Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Spring Thaw Unites, Inspires 800 Students

Spring Thaw is over. The event that took months of dreaming, planning and building successfully transformed one weekend into 44 hours full of unforgettable games, teaching, laughter, worship, Disney characters and donuts (check out the Spring Thaw photo album!).

Out of the 825 high school students and youth leaders at the event, seven took time to share their Spring Thaw experiences.

springthaw1'It was an encouragement'

Emma Barnett and Amanda Foreman, freshman from Redemptive Church in Duval, Washington, were Spring Thaw first-timers. "I think the event is a great idea," said Barnett "Everyone did a great job organizing everything. And I loved the shows and activities."

Barnett and Foreman agreed that their favorite activity was Library Laser Tag, where they tip-toed, slunk and ran through the darkened MU library with laser guns rented from a local party store. But a theology seminar led by seminary professor Dr. Val Clemen left a deeper impression. Both girls were struck by Clemen's life story, which heavily emphasized the importance of forgiveness. "It was an encouragement," said Foreman.

Barnett agreed. "Her story made me want to love people more,"  she said. "Especially my enemies — because they have it worse."

springthaw2'A lot of growth and bonding'

Millie Dugger, another Spring Thaw first-timer, has been a youth leader at Imago Dei Community in Portland, Oregon, for six years. As a married woman who works full-time, Dugger has limited time with her youth group each week. Spring Thaw was a refreshing break from normal routine.

"What meant the most to me was having 44 hours of uninterrupted time with my girls," she said. "MU provided and planned everything, so we didn't have to cook and clean up! I saw God reveal opportunities to pray with the girls and be more present since I didn't have an agenda. A lot of growth and bonding happened because of it."

'God's love is always there'

One of the girls in Dugger's youth group, Ashley Smith, also valued the freedom the retreat gave her to build relationships with others. Smith said she expected to meet new people and play lots of fun games during the weekend. But what she didn't expect were the teachings about love and peace that speaker Chap Clark shared with students. "Chap was very motivational and inspirational," she said. "He talked about love in a way we could understand."

The message of hope was just what the senior needed."Society is so caught up with fitting in, but I learned that God's love is always there and that you can find peace," she said. "I've been going through some stressful times, and it was good to be reminded of that."

Smith encourages all high school students to attend the event if they can. "When you have the chance to go, just go for it, and don't be nervous" she said. "I didn't see anyone being left out. Spring Thaw will give you the opportunity to be stronger and make more friends in the Christian community."

springthaw4'It was intense'

Tim Blank, a senior from Abundant Life Church in Sandy, Oregon, also appreciated the sense of community he felt during the weekend. "It was intense," he said. "I learned about how important it is to respect people and to actually act like we're brothers and sisters in Christ."

And although Blank loved the activities and teaching, he was quick to credit the volunteers that made the retreat happen. "I think it's great that MU can open up and do this for us," he said. "It says a lot about the school. I'm glad I got to be here."

Jason Chess, Blank's youth leader, felt the same way. "This is such a great event that our high schoolers can get excited for," he said. "And it's a safe place for them."

springthaw3'God has a place for me'

Eric Irvin, from Mid Valley Community Church in Woodburn, Oregon, thought the weekend was transformative.

"I definitely have different feelings toward other people now," he said. "I'm more accepting because I know God made them in his image."

Irvin especially liked the worship sessions. "Singing songs is one of my favorite ways to connect with God," he said. "This is a place to get away from the worldly things and praise him. MU is not only open and welcoming — God's presence is here too."

As the sophomore prepared for the drive home with his youth group, he felt encouraged. "I've had a lot of struggles lately," he said. "But I learned that God has a place for me in this world."

Spring Thaw is an annual event put on my MU's youth ministry program.

A Letter from Dr. Dan – March 2010

March 15, 2010 - Dr. Lockwood, President of Multnomah University frequently writes letters to alumni, donors and friends of the school. Here's his latest.
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The “new year” is not simply upon us; it’s in the middle of its third month!  As we in Portland are grateful for a fairly mild winter, we at Multnomah are encouraged by the things God is doing during the first two and one-half months of our spring semester.  Let me give a few updates.

