Multnomah University

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Multnomah University
Motto If it's Bible you want, then you want Multnomah! (college)
Bringing the Word to Life (seminary)
Established February 14, 1936
Type Private
President Daniel R. Lockwood
Admin. staff 230
Undergraduates 600
Postgraduates 260
Location Portland, Oregon, USA
45°31′35″N 122°34′36″W / 45.5265°N 122.5766°W / 45.5265; -122.5766Coordinates: 45°31′35″N 122°34′36″W / 45.5265°N 122.5766°W / 45.5265; -122.5766

Multnomah University is a Christian educational institution in Portland, Oregon, United States. Specializing in Biblical studies and theology, Multnomah University consists of an undergraduate liberal arts program at Multnomah Bible College, as well as a masters level and doctoral programs at Multnomah Biblical Seminary. All students in the undergraduate program receive a bachelor's degree in Biblical studies/theology, and may also complete a second major or minor in ministerial or liberal arts. Students at Multnomah Biblical seminary can pursue a graduate certificate, or various master's degrees.


On February 14, 1936, Rev. John G. Mitchell called a meeting of Portland-area ministers and Christian businessmen to discuss the idea of creating a Bible school in the Pacific Northwest. Mitchell, working with Dr. B.B. Sutcliffe, Dr. Willard Aldrich, and others founded the school that year. The following October, classes began with 49 students and a half-dozen faculty in a former mortuary.[1][2] In 1943 Willard Aldrich became president of the school, and at age 34 the youngest president of a college in the United States.[3] Willard served as president up until his retirement in 1978. During his time as president Multnomah came to reside on its current campus, and became a degree-granting college.[4] His son, Dr. Joe Aldrich, followed his father as President and was affectionately referred to as Dr. Joe.[5] The Multnomah Graduate School of Ministry was founded as a related institution in 1986 and was renamed later to Multnomah Biblical seminary. In 1993, the college was renamed to Multnomah Bible College, and on July 1, 2008, the overarching name of the entire institution was changed to Multnomah University.[6]

Campus locations[edit]

Southeast Portland campus

The original campus was located adjacent to the site of the present Lloyd Center shopping mall in Northeast Portland. In 1952, the school purchased the 17-acre (69,000 m²) former campus of the Oregon Blind Trades School, a branch of the Oregon State School for the Blind, located at NE 82nd Avenue and NE Glisan Street, which is the location of one of the university's current campuses.[7]

In September 2009 Multnomah began offering undergraduate classes at its satellite campus in Reno, Nevada and plans to begin seminary classes there soon.[8]


In 2009 Multnomah University was named among the top 25 non-profits to work at in Oregon.[9] The Seattle Met, in their 2008 rankings of Northwest colleges put Multnomah as #6 in the region.[10]

Starting Point for Ministries[edit]

Over its history Multnomah has been the starting point of a number of independent ministries and businesses including: Mission Portland,[11] International Renewal Ministries,[12] and Multnomah Press (now Waterbrook-Multnomah Publishing Group).[13]


Multnomah is a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate level granting institution. Multnomah consists of four separate programs: undergraduate, graduate, seminary, and adult-degree completion.

Undergraduate program[edit]

Multnomah University's motto is "If it's Bible you want, you want Multnomah." Multnomah students in the undergraduate program graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies, with the choice of a second major or minor in the following areas: Aviation Technology, Biblical Hebrew, Business Administration, Educational Ministry, Elementary Education, English Literature, History/Pre-Law, Intercultural Studies, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Music, New Testament Greek, Pastoral Ministry, Psychology, and Youth Ministry. Students may also chose an Advanced Concentration in Biblical Languages, Theological Studies, or Biblical Studies, which consists additional semester hours in of the three disciplines added onto the 48 hour Bible and Theology degree resulting in the equivalent of a second major.[14][15]

Graduate program[edit]

Multnomah offers four non-seminary graduate degrees: Master of Arts in Counseling, a Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice, and a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Most classes are offered in the afternoon or evening in order for students to work and attend school at the same time.[16]


