PORTLAND —The Rev. Dr. Craig Williford, most recently president of Trinity International University in Illlinois, has been selected as Multnomah University’s next president.
Williford will take on some leadership responsibilities immediately as president-elect and assume full presidential duties July 1.
“Carolyn and I are honored to join the Multnomah family to serve as president and spouse,” he said. “We humbly take our place within the distinguished line of former and current trustees, faculty, staff, administration and presidents who served so sacrificially.”
Multnomah’s trustee board selected Williford on a unanimous vote last month. Board Chairman Jack Dryden said God’s faithfulness was evident throughout the presidential search process.
“The Board of Trustees has been praying earnestly for some time that God would direct us to the person He was calling to lead Multnomah University for the next season,” Dryden said. “We are thrilled, but not surprised, that our gracious and kind Father in Heaven has exceeded our expectations. We are grateful for this gift.”
Williford has served five years as the president of Trinity International (TIU) where he earned his doctorate in 1995. During his time at TIU, the university doubled its endowment and instituted numerous curricular improvements. TIU also secured funding for a new student success center while facilitating campus improvements such as remodeled classrooms and updated educational technology.
Prior to TIU, Williford spent eight years as president of Denver (Colo.) Seminary. He provided leadership as the seminary underwent a transformation in terms of its enrollment, curriculum, faculty development, financial health and campus facilities. He also taught pastoral leadership courses on the master’s and doctoral levels and continues to mentor five pastoral and nonprofit leaders who serve throughout the United States.
In addition, Williford served as a pastor for 20 years. His duties included leading pastoral and program staff, facilitating the strategic thinking process, preaching, leading significant change initiatives, designing new ministries, facilitating church planting strategies and pastoring two mini-congregations.
Williford said Godly, cross-cultural, innovative leadership focused on reaching the world is his passion. He researches, writes and speaks on this topic whenever he has the opportunity. He said he loves to help leaders embrace the spiritual dimensions of their calling as Christ leads them in their lives and their organizations.
The Willifords have been married for 41 years. They have four grandchildren and two sons: Robb, who died suddenly in December 2010, and Jay, who lives in Colorado with his wife, Rachael.
The Willifords are also authors and seminar speakers. Carolyn has written four non-fiction books and three novels that address areas of spiritual formation. Their latest co-authored books are Faith Tango, a practical guide on how to deepen one’s marriage through spiritual formation, and Questions from the God Who Needs No Answers, a devotional book for individuals, couples and small groups. Craig’s latest book is How to Treat a Staff Infection.
Williford will take over for Acting President Wayne Strickland, who assumed presidential duties when longtime leader Daniel Lockwood stepped down Nov. 1.
Williford said he and his wife are excited about the next chapter in their lives.
“Please join us in praying that God will provide the faith, courage and wisdom needed as I now assume presidential responsibilities,” he said. “We look forward to meeting all members of the Multnomah community as soon as possible.”