2021-2022 University Catalog

History

On Valentine’s Day 1936, Dr. John G. Mitchell called a meeting of Portland-area ministers and Christian businessmen. The Pacific Northwest, he was convinced, needed a school that would faithfully instruct men and women in the truth of God’s Word. As a result of a shared vision, Multnomah School of the Bible was born.

Multnomah’s history is defined by Dr. Mitchell’s pivotal role. The imprint of his personality, purpose, and priorities has distinguished Multnomah from its inception. Dr. Mitchell served as chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1949-1987. For more than 46 years, it was his conference, classroom, and radio Bible-teaching ministry that both set the standard and shaped public perception of the school he founded.

Dr. B.B. Sutcliffe, Christian statesman and nationally known Bible teacher, was Multnomah’s first president, serving from 1936-1943. Dr. Willard M. Aldrich assumed the presidency in spring 1943 and worked side-by-side with Dr. Mitchell over the next 35 years. Under Dr. Aldrich’s administration, Multnomah’s reputation as a premiere Bible-training center grew worldwide. In May 1978, Dr. Joseph C. Aldrich was selected by the Board of Trustees as Multnomah’s third president. Under his visionary leadership, International Renewal Ministries flourished in leading the way for renewal and revival of the church in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Multnomah Biblical Seminary (called Multnomah Graduate School of Ministry until May 1993) launched its innovative Master of Divinity program in September 1987 under the leadership of Dr. Donald L. Brake. The seminary offered the Graduate Certificate from 1947 to the present, adding the Master of Arts in biblical studies and the Master of Sacred Ministry degrees in the late ‘70s. The Board of Trustees authorized the formation of a distinct seminary in 1986 to meet the special needs of Bible-college graduates and to offer unique curriculum, internships, and scheduling for students committed to pastoral ministry.

Dr. Joseph Aldrich stepped down from the presidency in May 1997 and the Board of Trustees chose Dr. Daniel R. Lockwood, Dean of the Seminary, to become Multnomah’s fourth president. Dr. Lockwood served until 2013 when illness forced his premature resignation. Dr. G. Craig Williford assumed his responsibilities July 1, 2014 as Multnomah’s fifth president.

By decision of the Board of Trustees, Multnomah School of the Bible became Multnomah Bible College and Biblical Seminary in May 1993.

The corporate name of the institution was changed to Multnomah University in July 2008. Multnomah University is composed of three levels of instruction: Undergraduate, Multnomah Biblical Seminary, and Multnomah Graduate School.

Infused with vital leadership and renewed vision, Multnomah continues its mission of preparing men and women for Christian life and service.