Press Releases

MU’s Torah unrolls new learning opportunities for community

Comments Off Written on February 6th, 2015 by
Categories: Events, Press Releases, Students

Thursday dawned wet and dreary, but it might as well have been Christmas for MU’s Hebrew department. As soon as people filed into the JCA Student Center that morning, they saw the reason: A 16th-century Torah scroll lay partially unfurled on stage, offering the crowd an enticing glimpse into the rich history of biblical transmission work.

MU president Dr. Craig Williford commenced the Torah Dedication Chapel by introducing the donors, Ken and Barbara Larson, who had flown in from Florida that morning.

“We can feel your enthusiasm in the air,” said Barbara Larson. “We’ve been impressed by your faculty and students, and we’re excited for what this Torah will do for the school.”

The scroll, which is durable enough to be used frequently for decades to come, will provide countless learning opportunities for MU students.

“We intend to use the scroll as an object of study in and of itself,” said Biblical Languages Chair and Hebrew professor Dr. Karl Kutz. “We can learn about scribal work, the transcription process and more.”

MacKenzie Williams and Chad Woodward are two students who will benefit from using the Torah, and they expressed their gratitude to the Larsons during the dedication.

“Thank you for this opportunity to grow as a Hebrew community,” said Williams. “This means a great deal to me.”

The gift means a great deal to Kutz as well.

“You can imagine I’ve been anticipating this moment for some time,” he told the crowd. The scroll, he said, represents many things: history, centuries of faithful copying, transmission work, and the enduring faith of God’s people. But most importantly, he noted, it represents an appeal. “This Torah is an invitation to a relationship with the living God…an invitation to me and you,” he said.

After the dedication chapel, the scroll was swaddled in cloth, tucked into a padded suitcase and transported to Bradley Hall for a colloquium with Ancient Manuscripts Expert Dr. Scott Carroll.

Four long tables, each draped with a black tablecloth, lined the stage. As the Torah was carefully unrolled, it crackled and popped, creating stiff waves along the tabletops.

The 89-foot scroll, Carroll said, was composed somewhere in Eastern Europe during the Reformation. Constructing the parchment for such a Torah is no small feat — the artifact is comprised of 50 calf skins.Vegetable components were used for ink and goose feathers for writing. It took a scribe an entire year to create the manuscript. 

“If this Torah could talk to us, imagine what it could say and what it’s seen,” said Carroll. “It was preserved through the Enlightenment and the Holocaust. Through a wonderful turn of Providence, it’s in your community now.”

Listeners were invited on stage to get a firsthand look. Some gently touched the scroll's edges — smooth on top, suede on bottom. Others bent over the relic, iPhones poised. A few scanned the impeccably centered lines of text, their eyes searching for familiar passages.

Carroll then asked everyone to encircle the room so the scroll could be completely unfurled, a scene you might witness in some synagogues during the Jewish festival Simchat Torah. Young and old, seasoned Hebrew scholars and novices alike held the Torah together. It was the first time the scroll had ever been fully unraveled.

Hebrew student Thomas Belcastro was euphoric. “It’s beautiful,” he said. “When I came to Multnomah, I didn’t expect I’d ever be holding a 600-year-old scroll. I actually get to study it on Monday.” 

Executive director and DCP alumna Gayle Fidanzo: ‘I wouldn’t be the leader I am without MU’

Comments Off Written on January 12th, 2015 by
Categories: Alumni, Press Releases, Students

When Gayle Fidanzo was offered a job at Christian Family Adoptions, she was reluctant to accept.

“We all want the desires of our heart — but I didn’t know my heart yet,” says the leadership and ministry major. The DCP graduate dreamed of taking risks, working overseas and rescuing women from slavery. “I thought an adoption agency would be boring,” she says.

It was quite the opposite. Read Gayle's story.

GayleKFidanzo_featureimage

 

Multnomah Biblical Seminary awarded national ‘Science for Seminaries’ grant

Comments Off Written on December 2nd, 2014 by
Categories: Press Releases

Update: PBS featured this grant in a recent national broadcast. Watch the video.

