International Renewal Ministries will office at Multnomah for the coming year, but on June 30, 2004, the organization will become independent.
The discussion of IRM's future relationship with Multnomah has been going on for about two years. "Some of the issues that brought the separation are financial and administrative structure issues, but more significantly, mission issues," Dr. Lockwood said. "As a board, we came to an understanding that Multnomah would be better served as we focus more on our educational task to develop undergraduate and graduate programs."
As Multnomah continues to add programs and classes, the college and seminary has had fewer funds to spend on programs not directly related to education. "This process of focus is important for our future viability," Dr. Lockwood said.
"IRM's charge is to help fan a movement," said Dennis Fuqua, IRM's director, "while Multnomah's charge is to give direction to an institution."
Verne Davis, chairman of the board of trustees said that although both academics and prayer are important for students, IRM and Multnomah are two very different spheres; each requires much attention and leadership.
Multnomah will not completely cut ties with IRM. Along with housing an office for the renewal ministry, Multnomah has made a commitment to help fund this transition. The board of trustees is willing to support Fuqua and help him to create and sustain his own corporation. Fuqua will begin raising his own support as well.
Fuqua is also director of alumni relations at Multnomah, a position he will not continue. Due to a lack of finances, his position will not be filled until January 1, 2005. Ray Keen, executive director of advancement and former director of alumni relations, will supervise alumni relations until then.
IRM has a rich history with Multnomah. The ministry began in 1989, driven by Dr. Joseph Aldrich, Multnomah's former president. The movement's goal is to build unity, humility and spiritual growth in the church. IRM sponsors prayer summits where pastors of all denominations, ages and race come together to seek God's will in their communities.
Fuqua sees IRM playing a role in transforming the Church. "The thought of having any role in that-of throwing my pebble into that pond-is an amazing thing," he said.