Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Rob Hildebrand’

Spring Thaw energizes, educates 650 students

Whimsical obstacle courses, lanky wooden structures and exotic Egyptian relics peppered campus. Youth Ministry Chair Dr. Rob Hildebrand and his youth ministry majors had spent months building props, planning games and booking entertainment. Now they waited. Anticipation hung in the air.

Buses and vans packed with youth groups slowly rolled into parking lots. Hildebrand watched as 650 high school students began pouring into campus. Then he began to cry.

“It was beautiful to see their energy and excitement over the work we put into it,” he says. “This event says to them, ‘You’re important to us, you’re important to the church, and we love you.’”

‘A catalyst for community’

Spring Thaw 15 Blog 1For Hildebrand, every piece of Spring Thaw is significant. The wild games, the powerful speakers, the silly comedy sketches and the rich theology seminars each play a distinct role in developing students during the three-day retreat.

“Some people think they should be in classes all day, but you can’t expect them to be able to sit down for 20 hours and listen,” says Hildebrand. “The truth is that we learn from watching people and interacting with them. Activities break down barriers between kids and their leaders. It’s a catalyst for community.”

Hunter Johnson, a junior from Mountainview Church, agrees. “I’ve been bonding with my youth mentor this weekend,” he says.

STcamel_featureimageStudents were treated to a variety of activities during the weekend, including bacon bonfires, real-life Mario Kart, a petting zoo, limo rides and a color war. April Fancher-McKinzie, a sophomore from Central Bible Church, loved meeting Curly, a towering camel who visited campus Saturday afternoon.

“Spring Thaw brings youth groups closer to each other, and we get to meet new people,” she says.

‘We’re learning from the best’

But Hildebrand doesn’t stop with games and entertainment. Spring Thaw hosts a main speaker who teaches four sessions during the event. There are also four theology seminars led by Multnomah professors.

STtheology_featureimage“The theology seminars are something I love about this retreat,” says Hildebrand. “Sometimes youth ministry can be shallow. But kids are deeper than you realize; they grapple with tough issues. This is a way they can hear from thinkers who have spent many years studying the deep issues of life.”

Fancher-McKinzie attended Stump the Prof, a seminar where Dr. Brad Harper answered students’ theology questions, which included:

  • How do you know if God speaks to you?
  • Is war ever OK?
  • Does God love something because it’s right or is it right because he loves it?
  • Can you be gay and be a Christian?
  • How does free will work when God is in control of everything?

“It addressed a lot of questions that come up in everyday life,” says Fancher-McKinzie.

Austin Thompson, a senior from Gladstone First Baptist Church, feels the same way. “The seminar was very beneficial to me,” he says. “It helped me understand the Bible more clearly.”

He was also impressed by the professors’ knowledge. “I feel like we’re learning from the best,” he says. “They are people to look up to.”

Supporting the work of the kingdom

Spring Thaw 15 Blog 2It’s Thompson’s second year at Spring Thaw, and he’s soaking in all the information he can. “I’ve only been a Christian for two years, so everything I take in is new to me,” he says. “I’ve become spiritually closer to God and am learning more of his Word.”

Hildebrand says that’s what Spring Thaw is all about. “This event allows us to utilize the assets the Lord has blessed us with to support the work of the kingdom in dozens of our area churches,” he says. “We’ve had people say, ‘Spring Thaw changed my life,’ but really it’s Jesus who changed their life.”

“You guys put a lot of effort into Spring Thaw,” says Thompson. “And it’s not about getting people to attend MU — it’s a chance for people to come together. I think that’s an amazing, selfless thing for a university to do.”

The ultimate youth retreat: Spring Thaw strengthens churches, educates students and develops leaders

What do Indiana Jones, theology seminars, a real camel, MU’s campus and 650 high schools students have in common? That's right: Spring Thaw. The weekend retreat, open to high school youth groups and their leaders, kicks off Friday, March 27 and concludes Sunday, March 29. Every year brings a unique theme, and 2015 is a mixture of ancient Egypt and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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This year MU will host 625 high school students and 103 youth leaders on its campus.

Youth Ministries Department Chair Dr. Rob Hildebrand has been running the event since its debut six years ago. "I do this because I really believe it's important to the kingdom," he says. "Spring Thaw has helped build community in youth groups, strengthened churches and brought kids to Christ. It helps kids experience solid teaching and grapple with deep thoughts in a world that is often shallow."

