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Campus Happenings, Fall 2016

Comments Off on Campus Happenings, Fall 2016 Written on September 2nd, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Newsletter, Pray For MU, Programs, Students

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

Dr. Derek Chinn, who directs the seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program, assumed his new role on August 1. “I’m going to work closely with my colleagues to pursue what God is calling Multnomah to be in our rapidly changing society,” he says. Chinn takes over for Dr. Roy Andrews, who served as seminary dean for the past three years.

MU community raises support for family of Khen Tua Tang

Khen Tua Tuang was getting ready to start his second year of the Global Development and Justice program when he was tragically killed in a car accident on July 28. He left behind his wife Huai and their young daughter ZemZem, who will need tremendous financial help in the months ahead. You can support them by contributing to the Khen Tua Tuang Family Fund here.

Multnomah announces arrival of new student center

MU is excited to introduce The Den, a student gathering space opening in January 2017. The industrial-style lounge will serve as a living room for commuter students on weekdays. During evenings and weekends, it will be a go-to spot for general student events. The Den concept was born thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor and the creativity of various university employees and student leaders.

Business students volunteer in Italy

MU’s business program has forged an on-going partnership with Kingdom Ministries, a local nonprofit that equips ministries in Italy by connecting them to volunteers who can serve in their camps, English classes and city festivals. Five business majors interned in finance, marketing and project management roles to promote, arrange and fund this year’s summer camps. “They’re getting experience they won’t get anywhere else,” says Kingdom Ministries co-founder Andrew Stone. The interns’ work culminated in a trip to Italy in June.

Athletics Department adds indoor track and field

The Athletics Department is happy to announce the addition of indoor track and field to its sports lineup, which also includes outdoor track and field, basketball, cross country, golf, volleyball and soccer. Stay connected to our sports teams by visiting gomulions.com.

Watching God shape the lives of students: Person to Person, Fall 2016

Comments Off on Watching God shape the lives of students: Person to Person, Fall 2016 Written on September 2nd, 2016 by
Categories: Alumni, Events, Newsletter, Pray For MU, Students
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Michelle Underwood is Director of Alumni Relations at Multnomah University.

As alumni director, I not only have the joy of keeping MU alumni connected to the university, but I also have the honor of witnessing the work God does in the lives of our current students.

This past year, I had the privilege of mentoring one of our incoming students, music major Abigail Green. I remember meeting Abi on her first day of school at New Student Orientation. One year ago, almost to the day, she arrived on campus with her mom and dad.

She was a little shy and reserved at first, but it was no time at all before she had jumped into campus ministry. She took advantage of worship opportunities, and she networked within the community so she could teach music lessons to children.

Every other week, Abi and I met together on Friday afternoons. I felt so honored to be an eye witness to the transformation taking place within her life. Through joys and sorrows, I listened as God shaped her right before my eyes. Abi recently applied to TEAM, a global missions agency, and she hopes to serve as a worship leader in Guatemala next year.

This week we welcomed another 160 undergraduate students into the Multnomah family. As they begin their journeys, with stories yet to be written, will you join me in praying for them? I can’t wait to see what God has in store.

Focus on the Provider. Not the problem.

Comments Off on Focus on the Provider. Not the problem. Written on September 1st, 2016 by
Categories: Alumni, Pray For MU, Students

Dear Multnomah Family Member,

You’re probably familiar with a certain miracle God did through Elijah in 1 Kings. But maybe, like me, it’s been a while since you’ve thought about the connection this story has to your life.

One day, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food” (1 Kings 17:8-9).

Zarephath was full of wicked idolaters and worshippers of Baal. The vile King Ahab was sovereign in the land. Furthermore, King Ahab was searching for Elijah so he could kill him.

OliveOil_vertical_blogFor Elijah, God’s command was a real test of faith, and the prophet needed to learn this lesson quickly: To follow the Lord by faith is to do so without succumbing to the fear of the cost.

Elijah journeyed 100 miles to Zarephath, where he found a widow at the city gate. He asked her to bring him a little water and a piece of bread. Her response was heart-breaking: “As surely as the LORD your God lives, I don’t have any bread – only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, so that we may eat it — and die” (1 Kings 17:12).

But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a loaf of bread for me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land’” (1 Kings 17:13-14).

The widow did as Elijah said, and the miracle took place: The flour and oil didn’t run out!

How often do we focus on the problem, rather than the Provider? This narrative is a great reminder to ask myself: Have I prayed about it as much as I’ve worried about it?

The beauty of this story is the faith required of both people involved. God told Elijah that a widow would be taking care of him. This was a fearful predicament, as widows were the first to die off in times of famine or drought. The situation was not unlike relying on a homeless person to provide for you.

