PORTLAND, Ore. — Dr. Karl Kutz, a Multnomah University professor, and a number of his students will present their recently published research on several Dead Sea Scrolls fragments at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10, at Multnomah University. In addition, the Museum of the Bible from Washington, D.C. will bring the fragments themselves for an exhibit in the university’s upper library. Read the rest of this entry »
Categories: Events, General, Press Releases, Seminary, Students
Categories: Faculty, Seminary
PORTLAND, Ore. – Multnomah University is pleased to announce that Dr. Derek Chinn will serve as interim dean of Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
Chinn, who directs the seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program, will assume his new role August 1. “I’m looking forward to putting new initiatives in motion based on the upcoming strategic plan,” Chinn said. “I’ll work closely with my colleagues to pursue what God is calling Multnomah to be in our rapidly changing society.”
MU President Dr. G. Craig Williford said Chinn has the professional background and personal qualities needed to excel in the position. “Dr. Chinn’s expertise and experience in pastoral, organizational and academic leadership will serve him well as he leads MBS during this season of growth and expansion,” Williford said. “He is well respected by his peers, and I look forward to having him serve on the senior leadership team.”
Chinn has extensive experience as a pastor in the Portland area. He also serves as director of Ministry Dynamics, a local nonprofit that provides organizational and fundraising support to ministries and individuals. He holds BA and BS degrees from UC-Irvine, an MBA from the University of Oregon, an MDiv from Multnomah Biblical Seminary and a DMin from Western Seminary.
Chinn takes over for Dr. Roy Andrews, who served as dean of the seminary for the past three years.
About Multnomah University
Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with an additional teaching site in Reno, Nevada. Composed of a college, seminary, graduate school, degree completion program and 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.
Contact: Steve Cummings, Vice President of Advancement
503.251.6464 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Categories: Programs, Seminary, Students
Chris Haughee has worked with children and teens for more than 15 years. He’s heard many stories, listened to many heartbreaks and learned many names. Now, as a chaplain at Intermountain Residential Services — a child welfare agency in Montana — he is fostering an atmosphere of love. “As I walk forward in advocacy for children, I am walking with Jesus,” he says. “I am embraced by a love that transcends me.”
Haughee earned his Master of Divinity degree at Multnomah from 1996 to 2000 while pastoring nearby. In 2005, he took a pastoral call in Helena, Montana. While serving the congregation of First Presbyterian Church, he continued his education at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he pursued his doctorate for two years. A series of personal and professional curve balls upset the smooth road he’d envisioned and caused Haughee to question if education was for him. “I needed a program that provided the flexibility for me to continue [my ministry] and make connections between the children I serve and the work of the Kingdom,” he says.
He found this combination in the cultural engagement track of MU’s Doctor of Ministry program. “The cohort in cultural engagement allows the freedom to explore themes of advocacy alongside brothers and sisters in Christ from a wide range of backgrounds and ministry settings,” he says.
This support is especially valuable due to the nature of Haughee’s ministry. “It means a great deal when you are doing the often hard and lonely work of advocacy for an underserved and misunderstood part of the church,” he says. “It’s a journey closer to the heart of God embodied in the crucified Savior.”
Haughee’s studies are effectively being transferred to his work environment. He is intentional about fostering spiritual discussions with staff members at Intermountain. In a recent conversation, they connected Jesus’ Beatitudes with the work of healing emotionally disturbed children. “There were a few tears shed as we realized that despite our best efforts, the brokenness of this world is something only God can ultimately heal,” Haughee says. “We may not see the fruits of our labors on behalf of many of these children, but still we have to keep pressing forward and doing the best we can for as many as we can for as long as we can.”
The work inside and outside the classroom is a battle. Haughee is careful to cultivate the attitude of a listener in all of his interactions. “The world is filled with people talking,” he says. “I don’t need to add to the noise. A Spirit-empowered whisper will achieve more than the bullhorn shout of the self-righteous and self-assured.”
Haughee’s leadership has also been enhanced through his studies. “I am more balanced, more humble, and more grateful for the small influence I do have,” he says. “I know Christ better and can serve the church more ably as a result of my time at Multnomah.”
