Students

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.

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 ‘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.”

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 ‘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.

MU initiates Encouragement Week, supports students during midterms

Comments Off on MU initiates Encouragement Week, supports students during midterms Written on March 11th, 2016 by
Categories: Events, Students

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Midsemester often finds students buried in flashcards, wading through pages of reading and  furiously typing out last-minute papers. It’s the perfect time for some encouragement from MU staff and faculty.

Associate Dean of Students Rich Ward was inspired to coordinate a new event — Encouragement Week — because he wanted each student to feel supported and loved during one of the most stressful times of the semester. “When people know that they matter, they feel that they belong,” he says.

If you walk down the hall of the JCA Student Center, you’ll notice posters with inspirational messages littering the walls. If you take a peek into the business office,  you’ll be treated to a table of donuts and handwritten Bible verses. Just around the corner at the registrar’s desk, a bowlful of green apple lollipops is flanked by signs that say, “You rock”.

“It’s a great way for staff to connect with students,” says Chris Thiessen, who works in Advancement. “We don’t have that opportunity as often as the faculty do.”

Ward planned surprises for each day of the week: bracelets on Monday, designated prayer for students on Tuesday, intentional time during lunch on Wednesday, gift packages and notes from alumni on Thursday, and fist bumps on Friday. “I wanted to incorporate all five love languages throughout the week,” he says.

Bible and theology major Jennifer Kildal is one of the many students who appreciates the thoughtfulness. “It’s cool to be at a school where they actually appreciate their students,” she says.

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.

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*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.

Multnomah community celebrates 80th birthday

1 Comment » Written on February 22nd, 2016 by
Categories: 80th Anniversary, Alumni, Newsletter, Students

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On February 12, graduates from almost every year of MU’s history met in the JCA Student Center. As they shared in a banquet celebration, the room was rich with stories, and the air was steeped in nostalgia.

“Being at Multnomah was one of the best experiences I’ve had,” said Alex Paterno ’11.

Bonny Lloyd ’59 agreed. “For me, Multnomah was life-changing,” she said. “I’m still teaching the Bible to young women. It’s been my life.”

University President Dr. Craig Williford addressed the importance of upholding Dr. Mitchell’s vision of loving the Savior as Multnomah continues to expand its program options. “More than ever before, the world needs MU graduates who know the Bible,” he said.

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Distinguished Professor Emeritus David Needham reminded everyone to reflect on the Lord’s steadfast love over the years. “We’re here to affirm the faithfulness of God,” he said. “The God who is faithful is the God who will always love us.”

As MU moves forward in a flurry of new programs and initiatives, a time to pause and reflect on our past is a welcome oasis. “The school has come a long way,” said Mildred Dunham ’44. “My time at Multnomah was a lot of fun and a great learning experience.”

A lot may have changed, but 80 years later, one thing remains the same: Multnomah is serious about providing a life-changing education deeply rooted in God’s Word.

Campus happenings

Comments Off on Campus happenings Written on February 22nd, 2016 by
Categories: Athletics, Events, Newsletter, Students

MU ranked No. 2 on list of safest colleges, universities in Oregon

The 2016 Safest College Campuses national rankings, published by niche.com, are based on key statistics and student reviews.
Top-ranked colleges offer a safe and healthy environment with little or no campus crime, drugs and alcohol usage. “We watch out for each other and take care of each other,” said Director of Campus Safety Josh Harper. “This is a large part of making our campus safe to live, work and learn in.”

MU celebrates 10 years of providing free English classes to local immigrant communities

For 10 years, MU’s TESOL program has been offering free weekly ESL classes to its diverse neighbors. “ESL meets a practical need in our community,” says TESOL Director Kristyn Kidney. “It brings the world together through dialogue and friendship.”

Lions team up with Tim Tebow Foundation, local church for Night to Shine

The women’s basketball team joined with the Tim Tebow Foundation and Central Bible Church to present Night to Shine, a prom
for people with special needs. More than 100 churches around the world were chosen to host Night to Shine events on Friday, February 12, 2016.

Roger’s Café celebrates five years of coffee and community

Five years ago, students voted to name MU’s new coffee shop after Roger, a beloved community figure who has been cleaning tables, arranging napkins and befriending students as a faithful volunteer for more than 35 years. The café has been a irreplaceable fixture on campus ever since.

