Programs

Chaplain and seminary graduate Emil Khooda: ‘New Wine, New Wineskins is a hidden gem’

When Emil Khooda decided to earn his M.Div., a friend recommended Multnomah for its out-of-the-box thinking and cultural engagement program — New Wine, New Wineskins. That program had a lasting impact on Khooda’s life.

“Christians can get insular and forget to engage with people outside their faith,” he says. “New Wine is a hidden gem — it paints a vivid reflection of who Christ is and how he interacted with people.”

The seminary graduate says the program equipped him to meet his calling as a hospital chaplain. “Now I can meaningfully speak into peoples’ lives,” he says. Read Emil’s story.

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MU’s global studies program prepares students for work around the world

MU's intercultural studies program was recently renamed the global studies program. But the switch is more than a name change. I sat down with Global Studies Chair Dr. Greg Burch for the full scoop.

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How is global studies different from intercultural studies?

Global studies provides students with everything intercultural studies did, but changing the name opened up the opportunity to add five concentrations:

  • Global Ministry
  • Children at Risk
  • Culture and Diversity
  • Applied Linguistics
  • International Regional Studies

These concentrations are interdisciplinary. So a student might take an English class on minority voices. Or say you have a student who wants to work in the Middle East after they graduate. Now they can spend a semester over there. Want to translate the Bible? Applied Linguistics will teach you how to preserve culture while giving the written word of God to those who haven't had access to it. Our concentrations provide students with better skills to work in their area of interest.

Why was this change made?

Over the past couple of years our department has been researching a way forward for our program given the complexities of our globalized world. We noted that the intercultural studies program had remained virtually unchanged for a number of years, so we assessed the program through student focus groups and one-on-one interviews. We got the sense that the current program was not connecting as well as it could with this generation of students who were living in a highly complex mission environment.

What kind of feedback were you getting from these focus groups and one-on-one meetings?

Students talked about needing practical skills and a targeted education. Now these concentrations get to the skills they wanted. We’ve also indicated potential career options around each concentration.

Another thing they mentioned was having redundant classes. So I removed an entire class and combined other classes.

What are you most excited about as you move forward?

The Children at Risk concentration. I’ve worked with street children and children at risk for over 10 years. That’s what God has made me for. This concentration prepares them for national and international work with kids.

We’re also enlarging the opportunities students will have for vocational ministry and marketplace jobs. I’m excited about the fact that we’re getting beyond that secular/sacred divide in missions that was so ingrained in many of our Bible colleges and seminaries. We have come to realize that we must engage with our culture and world in vocations that are relevant to where people are at.

Some students are not in the position to raise support for missions the traditional way. But there are things they can do beyond missions work. Their calling can be found in governmental or secular organizations. They can have salaries and still serve Christ in their mission. Others will still feel called to serve with faith-based missions agencies, and we still prepare people for support raising and missionary service.

There is a crisis in missiological education today. The culture of missions is changing, but a lot of missions programs haven’t changed. We’re trying to get ahead of the curve, and we’re trying to engage where we are today without watering anything down.

Who is this program for?

If you’re interested in serving people, working with ethnic groups, church-planting, international vocations — this is critical for you. You’ll be given the tools to thrive. If you want to be a transforming force in the world, these classes will help. Each concentration has its values and provides practical skills in those areas.

What are the benefits of getting the Bible and theology major with the global studies major?

You’ll be well-rounded. You’ll become someone who loves God’s Word. And if you work with non-faith-based organizations, where you might be a minority as a Christian, developing habits of spiritual discipline will be all the more important.

Also, understanding global theology helps us understand what other people are thinking, so we’re not surprised with different ways of processing. We need to think openly when learning from the global church. Our faculty does a wonderful job preparing students for that.

Join the party

The Global Studies Department is having a celebration/informational meeting, and you're invited!

Friday March 13
10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.*
Bradley Hall, B3

Intercultural studies students will learn about transitioning to global studies, and others can hear details about the new program. There will also be food, music and a time of international worship.

*This time counts toward chapel credits

Learn more about our global studies program.