When he’s not perusing an article or engaging in class conversation, Haughee can be found organizing activities, fundraising for Christmas gifts, or simply eating barbeque with the children in his ministry. He is daily being transformed by love. “It is a love that shows me I have more to gain in this work than I have to give,” he says.
Categories: Events, Programs, Seminary, Students
Many see faith and science like oil and water — they’re impossible to integrate. But New Wine, New Wineskins thinks differently. On April 16 and 23, the institute hosted a conference aimed at dispelling the segregation of these communities through thoughtful dialogue. The conference, Church and Science: Partners for the Common Good, was made possible by a grant Multnomah Biblical Seminary received from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in an effort to integrate science into the seminary curriculum (view the 10 seminary courses that have adopted this integration here).
“It’s bound up with our ongoing, strategic effort at Multnomah to prepare seminary graduates in their pastoral calling to constructively engage our scientific age,” says Paul Louis Metzger, director of New Wine, New Wineskins. “It’s for the sake of their parishioners who have scientific questions and scientific vocational interests, and for the church’s own missional engagement with the surrounding culture.”
The event brought in speakers from Portland and across the country to explore several themes, including the history of faith and science, hermeneutical humility, and faith and scientific methods. Attendants delved into the themes through a variety of formats, such as plenary sessions, panels, workshops and thoughtful discussion times.
“Many young Christians are leaving churches because of what they perceive to be antagonism by the church toward science,” says Metzger. “It’s vitally important that pastors in training are equipped to develop an informed respect for science and discernment on how to articulate biblical faith in our scientific age.”
Many attendees walked away feeling more prepared and aware. “As a pastor, this conference opened my eyes to the tremendous need we have to address the role of science in our faith communities,” says Gaby Viesca, pastor to women at Cedar Mill Bible Church. “It also equipped me with practical tools to help people navigate their own questions and doubts, and how to engage in meaningful conversations around this topic.”
Jared Bennett, associate pastor at Grace Community Church called the conference “phenomenal” and found Dr. John Walton’s session especially insightful. “He stressed that the debate over young earth creationism/evolution is not what we should be focused on; the mechanics of ‘how’ are secondary to the agency of ‘who.’” Bennett claims to have walked away with a lot to think about. “I will continue to read, think and pray on what I learned at the conference in the hope that I can use that personal growth to better pastor my students,” he says.
Join the ongoing discussion. New Wine is hosting forums at local churches, and you can check out their website for information and updates. You can also read endorsements for the Church and Science conference here. Lastly, if you’re a youth pastor, New Wine wants to collaborate with you in order to care for teens wrestling with their faith in the midst of scientific questions. Stay tuned.
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.
‘Shocked and overjoyed’
Chad 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.”
‘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.
Seminary announces fully online Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Leadership degrees
Categories: Seminary, Students
Multnomah Biblical Seminary is proud to announce that it will be offering its Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Leadership degrees fully online beginning fall 2016.
This change was made possible by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), which approved an exemption to the residency requirements* for the Master of Divinity and MA in Christian Leadership degrees. Typically, these programs have strict rules for on-campus learning, but ATS has waived these restrictions for MU so its students can now earn either degree fully online.
“We’re so excited that ATS granted our request to excuse students from having a residency requirement,” says Seminary Dean Dr. Roy Andrews. “Now we’ll be able to offer a high-quality theological education to students all over the world without them needing to relocate to Portland.”
Students can expect to connect with their classmates and professors through online discussions, email, chat and videoconferencing. But the learning won’t stop there: Andrews says the seminary will work to create partnerships between the student, an on-site mentor and a local church.
“This means the student can stay connected in his or her church, workplace and neighborhood, all while having the opportunity to be transformed by a Multnomah Biblical Seminary education,” he says. “These elements will provide the important components of spiritual formation and community that are often missing in distance education programs. Online students really can have the best of both worlds.”
Multnomah Biblical Seminary also offers a fully online Master of Arts in Biblical Studies program and a fully online Master of Arts in Theological Studies program. Find out more at multnomah.edu/online.
