Seminary

Two Hebrew students selected for research trip in Israel

No Comments » Written on March 28th, 2017 by
Categories: Faculty, Feature, Programs, Seminary, Students, Theology

Israel_blog

Multnomah seminary students Chad Woodward and Alyssa Schmid will embark on a one-of-a-kind research excursion this summer in Israel. The two Hebrew students will partake in several archaeological digs, take various tours of the Holy Land and learn about Israel’s history from the Bronze and Iron Ages up through the modern day.

Woodward views the trip as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “It’s always been my desire to experience the Holy Land and see the places mentioned in Scripture,” he says. “I think this trip has a great mix of work and sight-seeing.”

The month-long expedition is made possible by the Scholars Initiative, the research arm of the Museum of the Bible, one of the world’s largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts. Multnomah has been connected with the Scholars Initiative since 2013, when Biblical Languages Chair Dr. Karl Kutz was chosen to translate a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls with four of his students.

Since then, MU has been trusted with even more research projects, which opened the door for students to apply for trips sponsored by the Scholars Initiative. Over the past three years, seven Hebrew students have been selected to attend the Logos Conference, a two-week internship at Oxford. Similar to the Oxford internship, the Israel trip is limited to students working on Scholars Initiative projects.

Kutz couldn’t be more proud of his students. He views the trip as a great addition to Woodward and Schmid’s academic experience.  “The chance to work on a dig is a tremendous opportunity,” he says. “The students will get to see firsthand how the archaeological process works and learn from scholars who have devoted their lives to this area of study.”

The trip, which starts in Jerusalem in mid-June and ends in Bethlehem in mid-July, will be an immense privilege for Woodward and Schmid, who are already so familiar with the ancient Near East. As the two students travel, they will take with them all the passions and skills gained during their time at Multnomah.

“I’m honestly humbled by this,” says Woodward. “I think the Hebrew program really supports their students well and creates amazing opportunities.”

Redesigned programs offer greater flexibility to seminary students

No Comments » Written on March 23rd, 2017 by
Categories: Press Releases, Seminary, Students

Alex and Alex Seminary-.tif (1)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Multnomah University is redesigning its seminary degrees to help students balance the academic demands of the programs with the responsibilities of everyday life. The changes, which involve reducing the number of required credits to earn MA and MDiv degrees, will take effect in fall 2017.

“We recognize that getting through seminary can be a balancing act,” said Derek Chinn, dean of Multnomah Biblical Seminary. “Students have a variety of priorities that can include a spouse, children, work, church responsibilities and social life. The reduction in credits and courses required for a seminary degree helps our students graduate sooner while reducing their financial liabilities.”

The core components of the MDiv and MA programs have been retained with slight reductions in credit hours and coursework. For the MDiv, the elective pool also has increased to 13 credits, allowing students to focus on their specific degree tracks and strengthen their studies based on their calling.

“The quality of the program has not been lessened in any way,” Chinn said. “All of the core elements have been retained. In addition, the redesign puts a greater emphasis on degree personalization and faculty mentorship so students can craft the MDiv to match their intended life goals.”

Chinn noted that some students have struggled to complete the three- and two-year programs on time. The redesigned programs respond to that reality and allow students to get into full-time ministry sooner.

“We view ourselves as partners in their education,” Chinn said. “By giving students a little more margin in terms of time and money, we’re hoping this will help them manage the obligations they have toward others, work and church.”

###

About Multnomah University

Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with a teaching site in Reno, Nevada. Composed of a college, seminary, graduate school, degree completion program and online 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.

Hebrew, Th.M. student accepted to Ph.D. program at Wheaton

No Comments » Written on March 6th, 2017 by
Categories: Faculty, Press Releases, Programs, Seminary, Students, Theology

Daniel

Master of Theology and Hebrew student Daniel Somboonsiri has been accepted to the Ph.D. in Biblical & Theological Studies program under Dr. Daniel Carroll Rodas at Wheaton College. Congratulations, Daniel!

What does this opportunity mean to you?

I'm really still in shock over having been chosen. I knew a few years ago that Dr. Carroll Rodas was the mentor who could best equip me for the research I want to do. I started reading his books, and the books he had read. We started emailing back and forth so that I could do whatever it took to be mentored by him.

