Multnomah Bible College
and Biblical Seminary will soon exist under the institutional name Multnomah University. In a unanimous vote,
Multnomah's board of trustees resolved to take the necessary steps to become a
university by July 1, 2008. The college and seminary names, missions, and
curriculum emphasis will remain unchanged, but they will be included under the
broader institutional name Multnomah
faculty, president, and board of trustees were motivated by key strategic
reasons to pursue university status.
"Over the years, we have received numerous requests from
students intending to serve overseas as career missionaries," said Dr. Daniel
R. Lockwood, president of Multnomah
and Biblical Seminary. "Some encountered immigration obstacles in entering
certain countries if officials learned they were graduates of a Bible college
or a seminary." It was also found that in some countries, the word ‘college'
refers to high-school level education, while ‘university' is widely recognized
as a term for baccalaureate-level education.
Last fall, this need for unfettered student placement
intensified when the college began planning our new teacher education program,"
Dr. Lockwood said. Several Christian educators with public school experience
pointed out that our graduates could face severe employment obstacles with the
name ‘Bible' on their diplomas. "All of us consider this program, which
certifies qualified men and women to teach at the elementary level in the
public school, to be a mission-fulfilling and ministry-enhancing program. The
faculty sought to remove any unnecessary obstacle to our students' vocational
Future Strategic Planning
"With our four seminary masters programs, we qualify with
the State of Oregon
to become a university," said Dr. Lockwood. "However, some of our planned
graduate-level programs do not fit a seminary curriculum. Our Master of Arts in
Teaching (MAT) degree, scheduled to begin this January, is a case in point; and
other master-level programs (e.g., TESOL and Humanitarian Studies) are in our
long-term strategic plan. Faculty and
trustees anticipate a day where a future Multnomah Graduate
School division would
become necessary. An appropriate name like Multnomah University
would more accurately reflect our developing institutional structure."
What it Doesn't Mean
Dr. Lockwood and the board are quick to point out several
things the name change will not mean. First, it does not signal a change in
Multnomah's mission. "We will still remain committed to ‘educating, equipping,
and enriching Christians for leadership in their church, community, and
world,'" Dr. Lockwood said. The name change will not eliminate the Bible and theology
core required for every Multnomah student.
Furthermore, university status will not eliminate the two
divisions of Multnomah: Multnomah
and Multnomah Biblical Seminary. Both divisions will continue to exist under
the umbrella name of Multnomah
Finally, the name change will not begin a
transition from a Bible college to a Christian liberal arts college. A Bible
college possesses three fundamental values
solid, required core of Bible and theology for every student
strong, campus-wide emphasis on the spiritual life
Christian ministry experience concurrent with one's academic learning
"These three values will continue to characterize Multnomah Bible College
and Biblical Seminary," Dr. Lockwood said.
For more information regarding Multnomah's university status, please consult the official "Multnomah University Blog at http://blogs.multnomah.edu/university. You may also contact Robert Leary at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.251.6451.