Found in translation: Hebrew program gives students insight into the biblical text

Comments Off Written on February 24th, 2015 by
Categories: Programs

Multnomah offers one of the finest Hebrew programs in the country. Expert professors provide a solid educational experience focused on extensive reading and designed for long-term retention. Devoted mentorship, innovative teaching methods and an in-depth understanding of language are the hallmarks of this major. "We’re learning things that are normally introduced at an advanced level ," says Hebrew major Julia Glanz.

Earlier this month, MU received a Torah scroll that will provide countless learning opportunities for Hebrew students in the decades to come. "It feels like we’re participating in a piece of history," says Biblical Languages Chair Dr. Karl Kutz, who headed two Dead Sea Scrolls projects at MU in 2013 and 2014. "When you’re reading from a scroll that someone read from hundreds of years ago, that’s pretty cool. The Torah takes the history of the biblical text from an abstract expression to something tangible." 

Learn more about MU's Hebrew major.

MAGDJ program launches Night of Dialogue

1 Comment » Written on October 28th, 2014 by
Categories: Events, Faculty, Programs

MAGDJ Program Director Greg Burch introduces the first Night of Dialogue event on November 12

file2701271716451As evangelical believers, what roles do justice and development play in our desire to see the world reconciled to its Creator? How will biblical justice and development help us bring transformation to our communities? Through a TED talk style forum, a Night of Dialogue on Justice and Development brings together active scholars in this field to explore biblical understandings in these critical areas.

The event will be held on November 12th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the JCA Lounge (just outside of Roger’s Café) on campus and is being sponsored by the Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice degree program.

Join us as we hear from Multnomah professor Paul Louis Metzger, lawyer and adjunct professor Mark Loomis and Ron Werner, Jr. of the organization Bend Youth Collective. In addition, several partnering nonprofits will be on hand to provide opportunities to get involved locally and internationally. We hope to see you there!

Learn more about Multnomah’s M.A. degree in Global Development and Justice.

Rachel Piñon: Defining Her Faith

Comments Off Written on June 23rd, 2014 by
Categories: Programs, Students

rachel_mainWhen Rachel Piñon was looking at colleges, she was struck by the genuine nature of the people she encountered at Multnomah. And now that she’s finished her freshman year, she's convinced she chose the right place.

“This community is unmatched,” says Piñon. “I was welcomed so warmly by the people here.”

Piñon always wanted to attend a smaller school, and MU’s close-knit community has turned out to be a perfect fit.

“Living on campus helps you learn how to care for others,” she says. “People feel really blessed and loved here.”

That sense of openness extends to her interactions with professors. “They genuinely care about students’ spiritual growth,” says Piñon. “If you’re down, they help you get up.”

The Intercultural Studies major plans to be a missionary. Last month, she traveled to Kigali, Rwanda — along with a group of MU students — where she taught Bible stories to Rwandan children and ministered to the Kigali community. The trip helped Piñon apply what she’s learned at Multnomah.

Until she graduates, MU continues to equip Piñon with a grounded biblical perspective she deeply appreciates.

“My dream is to go to an unreached people group and translate the Bible into their language,” she says. “I always wanted to know my Bible better. Being at MU is an opportunity for me to hold out my faith to God and define what I believe...it's helping me become my own person.”

Amanda Schick: Making an Impact

amanda_mainAmanda Schick is passionate about challenging her students. As an English teacher, she is constantly pushing them to think harder, dig deeper.

Schick says Multnomah had a huge impact on her career, and the wisdom she took from her professors continues to inspire her.

“MU is rigorous,” Schick says. “The quality education I received here put me in a different league than my colleagues. You don’t just walk out of Multnomah with information — you leave with a changed life.”

After receiving her bachelor’s degree at MU, Schick stayed to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching degree. The program further immersed her in biblical truth and real-world experience. Now the English major teaches Creative Writing, English Language Development and Literacy at Sam Barlow High School in Gresham, Ore.

“I love my job, and I love my students,” she says. “I love it when they get something and their eyes light up!”

Although Schick is unable to share her faith at school, she hopes her viewpoint will influence students for the better.

“When I present information to them in class, it’s solid and grounded, and there’s a basis for it,” she says. “I feel like this can anchor my students, even though I can’t overtly communicate my worldviews to them.”

For Schick, her work isn’t just about what she teaches – it’s also about how she teaches.

“At Multnomah, we see teachers who love what they teach, so they bring it to life,” she says. “It was never just lifeless facts on a page to them. Seeing this reminded me why I wanted to teach, and how I wanted to teach.”

