Programs

‘A Labor of Love’: Dr. Hildebrand Reflects on the Ultimate Youth Event

hildebrand_mainWhat do Disney karaoke, theology seminars, laser tag, MU’s campus and 825 high schools students have in common? You guessed it: Spring Thaw. The weekend retreat, open to youth groups and individuals, will kick off this Friday at 7 p.m. Every year brings a unique theme, and 2014 is all about medieval knights, fairy tales and Disney.

Youth Ministries Department Chair Dr. Rob Hildebrand has been running the event since its debut five years ago. "MU was awarded a large grant so it could offer theological training to high school students," he says. For years, the University hosted a leadership program called CREDO, which benefited hundreds of high school students. But when CREDO began to decline, MU needed to reimagine the event. That's when Spring Thaw was born.

Although many other Christian universities offer retreats for high school students, Spring Thaw stands out. "Our event is more community-based because everyone who’s volunteering already lives here," says Hildebrand. More than 200 volunteers — composed of MU students and staff — plan, build and facilitate the retreat each year. A small group of students majoring in Youth Ministry take on larger leadership roles and serve as interns. "Our students do well at getting hired after they intern at this event," Hildebrand says. "A lot of people do ministry lazily, but I want our volunteers to develop a good work ethic. I want them to see that when you do hard work, you really can make things better."

Making Spring Thaw better is something Hildebrand is passionate about. "I love being innovative, and I try to make improvements every year," he says. He was ecstatic to secure Dr. Chap Clark as the main speaker. “In my book, he’s one of the top five youth ministry experts in the world," Hildebrand says. Besides the main sessions with Clark, the high school students will attend theology seminars led by MU faculty."This isn't not a shallow, frivolous retreat," says Hildebrand. "I hope the seminars will help students see Christianity as it is and come to grips with who Christ is."

Hildebrand believes that students learn best when they're in a balanced environment, and he injects plenty of activities into the weekend, including comedy skits, a puppy room, bubble soccer, magic shows and a color run. "This really is a labor of love," he says. "Volunteers are going to be tired, it inconveniences staff and students in the dorms are giving up their space. But we’re doing this because we love these high school students. At MU, we're not all about MU — we're about serving and looking beyond ourselves. We care about the Church and the kingdom."

Registration is full, but visit the Spring Thaw website for more information about this retreat.

Quincy Robinson: Preparing the Mind and Spirit

quincy_mainQuincy Robinson is a lot of things: scholar, leader, researcher, president, friend. He has a lot of goals ahead of him: master's degrees, a doctorate degree, a professorship at Stanford or Oxford. And although Multnomah's only a step in his journey, it's a significant step, and it's equipping him to pursue his passions and purpose.

"This school is an amazing place to push you forward," he says. "What lies ahead is going to be easier for me because I'm doing graduate-level work at the undergraduate level. I'm ever indebted to MU. It's like a family. The people here taught me how to love Jesus." Read his story.

Frank Ocampo: Living Joyfully in the Present

frank_mainFrank Ocampo's goal is to open a community center for at-risk youth in his hometown of London, England. MU's Master of Arts in Counseling program is preparing him with rigorous classes and hands-on experience so he can fulfill his dreams.

"I've learned what it means to live joyfully in the present since I've been at Multnomah," he says. "If you have the joy of Christ in you, no one can rob that but yourself." Read his story.

Truly Holistic: MA in Global Development & Justice Flourishes

The inaugural year of Multnomah's MA in Global Development and Justice (MAGDJ) is in full swing. The program, launched last fall, equips students for a lifetime of fruitful service in the vast world of justice initiatives, poverty alleviation, disaster response and compassion projects. I'm happy to highlight this program, especially in light of the two justice-centered events MU hosted last week: the Global Missions Conference and the Justice Conference Portland. The MAGDJ ties in beautifully with Multnomah's holistic approach to the world's toughest problems. I sat down with Intercultural Studies Chair and Director of the MAGDJ, Dr. Greg Burch, to find out more about this dynamic degree.

'A globally-focused graduate program'

imageBurch earned his bachelor's degree at Multnomah in 1994, and then immediately jumped into global development work in Venezuela. He ministered to homeless youth for several years before moving to Costa Rica to teach at a seminary.

One day, he received an email from MU's Intercultural Studies Chair, Dr. Tom Kopp, who asked him what he thought a globally-focused graduate program in humanitarian studies would look like. Many students had been asking about such a degree, and Kopp wanted to turn their hopes into a reality.

Burch sent Kopp his thoughts. The program never got off the ground, but when Kopp retired from Multnomah two years later, Burch applied for his position. He got the job, and moved with his wife and two kids to Portland. As soon as he began working at MU in summer 2012, Burch threw himself into crafting a program proposal for an MA in Global Development and Justice. The board and accreditors approved it, and a new major was born.

