Introducing Multnomah Favorite… Ray Lubeck

Introducing Multnomah Favorite… Ray Lubeck

For 33 years, the name Ray Lubeck has been synonymous with the Multnomah campus. An alumnus himself, Lubeck came to Multnomah as a student in search of answers after attending a secular college. “I found myself overwhelmed with the information I was receiving about conflicting views on human personality and behaviors,” he said. “It was a missionary friend of mine who told me: If I really wanted to understand people, I needed to understand the One who created them.”

Multnomah was the Bible school his friend and many of his colleagues attended, so Lubeck trusted the process and enrolled. After attending college, and various graduate schools as well as participating in a variety of church ministries for a number of years, Lubeck was contacted by the academic dean at Multnomah, inviting him to consider a faculty position. That invitation was the catalyst to becoming one of the most beloved professors on campus. Predominantly teaching Bible classes, Lubeck’s specialty is the Old Testament but he also teaches hermeneutics, biblical theology and Bible study methods (which he wrote a textbook on, designed for use in the classroom, but made its way to a number of churches).

Lubeck also made his mark developing curriculum used by the “Bible Project,” a crowdfunded venture focused on creating free educational resources to help people better understand the Bible. “Bible Project” creators Tim Mackey and John Collins are Lubeck’s former students who requested use of Lubeck’s course material which fueled the well-known project.

The “Bible Project” later connected with Multnomah University and other alumni to co-host a conference in 2023 honoring Lubeck for his work. Alumni include a tenured professor from Harvard Divinity School, others who are teaching at places like St. Andrews, and those who went on to earn doctorates at institutions such as Emory, Notre Dame, Oxford, St. Andrews and Vienna. “I was very humbled to learn that some former students were putting together a conference in my honor,” he said. “Former students came out of the woodwork, those who are scholars all over the world, representing multiple continents. And the papers they gave were phenomenal, truly on the cutting edge of their own disciplines, especially Old Testament ones.” The event was sold out weeks in advance, with 400 people attending on campus and 1300 livestreaming.

As the Multnomah Campus of Jessup University is unveiled, Lubeck senses a refocus on Christ-centeredness, building more bridges and transformative relationships. “I’ve tried to be as much a student of my students as I am my field of study. It’s all about relationships. I mean, these are the fundamental commandments given by Christ to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself,” he said. “Our students are enthused about God’s Word.”

Lubeck recounted a final semester assignment last fall where he asked students to share what they learned from reading the Bible, class discussion, and how they could see this having an impact in their own churches. “So I’m reading through these papers, one paper after another, reading about students who are confessing, testifying to having their life transformed this semester,” he said. “And many didn’t come here to study the Bible.”

When asked what needs to live on at Multnomah through this partnership, Lubeck said, ”Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. I think that if we as an institution can keep that as our priority, other things can be worked out.”