Six years ago, Andrew Alfeche was one of those kids. He remembers his first time at the retreat like it was yesterday. "I fell in love with Spring Thaw," he says. "It was an  incredible experience."

During that weekend Alfeche stayed in an MU student's dorm room, where he overheard theological discussions that sparked a nagging interest in the Scriptures. "Hearing how passionate that student was about explaining the Gospel made me excited," Alfeche says, "I thought, 'If students here know the Bible that well, I want that too.'"

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Spring Thaw has been hosted on campus for the past five years. Youth groups from all over the Northwest attend the event.

Two years later, Alfeche enrolled at MU. He's been volunteering at Spring Thaw ever since. "I always enjoy it so much," he says. "It's a lot more than a youth retreat. It's giving students a passion to follow Christ."

Volunteers like Alfeche have always made Spring Thaw possible. Several MU students and staff members plan, build and facilitate the retreat each year. A small group of students majoring in Youth Ministry take on larger leadership roles and serve as interns.

"This event gives them a chance to participate in some advanced youth ministry training," says Hildebrand. "They'll finish their weekend knowing they had a significant part in leading one of the larger youth ministry events in this region. It's very good experience for them in terms of skill development and résumé building."

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Students are treated to comedy skits, theology seminars, real-life Mario Kart, a bacon bonfire, bubble soccer and more.

The retreat is hosting a main speaker, Sid Koop, who will speak several times during the weekend. High school students will also attend theology seminars led by MU faculty. Hildebrand believes students learn best when they're in a balanced environment, so he developed plenty of activities, including comedy skits, a bacon bonfire, real-life Mario Kart, bubble soccer, hockey and a color war.

"Spring Thaw is a lot of work," he says. "But I believe it's important to the work God is doing in the Pacific Northwest, and I’m glad to be a part of that."

Registration is full, but visit the Spring Thaw Facebook page for more info about this retreat.

Multnomah University Updates — Summer 2014

Seminary Students Attend Oxford

Seminary students Haley Cloyd and Daniel Somboonsiri have been selected to attend the Logos Conference, a two-week internship in Oxford sponsored by the Green Scholars Initiative (GSI). Only students working on GSI projects were invited to apply for the summer conference, where world-renowned academic experts will teach them history, theology and textual studies.

Cloyd has been working on MU’s GSI Dead Sea Scrolls project since last fall, and Somboonsiri began analyzing the fragment this spring. Biblical Languages Chair Dr. Karl Kutz has been directing the project. “I’m not surprised Haley and Daniel were selected,” he said. “They are both very capable. I’m very proud of them.”

Spring Thaw Unites 800 High School Students

The fifth annual youth retreat led by Dr. Rob Hildebrand proved to be another success. More than 800 high school students filled Multnomah’s campus for 44 hours filled with unforgettable games, teaching, laughter, worship, Disney characters and donuts. They left feeling inspired, united and encouraged.

More than 200 volunteers — composed of MU students and staff — planned, built and facilitated the April retreat. A small group of students majoring in Youth Ministry took on larger leadership roles and served as interns. "I think it's great that MU can open up and do this for us," said Tim Blank, a senior from Abundant Life Church in Sandy, Ore. "It says a lot about the school. I'm glad I got to be here."

MU Partners with Portland Police

Multnomah hosted an all-day training exercise with the Portland Police Bureau's Rapid Response Team (RRT) on campus in April. The RRT, a group composed of 70 law enforcement members, spent the day practicing crowd control procedures and techniques. More than 30 law enforcement officials from the Portland metro area, Washington and California observed the scenarios.

Sgt. David Abrahamson, RRT member and former Multnomah student, led the training. For Abrahamson, the opportunity to join Multnomah in a communal effort was inspiring. “This process has blessed all of us,” he said. “MU has gone above and beyond to help us. I can't say enough good things about this school.”

College and Grad School Hire New Leaders  

Dr. David Manock has been selected as director of Multnomah’s Master of Arts in Counseling Program. A licensed marriage and family counselor, Manock has nearly two decades of experience running a private practice. “I’m looking forward to learning how I can help the MAC students succeed as professionals,” he said. “I’m committed to excellence in clinical counseling so that students will know their craft and find their place in the community.”

The University has also hired Lee Sellers to lead its undergraduate Business Administration program. Sellers, who holds an MBA, has owned and operated his own consulting business for more than 14 years. “I enjoy challenge, and I’m excited to build something at MU,” he said. “I want to develop a world-class program that prepares students to go into the real world and make connections with people that reflect the Gospel.”

