Multnomah University

Multnomah University
Established February 14, 1936
Type Private
President Dr. Craig Williford
Undergraduates 600
Postgraduates 260
Location Portland, Oregon, USA

Multnomah University (MU) is a non-denominational Christian university in Portland, Oregon. Multnomah consists of a college, graduate school, seminary and Degree Completion Program, and the university offers bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees. All students in the undergraduate program receive a bachelor's degree in Bible & Theology, as well as a second major of their choice.


  • History 1
  • Campus locations 2
  • Rankings 3
  • Starting Point for Ministries 4
  • Academics 5
    • Undergraduate program 5.1
    • Graduate School 5.2
    • Seminary 5.3
    • Degree Completion Program 5.4
  • Athletics 6
  • Notable alumni 7
  • Notable faculty 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


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 Multnomah School of the Bible 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. At 34, he was 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 in his father's footsteps and became the next president of Multnomah. He 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 Multnomah Bible College. On July 1, 2008, the overarching name of the institution was changed to Multnomah University.[6]

Campus locations

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 campus.[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

Over its history, Multnomah has been the starting point of several independent ministries and businesses, including: Mission Portland,[11] International Renewal Ministries,[12] and Multnomah Press (now Waterbrook-Multnomah Publishing Group, which no longer has any connection to Multnomah University).[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

Multnomah students in the undergraduate program graduate with a bachelor's degree in Bible & Theology, with the choice of a second major 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 choose an Advanced Concentration in Biblical Languages, Theological Studies or Biblical Studies, which consists additional semester hours in of the three disciplines added onto the 36-hour Bible & Theology degree, resulting in the equivalent of a second major.[14][15]

Graduate School

Multnomah Graduate School offers four 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 so students may work and attend school at the same time.[16]


The Multnomah Biblical Seminary

The Seminary offers 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 & Theology education) and an advanced track (for those with formal Bible & 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.

In 2013, Multnomah launched its first doctoral program, the Doctor of Ministry. Students may choose one of three emphases: Cultural Engagement, Missional Leadership or Global Evangelism.[18]

Degree Completion Program

Adult students coming into Multnomah with 48 credit hours or above and significant professional work experience can enroll in MU’s two-year degree completion program (DCP). The program 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. Students can chose from three majors in the DCP: Management & Ethics, Biblical Foundations or Leadership & Ministry.


Multnomah's intercollegiate sports include men's and women's basketball, men's soccer, men's and women's cross-country, men's and women's golf, women's volleyball and men's and women's track and field. The school is now a member of both the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC).

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

  • 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,[20][21] 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".  
  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. ^ "Rick McKinley". Zondervan Publishing. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  20. ^ "Paul Louis Metzger". New Wine New Wineskins. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  21. ^ Metzger, Paul. "What Is Biblical Justice". Leadership Journal. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 

External links

  • Multnomah University (official website)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.