The Multnomah Biblical Seminary

Multnomah's Portland campus is home to Multnomah Biblical Seminary. The Seminary offers a Graduate Certificate in Bible as well as numerous Masters programs: Master of Arts in Biblical Studies, Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies, Master of Arts in Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Applied Theology, Master of Divinity, and Master of Theology. Students at Multnomah Biblical Seminary are offered a standard track (for those without formal Bible and theology education) and an advanced track (for those with formal Bible and theology training) that eliminates one year of graduate studies.[17] Students in the seminary program are allowed the opportunity for learning in the classroom and practical application through Multnomah’s internship program. Pastoral mentors work with students to help in their ministry training by providing guidance, experience, and push-back.

Beginning the summer of 2013 Multnomah began its first doctoral program, a Doctor of Ministry with an emphasis in either Biblical Leadership or Cultural Engagement.[18]

Degree completion program[edit]

Adult students coming into Multnomah with 48 credit hours or above, and significant professional work experience can enroll in Multnomah’s two-year degree completion program. The program is unique as it allows students to continue full-time employment while finishing their undergraduate education by attending classes only one night a week, and working with a cohort of other students.


Multnomah's athletic teams are nicknamed the Lions, and "Mitch the Lion" is the name of their mascot. The school's nickname was formerly the Ambassadors.[19] The school is a member of both the National Christian College Athletic Association and the Association of Christian College Athletics. Multnomah’s division II teams are their men’s basketball and women’s volleyball.

In their 2010 season Multnomah's Division II Women's Volleyball team made it to the NCCAA championship in Kissimmee, Florida.[20] Out of 37 teams they placed 9th.[21]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Bruce Wilkinson, author of The Prayer of Jabez, founder of Walk Thru the Bible
  • Rick McKinley, noted Pastor, Author, and Speaker.
  • Paul Louis Metzger, noted theologian, founder of The Institute For The Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins,[23][24] member of the Center for Theological Inquiry in Princeton, NJ.
  • Garry Friesen, author of the widely successful book Decision Making and The Will of God.


  1. ^ "Our History". Multnomah University. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  2. ^ Balmer, Randall (2004). Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism. Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press. p. 396. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Multnomah University co-founder Aldrich dies at age 100". Christian News Northwest. Retrieved December 1, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Multnomah Bible School Founder Dies at 100". Oregon Faith Report. Dec 3, 2009. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  5. ^ Haught, Nancy (March 28, 2010). "Books from Multnomah Bible College are bound for Rwanda and a new theological library". The Oregonian. Retrieved 29 March 2010. 
  6. ^ Richard Koe. "Two More Colleges To Make Jump To University Status". Christian News Northwest. Retrieved Nov 29, 2010. 
  7. ^ Balmer, Randall (2004). Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism. Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press. p. 396. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Multnomah University Expands to Nevada". Christian News Northwest. Retrieved December 1, 2010. 
  9. ^ "100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon". Oregon Business Review. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  10. ^ "Northwest College Rankings". Seattle Met. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "Our History". Multnomah University. Retrieved December 1, 2010. 
  12. ^ "International Renewal Ministries". Mission Portland. Retrieved December 1, 2010. 
  13. ^ "About Us". Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group. Retrieved December 1, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Undergraduate". Multnomah University. Retrieved February 4, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Undergraduate". Multnomah University. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Multnomah University Graduate Program". Multnomah University. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "Degrees Offered". Multnomah University. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  18. ^ "Degrees Offered". Multnomah University. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  19. ^ "New Multnomah Mascot Wins Lion Share of Votes". Multnomah University. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  20. ^ Kurt Zimmer (November 11, 2010). "Multnomah University Volleyball Team Bound For NCCAA Nationals". The Columbian. Retrieved December 1, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Division II Women's Volleyball Championship". National Christian College Athletic Association. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  22. ^ "Rick McKinley". Zondervan Publishing. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  23. ^ "Paul Louis Metzger". New Wine New Wineskins. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  24. ^ Metzger, Paul. "What Is Biblical Justice". Leadership Journal. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 

External links[edit]