*The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) has approved an exemption to the residency requirements (Degree Program Standard A, section A.3.1.3, and Degree Program Standard B, section B.3.1.3) for these degrees, permitting them to be offered fully online beginning fall 2016.
“I learn something from everyone”: College professor says Doctor of Ministry program enhances her teaching
Categories: Seminary, Students
Jody Bormuth is a mother, grandmother, wife and college professor in the rugged mountain town of Grants Pass, Ore. Over the years she has welcomed struggling teens into her home, mentored young women, taught Bible studies and developed a class on gender issues.
But just because Bormuth has been involved in Christian service for more than 40 years doesn’t mean she’s left learning behind. “I love academics in the first place, and so learning anything is exciting to me,” she says. That’s why she decided to enroll in MU’s Doctor of Ministry program with a focus in cross-cultural engagement.
Bormuth is now two years into her studies. “I love every part of it,” she says. “(The professors) are genuine and honest, and that is refreshing.”
Discussion and fellowship are regular parts of class which Bormuth thoroughly enjoys. She is continually challenged to listen well to others. “It’s the perfect environment to ask my questions,” Bormuth says. “I learn something from everyone as they share their ideas and thoughts.”
In regards to cross-cultural engagement, Bormuth is learning to interact with those who disagree with her. “It’s all about approaching others with the earnest intent to hear what they have to offer me, rather than the other way around,” she says. “It equalizes all of us as worthy and valuable in God’s image. It has shown me how to approach others in an agreeable and peaceful fashion without compromising my own convictions.”
This leads to a lifestyle of living like Jesus. Bormuth did an in-depth study of the Beatitudes earlier this year and has since been learning how to apply them in her relationships. “God is teaching me to express to others how counter-cultural Christ was and is,” she says. “We are to be the same way.”
Bormuth is constantly in awe over how God weaves themes together in her life. “It has never failed that when any crisis comes up, something we are studying or learning in school is relevant to the crisis,” she says.
Everything that Bormuth learns is immediately applied to her classroom at Pacific Bible College. Her greatest joy is seeing the “lights come on” in students’ eyes as they grasp one of God’s precious truths for the first time.
“I have taken major themes home with me and not only felt affirmed in what I’d already been teaching, but able to add to it,” she says. “These themes have enhanced my teaching and classroom, not to mention my own spiritual life. It’s caused me to see God as bigger and richer, and to see Christ’s mission on earth as more personal and all-encompassing.”
Categories: Seminary, Students, Theology
For Kunāne Hillen, moving to Portland, Oregon, was a big change. “My first thoughts were, ‘It’s cold!’” he says. He was firmly attached to the sunshine, warm ocean waves, beaches and culture of his hometown — Honolulu, Hawaii. He’d never spent more than three weeks away. And yet he knew that, despite the climate change, Multnomah University had what he wanted for an M.Div.
Body surfing, ukulele, church friends and family were the main factors in Hillen’s life throughout his childhood. During his senior year in high school, Hillen took a Hawaiian history class that made him realize how much he loved his own people.
“After watching a film about Hawaiians, my heart broke,” he says. “I originally wanted to do intercultural missions, but then I got a heart for Hawaiians.”
Hillen attended Bible college on the island and earned his bachelor’s degree in Bible and Pastoral Ministry. He then began to wonder what was next. “I was looking for a school that would help relate Hawaiian culture to theology,” he says.
Multnomah brought those components together for him. “MU is really helping me process my theology,” Hillen says. “I get to tie Hawaii into my papers and discussions in class. I want to learn what the gospel means, not only in the Hawaiian community but also in the global indigenous community.”
Hillen also appreciates his professors. “They are very personal,” he says. “They are willing to meet outside of class. They encourage me to talk. They don’t just teach to blank faces; they’re engaging.”
When Hillen returns to the islands, he’s excited to teach the integration of theology and culture to his fellow Hawaiians. And he’s especially eager to get back to his own warm beach. “I dream of the waves sometimes,” he says wistfully.