Enrollment

Our total enrollment for the spring semester stood at 844 students (headcount) when registration was complete.  We have 629 students in the college and 215 in the seminary, just two off from last spring.  Our two Portland campus programs are about on pace from last spring, but our university master’s programs show a significant increase (61).  At our off-site locations, we have 17 collegians and five seminarians taking classes in Reno, and five seminarians registered in Anchorage.  We praise the Lord for these students; Multnomah continues to impact students with God’s Word.  These numbers also represent a stability in tuition revenues—an encouraging sign in a continuing tight economy.

New Seminary Faculty

At the seminary, under Dr. Redman’s leadership, we have developed a new paradigm to fill faculty vacancies.  Three faculty members have been appointed as “regular part-time” faculty in pastoral ministry.  This means they will continue to lead their local churches while teaching a half-time load at the seminary.  What is unique is this: they will be active participants in faculty discussions with full “voice and vote.”  In this way, they will provide valuable expertise for fashioning a pastoral ministry curriculum for the next generation.  Our regular full time faculty members can anticipate a multi-dimensional team of colleagues with a hearty esprit d’corps.  Our three appointees for the next academic year are:

  • Dr. Gene Curtis, D.Min, pastor of Meadow Springs Community Church, Multnomah Biblical Seminary graduate.  He will teach homiletics.
  • Dr. Rick McKinley, D.Min, founding pastor of Portland’s Imago Dei, a Multnomah Bible College graduate.  He will teach in the area of biblical leadership.
  • Prof. Tom Schiave, D.Min (cand.), pastor of Gateway Baptist Church.  He will teach in the areas of spiritual formation and communication.

Global Ministries Conference

Multnomah held its annual Global Ministries Conference the last week of this month.  With its “Harvesting the Desert” theme, this year’s emphasis was God’s work in the Middle East.  Twenty-five mission agencies and 68 missionaries were on Multnomah’s campus.  [Name Witheld], who works with Arab believers through [Ministry Organization Name Witheld], and Sarah Perlman, who works with Jews for Jesus, served as plenary speakers.  They provided complementary—and controversial—perspectives on Middle Eastern ministry.  Multnomah continues to send a significant number of students into global ministry opportunities each year, and this conference again was a catalyst for God’s Spirit to nudge open hearts.

[Names witheld above for security reasons]

Regional accreditation (NWCCU)

Accreditation is always on our horizon, but now more than ever.  Last summer, we were informed that NWCCU was revising its accrediting standards, and that Multnomah University would be up for a full self-study visit in April 2011.  That’s just a little over a year from now!  Dr. Wayne Strickland, who will lead this effort, is already hard at work in responding to these new standards.  We are being asked to evaluate our institution according to basic themes, such as knowing God’s Word, thinking critically, growing in Christ-likeness, and engaging our culture.  Please pray for us as we embark on this important self-assessment.

Online technology

Technology supports Multnomah’s mission more than ever before, and we are grateful for our professional IT staff.  Several new things are happening.  First, our Promotions & Communications department is in the process of thoroughly redesigning our website.  This is extremely important since more and more students learn about—and apply to—Multnomah through this online portal.  In fact, January saw an unprecedented spike in online applications for this coming fall.  Working for over a year, we anticipate the official launch this spring. 

Second, our Career Development Department, which now serves the entire university under Jim Saemenes’ direction, uses the Ministry Web Directory.  This amazing tool connects students with ministries and marketplace opportunities.  Already, prospective students are drawn to Multnomah because of such vocational opportunities when they graduate.

Financial support

The Lord has favored our advancement department, under Paul’s Griffin’s oversight, with wonderful success.  Of course, the development staff has worked extremely hard during this economic recession, too.  For example, the team is on track to hit its financial targets for the last eight months, largely, I believe, by cultivating personal relationships with people like you.  They also did a terrific job in planning, organizing, and pulling off our largest Student Aid Banquet event on the Saturday of March 6th.  Over 450 attended to hear wonderful testimonies from students and alumni of what God is doing in them because of Multnomah.  Many, many people gave.  They remembered what Jesus said, “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9).

Thank You

Thanks you so much for your faithful prayer support of Multnomah’s vital ministry.  I cannot tell you what this means to our faculty, staff, and students. Your prayers have a way of saying to faculty and staff, “You’re not alone in this ministry.  The Lord is confirming the work you do.”  Your support speaks clearly to students that the Lord will provide in many ways—including through gifts from supporters they may never meet.  These serious-minded men and women are empowered to study deeply the Word of God at Multnomah and to pursue wholeheartedly their dreams of being equipped for the vocation God has chosen for them. 

Longing for the eternal dwellings, 

Daniel R. Lockwood
President