values and applicable skills for the workplace.”

MU launches online version of MA in Global Development and Justice program

Comments Off on MU launches online version of MA in Global Development and Justice program Written on February 11th, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Missions, Programs

Multnomah University has launched an online version of the Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice (MAGDJ) program. The 18-month program will kick off with two weeks in Rwanda, where students will take their first two courses, embark on study tours and connect with practitioners. All subsequent courses will be taken online, and students will take two eight-week courses at a time.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to be face to face with students at the beginning of the program,” says MAGDJ Director Dr. Greg Burch. “This contextual residency will provide time for cohort members to get to know one another and begin developing the community we envision for the online portion of this educational experience.”

Burch proposed the blended program so students who weren’t able to join MU’s on-campus cohorts could still earn the MAGDJ degree. “The blended program allows for us to pull in students from around the globe who are passionate about global justice and community development,” he says. “We hope to create a strong community as we wrestle together with complex issues that need carefully crafted solutions to bring lasting transformation.”

The first cohort is set to begin in July 2016. Burch is hoping for a good turnout. Things are looking promising: The new program has already sparked interest across the globe. “We’ve received inquiries about the blended program from practitioners in Colombia, India, Kenya, Rwanda and Lebanon,” says Burch. “They see the possibilities for acquiring a new set of skills that will take them to new heights.”

Burch says one of the main benefits prospective students recognize is that they don’t need to leave their work or family. “It can be difficult for global leaders to move to the U.S. or even to a new state,” he says. “This program allows them to stay where they are, keep a flexible schedule, and direct their research in very practical ways for their career and ministry.”

In the years ahead, Burch envisions the new program contributing to MU’s global campus by including students in developing nations. “With the help of Multnomah donors, we anticipate having a significant participation of underrepresented groups in this program,” he says. “We believe it will be necessary to provide significant scholarships, and we’re praying the Lord will provide for students who don’t have the economic means to pay.”

As the program continues to mature, Burch foresees adding contextual residency locations in Asia and Latin America.

To learn more about this program, visit multnomah.edu/blendedMAGDJ, or you can contact Dr. Greg Burch at gburch@multnomah.edu.

Nepal

Photo/Jonathan Isensee

‘The fruit of the Spirit in the classroom’: MAT student Sarah Murrell infuses teaching with faith

Comments Off on ‘The fruit of the Spirit in the classroom’: MAT student Sarah Murrell infuses teaching with faith Written on January 27th, 2016 by
Categories: Programs, Students

Ever since Sarah Murrell can remember, teaching has been an integral part of her life. Whether she’s bonding with preschoolers in a neighborhood school or tutoring students in reading, she knows she has a passion for cultivating knowledge in the classroom. “God continues to put me in opportunities to teach and has affirmed me in those places,” she says.

sittingv02The path into Multnomah’s Master of Arts in Teaching program has been a smooth one for Murrell. She received her B.A. in TESOL from MU and spent some time teaching at a school in India for her practicum. But she still had her eyes on graduate school.

“I looked at lots of other schools but was impressed with the quality of MU’s teaching,” Murrell says. “I also worked with an MAT student who had great classroom skills and spoke highly of the program.”

So Murrell jumped right in. “The program is small, but they have their act together,” she says. “Our professors have been top-quality; no class has been a waste, and each one has equipped me for what I need, and more.”

Opportunities for putting learning into action are everywhere. Last year Murrell worked as a reading tutor for a rural school in the area. “I attended MU classes on Tuesday night and was able to try out what I learned on Wednesday morning with the kids,” she says.

Now Murrell is doing student teaching in a multi-ethnic urban school, and though the atmosphere is totally different, she is able to apply the same principles. “It is always amazing to see kids grow as readers; to get them excited about learning,” she says. “I love to see kids feeling good about themselves.”

Teaching in a public school requires a different approach.  “I want the kids to learn how to reflect God’s image in creative and unique ways,” Murrell says. “I want to be the kind of teacher who pours forth the fruit of the Spirit into her classroom, but I can’t be that consistent teacher unless I prioritize a close relationship with God. That is what’s best for my students.”

Murrell is thrilled to learn how to love each child in her class. “At the end of the day I’m relying on God to give me his heart for the kids,” she says. “In order to produce anything good, I need to depend on him.”

MU celebrates 10 years of providing free English classes to local immigrant communities

Comments Off on MU celebrates 10 years of providing free English classes to local immigrant communities Written on November 30th, 2015 by
Categories: Programs, Students

Each Wednesday evening, people from all different countries begin to trickle through the Multnomah library doors. Some are garbed in long skirts and colorful head shawls; others wear flip-flops and tattered t-shirts. Some skip briskly down the stairs. Others need the assistance of family members. Some are toting notebooks, and some are empty-handed. They bear the marks of travel, and their appearances clash and contrast, but they have one thing in common — they’re all smiling as they slip into their classrooms to learn English.