Seminary Offers Free Lectureship Series to Public

Multnomah sponsored an opportunity for the general public to hear from some well-respected speakers the University had brought in for its DMin and MAAT programs. The free lectureship series, geared toward ministry practitioners, gave the speakers a chance to talk about their unique ministries and what they saw as relevant for the local church in the current culture.

The guest speakers were George Hunsberger, professor of missiology at Western Theological Seminary; Josh Butler, pastor of local & global outreach at Imago Dei Community; Terry Muck, executive director of The Louisville Institute; Hugh Halter, author and speaker; Carolyn Custis James, the president and founder of Whitby Forum; and Christena Cleveland, associate professor of reconciliation studies at Bethel University.

MU Applies to Cascade Collegiate Conference 

The Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) approved Multnomah University’s membership application, moving the Lions one step closer toward conference participation during the 2015-16 season. MU’s membership in the CCC is contingent on admission to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. MU will apply to the NAIA in September, and a decision is expected next spring.

“It is a great honor for Multnomah’s application to be accepted by the Cascade Collegiate Conference,” said Dr. Wayne Strickland. “We could not be more pleased to be associated with such a prestigious conference, and we look forward to building lasting and meaningful relationships.”

‘A Labor of Love’: Dr. Hildebrand Reflects on the Ultimate Youth Event

hildebrand_mainWhat do Disney karaoke, theology seminars, laser tag, MU’s campus and 825 high schools students have in common? You guessed it: Spring Thaw. The weekend retreat, open to youth groups and individuals, will kick off this Friday at 7 p.m. Every year brings a unique theme, and 2014 is all about medieval knights, fairy tales and Disney.

Youth Ministries Department Chair Dr. Rob Hildebrand has been running the event since its debut five years ago. "MU was awarded a large grant so it could offer theological training to high school students," he says. For years, the University hosted a leadership program called CREDO, which benefited hundreds of high school students. But when CREDO began to decline, MU needed to reimagine the event. That's when Spring Thaw was born.

Although many other Christian universities offer retreats for high school students, Spring Thaw stands out. "Our event is more community-based because everyone who’s volunteering already lives here," says Hildebrand. More than 200 volunteers — composed of MU students and staff — plan, build and facilitate the retreat each year. A small group of students majoring in Youth Ministry take on larger leadership roles and serve as interns. "Our students do well at getting hired after they intern at this event," Hildebrand says. "A lot of people do ministry lazily, but I want our volunteers to develop a good work ethic. I want them to see that when you do hard work, you really can make things better."

Making Spring Thaw better is something Hildebrand is passionate about. "I love being innovative, and I try to make improvements every year," he says. He was ecstatic to secure Dr. Chap Clark as the main speaker. “In my book, he’s one of the top five youth ministry experts in the world," Hildebrand says. Besides the main sessions with Clark, the high school students will attend theology seminars led by MU faculty."This isn't a shallow, frivolous retreat," says Hildebrand. "I hope the seminars will help students see Christianity as it is and come to grips with who Christ is."

Hildebrand believes that students learn best when they're in a balanced environment, and he injects plenty of activities into the weekend, including comedy skits, a puppy room, bubble soccer, magic shows and a color run. "This really is a labor of love," he says. "Volunteers are going to be tired, it inconveniences staff and students in the dorms are giving up their space. But we’re doing this because we love these high school students. At MU, we're not all about MU — we're about serving and looking beyond ourselves. We care about the Church and the kingdom."

Registration is full, but visit the Spring Thaw website for more information about this retreat.

Meet Multnomah’s Faculty – Professor Rob Hildebrand

Comments Off Written on February 28th, 2013 by
Categories: Alumni, Faculty, General
Meet Multnomah’s Faculty – Professor Rob Hildebrand

Whenever we ask our alumni, "What was your favorite part of your time at Multnomah?". We hear responses about the fun memories made with friends,  appreciation for relevant biblical training, and the transformation that God worked in their hearts. Not surprisingly, we also often hear about the positive influence that the professors had; the passion with which they taught the Word of God and how they lived out the love that they spoke of in the classroom. Many hearts have been touched by the faculty here at Multnomah.  Read the rest of this entry »

When We Face Loss

When We Face Loss

Message from the Alumni Director

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” Genesis 50:20

Have you ever experienced a time of loss? The loss of a job, your health, a committed relationship, a marriage, a dream, a child, or a loved one? Throughout life’s journey the road is often met with hardship — difficult seasons that seem unjust and unfair.  Read the rest of this entry »