Students collect food for Giving Tuesday, donate proceeds to Oregon Food Bank

Through the month of November, students, faculty and staff added non-perishable foods to large white barrels stationed around campus. The food drive culminated in a celebratory chapel on Giving Tuesday (December 2), a globally celebrated day dedicated to giving back. The full barrels were then given to the Oregon Food Bank.

‘A holy place’: 58 years later, MU’s prayer chapel remains a sacred haven on campus

Comments Off on ‘A holy place’: 58 years later, MU’s prayer chapel remains a sacred haven on campus Written on February 12th, 2016 by
Categories: Alumni, Students

A little white prayer chapel sits in the center of Multnomah’s campus. It’s hemmed in by hydrangea puffs and leafy foliage, and its cross-topped steeple pokes above the birch and cherry trees that cast their shade against its whitewashed walls. Inside, the sunlight filters through pale magenta windowpanes onto rows of oaken pews. It smells slightly aged — like a room matured by many visitors.

The altar is the centerpiece. There is a simple wooden cross and mahogany Wurlitzer piano with a worn-out bench and open hymnbook. Above it is a stained glass image of the cross overshadowing the globe.

Those who seek the Lord have found him in the sacred silence of this hiding place.

The Center of Campus

Since its construction in 1957, the little building has been a quiet refuge, a safe hideaway, a quaint aesthetic addition, and an invitation to enter into a different sort of lifestyle.

“The chapel was built to provide a place on campus for students to get away and talk to the Lord,” says Distinguished Professor Emeritus David Needham.

“Prayer at MU is taken seriously,” says Vice President of Advancement Steve Cummings. “Everything we do is bathed in prayer because we know that we don’t move forward unless the Lord leads us.”

Alumna Emi Koe remembers the reason for the chapel’s central location: “The slogan when we were students was that the prayer chapel was the center of campus as prayer should be the center of our lives,” she says.

“It is a true and meaningful symbol to have the prayer chapel with its clean, white lines and its steeple pointing toward God in the center of campus,” adds alumna Gail Lundquist. “May it truly be Multnomah’s desire to have prayer as the foundation for everything.”

‘A Different Kind of Quiet’

But the chapel isn’t only a symbol, of course.

At the beginning of her sojourn at Multnomah, Regina Molokomme slipped into the prayer chapel to commit the next few years to the Lord. In response to God’s calling, she had recently moved from South Africa to enroll in seminary.

“I did not know about the journey ahead of me, but I just presented myself to God,” she says. From complete funding for school, to strength for her studies, to a vision for the future, Molokomme has consistently received God’s provision.“My prayers have been answered in that place,” she says.

While it serves as a site of initial dedication, the prayer chapel is also a space for continued communion with God. “When I am there, I am affirmed that he is with me,” says youth ministry major Josh Smith.

“It’s a holy place set apart from the stress of academia,” says English major Rebekah Nayduik. “There’s a peace when you walk in.”

English major Sierra McKinney agrees. “It’s a different kind of quiet. I walked in and felt this calmness.”

Memorable Moments

Throughout the process of schooling at MU, biblical studies major Curtis Bell spent intentional time in the silence provided by the prayer chapel. “I remember my best friend Cory and I praying in there daily,” he says. “We broke down and prayed for our families. We were even on the floor weeping. Those were precious moments with my best friend and the Lord.”

Alumnus Larry Day remembers similar moments within. “I would go there for quiet time when I was confused about what God wanted,” he says. “It’s a significant place to me.”

A few years ago, Day and his wife decided to refurbish the prayer chapel at their own expense. They replaced the pews, adjusted the altar area, and added a soft new carpet so that people could spend time on their knees. “There is something that happens to our soul when we kneel before God,” Day says.

Master of Arts in Counseling student Zach Jones noticed that the intimacy of the prayer chapel was also perfect for a different kind of kneeling. With the romantic addition of decorative lights and music, he proposed to his wife Sarah inside of it.

“The chapel will always be special to us,” Sarah says. “It reminds us that God was in our lives long before each other; he’s the one that brought us together.”