As she continues to prepare her students for a lifetime of reading and writing well, Schick is grateful for the deep conviction and priceless lessons she gained from her professors and her Multnomah family.

“MU taught me how to have a voice and stand up for the things that are important to me,” she says. “I need to teach my students to do the same thing.”

Alex Anderson: Helping People Heal

Comments Off Written on June 10th, 2014 by
Categories: Programs, Students

Today's student story features an undergrad who's working toward becoming a doctor.

alex_mainEveryone is at MU for different reasons. Alex Anderson, a firefighter with a passion for business, is working toward becoming an oncologist.

The goal is close to Anderson’s heart: His girlfriend was diagnosed with cancer last year.

“I’ve formed this overwhelming desire to save lives,” the business major says. “God has given me this opportunity to help people, and I love it.”

While he lays the groundwork for a gratifying career, Anderson is enjoying everything MU has to offer, especially the challenging classes and Christian fellowship. “I love learning about business,” he says. “There are a lot of different views, and I’m interested in learning everyone’s opinion so I can be a better professional.”

His professors are a big part of his life. “Everyone who teaches here is beyond qualified, and they all use their knowledge so wisely,” he says. “They are kind, and they try to help you find out who God is through his word. They’ll have a personal relationship with you and mentor you at the same time.”

As for his Bible and Theology major, it’s helping Anderson gain a firm foothold. “Multnomah’s a place where you learn what you believe and how it applies to your life,” he says. “You should always study what you believe and be able to defend your faith.”

Anderson credits MU with creating steady discipline and a strong work ethic in his life. His fellow students only encourage him to strive for his best.

“The bar for learning is a lot higher here,” he says. “And MU does a great job of ensuring all its students have a friendly and loving community around them. I love the dorm life so much; I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It feels exactly like home.”

Wendy Contreras: Born to Sing

Today's student story features an amazing undergrad who's developing a life-changing gift. 

wendy_mainWendy Contreras has always loved to sing. She wanted to pursue music in college, but she wasn't convinced that she was capable.

Her insecurities faded during her freshman year when she began taking classes with MU’s private voice instructor, who recognized a rich potential.

“She made me see that I needed to pursue singing and never give up,” Contreras says. “If something’s meant for you, you’ll succeed.”

Contreras also credits Stan Campbell, director of MU's music program, with helping her see that the point of making music: bringing people back to God.

“I saw how the Lord used my music to touch people,” she says. “When I realized that he’d given me this gift, I wanted to be responsible with it.”

Since then, Contreras has learned piano at MU, and she's honed her talents in the university’s jazz ensemble. She also leads worship at MU’s weekly chapels.

The more she saturates herself in music, the more people ask her to sing at their churches or on albums they’re producing.

“God has been opening doors for me everywhere,” she says.

MU’s vibrant community of musicians has also played a big role in Contreras’ development as a vocalist. She used be afraid to share music she’d written. But once she did, her peers were full of compliments and support.

“I realized that I’d underestimated myself,” she says. “Now I can open up to fellow musicians.”

Despite all the recognition, Contreras says the most important thing she’s learned at MU is how to be humble.

“Humility is acknowledging everything you have without boasting,” she says. “I had to realize I was good at singing, but that it’s not for me – it’s for God’s glory. This is what I was created to do.”

 

 

Tawny Johnson: Cultivating Knowledge

This week we're featuring a student story about Tawny Johnson, who graduated from both our college and seminary. When Johnson started attending undergrad classes at 45, she had no idea why God had called her to MU. Nearly ten years later, she knows exactly why.

“Isn’t that a guy’s thing?” Tawny Johnson had just told someone she was going to seminary, and that was his response.

Johnson paused. She had never thought that learning about God was gender exclusive — but she was finding that many Christians did.

“There’s a common impression that studying theology at a master’s level is just for men,” Johnson says. “But theology is not masculine.”

Multnomah welcomes men and women into all its programs; nevertheless, its seminary is currently composed of mostly men. This never bothered Johnson; it only highlighted the importance of a seminary education for all Christians, regardless of gender.

