Graduates honored at December Graduation Ceremony

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11

The smiles of our graduates radiated brightly on the rainy Saturday morning (Saturday, December 10, 2016) when 174 Warner Pacific students became new Alumni.

Adult Degree Program graduate Annette Hunt spoke during Commencement: “To my graduating class, I not only congratulate you on the amazing journey that you have just completed but encourage you to keep God first in your life.” She adds encouragement to continue achieving dreams,”Don’t ever quit and don’t allow fears to hold you back. In this increasingly changing society, our knowledge, wisdom, and courage begs for us to be the voice for those who cannot be heard. There will always be room for growth not only within yourself, but in someone else who needs inspiration.”

Several graduates were honored with awards of distinction:

Wilma I. Perry Award: Leslie Catabay

Dr. Wilma I. Perry embodied many wonderful qualities that Warner Pacific College considers of high value for its graduates of the Adult Degree Program. In her lifetime, Dr. Perry served as pastor of the Friendly Street Church of God in Eugene, OR, following years of service as an itinerant preacher and evangelist. Furthermore, she earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of Oregon as an adult student and joined the faculty at Warner Pacific College, where she also directed the College’s Center for Human Services. She was known for her speaking and teaching abilities, and as a gifted, published scholar. Dr. Perry’s life was one of service, academic excellence, integrity, and transformation

Adult Degree Program Outstanding Student Award for Excellence in Christ-Centered Leadership and Service: Jeff L. Scott

Adult Degree Program Outstanding Student Award for Excellence in Urban Leadership and Service: Nena A. Herbst

Adult Degree Program Outstanding Student Award for Excellence in Liberal Arts Leadership and Service: Craig M. Coleman

Adult Degree Program Outstanding Student Award for Excellence in Diversity Leadership and Service: Francoise A. Moisan

When to Start the College Admissions Process

When to Start the College Admissions Process

As your high school graduation quickly approaches, the process of applying to colleges may seem like an overwhelming task. Which colleges will you apply to? Will you accept alternatives? How much, if any, financial aid do you need? All of these questions, and more, need answers as you start the college admission process. You may also be asking yourself when exactly is the best time to begin thinking about private college admissions. These are some things to consider.

When Should I Start Thinking About College?

While it’s never too early to consider what colleges you’d like to attend, the actual application process should begin in earnest during the summer before your senior year. During that time, you should begin to seriously narrow down where to apply. You’ll want to take advantage of the free time that summer vacation offers to research schools as the last thing you want is to be rushed during this process!

It’s important to take your time figuring out exactly what you want, so don’t wait until the summer is almost over. Be diligent in the research you do; at this point, you can’t be sure exactly where you’ll end up so have several options that you think will fit you well. You should also consider that many colleges allow you to apply early; this may increase your chances of being accepted, although it may also require you to commit to a school sooner so decide whether early application is right for you.

How Do I Choose a College?

There are many factors to consider when choosing which colleges to apply to. Of course, you should consider your major and focus on schools that have programs suited to your area of interest. Think about what the college’s admission requirements are, but don’t necessarily become discouraged if you think you don’t quite meet them. Often, the test scores listed on the school website are averages; if yours are slightly lower that doesn’t necessarily mean an automatic rejection.

There should be other considerations as well; research the cost of the schools and the campus culture. Don’t pick a school just because a friend (or boyfriend or girlfriend) is going there. Location matters as well! Do you plan to relocate for college, or stay closer to home? The culture of the college is important, too. Avoid selecting schools just because of the “party” reputations or other non-academic factors. Do consider, however, the values that matter to the school that you’re applying to. Visit the websites, social media and read the mission statements to get an understanding of a college’s core values. If you plan to go to college in the Portland area, and your Christian faith is a strong part of your life, applying at Warner Pacific College is an excellent choice.

What Do I Put On My Application?

Once you’ve narrowed down your potential choices to a manageable list (five to eight is usually recommended), it’s time to start work on the application. Most likely, these applications will need to be submitted by September, so allow plenty of time during summer break to perfect them.

