Posts Tagged ‘Educational Ministries’

Spring graduates celebrate a new chapter, reflect on MU’s impact

Last Friday, 129 Multnomah students walked across the stage of Rolling Hills Community Church to receive their diplomas. Among the group of participants were Caitlyn Stone, Michael Mallon, Lisa Hezmalhalch and Maxwell Olwa — four students who have grown to embody the biblical wisdom, resilient character and infectious servants’ hearts that set our alumni apart.

Blog_Caitlyn StoneCaitlyn Stone
Educational Ministries graduate

Hometown: Sacramento, California

Best MU experience: Having an opportunity to be a part of Student Leadership. It has been a privilege to do life with other people: staying up late, exploring the Gorge through hiking, going to Germany, being available for other students and being someone they can share things with.

Favorite class: Prophets, taught by Dr. Kutz. Isaiah has always been my favorite book. I love seeing how God was faithful to an unfaithful people. I was able to “eat up” what I was given; it gave life to a portion of scripture that I already loved.

Favorite thing about Portland: I love the proximity to outdoor activities like hiking in the gorge. I also love it when the weather is sunny and green. It makes me happy.

Favorite thing about MU: The relationships with professors. Eating lunch with them and getting feedback from them. This is the third college I've been to, and this is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. I’ve gained life knowledge from them, which is equally valuable to what I learned in the classroom.

Plans after graduation: In July I’m joining YWAM’s Discipleship Training School, Awaken. I could end up anywhere in the world. I will be a part of awakening people to the truth of who God is, and I will get to live out what I’ve been learning at MU. I’m so excited to see Jesus in other cultures!

Advice to your freshman self: The word that comes to mind is “balance.” It can be easy to focus either on socializing or studies, but we need to live out what we’re learning in community. Both are key.

Blog_Michale MallonMichael Mallon
English graduate
TESOL graduate

Hometown: Woodburn, OR

Best MU experience: Cross Country Nationals this year — the home stretch, a quarter mile from the finish line. I passed a few people, and it started to snow. I couldn’t believe that I was running in New York during the first year of MU’s Cross Country program. It had been a super busy semester for me, but joining that team was a great decision. It was motivation to keep pushing myself.

Favorite Class: Major Literary Figure — Thoreau, taught by Dr. Schaak. I learned how to connect with nature and be able to contribute to society. There was a motivating vibe to that class; I learned how to see the world more clearly.

Favorite thing about Portland: The food. I love the diversity and how eating is a hobby here. There’s always a new place to try. My favorite restaurant is Nepo42 — they have half-priced wings during Blazers games!

Favorite thing about MU: The community. I’ve really felt supported by staff and faculty here.

Plans after graduation: I will be working full-time at Trillium Family Services, helping children with behavioral and psychological issues.

Advice to your freshman self: Live in the moment and take advantage of all the opportunities. Invest and get involved in events. Become a leader. I didn’t have that mindset at first, but MU plopped opportunities into my lap, which were really formative for me. Also, become an English major!

Blog_Lisa HLisa Hezmalhalch
MA in Christian Leadership graduate

Hometown: Napa, California

Best MU experience: Being the Graduate Resident Director in North Aldrich Hall and leading a team of women. There was everything from deep random conversations to late-night dance parties.

Favorite class: Spiritual Formation, taught by Dr. Clemen

Favorite thing about Portland: There is freedom here to be whoever the Lord has made you to be. In California I never seemed to fit, but when I moved here I could finally be myself. I also really really love Monti’s Café on Southeast Stark Street!

Favorite thing about MU: The community. There is a family-like nature that this place takes on while you’re here!

Plans after graduation: I will be taking one day at a time; looking to the Lord every morning and asking, “Where are we going today?”

Advice to your first-year self: You are about to go through a  refinement more intense than anything you’ve ever experienced in your life. He who began a good work in you will always be faithful to complete it.

Blog_Max OlwaMaxwell Olwa
MA in Global Development & Justice graduate

Hometown: Nyakach, Kenya

Best MU experience: Being able to interact with different people and live as a community. This has gotten better and better. They have become like family.

Favorite classes: Intro to Justice Studies, Business as Mission, and Christian Community Development. These are all remarkable classes.

Favorite thing about Portland: Coffee! I like Starbucks and Dutch Bros. My favorite drinks are lattes and mochas.

Favorite thing about MU: There is a biblical foundation for everything. This moves us away from the distinction between sacred and secular and opens new grounds for participation in community. That is the sole mission of Christ: bringing justice to the world — living as Christ lived and affecting peoples’ lives through that. My cohort experience was also phenomenal. It brought people from different backgrounds together. We were exposed to so many different people working in different fields of development. This has led to good networking.

Plans after graduation: I’m looking forward to working in Christian organizations that are doing development work and advocacy. I have a passion for these things.

Advice to your first-year self: Work hard, stay focused, trust God.

Listen to an audio recording of the ceremony.

Graduates Reflect on Years Well Spent

Spring term has now come to a close. Last Friday night graduates walked across the stage, accepted their diplomas and tossed their hats into the air in celebration. I sat down with several of our exceptional graduates from our college, graduate school and seminary to hear more about their experiences and the impact a Multnomah education has had on them. 


GradFall2014_3Name: Danae Cowan

Hometown: Sweet Home, Ore.

Majors: Bachelor of Arts

Favorite MU memory: “During a late-night study session with my roommate in Memorial Hall, we were struggling to stay awake. Every hour on the hour, without a word, we’d drop our books and run one lap around our dorm. By the second and third time, we were laughing so hard we couldn’t stop.”