The widow also faced a terrifying reality: God had commanded her to give away everything she had left to a perfect stranger — a fugitive. At face value, it seems like a cold-hearted request. But when asked to deny her basic instinct of self-preservation, she responded in faith — and her faith was rewarded with bounty.

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This is the place our Father desires us to be. He longs for us to trust Him fully and walk by faith despite circumstances. Where are we today? Are we in a place of full surrender where we can truly give everything when we hear Him call?

Beloved, Multnomah is indeed hitting the marks. We finished the 2016 fiscal year well thanks to the faith and generosity of our supporters. Student enrollment is up. We’re launching a biology degree this fall. And for the last 12 years, Multnomah’s students have consistently scored significantly higher in reading comprehension and critical thinking than national averages of other universities.

At the same time, we hear the groans of our society call out for the return of Christ, whether they know it or not. As we witness U.S. shootings, terrorist killings across the globe, and the false promise of politicians as saviors, we know without a doubt: People still desperately need our Savior and King Jesus. Multnomah is responding by raising up Spirit-led men and women who fight injustice, cultivate peace and share the radiant message of Christ in a world filled with violence and turmoil. That’s why your generous gifts to Multnomah are needed now more than ever. Every gift, no matter how small, makes a difference. We invite you to participate however you can.

Secondly, we ask you to pray fervently every day. Can we stand together and pray as Multnomah trains men and women who will impact the world for Jesus? Pray for God to grow our faith so our offerings to Him will be multiplied for all eternity. Pray for us all to have faith like Elijah and the widow. Let us come together and put our full trust in God.

Growing in faith,

Craig

Dr. G. Craig Williford
President
Multnomah University

give now

MA TESOL students run Bible camp in Japan

Comments Off on MA TESOL students run Bible camp in Japan Written on August 31st, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Missions, Programs, Students

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This month, a team of MA TESOL students and professors led an English Bible camp for college, high school, junior high and elementary students in Kobe, Japan. In addition to preparing English lessons for each day of camp, the group also planned games, rallies, campfires, worship services and special activities. Team members spent a week before the 12-day trip studying Japanese culture and taking a collaborative approach to camp planning.

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The team worked with Pastor Akinori Taniguchi of Youth Harvest Church, which offers English Bible Club classes throughout the week. For Taniguchi, TESOL is a way to engage his community, build relationships and share the gospel. “Churches in Japan are small, and the work can be discouraging,” says MA TESOL Director Kristyn Kidney. “Our collaboration with this local church allowed us to support, encourage and pray over their workers.”

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It also allowed them to richly bless their Japanese students. “They had a lot of fun, and they learned a lot of English,” says Kidney. “We saw first-time professions of faith. We saw campers memorizing scripture together and discussing the meaning of the verses. We even saw some attend church for the very first time.”

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But the campers weren’t the only ones who were impacted. “It was amazing to see how God spoke to our team members through this experience,” says Kidney. “Some discovered new confidence in their teaching as they relied on God and found him faithful. Others felt a new tug on their heart to connect their TESOL training to overseas missions.”

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The theme for this year’s camp was Great Discoveries. “Both campers and our team discovered a great deal about language, friendship, and love of God,” says Kidney. “We delighted in getting to know them, teaching them English and seeing God work in their hearts.”

Youth Harvest Church has invited the team to return next year.

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Watch the New Student Welcome video

Comments Off on Watch the New Student Welcome video Written on August 29th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Students

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New Student Orientation was last week, and the Multnomah community was thrilled to welcome a new batch of undergraduate students to campus. The weekend festivities included a Tonight Show, a commissioning service with the university president and a Portland-themed Instagram hunt. Check out our orientation video here:

A tribute to Khen Tuang (Tua Tuang) from Dr. Greg Burch

1 Comment » Written on August 1st, 2016 by
Categories: Faculty, Media, Students
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Khen with his wife Huai and daughter ZemZem.

Last week the Multnomah community lost a friend and fellow servant. Khen Tuang was killed in an automobile accident on Thursday, July 28, along with his friend Peter. Khen’s wife and daughter were also in the car accident and survived. Peter, a refugee from Myanmar, tragically lost his wife in a Thai refugee camp in 2008 — the couple’s three children are now orphaned.

Khen was part of the Global Development and Justice (MAGDJ) program at Multnomah University and was loved by his peers in cohort 3. He was from the Zomi ethnic group (generally known as hills people/tribe throughout Northwestern Myanmar) in the Chin state of Myanmar (Burma). Khen graduated from Bible College in Myanmar and was active in his local church. He had a passion to see peoples’ lives transformed through faith in Christ and community development work.