PORTLAND, Ore. − Multnomah Biblical Seminary is one of 10 seminaries nationwide selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for a combined $1.5 million in grants to incorporate science into core theological curricula.

SeminaryGrant_mainThe grant will provide resources to integrate science into select core courses, such as systematic theology, biblical studies, church history and pastoral theology. The courses will be developed and implemented over the next two years and provide seminarians with solid, science-focused instruction.

“Many people look to their religious leaders for guidance on issues relating to science and technology, even though clergy members may get little exposure to science in their training,” said Jennifer Wiseman, director of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion.

Dr. Paul Louis Metzger, MU seminary professor and director of its Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins, said evangelical Christianity has often experienced a difficult relationship with the contemporary sciences. “Ironically, the evangelical movement has benefited greatly from implementing scientific and technological advances in communication and media for gospel proclamation,” he said.

MU educates countless pastors, whose churches draw people from diverse backgrounds and vocations, including the sciences. “Often these parishioners feel like they live in two universes: one of faith and one of science,” said Metzger, who serves as the project leader. “Through New Wine, New Wineskins’ oversight and coordination, this generous grant will make it possible for our seminary faculty to equip students in the integration of faith and science. Our students will be more effective as pastoral leaders in serving their members, their vocations and their communities in our scientific age.”

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About Multnomah University

Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with teaching sites in Reno, Nevada, and Seattle, Washington. Composed of a college, seminary, graduate school, degree completion program and online distance-learning program, Multnomah issues bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as professional certifications and endorsements. For more information, visit multnomah.edu.

Couple donates 16th-century Torah to MU

Comments Off Written on September 4th, 2014 by
Categories: Press Releases

PORTLAND, Ore. — Ken and Barbara Larson, from Bonita Springs, Fla., are giving a rare and valuable Torah to Multnomah University.

scrollThe Torah is a parchment scroll on which the first five books of the Old Testament were written. The Larsons purchased several scrolls, all of which are hundreds of years old, in Israel.

Ancient Asset Investments, a brokerage firm dealing in rare biblical artifacts, is assisting the couple with the donation process. Todd Hillard, the firm’s owner, said the Larsons had a vision for placing the Torahs in leading seminaries. “The Larsons have a deep passion for seminary education,” he said. “They want history to influence future scholars.”

Vice President of Advancement Steve Cummings said the gift will further ignite students’ passion for God’s Word. “This is an incredible and generous gift,” he said. “It will bring an added dimension to their educational experience that will last for many years.”

Although the scroll is centuries old, Hillard said it’s durable enough to be used frequently for decades to come. “All Torahs are innately priceless,” he said. “This one is in perfect condition.” He added that the scroll — which is two feet tall and 89 feet long — was likely used in synagogues.

University President Dr. Craig Williford said the artifact will help sharpen students’ interpretation skills while enhancing their appreciation for the Bible’s reliability. “Having direct access to such an important historical copy of the Torah will enable them to connect to the rich heritage of biblical transmission and translation work,” he said.  “This will affirm their appreciation of the Scriptures as God’s inspired, authoritative word.”

The scroll’s formal dedication will be hosted on campus and is tentatively set for early February.

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About Multnomah University

Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with teaching sites in Reno, Nevada, and Seattle, Washington. Composed of a college, seminary, graduate school, degree completion program and online distance-learning program, Multnomah issues bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as professional certifications and endorsements. For more information, visit multnomah.edu.

Steve Cummings joins MU as vice president of Advancement

Comments Off Written on August 4th, 2014 by
Categories: General, Press Releases

PORTLAND, Ore. — Steve Cummings has been selected as vice president of Multnomah University’s Advancement Department.

Read the rest of this entry »

Former Multnomah University President Dr. Dan Lockwood Dies at 65

Comments Off Written on July 10th, 2014 by
Categories: Press Releases

PORTLAND, Ore. — Dr. Daniel Lockwood, former president of Multnomah University, has passed away at age 65.

Lockwood died peacefully in his Portland home July 9. He was surrounded by family when he entered into the arms of Christ.

“We are all thankful for the way Dr. Dan invested his life in others as a dedicated follower of Christ, leader, teacher, encourager and humble servant,” said Dr. Craig Williford, Multnomah’s current president. “Serving others in the name of Christ was his passion and life commitment. He positively impacted our lives in numerous ways. We will miss him.”

