Programs

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

Comments Off 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 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 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 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.

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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.”

Different dreams, one purpose: Students from all over the world join MU

Students with different dreams and goals arrived on campus last week. Some had included MU in their plans for years, while others made last-minute decisions to attend. But regardless of their backgrounds, all of our new students desire a higher purpose in their careers. They look to their faith to infuse meaning in all they do.

Student2015aMiguel Ruiz traveled all the way from his hometown in Mexico to experience MU. “I basically came to follow my dream,” he says. “I want to have a sports ministry. I have played soccer my whole life, and I want to go back to Mexico and share the gospel there through soccer.” The youth ministry major is convinced MU is the perfect place to pursue his ambitions. He says he wants to learn everything he can while he’s here.

Student2015cAzaria Coakley is eager to interact with people on campus and learn their stories. “I think we have a small enough school where I can learn about everyone I graduate with,” she says.  The business major from Vancouver, Wash., wasn’t sold on MU at first, but she quickly changed her mind when she took a second look. “I love Multnomah already, and I’ve only been here two days,” she says. “I want to learn what my place is, and I feel this is the best place to do that.”

Student2015bIn terms of the campus environment, Monica Paterson found exactly what she was looking for at Multnomah. “I wanted to be submerged in a Christian atmosphere,” she says. “No matter where I am on campus, I want to be able to talk to someone about Jesus or ask, ‘Do you mind praying for me?’ I wanted to be in a place where these conversations were common.” The global studies major from Vinton City, Ohio, visited several other Christian colleges, but they weren’t quite right. “I loved the opportunities they offered, but I knew they weren’t my blessing – Multnomah was,” she says.

We welcome you, new students. Our prayerful desire is that you will become equipped to engage our culture with courage and compassion while committing yourself to serving Jesus with your career. Have a great school year!

Watch our new global studies major video

The global studies program equips students for a deep commitment to understanding and engaging in the global issues affecting our world today.

"You don't have to wait to put things into practice...this program connects you with people working in cross-cultural settings right now," says global studies major Kevin Perry. "It's all about understanding other peoples' worldviews and understanding how I can love them better through understanding their cultural context."

Watch our latest elementary education major video

Elementary Education graduates are licensed to teach K-8 and equipped to integrate biblical principles into their lesson plans. “It’s a rigorous program,” says Elementary Education major Natalie Ruttger. “[The professors] prepare you for everything, and they’re very current on what’s happening in schools right now.”

Psychology major combines biblical truth with cutting-edge theory

MU’s psychology major mixes psychological theory — perspectives from the past and today's cutting-edge ideas — with biblical truth.

“This major is designed to answer questions about human nature,” says Psychology Department Chair Dr. Elliott Lawless. “If you like to ask questions, think deeply and help other people, then you are the type of student who would do well in this program.”

Learn more about our psychology program.

Highlighting God’s blessings

"Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world." Isaiah 12:4-5

Why are we praising God and proclaiming his glory over the whole earth? Why are we rejoicing at Multnomah? There are a host of reasons! God has had his hand of blessing upon us this year, and I want to share some highlights with you. You can also get more details at multnomah.edu/new.

Accounting concentration

studying_featureimageIn fall 2015, MU will launch an accounting concentration under its business program that will prepare students for employment in the field of accounting as well as ready them for the Certified Management Accountant Exam and the Certified Fraud Examiner Exam.

Business & Organizational Psychology degree

MU will launch a business & organizational psychology degree in fall 2015. Graduates will utilize their training to create business policies and methodologies with the goal of improving an organization’s ability to better meet the expectations of its customers and stakeholders.

Biology degree

MU plans to offer a biology degree in fall 2016. More details to come.

Global Studies degree

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

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

Summit (a five-year B.A./M.Div. program)

Multnomah is launching Summit, a five-year Bachelor of Arts/Master of Divinity program. Summit students will save more than $41,000 in tuition, cut their time in school by two years and receive a Summit Scholarship.

Fully online undergraduate and seminary degrees

Starting in fall 2015, MU will be offering the following programs fully online:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Theology
  • Master of Arts in Biblical Studies
  • Master of Arts in Theological Studies

AAOT acceptance

The Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree now satisfies all MU freshman and sophomore general education requirements.

NAIA approval

The Lions have joined the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC), which is considered to be one of the top small-college athletic associations in the country. The CCC is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Each year, more than 60,000 student-athletes in the NAIA compete in 13 sports and 23 national championships.

Track and field

Multnomah will launch a track and field program in spring of 2016. More details to come.

Thank you

We couldn’t have done any of these things without you. I want to personally thank you for your generous support. Your prayers, service and offerings strengthen Multnomah’s impact every day.

Matching gift

Multnomah was blessed by an anonymous friend wanting to broaden our support base by matching $2 for every $1 given by first-time givers or lapsed givers (those who have not given in over a year). Our friend will donate up to $400,000.

We’ve almost met our match

Today we are shy of this goal by just $41,896. We are calling everyone to pray and seek God’s will for what their gift of participation could be. Will you join us?