'Take responsibility' 

“There’s been an emphasis in some areas of the Church to rely on men, but women need to delve into things themselves and take responsibility for their own spiritual lives,” Johnson says. “Regardless of what you think about men and women leadership roles in the church…that’s beside the point. It’s not a gender issue — it’s a Christian issue.”

Tawny_mainJohnson and Multnomah go way back.

In the ‘80s, she worked full-time for Multnomah Press, a publishing company previously owned by Multnomah. After 13 years filled with administration, marketing, foreign publishing, design, advertising and product development, she left her job in 1992, when Multnomah sold the press to another publishing company.

The right thing

Johnson took the loss of a successful career as a gain in her family life: She spent the next 13 years homeschooling her two daughters.

In 2005, she felt God leading her to Multnomah. She didn’t know why she was supposed to go. All she knew was that it was the right thing to do. So, with the support of her husband and children, she enrolled, not realizing that she was beginning a nine-year journey.

'It wasn't about me'

Freshman orientation in the undergrad program found her surrounded by 18-year-olds. Johnson was 45. “It was a bit intimidating to come back to school as an older adult,” she says. “But I knew that it wasn't about me — it was about what God wanted to do in me.”

For six years, Johnson attended MU while working part time as a receptionist at a hair salon. In 2010, she graduated with a minor in English. After she accepted her diploma and took her seat, she watched as MU’s master’s students were fitted with hoods — a sign of their academic achievements.

“I thought, ‘I want one of those!’” she says. One year later, she was back at Multnomah — this time for a Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree.

'Part of a whole'

“I chose theological studies because it was a chance to integrate my love of theology and my love of history,” she says. “Now I have a broader view of the Church — I feel like I’m a part of a whole, and I appreciate the people who came before me in sacrifice and obedience.”

One of her favorite things about seminary was her teachers. “The professors at Multnomah are its strength,” she says. “They care about the student, and they cultivate an environment of stimulating exchange. They also help you think critically and address some misconceptions you probably have.”

One faculty member in particular, Dr. Brad Harper, taught several of Johnson’s theology classes over the years. “One time, he asked me if I felt out of place in the seminary,” she says. “I absolutely did not. My classmates and I all felt called to be there. Gender was never an issue with the professors or with my — almost exclusively male — counterparts.”

'My dream job'

Last month, Johnson finally earned her “hoodie”, as she affectionately calls it. “I threatened my husband that I was going to wear it to the grocery store, just to get some mileage out of it!” she jokes.

But Johnson began reaping the benefits of her degree before she was even finished with seminary. Just a few months before graduation, she was invited to join D.C. Jacobson & Associates as a literary agent.

“It’s my dream job,” she says. “My education in recognizing exceptional writing, depth of content and theological integrity has led me to this career. Multnomah was instrumental in cultivating that passion and knowledge which will assist me as I assess Christian books for publication. I will always feel connected to MU, and I'm sincerely grateful for the role it has played in my life.”

MU Hosts Seminar for MAT Students and Certified Teachers

education_mainMultnomah is hosting a development seminar for MAT students and teachers on May 31. PPS principal Emily Glasgow will speak on how to connect with all families in your school community. Come ready to be challenged, enlightened and educated on how to reach diverse populations and better serve the kids in your classrooms. Attending this seminar will earn you 4 CEUs.

Learn how and why to positively engage all families in their children's education.

Get ready to:

  • Develop a shared understanding on why family engagement is a critical component in student success and what types of family engagement matter the most.
  • Deepen understanding and empathy for our children’s families — view family engagement from their perspective.
  • Discuss and problem-solve around common obstacles to family engagement in urban public schools.
  • Leave with concrete tools and action steps to deepen and maximize your relationship with your students' families.

Emily Glasgow, our featured speaker, brings a rich history of experience with her:

  • Principal of Vestal K8 School in PPS
  • Principal of K8 School in the Boston Public School District for 7 years
  • Masters in School Leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education

Don't miss out on this great opportunity. Register today.

When: Saturday, May 31

Time: 9 a.m. - 12 noon

Cost: $25 if you pre-register, $30 at the door, $20 for Multnomah Alumni and $10 for current MU students and faculty

Where: Multnomah University
8435 NE Glisan St., Portland, OR.
Mitchell Library, Room #108

Refreshments will be provided.

Email Kathy McKee at kmckee@multnomah.edu if you have any questions. And spread the word to anyone you think might be interested.