Categories: Events, Seminary
Connect the Word to the world
Your calling is unique, but the call to Christian leadership in every field requires biblical wisdom, spiritual maturity and cultural awareness. Those are the qualities you'll develop at Multnomah Biblical Seminary. Read the rest of this entry »
Categories: Books, Seminary, Students, Theology
Dr. Paul Louis Metzger — Professor of Christian Theology and Theology of Culture and Director of New Wine, New Wineskins — has released his latest book, “Evangelical Zen: A Christian’s Spiritual Travels with a Buddhist Friend” (Patheos Press, August 2015). The work features Metzger’s late friend, Zen Buddhist Priest Kyogen Carlson, who wrote the foreword and responded to Metzger’s essays.
A book reading for “Evangelical Zen” is set for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, at Powell’s City of Books. The event will include readings from Metzger and Sallie (Jiko) Tisdale, who will be reading one or two reflections from Abbot Kyogen Carlson’s contributions in the volume.
Until then, Metzger answers our questions about “Evangelical Zen” and the unique vision behind it.
Can you give us a brief synopsis of the book?
“Evangelical Zen” is part Augustine’s “Confessions” and part Robert Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” As an Evangelical Christian theologian, I reflect on my spiritual journey — an inner pilgrimage of sorts that weaves through a physical 40-day journey with my family in Japan.
The experiences of that journey, the beauties of Japan, its culture, and its religion become for me a lens on a deeper quest: I am searching for and, I believe, finding a global humanity in conversation with my friend and literary traveling companion, Abbot Kyogen Carlson, a Zen Buddhist Priest.
Can you define what you mean by “spiritual travels”?
Our travels through life as Christians are ultimately spiritual, not secular. We should never compartmentalize our faith, even in seemingly secular and pluralistic cultural settings.
Moreover, our faith is not static. While our eternal destination as Christians is secure through personal faith in Jesus Christ, our faith is an ongoing journey. Thus, our encounters with various people, places and things in life can serve as sign posts of faith as we seek to love God with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves.
What compelled you to write this book?
I felt compelled to write this book because my spiritual journey has taken me to Japan over the years through marriage to my wife Mariko, a Japanese national. Our children Christopher and Julianne have joined us on that journey. I have come to deeply love Japanese culture. Through my experiences in Japan, I have come to love Jesus more while also loving people across the globe. My travels there have helped me in my endeavors to become more sensitive to people of various cultures here and abroad.
Such growth here has been enhanced through my friendship over the years with Zen Buddhist Priest, Kyogen Carlson, who founded Dharma Rain Zen Center in Portland with his fellow abbot and spouse, Gyokuko. Since we first met in 2003, and until his sudden passing from a massive heart attack in September 2014, Kyogen and I developed a deep, abiding friendship. He agreed to write responses to the various essays, as well as a foreword to the whole book. For all our theological and philosophical differences from one another revealed in the book, Kyogen’s thoughts complete mine in this volume as we seek to understand life and humanity better.
How might reading this book be beneficial for a Christ-follower?
Evangelical Zen will help Christians navigate life and our increasingly diverse and multi-faith culture in such a manner that we can love God through Jesus more without having to love our diverse neighbors less. In fact, I believe our Christian faith, if cultivated well, makes it possible for us to love people of diverse paths better and with more sensitivity here and abroad.
Why is it important to build friendships with people of other religions?
I believe God’s love has been on display over the years with my Buddhist friends here in Portland, as my students and other Christians have joined the Carlsons, Dharma Rain Zen Center parishioners, and me for potluck meals and dialogues where we discuss key aspects of our respective faiths, including what divides us. We don’t sweep our differences under the table, nor do we stop short of engaging one another relationally. Instead, we go through our differences to build bridges of authentic trust that bind us together in the midst of culture wars that could easily divide us.
My students value such opportunities to engage people of diverse faiths. After all, they also live in an increasingly religiously diverse society. Like all of us, they need to learn how to engage their multi-faith society well in grace and truth. Their neighborhoods, the marketplace and ministry contexts (such as in the various spheres of chaplaincy and pastoral visitation) require that they become sensitive and adept at presenting biblical truth in a truly meaningful and gracious way. As our former MU president Dr. Joe Aldrich used to say, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” That is equally true here in the States, Japan, and anywhere else in the world.