|Established||February 14, 1936|
|President||Dr. Craig Williford|
|NAIA – CCC|
Multnomah University (MU) is a private non-denominational Christian university in Portland, Oregon. Composed of a college, seminary, graduate school, and online distance-learning program, the university offers bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees, as well as professional certifications and endorsements.
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.
In 1943, Willard Aldrich became president of the school. At 34, he was the youngest president of a college in the United States. 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.
Willard's son, Dr. Joseph C. Aldrich, followed in his father's footsteps and became the next president of Multnomah. He was affectionately referred to as Dr. Joe.
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 name of the institution was changed to Multnomah University.
Multnomah University was granted an exception to Title IX in 2016 that allows it to legally discriminate against LGBT students. University policy states that humans should have sex only within heterosexual marriage.
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, and the university's main campus still remains there today.
In 2008, Multnomah announced a satellite campus in Reno, Nevada. Reno students could choose from a bachelor's degree in Bible and theology or graduate degrees in Bible, theology, or church leadership. Multnomah's Reno campus was also home to Reno Technology Academy, which exists to resolve the information technology labor shortage in Northern Nevada by providing industry certifications. The Reno campus was permanently closed at the end of 2020.
In 2009, Multnomah University was named among the top 25 non-profits to work at in Oregon. The Seattle Met, in their 2008 rankings of Northwest colleges, put Multnomah as #6 in the region.
Over its history, Multnomah has been the starting point of several independent ministries and businesses, including: Mission Portland, International Renewal Ministries, and Multnomah Press (now Waterbrook-Multnomah Publishing Group, which no longer has any connection to Multnomah University).
Multnomah offers bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees, as well as professional certifications and endorsements.
Historically, Multnomah University required all undergraduate students to major in Bible and Theology and choose a second major after that. The required major in Bible and Theology has since been dropped for a much less robust "Biblical Core."
MU's Summit program allows students to earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Bible and Theology and a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) in just five years instead of seven. The university also offers two TESOL certificate options for people wanting to teach English to speakers of other languages.
Multnomah Graduate School offers four Master of Arts (MA) programs. There is also an online version of the Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice degree that kicks off with two weeks of classes in Rwanda or Thailand before transitioning to fully online classes. There is also an online version of the MA in TESOL degree.
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.
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 constructive feedback.
The seminary also offers a doctoral program, the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.), which offers several specialized tracks, including: Cross-Cultural Engagement, Contextual Leadership, Global Evangelism, and Youth Ministry.
Multnomah University offers online bachelor's degrees, online graduate degrees, and online seminary degrees.
Multnomah's intercollegiate sports include men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's cross-country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's track and field, and women's volleyball. The university is a member of both the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC).
The men's basketball team holds the NAIA record for three-pointers taken in a game (79) and three-pointers made in a game (29).