Dream job: “I’d love to work with women who are hurting and are in need of healing.”

Favorite professor: Dr. Val Clemen, who taught her Gender in Ministry class. “I love the way she connected with her students. She has such a huge love for Jesus and her students.”

Local perks: “I went to the Portland Art Museum this year and loved it. I also enjoy just walking through the city and people watching.”

Lesson learned: “Multnomah is a place where I learned about grace.”


GradFall2014_4Name: Ethan Knudson

Hometown: Renton, Wash.

Majors: Bachelor of Arts

Favorite MU memory: One night during his junior year when he and his friends were playing soccer. “My friend Charlie said to us, ‘If I make this next goal, you have to copy me and do whatever I do next. Deal?’ He made the goal, and then we all had to run through the sprinklers, which had just come on. That was a fun night.”

Dream job: After earning a master’s degree in teaching, Ethan hopes to become a theology professor and team teach alongside his fiancée. “I want to be in a position that allows me to connect with students and mentor them.”

Favorite professor: Dr. Karl Kutz, his Hebrew professor. “He’s brilliant. He cares about the heart and soul care of each student. He prepares you to face tough questions and tough seasons in life.”

Local perks: Eating at Salt and Straw and food carts like Thai Garden. “I love going to Townshend Tea with my fiancée and reading.”

Lesson learned: “Being at MU has been the most life-defining experience I’ve had. I’ve learned to be OK with not having all the answers, whether it’s about theology or life in general. That’s been freeing and has allowed me to enjoy life.”


GradFall2014_2Name: Clarissa Smith

Hometown: Golini, Kenya

Majors: Bachelor of Arts

Favorite MU memory: “One night Danae Cowan and Kayla Thomas and I dressed up and went out to dinner in Portland. It’s was pouring rain. You should have seen us balancing umbrellas in our heels trying to find the restaurant. We had a blast. After dinner, we went to Fred Meyer and bought roses to bring to Oregon Health and Sciences University Hospital. While we were at Fred Meyer, our car broke down! After we got it running, we took the tram up to the hospital and delivered the roses to nurses. That was super fun. The women I’ve become friends with at MU are wonderful. Together we laugh, cry, go on adventures and share what God has been doing in our lives.”

Next job: She’s moving to China to teach English for one year. “Only the Lord could take a girl who grew up in a tribal village in Kenya and send her to the big cities in China to teach English.”

Favorite professor: Dr. Ray Lubeck, who taught her Old Testament and Biblical Theology class: “His ability to take big concepts and present them in a way that’s understandable and relatable is unique. He gives his students a curiosity to learn for the rest of their lives.”

Local perks: “I love going to Monty’s Café for chai tea or Palio’s for a late-night study session. Another favorite activity is going to get frozen yogurt at YoCream (frozen yogurt.) Also, the international food scene here in Portland is really good.”

Lesson learned: “To live my life with open hands.”


GradFall2014_1Name: Jason Cybulski

Hometown: Burlingame, Calif.

Degree: M.A. in Pastoral Studies/Christian Leadership

Favorite MU memory: Jason, who lives in married housing with his wife and two daughters, spoke highly of the Multnomah community. “There’s nothing better. It’s great to meet new people and live life together with our families.”

Next job: Teaching Pastor at Potter’s Hands in Tigard, Ore.

Favorite professor: “That is an unfair question. One of my favorites is Prof. Tom Schiave, who taught my Theology of Community in Ministry class. He took time away from academia to shepherd those of us who wanted to go into vocational ministry.”

Local perks: He and his family enjoy discovering new places to eat. “The food here in the city of Portland is great.”

Lesson learned: “It’s important to cultivate the mind of a scholar, but that’s not worth anything without a pastor’s heart that can shepherd people.”


GradFall2014_5 Name: Rie Doss

Hometown: Kyoto, Japan

Degree: Master’s in Divinity, Chaplaincy track

Favorite MU memory: Rie remembers the MU community fondly. “I enjoyed learning from my classmates.” The M.Div. program is so rigorous that Rie stressed the importance of the support she found at MU. “We encouraged each other.”

Next job: Chaplain Fellow at Portland VA Medical Center

Favorite professor: Dr.  Roger Troutmann, her advisor. “He was a great mentor — always there for me and very encouraging.”

Local perks: Hiking in the Gorge during the spring and summer and snowshoeing in the winter opened doors for her to enjoy God’s creation.

Lesson learned: “Trust in God. Keep working. At the beginning, I felt very scared. But I took one week at a time and one class at a time.”


Anne Partridge: Finding Freedom in Christ

Anne_PartridgeMultnomah used to be the last college Anne Partridge wanted to attend. Then a visit to campus changed her mind entirely. Now only months from graduating, she can't think of anywhere else she'd rather be.

"It became clear to me while I was at MU that you’re a caged bird until you find freedom in the Lord," Partridge says. "People think it’s the opposite — that Christianity is rules-based and legalistic, but it’s not. A free bird has the world at its wings." Read her story.

Featured Faculty – Professors Tom and Bonnie Kopp

Featured Faculty – Professors Tom and Bonnie Kopp

Northwest Roots Change the World

Tom was born and raised in Africa (Zimbabwe and Zambia respectively). After returning to the United States for his final two years of high school, he attended Multnomah and the University of Washington. During those years, he met and married Bonnie who was born and reared in Spokane, Washington. She attended Seattle Pacific University and the University of Washington also. Following their marriage, they moved to Africa and served with the Africa Evangelical Fellowship (AEF) from 1970 to 1986. Read the rest of this entry »