A gift of any size, according to your ability, is all God asks of you. Every gift matters. We invite you to share in this joy of giving to God’s exciting work at Multnomah!

I hope you have a blessed summer.

Craig

Rev. G. Craig Williford, Ph.D.
President

Spring graduates celebrate a new chapter, reflect on MU’s impact

Last Friday, 129 Multnomah students walked across the stage of Rolling Hills Community Church to receive their diplomas. Among the group of participants were Caitlyn Stone, Michael Mallon, Lisa Hezmalhalch and Maxwell Olwa — four students who have grown to embody the biblical wisdom, resilient character and infectious servants’ hearts that set our alumni apart.

Blog_Caitlyn StoneCaitlyn Stone
Educational Ministries graduate

Hometown: Sacramento, California

Best MU experience: Having an opportunity to be a part of Student Leadership. It has been a privilege to do life with other people: staying up late, exploring the Gorge through hiking, going to Germany, being available for other students and being someone they can share things with.

Favorite class: Prophets, taught by Dr. Kutz. Isaiah has always been my favorite book. I love seeing how God was faithful to an unfaithful people. I was able to “eat up” what I was given; it gave life to a portion of scripture that I already loved.

Favorite thing about Portland: I love the proximity to outdoor activities like hiking in the gorge. I also love it when the weather is sunny and green. It makes me happy.

Favorite thing about MU: The relationships with professors. Eating lunch with them and getting feedback from them. This is the third college I've been to, and this is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. I’ve gained life knowledge from them, which is equally valuable to what I learned in the classroom.

Plans after graduation: In July I’m joining YWAM’s Discipleship Training School, Awaken. I could end up anywhere in the world. I will be a part of awakening people to the truth of who God is, and I will get to live out what I’ve been learning at MU. I’m so excited to see Jesus in other cultures!

Advice to your freshman self: The word that comes to mind is “balance.” It can be easy to focus either on socializing or studies, but we need to live out what we’re learning in community. Both are key.

Blog_Michale MallonMichael Mallon
English graduate
TESOL graduate

Hometown: Woodburn, OR

Best MU experience: Cross Country Nationals this year — the home stretch, a quarter mile from the finish line. I passed a few people, and it started to snow. I couldn’t believe that I was running in New York during the first year of MU’s Cross Country program. It had been a super busy semester for me, but joining that team was a great decision. It was motivation to keep pushing myself.

Favorite Class: Major Literary Figure — Thoreau, taught by Dr. Schaak. I learned how to connect with nature and be able to contribute to society. There was a motivating vibe to that class; I learned how to see the world more clearly.

Favorite thing about Portland: The food. I love the diversity and how eating is a hobby here. There’s always a new place to try. My favorite restaurant is Nepo42 — they have half-priced wings during Blazers games!

Favorite thing about MU: The community. I’ve really felt supported by staff and faculty here.

Plans after graduation: I will be working full-time at Trillium Family Services, helping children with behavioral and psychological issues.

Advice to your freshman self: Live in the moment and take advantage of all the opportunities. Invest and get involved in events. Become a leader. I didn’t have that mindset at first, but MU plopped opportunities into my lap, which were really formative for me. Also, become an English major!

Blog_Lisa HLisa Hezmalhalch
MA in Christian Leadership graduate

Hometown: Napa, California

Best MU experience: Being the Graduate Resident Director in North Aldrich Hall and leading a team of women. There was everything from deep random conversations to late-night dance parties.

Favorite class: Spiritual Formation, taught by Dr. Clemen

Favorite thing about Portland: There is freedom here to be whoever the Lord has made you to be. In California I never seemed to fit, but when I moved here I could finally be myself. I also really really love Monti’s Café on Southeast Stark Street!

Favorite thing about MU: The community. There is a family-like nature that this place takes on while you’re here!

Plans after graduation: I will be taking one day at a time; looking to the Lord every morning and asking, “Where are we going today?”

Advice to your first-year self: You are about to go through a  refinement more intense than anything you’ve ever experienced in your life. He who began a good work in you will always be faithful to complete it.

Blog_Max OlwaMaxwell Olwa
MA in Global Development & Justice graduate

Hometown: Nyakach, Kenya

Best MU experience: Being able to interact with different people and live as a community. This has gotten better and better. They have become like family.

Favorite classes: Intro to Justice Studies, Business as Mission, and Christian Community Development. These are all remarkable classes.

Favorite thing about Portland: Coffee! I like Starbucks and Dutch Bros. My favorite drinks are lattes and mochas.

Favorite thing about MU: There is a biblical foundation for everything. This moves us away from the distinction between sacred and secular and opens new grounds for participation in community. That is the sole mission of Christ: bringing justice to the world — living as Christ lived and affecting peoples’ lives through that. My cohort experience was also phenomenal. It brought people from different backgrounds together. We were exposed to so many different people working in different fields of development. This has led to good networking.

Plans after graduation: I’m looking forward to working in Christian organizations that are doing development work and advocacy. I have a passion for these things.

Advice to your first-year self: Work hard, stay focused, trust God.

Listen to an audio recording of the ceremony.