Lockwood worked at Multnomah for more than 34 years. He taught theology for 11 years before serving seven years as seminary dean. In 1997, he became Multnomah’s fourth president. Throughout his time at MU, Lockwood continued to teach theology.

Due to health concerns related to cancer, he retired from the presidency November 1, 2013. He spent the past eight months in close connection with his family.

During Lockwood’s 16-year tenure as president, the University constructed seven buildings on its Portland campus, opened a campus in Reno, Nev., and launched a teaching site in Seattle, Wash. Eight graduate and seminary degree programs were created, and nine undergraduate majors were initiated. The Adult Degree Completion Program, which now provides three majors, was born in 2007. Multnomah was granted university status in 2008.

The Multnomah community mourns the loss of a gentle leader and an outstanding teacher. He leaves a legacy of theological integrity and unreserved faith in Christ.

Lockwood is survived by his wife of 41 years, Jani, and their daughter, Elise. A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, July 25, at Lake Grove Presbyterian Church in Lake Oswego, Ore. All are invited to attend.

UPDATE: Listen to Dr. Dan's memorial service recording.

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About Multnomah University

Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with teaching sites in Reno, Nevada, and Seattle, Washington. Composed of a college, seminary, graduate school, degree completion program and online distance-learning program, Multnomah issues bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as professional certifications and endorsements. For more information, visit multnomah.edu.

Cascade Collegiate Conference Approves MU’s Membership Application

Comments Off Written on June 19th, 2014 by
Categories: General, Press Releases

PORTLAND, Ore. —The Cascade Collegiate Conference approved Multnomah University’s membership application this week, moving the Lions one step closer toward conference participation during the 2015-16 season. Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. David Manock Joins MU as Director of MAC program

Comments Off Written on May 1st, 2014 by
Categories: General, Press Releases

PORTLAND, Ore. — Dr. David Manock has been selected as director of Multnomah’s Master of Arts in Counseling Program.

Manock, who holds a Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy, brings a wealth of experience to the position. In addition to teaching at three universities and one seminary on the West Coast, he’s a licensed marriage and family counselor with nearly two decades of experience running a private practice.

Manock said he’s excited about meeting the MAC students at Multnomah University. “I’m looking forward to learning how I can help them succeed as professionals,” he said. “I’m committed to excellence in clinical counseling so that students will know their craft and find their place in the community.”

Multnomah’s history of having a passionate relationship with Jesus Christ drew him to the University.  “Although MU values academic excellence, the school is about more than education,” he said. “Multnomah cares about the heart of each grad.”

Manock clearly has a heart for families. He ran a marriage and family therapy private practice in Pasadena, Calif., from 1996 to 2005, and has run the same practice in Salem, Ore., since 2006. He also has served in various pastoral roles within assorted churches over the past 39 years and currently serves as a part-time teaching pastor in Salem.

In 2011, Manock founded the NW Institute for Integrative Counseling and Training, which equips students to use emotionally focused therapy and intersubjectivity psychoanalysis. He has been involved in more than 24 publications and presentations, and he’s currently involved in seven research projects.

In addition to his Ph.D., Manock holds a master of divinity degree and a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling. His teaching experience includes positions at George Fox University, Western Oregon University, Azusa Pacific University and Fuller Theological Seminary.

As Manock walked around the Multnomah University grounds for the first time, he was moved when he spotted the prayer chapel in the middle of campus. “It’s the smallest building here, but it struck my heart because it concretely spoke to the heart of the University,” he said.

During the interview process, Manock was impressed by the love and care shown by MU administrators. “Multnomah really embodies the incarnate presence of Christ,” he said. “You could tell they were a secure family. I’ll be able to find a home here.”

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About Multnomah University

Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with teaching sites in Reno, Nevada, and Seattle, Washington. Composed of a college, seminary, graduate school, degree completion program and online distance-learning program, Multnomah issues bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as professional certifications and endorsements. For more information, visit multnomah.edu.

