Be Informed and Engaged

The Institute for Cultural Engagement: New Wine, New Wineskins is a nonprofit and Multnomah University program. At Multnomah, they reflect our commitment to biblically informed, Christ-centered cultural engagement through courses, conferences, and engaging with students on and off campus.
Learn more about New Wine, New Wineskins.

Why is it called New Wine, New Wineskins?

Jesus referred to himself, his message, and his listeners as “new wine” poured into “new wineskins”: “No one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out, and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins” (Luke 5:37-38). This metaphor is about life transformation. It’s about bringing the Word to life. Their desire is to see new wine, the truth of the Gospel, poured into new wineskins. These new wineskins are the lives of Jesus’ people being stretched by the triune God’s love to build relational bridges across divides in contemporary culture.

“As Christians, we can get insular and forget to engage with people outside our faith. This program is a hidden gem — it paints a vivid reflection of who Christ is and how he interacted with people.”

Emil Khooda '13 Master of Divinity, Hospice Chaplain, Serenity Hospice

About New Wine, New Wineskins

We re-imagine how the eternal Word of Christ can be holistically communicated to an ever-changing culture. We carefully explore Scripture and culture by keeping one finger in the Bible and another in the daily news. New Wine, New Wineskins exists to mobilize local churches and other Christian organizations to share effectively the good news of the Father, Son and Spirit’s just love and peace, foster meaningful dialogue with diverse communities, and serve marginalized populations against the backdrop of increasing cultural divisions. New Wine provides consultation and training in such difficult areas as race and class, sexuality and gender, faith and science, and religious pluralism. The goal of New Wine’s work is to help equip generations of Jesus’ followers to extinguish hate, intolerance and misunderstanding while maximizing grace and truth for human flourishing in our world today.

Our Mission

Transforming the church’s conflicts, both within the church and with the surrounding culture, into opportunities for unity through the Triune God’s grace and truth.

Our Vision

Jesus’ followers will be known for their healing impact in matters of cultural conflict and their support of marginalized people.

Love – Reflecting the posture of the Father, Son, and Spirit in engaging culture.

Truth – Articulating a biblical understanding of God, humanity, and creation.

Civility – Approaching areas of conflict with tenacious grace and an inquisitive posture.

Common Good – Pursuing diverse partnerships in areas of conflict with others from across the cultural spectrum for human flourishing.

Advocacy – Following God’s command to care for all manner of marginalized people groups.

  • TH 407/707: Evangelical Christianity and the American Experience
  • GLS 442/IS 642: Theology of Cultural Engagement
  • GLS 505: Introduction to Advocacy and Justice Studies
  • IS 701: Christian Theology & World Religions
  • HTH 704 Reformation to the Modern Era
  • TH 717 Contemporary Theology and Ethics

One way we live out our mission is by hosting annual, educational conferences and retreats that cover a wide range of cultural issues, including:

  • Trauma and Resilience
  • Mental Health
  • Sexuality and Gender
  • Disabilities
  • Faith and Science
  • Community development
  • Conflict between Israel and Palestinians
  • Faith and the arts
  • Global climate change
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Homelessness
  • Immigration
  • Lifestyle evangelism
  • Racism

At Multnomah, we understand that learning how to engage culture should take our students out of the classroom and into the real world. New Wine, New Wineskins internships challenge students by immersing them in dialogue with real people from different ways of life and faith traditions. We meet regularly with interns and share meals together to build community and deepen their understanding of the Triune God’s call to engage culture from a biblically faithful and theologically reflective posture. Interns gain practical skills through planning community events and on-campus engagement activities. Each class of interns shapes the endeavors of their program around their unique interests and passions for theology and cultural engagement.