Khen was all in. He was fully committed to returning to Myanmar in order to serve those who suffered in his community. Khen was passionate about seeing everyone reach their full potential as people who have been made in the image of God.

This past year, while researching child poverty in Myanmar, he wrote, “The Bible commends us to take care of the oppressed, vulnerable and the poor. We, as a church, need to help eradicate, holistically, from a biblical perspective, child poverty, while we nurture and feed those who are hungry and provide shelter to the homeless.” Khen’s research and the topics he covered were often focused on those who were marginalized, such as refugees living in Portland and children living in poverty.

Khen also had a keen eye for research even in a language that was not native to him. This past semester here at MU in Applied Field Research, Khen flourished as he learned and applied common development research tools to help the Zomi refugee community succeed in transitioning to life in America. Working with a local Zomi congregation (along with pastor Muana Khuptong, a Multnomah Biblical Seminary alumnus), Khen formed a research group with a Guatemalan student and a South Sudanese student. Together they rose to the task of adapting these complex research tools to help identify resources and needs that are common to refugees moving to the Portland area. Over a 15-week period of time, they met with several refugees and developed a plan to provide additional support to this community.

Khen also loved his family. Even before he arrived in Portland, Khen told me that his family would not be able to join him during his first year of studies. As we discussed this, he communicated that it was going to be difficult for him, but that he would work out a plan so his wife and daughter could join him after the first year. And he did just that. Just a week before the accident that took his life, Khen —grinning — walked into my office with his wife Huai and daughter ZemZem. We talked about their plans as a family, and he asked me to pray for them, as he often did. As we were standing there, Khen removed his sandals and knelt down on the carpet with his wife and 2-year-old daughter following. I knelt with them and prayed a prayer of blessing over their sweet family. As they left my office, Khen, like he often did, thanked me profusely for the prayer. He was always so grateful.

Khen’s peers have taken it upon themselves to raise funds in order to help Huai and ZemZem as they face some difficult challenges ahead. Visit their GoFundMe site for an opportunity to support them during this painful time.

We are grateful to have known you, Khen. The world is different because of you.

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Khen (far right) with his pastor and friend in front of MU.

‘It’s intimate learning’: Johanna Ohmes shares passion for history program

Comments Off on ‘It’s intimate learning’: Johanna Ohmes shares passion for history program Written on June 30th, 2016 by
Categories: Programs, Students

Johanna Ohmes is fascinated by stories. She loves seeing the way they connect, intertwine and build upon each other in the present and the past. That’s why she was drawn to Multnomah’s history program.

Ohmes chose Multnomah after attending community college for a year. “I desired a common worldview where I could be comfortable expressing my beliefs and building on what I already had,” she says. “I love the small class environment, engaging with professors and not being lost in a sea of people. It’s intimate learning.”

Hanna2Diving into historical studies has made Ohmes think like never before. “History works with my brain,” she says. “I get to see the process behind social change and enter into different worlds. It’s creative, relevant, gives my mind something to chew on, and it creates empathy.”

While she’s been at Multnomah, Ohmes has maximized her time in the study of the past and present. She toured the nooks and crannies of London with her history professor and fellow students, she worked at a museum in Germany over the summer, and she is fully engaged in class discussions. “I lose track of time because of how good my classes are,” she says.

Studying history constantly points her to God’s design for humanity. “I love seeing God’s fingerprints on the human story,” she says. “I can see where he has worked.”

Ohmes can also see God’s fingerprints on the people around her at Multnomah. “I’ve found it fascinating to see so many people and stories,” she says. “There is both diversity and unity. This has enhanced my view of diversity among Christians.”

But the history program hasn’t come without paradigm shifts. “It’s both affirmed and challenged my thinking,” Ohmes says. “We talk about challenging issues. I’m forced to wrestle with my faith. It’s given me a stronger framework and filled in the gaps where I didn’t understand.”

Ohmes is excited to find out how her story will fit into the big picture. “Studying history is very general,” she says. “It helps train the way I think about processes and context. It will turn into an occupation, but I don’t know what yet.” Whatever it is, she’ll be ready to integrate it into her story.

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.

Seeing the bigger picture: How MU is making a difference

Comments Off on Seeing the bigger picture: How MU is making a difference Written on May 31st, 2016 by
Categories: Newsletter, Pray For MU, Students

Recently I was flying home from the East Coast. As I looked down, I thought about how much perspective changes everything. The view from 30,000 feet is radically different than the one on ground level. Life moves fast, and often times we don’t see the bigger picture.