Lee Sellers to Lead Multnomah’s Business Administration program

Comments Off Written on April 29th, 2014 by
Categories: Press Releases

PORTLAND, Ore.- Multnomah University has hired Lee Sellers to lead its Business Administration program.

As chair, Sellers will teach and mentor students, hire and supervise adjunct instructors, manage curriculum, and identify ways to grow the program. He also will help develop marketing, recruiting and retention strategies while cultivating partnerships that benefit students and the community at large.

Sellers, who holds an MBA, comes to Multnomah with considerable experience in business and higher education. In addition to teaching at two colleges and two universities, Sellers has owned and operated his own consulting business for more than 14 years.

Sellers said he’s looking forward to getting into the classroom and connecting with students. “I enjoy challenge, and I’m excited to build something here,” he said. “I want to develop a world-class program that prepares students to go into the real world and make connections with people that reflect the gospel.”

Multnomah’s emphasis on biblical integration drew him to the University. “I don’t have to covertly communicate my faith like I had to at my old jobs,” he said. “I can talk about it openly here.” And the position itself was too good to pass up. “The job description fit me so perfectly,” he said. “I still can’t believe this is real.”

Sellers focused on leadership, organizational behavior and ethics while earning his MBA. His teaching experience includes positions at George Fox University, Eastern Oregon University, Clark College and Mount Hood Community College.

He has a broad background spanning business, academia and non-profit environments, and he has created, developed and grown several businesses. In each business, Sellers was responsible for all aspects of strategy, finance, sales, marketing, personnel, operations and internal controls.

Sellers is committed to community service. He has spent more than 26 years volunteering at various nonprofits, including the American Red Cross, St. Benedict’s Hospital and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He also uses his consulting business to provide free personal finance training for low- and middle-income families. “My goal is to assist families in becoming debt free and meeting future financial goals,” he said.

During his time at Multnomah, Sellers plans to change the Church’s often skewed perception of Christian business leaders. “You don’t have to be a pastor or a missionary to serve God well — you can be salt and light in the business world too,” he said. “It’s not a second-class calling. Every time our business majors graduate, I hope they find their true purpose and that they are adequately prepared to pursue it. I want them to have the chops to hit the road.”

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About Multnomah University
Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with teaching sites in Reno, Nevada, and Seattle, Washington. Composed of a college, seminary, graduate school, degree completion program and online distance-learning program, Multnomah issues bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as professional certifications and endorsements. For more information, visit multnomah.edu.

College Basketball’s Top Sharpshooter Plays for the Lions

Comments Off Written on April 28th, 2014 by
Categories: Press Releases

PORTLAND, Ore. — Multnomah University student Stevie Sansone is the most prolific long-range shooter in college basketball. Statistically speaking, he shot (423) and made (157) more three-pointers this past season than any player in the country — at any level.

Sansone is a junior at Multnomah University, which holds a dual affiliation in the smallest college associations in the country: the National Christian College Athletics Association Division II and the Association of Christian College Athletics.

“Stevie has been a blessing to have in our program,” Coach Curt Bickley said. “He is a great leader and can really shoot the ball.”

When you see him on campus, the 6-foot Sansone appears to be a typical college student. However, meet him on a basketball court and get ready to witness a shooting clinic. Sansone’s smooth form and quick release allow him to drain threes at a rapid clip.

“His off-season shooting program with Mike Penberthy has made a tremendous difference,” Bickley said. “The difference between a good shooter and a great shooter is 1,000 shots a day — that is Stevie.”

Even with his incredible athletic abilities, Sansone possesses the qualities of humility and perspective.  Many 21-year-old college athletes might be tempted to boast after accomplishing a feat like this, but not Sansone. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to get Sansone to admit his accomplishment without first watching him blush and redirect the attention.

“I believe that my passion for basketball and for being in the gym is truly from God,” Sansone said. “My hope is that whoever sees me shooting can see that this really is a God-given gift.”

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About Multnomah University
Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education located in Portland, Oregon, with teaching sites in Reno, Nevada, and Seattle, Washington. Composed of a college, seminary, graduate school, degree completion program and online distance-learning program, Multnomah issues bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as professional certifications and endorsements. For more information, visit multnomah.edu.