‘Bringing the world together’

classroom

For 10 years now, MU’s TESOL program has been offering free weekly ESL classes to its ethnically diverse neighbors. Some are doctors, teachers, engineers or business professionals. Some have been through war, and others suffer from PTSD. Most are from different religions. One semester, a flock of orange-cloaked Buddhist monks were regular students. They arrived early each week to explore the MU library.

“ESL meets a practical need in our community,” says TESOL Department Director Kristyn Kidney. “It helps our MU students teach in a classroom by learning to navigate themselves. And it brings the world together through dialogue and friendship.”

‘Tenacious about learning’

DSC_7690Hue is a little Vietnamese woman who gives a gift to her teacher and writes a thank-you letter to the university every semester. Each year she returns to Vietnam to share the gospel with auditoriums of people.

Fatima is a 19-year-old young woman who moved from Somalia with her family eight months ago. She hopes to attend Portland Community College next year. “I love English class and learning English,” she says.

Whether it’s repeating phrases, doing crossword puzzles, acting out skits, sharing a plate of cookies or hearing tips about healthcare from a local doctor, ESL students are continually hungry for more. Just like a tidal wave, their enthusiasm affects everyone around them.

“These students are tenacious about learning English and are willing to work hard to get a better life,” says Becky Gerhardus, the program receptionist. “It requires a huge dose of humility to learn another language, but these students are sponges. They come early and stay as late as they can because they want to be here so badly.”

‘A journey of servitude’

Master of Arts in TESOL student Tirzah Allen wants to be there just as badly. Her sense of adventure motivated her to study ESL, and she’s passionate about her career choice. “I wanted the ability to open more doors and to be challenged continuously,” she says. “This is the full program with the tools to succeed. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with people from Burma, Vietnam, Cuba and beyond.”

And the students keep on coming. TESOL Professor John Runcie, who has taught at MU since 2007, was amazed when Wednesday night attendance skyrocketed. “This semester God has blessed our program with twice as many students!” he says. “One evening I looked up to see a tsunami of people coming down the stairs toward us.”

Runcie sees the weekly lessons as prime opportunities for his MA in TESOL students to reflect Christ’s light through all they do. And Allen remembers this whenever she teaches. “I’m learning that a teacher’s journey is one of servitude,” she says. “I can’t always out rightly incorporate the gospel in every environment, but I can always show others what I believe.”

The teachers’ efforts do not go unnoticed. Someone once told Runcie, “Many people talk about missions at Multnomah, but the TESOL program actually does it!”

Gerhardus agrees. “This program is like heaven,” she says. “People from every tribe, nation and tongue are here on the campus. God has brought the world to MU’s doorstep.”

Fighting complacency: MU student takes high schoolers on a field trip to view MU’s Torah scroll

Comments Off on Fighting complacency: MU student takes high schoolers on a field trip to view MU’s Torah scroll Written on November 18th, 2015 by
Categories: Programs, Students

Typically, high schoolers step onto MU’s campus for visit events and Spring Thaw. But today, the 53 freshmen from the Old Testament survey course at Westside Christian High School were here for class. Their teacher? Hebrew and educational ministries major Julia Glanz.

A021_C035_1204PG

As part of her educational ministries senior practicum, Glanz teaches twice a week at Westside. She tests and improves her lesson planning, grading and front-of-the-classroom skills in the freshman survey course and a Christian Leadership class for seniors.

For today’s lesson, though, Glanz thought it’d be helpful to switch things up by instructing in a new environment. “Studying the Bible in the classroom is a huge gift, but there’s a danger that students will become apathetic toward it as a result of the routine schedule,” she explains.

For Glanz, teaching the Word of God is exciting, and she wanted the field trip to transfer that excitement to her students. “Scripture is dynamic — it’s not this dead book sitting in front of us,” she says. “I wanted this to be one more experience that fights complacency.”

During class, Glanz introduced multiple topics of discussion and passed out worksheets. But the icing on the cake was treating her students to a viewing of Multnomah’s ancient Torah scroll.

Glanz hopes the experience created memorable learning. “Now, every time the students hear ‘Hebrew,’ ‘scroll,’ or even an ad for Multnomah on the radio, it will trigger the lessons they learned on this trip,” she says.

At the end of the day, Glanz was encouraged not only by her students’ engagement, enthusiasm and probing questions, but also by their depth of thinking.

“[What I’ve] learned today has inspired me to spend more time reading my Bible and looking into Scripture with a new perspective,” one student told her.

Another referred to the Torah scroll, declaring, “I see God’s power in it.”

Like her students, Glanz also gained some insight. “[The fieldtrip] was a safe place for me to learn and grow and struggle [as a teacher],” she says. The event provided a unique way to hone her skills as an educator while further equipping her for a career in Bible teaching.

The support Glanz received from professors only accelerated her growth as leader. And her classes have been key to her success. “The professors are willing to go the extra mile,” she says. “No class has been a waste.”