From God’s vantage point, the seemingly small activities on earth come into focus as part of a much larger picture. At Multnomah, we do lots of educational and biblical activities daily. Sometimes we wonder what the big picture looks like. Are we making a difference? A recent story illustrates that we are!

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The Patersons

Nineteen years ago, a divorce ripped through the Paterson family. Seven siblings were scattered to pursue separate lives. But God had plans to reconstruct what was broken, and Multnomah would play an important role.

Monica was introduced to MU by a brother who lives in Oregon. When she visited campus, she immediately felt at home. “I was sold when my tour guide told me professors pray with their students,” she said. But Monica had three conditions for attending: her sister had to attend, all expenses had to be paid, and she had to be able to live with her sister at some point.

Dirks_Chapel_In_Spring-alt01Monica’s sister (who will be kept anonymous due to her field of work) was a missionary in Budapest. She was convinced she would never return to America. But God had different plans. One day He asked her: Will you go to America? Her immediate answer was, “No!” But gradually her heart softened. “Finally, I realized God is sovereign, faithful and knows best,” she said. So, with encouragement from her brother in Oregon, she applied to MU.

In the meantime, another brother, Jonathan, was in Missouri contemplating seminary. When he heard his sisters were headed to Multnomah, and that scholarships had helped make it affordable, he enrolled at Multnomah Biblical Seminary. “Soon my wife and I had jobs and a place to live,” he said. “My chances even looked
good to graduate debt-free.”

The family members settled into their studies and began to invest in one another. “God sent me to the best college for teaching me how to love,” Monica said. “The focus of this school is relationships.” She even plans to room with her sister in the near future, which fulfills her last requirement. It’s a testimony of God’s hand in even the smallest details.

Jonathan used to only see his sisters annually, but now he interacts with them daily, even if it’s just exchanging a hug in the hallway. “I’m getting to know them again,” he said. Next year, a fourth Paterson will join his siblings in Oregon. The scattered pieces are being gathered at last.

This is the big picture. Multnomah was a place of healing for this family because of God’s work through the faculty, staff, alumni and friends who support MU with their prayers, service and giving.

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A few weeks ago, we celebrated 115 godly men and women who walked across the stage during graduation. Whether these graduates work for churches, nonprofits, local schools or corporate America, be encouraged that they know the Scriptures well and have high ambitions to transform the world for Jesus Christ! They were truly blessed by those who gave generously to Multnomah, and we challenged them to give back by supporting the students who come after them.

I want to urge you, like Paul urged the Corinthians, to participate in a collection for Multnomah students like our graduates and the Patersons. When Paul wanted churches across the ancient Mediterranean world to assist the needy in Jerusalem, he wrote these words in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2:

“Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”

This is the message I’m sending our alumni and friends today. Every dollar we receive by June 30, 2016, will be matched thanks to God’s provision through a generous giver. We still need $211,445 to meet our scholarship goal. Would you ask God what part you might play in a student’s life by submitting a gift? Together we’re a part of God’s big picture!

Gratefully,

G. Craig Williford

President, Multnomah University

give now

Previously separated, three siblings reconnect at MU

Comments Off on Previously separated, three siblings reconnect at MU Written on May 23rd, 2016 by
Categories: Students
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The Paterson siblings.

Nineteen years ago, a divorce ripped through the Paterson family. Seven siblings were scattered to pursue separate lives. But God had plans to reconstruct what was broken, and Multnomah would play an important role.

When Monica first visited campus, she immediately felt at home. “I was sold when my tour guide told me professors pray with their students,” she said. But Monica had three conditions for attending: Her sister had to attend, all expenses had to be paid, and she had to be able to live with her sister at some point.

At the time, Monica’s sister (who will be kept anonymous due to her field of work) was a missionary in Budapest. She was convinced she’d never return to the United States. But one day God asked her: Will you go to America? At first she said no, but her heart gradually softened. “I finally realized God is sovereign, faithful and knows best,” she said. Then she applied to MU.

Meanwhile, their brother, Jonathan, was living in Missouri. When he heard his sisters were headed to Multnomah — and that scholarships had helped make it affordable — he enrolled at Multnomah Biblical Seminary. “Soon my wife and I had jobs and a place to live,” he said. “My chances even looked good to graduate debt-free.”

The family members settled into their studies and began to invest in one another. “God sent me to the best college for teaching me how to love,” Monica said. “The focus of this school is relationships.” She even plans to room with her sister in the near future, which would fulfill her last requirement.

Jonathan used to only see his sisters annually, but now he interacts with them daily, even if it’s just exchanging a hug in the hallway. “I’m getting to know them again,” he said.

Next year, a fourth Paterson will join his siblings in Oregon. The scattered pieces are being gathered at last.