The Legacy Continues

After the graduation gown has been donned, and the diploma presented, and the path away from Multnomah has been blazed, the prayer chapel still stands as a monument; it’s a place for returning and reflecting.

Alumnus Scott Burns remembers God’s faithfulness whenever he visits. Although it’s a long way from his home in England, he continues to stop in from time to time.

“I’ve spent numerous hours with God in that tiny little building,” he says. “It resulted in me walking forward with a greater awareness of my need for Jesus and knowing how desperately I need His power to be at work in and through me.”

As the years roll on and the steady stream of quiet visitors filters in and out, the prayer chapel remains the birthplace of vision, the assurance of God’s presence, the place where prayers are answered, and a reminder of what he has done in each life that passes through.

“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.”

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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.”

‘The fruit of the Spirit in the classroom’: MAT student Sarah Murrell infuses teaching with faith

Comments Off on ‘The fruit of the Spirit in the classroom’: MAT student Sarah Murrell infuses teaching with faith 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.”

A heart for Hawaii: M.Div. student Kunāne Hillen connects theology to his native culture

Comments Off on A heart for Hawaii: M.Div. student Kunāne Hillen connects theology to his native culture Written on January 25th, 2016 by
Categories: Seminary, Students, Theology

Kunane_H_2v02For 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.”

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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.

Lions team up with Tim Tebow Foundation, local church for Night to Shine

Comments Off on Lions team up with Tim Tebow Foundation, local church for Night to Shine Written on January 6th, 2016 by
Categories: Athletics, Events, Students

The MU women’s basketball team is used to collaborating on the court. But since their recent partnership with Central Bible Church and the Tim Tebow Foundation, the Lions are unifying to present Night to Shine, an unforgettable prom experience for people with special needs.

More than 100 churches around the world were chosen to simultaneously host Night to Shine events Friday, February 12, 2016. Central Bible was one of three churches in Oregon selected for the honor.

“This is so exciting because it’s such a unique chance to serve our community,” says Tim Bieri, who coaches women’s basketball at MU. “We’re honored to be part of shining Christ’s light in this way.”

As sponsor of Night to Shine, the Tim Tebow Foundation will provide each host church with an instruction manual, financial support, individualized staff guidance, and a prom kit complete with decorations and gifts for attendees.

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On the big night, guests will enter the church on a red carpet while friendly paparazzi snap photos. Inside, volunteers will provide VIP treatment: hair, makeup and corsages for the girls, and shoe shining and boutonnieres for the boys. Karaoke and dancing will round out the evening. During the crowning ceremony, every attendee will be declared prom king or prom queen.

But something more than the glittery tiaras, shimmery dresses and spiffy shoes will shine on that night. God’s love will be gleaming, reflected by the many volunteers who have poured their hearts into this special event.

During Night to Shine 2015, 44 host churches and 15,000 volunteers worked together to honor more than 7,000 people with special needs. This year, host churches worldwide are expected to serve more than 20,000 prom kings and queens. At Central Bible Church, a minimum of 100 volunteers will work with more than 75 guests.

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A production of this size will require some dedicated workers. Fortunately, the basketball team is no stranger to commitment. The Lions are wholly responsible for planning and organizing the event, which includes coordinating vendors, sending invitations and reminders, managing volunteers and donations, and setting up and tearing down decorations.

Even though their lives are brimming with basketball, school and jobs, the women are enthusiastic to tackle this new mission. “It’s a challenge for us as a team,” says sophomore Michaela Weller. “But it’s pushing us out of our comfort zone, and that’s important. It’s a blessing to be a part of God’s work in this.”

Valerie Wakefield agrees. “It’s a great opportunity to work with Central Bible and other churches in the area,” says the sophomore. “One of my favorite things is seeing so many people come together as the body of Christ.”

The Lions didn’t make it to the playoffs this year, so they’ve deemed Night to Shine their championship game. For Nicole Verrett, the prom is a more impactful opportunity in comparison. “It’s something that will last,” says the senior. “I think (the guests) will know that people care about them and want to serve them.”

If you want to volunteer for Night to Shine, contact Tim Bieri at 503.251.6463 or tbieri@multnomah.edu.