'A fabulous place to prepare'

Students received the program with open arms. Karen Sele says she always knew MU was an intentionally Bible-based university, but she wasn't prepared for the personalized care and customized teaching the MAGDJ program gives her: "I'm impressed that the most intensive assignments are flexibly structured to complement each individual’s focus," she says. "The members of our cohort bring a valuable tapestry of backgrounds, experiences and views to our discussions. After only one term of learning and supporting each other, we’ve developed a deep community of friendship which will extend beyond this program as we come alongside God in his work of restoration here and around the world. If God is calling you to this kind of work, Multnomah is a fabulous place to prepare!"

Sele and her classmates will completes 300 hours of internship before graduating. Burch is currently helping students find their ideal internship matches; he's compiled a list of organizations they can work for, and is busy writing several letters of recommendation. His students are applying to International Justice Mission, World ReliefSamaritan's Purse and several other well-respected for-profits and nonprofits. "We do a good job of networking with organizations who can hire our students after they get their degree," he says. "I want my students to go all over the world after they graduate."

Serving in a quality way

Burch says his students are very different from one another, but they're all earning a MAGDJ degree for the same reason — they have a deep desire to help others and to make the world a better place. "These students are amazing," he says. "They're so passionate about reaching out to people on the fringes of society."

But it takes more than passion to work in the field. Early burnout is a common issue. "Many people only last about two years when they work with a group like at-risk youth," says Burch. "But I want our students to be able to serve a lifetime." Burch and his team of professors make it a priority to train students in the art of soul care, self-care and spiritual formation, "so they can serve in a quality way," he says.

Although Burch dreams of growing his program, he's more concerned about making sure his students are equipped to tackle anything that comes their way. "I'm not numbers-focused," Burch says. "I want to mentor my students and walk with them."

'Truly holistic'

There are other global development and justice degrees out there, but Burch recommends MU's program for a few good reasons: "It's faith-based and truly holistic," he says. "We incorporate spirituality into the curriculum. We want the people we help to develop in their relationship with God and grow in their leadership abilities. A lot of programs just focus on the financial aspect, but humans are whole beings, and we have more than economic needs."

Burch says there are more jobs in this field than anywhere else. More than 1.9 billion people live on less than $1 per day. Sixteen thousand children die from curable diseases each day. "If you're looking to get rich, then this type of work isn't for you," Burch says. "But if you're looking to serve people and see lives change — this is it."

To learn more about this program, check out the MAGDJ page and read Dr. Burch's article.

MU will also offer a part-time MAGDJ program at its Reno-Tahoe site beginning fall 2014.

A Message from Dr. Wayne Strickland, MU’s Interim President

Multnomah is in a time of transition. It is times like these that remind us to maintain our mission and yet move forward with innovations that allow us to be more effective in our execution of Christ’s mission for us. We must continually assess the challenges and opportunities before us. We have the rare opening to raise the outreach and impact of Multnomah. Read the rest of this entry »

Professor Teams Up with Students to Translate Dead Sea Scrolls Fragment

Multnomah University students and faculty are taking their study of Scripture to a whole new level.

Professor Karl Kutz has been chosen by the Green Scholars Initiative to translate a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls with four of his students. It’s the first time the piece has been given any scholarly attention or critical analysis. Read the rest of this entry »

New Doctor of Ministry Program Launch

New Doctor of Ministry Program Launch

For over 75 years, Multnomah has been dedicated to equipping, training and preparing men and women to minister to God’s people and the world. The Doctor of Ministry program continues this commitment by offering experienced ministry leaders advanced theological education. Read the rest of this entry »

First Education Majors Graduate

First Education Majors Graduate

The following is adapted from a monthly letter sent in June 2011 to donors and friends of Multnomah.
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May, with its wonderful commencement celebration, is the most exciting — and the busiest — month of the year for Multnomah University.

It’s when we witness the fruit of our labors, 200 graduates, cross the stage to receive their diplomas and our congratulations. It’s when we replay the stories of the quiet yet relentless grace of God in the lives of malleable students who will extend our mission and vision.

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Dr. Dan Video – Scriptural Centrality In New Programs

Comments Off Written on June 1st, 2011 by
Categories: Alumni, Dr. Lockwood, General, Programs, Seminary
Dr. Dan Video – Scriptural Centrality In New Programs

Degrees Affirm Core Values

Dr. Daniel R. Lockwood, president of Multnomah University, continues his series "Conversations with Dr. Dan." In this spring 2011 video, he briefly discusses the core value of scriptural centrality and how it applies to all programs at Multnomah. He especially focuses on the upgraded English major and the new Seminary MATS degree. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s True. God Brings The Students.

Comments Off Written on May 25th, 2011 by
Categories: General, Pray For MU, Programs, Students
It’s True. God Brings The Students.

"I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million times. We have to be faithful in our jobs, but it’s the Lord who recruits for us."

With the words above as her admonishment,  Admissions Counselor Lisa Hezmalhalch sent us an email with a word of encouragement via a blog post from a student who will be starting at Multnomah in the TESOL program this Fall semester.

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