After years of preparation, I was the one person chosen this year to work with Dr. Carroll Rodas. While I still do not know how God will provide for my family during my Ph.D. studies, I am overjoyed to have been selected. I had a rough childhood. To be where I am today is the miraculous grace of God, for which I am gratefully undeserving.

How has MU’s Hebrew program helped get you to where you are now?

Multnomah has one of the best Hebrew programs in the world. Though it is a smaller university, our Hebrew program is highly esteemed by those in academia who know of it. During the interview process, I was never asked to prove my capability with Hebrew. It seemed as though my Ph.D. supervisor was well aware of the language training I had received. Beyond the nuts and bolts of knowing the biblical languages, I was given the opportunity through Multnomah to co-author three papers on three unpublished Dead Sea Scrolls. While there was a lot of "on the job" learning for these projects and help from my academic mentors, those projects are now listed on my CV and likely helped me get noticed in the highly competitive Ph.D. application process.

My Ph.D. research will also lean heavily on what I have learned through The Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins. My research will integrate cultural studies and the Hebrew Prophets. Dr. Paul Metzger has been instrumental in training me to be an astute student of cultural issues and their relevance to biblical studies. Through my work with New Wine, I was given the opportunity to serve as editor on "Prophetic Lament" by Soong-Chan Rah, which also contributed to my development and application for Ph.D. studies. During the Ph.D. interview process, I was asked about my involvement with New Wine on issues such as interfaith dialogue and advocacy for the poor. In all, it is the overall development process, both academic and spiritual, which has prepared me to move on to study and teach at the highest level.

What are the highlights of MU’s Hebrew program?

We, the MU Hebrew family, do life together. We bond through learning the Hebrew Scriptures. We learn and pray together. This probably wouldn't happen at a larger university. The classroom size allows Dr. Becky Josberger and Dr. Karl Kutz to really invest in our lives and foster community.

Dr. Kutz, with the help of Dr. Josberger, has put together a method for teaching biblical Hebrew that is unlike anything else. They teach Hebrew in a way that brings the language to life and allows it to stick without memorizing hundreds of rules and charts.

What are you hoping to do with your Ph.D.?

My emphasis will be on social ethics in the Hebrew Prophets. My research proposal is to look at Micah through the lens of the social sciences and literary analysis to show how Micah can in part be recognized as social theory. In Micah, God condemns an wicked society that fosters poverty and oppression of all sorts. In contrast, Micah envisions a future world ruled by God in which nations live together in community without war and oppression.

While my Ph.D. work will focus on the book of Micah in its ancient context, my life's goal is to research, teach, and write on how the biblical prophets can serve to shape the life of the Church and the Church's engagement of culture in ever changing contexts.

Want to read more student stories? Check out our student stories page!

Hebrew professor and students to present Dead Sea Scrolls fragments and findings on Oct. 10

Comments Off on Hebrew professor and students to present Dead Sea Scrolls fragments and findings on Oct. 10 Written on September 29th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, General, Seminary, Students

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 »

Dr. Derek Chinn selected as interim dean of Multnomah Biblical Seminary

Comments Off on Dr. Derek Chinn selected as interim dean of Multnomah Biblical Seminary Written on July 18th, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Seminary

Derek-Chin

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 scummings@multnomah.edu

Doctor of Ministry program strengthens Chris Haughee’s child welfare chaplaincy

Comments Off on Doctor of Ministry program strengthens Chris Haughee’s child welfare chaplaincy Written on June 22nd, 2016 by
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.

Chris_mainHe 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.

Conference teaches church leaders how to respect, engage with science

Comments Off on Conference teaches church leaders how to respect, engage with science Written on April 28th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Programs, Seminary, Students

CnSnwnws01

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.

CnSnwnws02

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.

Seminary announces fully online Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Leadership degrees

Comments Off on Seminary announces fully online Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Leadership degrees Written on February 26th, 2016 by
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.

OnlineEd_blog

*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

Comments Off on “I learn something from everyone”: College professor says Doctor of Ministry program enhances her teaching Written on February 9th, 2016 by
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.”

Jody

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.”