Posts Tagged ‘Pastoral Studies’

Students in MU’s Summit program can earn a B.A. and M.Div. in five years

Multnomah University is launching Summit, a five-year Bachelor of Arts/Master of Divinity program that reduces the time and cost traditionally spent on the individual degrees. “Summit is an opportunity for people to get into ministry sooner,” says Roy Andrews, dean of Multnomah Biblical Seminary. “It’s five years of your time — not seven — and costs about 30 percent less than it would to take the programs separately.” The savings amount to $41,000, and that’s before scholarships are added.

Summit will target high-achieving high school seniors who aspire to be church leaders. Some students will receive full-tuition scholarships covering the undergraduate portion of the program. The scholarships are primarily designed for recent high school graduates, although transfer students with a minimum 3.0 GPA will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Additional scholarships are available for Summit students who don’t receive full-tuition scholarships.


Andrews says anyone may join the program as long as they’re prepared for the academic rigor and intensive training. “Summit’s program director will help potential students figure out if they’re called to pursue ministry,” says Andrews. “Then they’ll discern if students are ready for the program. Some students might not have thought about it and just need to be exposed to it. But it’s not about arm wrestling them into it; it’s about introducing ideas.”

Besides MU’s standard admission requirements, eligible students will need a minimum 3.5 high school GPA and an additional reference letter from a church leader. “We want to affirm from their church’s perspective that they’re a good candidate,” Andrews says.

Once students jump into the program, they’ll be immersed in classes, service learning, mentored ministry and internships. “All these things are ingredients in the recipe for making people prepared for full-time ministry,” says Andrews. “Our students will get a lot of guided practical application. Though we’re condensing two programs, we won’t sacrifice the quality of either.”
Summit students will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Theology before earning a Master of Divinity. To remain enrolled, they must maintain a 3.0 GPA and meet all character and activity requirements for the program.


Andrews is confident Multnomah’s option will stand out from other five-year B.A./M.Div. programs. “Some products look the same on the shelf, but when you see how they’re produced, you realize they’re different,” he says. “The other programs do a fine job educating people. But we give great attention to the Word of God, and it’s part of MU’s ethos to hold in tension the two commandments of Christ: loving God and loving your neighbor. With a thankful heart, we think we’re the best at doing that.”

Summit will launch in fall 2015 thanks to a $565,000 grant from The Kern Family Foundation, an independent grant-making organization based in Waukesha, Wis. The foundation, which funds broad-impact, long-term programs, is committed to promoting strong pastoral leadership and educational excellence.

The grant will be used to support a program director, student scholarships and marketing efforts.

“The Kerns are passionate about getting young people into ministry faster with little to no debt,” says Andrews. “Summit graduates won’t be bound to the indebtedness that prevents many from getting into vocational ministry. We do have a responsibility to help these students, so this is a great gift.”

Learn more about Summit.

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.”