Meet Dr. Jessica Taylor

Meet Dr. Jessica Taylor

Last November marked the beginning of a unique partnership between Multnomah University and Jessup University to create the Multnomah Campus of Jessup University in Portland, Oregon. This development underscores both institutions’ shared commitment to providing a faith-based education that empowers students to impact the world for the glory of God.

Serving as President of the Multnomah Campus of Jessup University is Dr. Jessica Taylor who was unanimously elected to be the 7th President of Multnomah University in 2023. “The Lord led me to Multnomah to serve students and to foster changes that would allow us to become a place where all students can feel a sense of belonging,” she said. Dr. Taylor was the first woman to hold the office at Multnomah University and the first Black woman to become a university president in the 185-member Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).

Working closely with Jessup’s President, Dr. John Jackson, Dr. Taylor is navigating the complexities of the partnership between Multnomah and Jessup University. “We are forging a new path of interdependence and disrupting the status quo in hopes of modeling a new kingdom future where Christian organizations find the unity Christ invites us to embody.” Their combined leadership ensures each institutions’ strengths are maximized as they move forward with a shared vision to deliver Christ-centered higher education for future generations.

Prior to her role as president, Dr. Taylor was a student at Multnomah University in the inaugural class of the Master of Arts in Counseling program, later returning as the first Black woman to serve on the Multnomah Board of Trustees. She was then hired as vice president of diversity and inclusive development as the university worked to live out the biblical value that the love of Christ is for every person. There, she paved the way for the Multnomah campus to better live out its vision to be a diverse community equipping students to love Christ and serve with neighbors through their lives and work.

Dr. Taylor has a background in leadership, executive coaching, and psychology, as well as an extensive history in on-the-ground ministry with youth and young adults in church and parachurch settings. She earned her B.S. in Human Development, M.A. in Human Services, and Ph.D. in Christian Counseling. She is an ordained minister in the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) and loves to integrate her love of scripture with her love for people.

As the founder of The Leadership Training Initiative, Dr. Taylor helps leaders develop into equitable and inclusive change agents characterized by their humility, empathy, and courage. Known for her unwavering faith, humor and courageous spirit as a leader, she is also an author, executive coach and speaker sought after by other leaders to guide them in crisis and through seemingly unsolvable problems. Her leadership exemplifies philanthropy, transparency, modeling God’s redemptive work, and recognizing the profound significance of uplifting the dignity of every image-bearer for the advancement of the kingdom of God.

A native of Portland, Oregon, Dr. Taylor has been married for 14 years to Sergeant First Class, Eric Taylor who serves in the Army National Guard. The couple have four children together and purposely built a discipleship community in their neighborhood that seeks to shine the light of Jesus in their city. As a lifelong learner, Dr. Taylor enjoys reading nonfiction books in her free time and hosting others in their home.