Putting together applications for private college admissions is a bit of an art form; you’ll want to convey your unique personality so the school can see what type of person you are. If you are applying to a school that values leadership, for example, make sure your application emphasizes your leadership abilities. Colleges look not only at courses you completed, they also consider extracurricular activities (clubs, volunteering).

What Else Do I Need?

Often, it’s not enough to simply send in your application. You may need to do more if you want to maximize your chances of being admitted; letters of recommendation from teachers are an example of something that you may want to include. Ask your teachers for these as soon as you can! If the deadline for your application is in early fall, then you’ll want to have a letter ready to go by then. Teachers are busy people, so they may need some time to write your letter. It is not polite to rush them.

Early on in the process you should also consider how you expect to pay for college; find out how much your family plans to contribute and consult with the schools themselves about potential financial aid options.

I Submitted My Application, Now What?

The college admission process does not stop simply because you’ve submitted your application. More than ever, it’s essential you keep your grades up and make sure that potential colleges still see you as a good choice. It is possible for a school to revoke an acceptance offer should you prove to no longer meet the criteria due to falling grades during your senior year.

Usually, acceptance letters do not begin arriving until February, so you’ll have to be patient as you wait to start seeing them. Once they do begin to come in, congratulations! Your hard work will have begun to pay off. During this period, you can re-visit and tour your top choice schools. Observe as much as you can; the campus, the classrooms, and the housing situation should all be factors to consider.

Private college admissions are not easy, so you should be proud once you’ve completed this process! You will have taken a big step toward the next chapter of your life. The actions you take when applying for colleges will have a very profound effect on the rest of your life, so make sure you go through this process with deliberation and care.




Are Small Colleges Still Affordable?

Are Small Colleges Still Affordable?

Though many schools of higher education are firmly rooted in tradition—through campus life, sports, and legacy families—what higher education looks like today is quite different than it did for previous generations. With over 2,700 schools to choose from, online classes are becoming the norm and more schools are offering completely online degrees. Flexible schedules are allowing more people to earn degrees than ever before, but it comes at a cost (literally).

Tuition prices have skyrocketed in the past 20 years. Between 1995 and 2015, the average tuition at private U.S. universities rose by 179%, surpassed by out-of-state tuition for public schools’ increase of 226%, and in-state public university tuition alarming jump of 296% (note that inflation between the same years grew by just 55.1%). Collectively, the 44 million Americans saddled with student loans are $1.3 trillion in student debt. The average higher education graduate in 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt, 6% more than students who graduated just one year before. So in short, all universities, big and small, are increasingly expensive.

Cost aside, earning your college degree is more important today than it ever has been—with one in every three people holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. With so many factors determining which career path is right for you, affordable small colleges make it easier to find your perfect fit without drowning in debt.

Why Choose a Small College?

Small colleges can be among the most affordable options for higher education and are scaled to create a strong sense of community among students and staff. Starting college can be overwhelming, but a smaller campus with fewer students can reduce reasons for anxiety.

Academically, affordable small colleges are more likely to employ instructors and professors who are there because they love to teach. Large universities often pull big-name professors who teach in order to have an institution to conduct their research. Small class sizes at small colleges facilitate one-on-one interactions and a tight-knit learning environment. With a shorter list of majors, small colleges often offer customizable degrees that cater to the career goals of each individual student.

How to Keep Small Colleges Affordable

Whether you go big or small, starting with a low base tuition is the best way to keep college affordable. Grants, loans, scholarships, and part-time jobs all make getting your degree more affordable, but first you need to determine which combination of these subsidies and payment methods is right for you:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

During your college years, you’ll likely become quite acquainted with the acronym FAFSA—a huge factor in determining the amount and the kind of financial help you’ll receive each year. Your year in school, enrollment status, cost of attendance, and the income of your parents or guardians (unless you are an independent student, then your personal income will be a factor instead) all determine your eligibility for financial help. The tricky thing is, even if your parents or guardians do not plan to help pay for your tuition, FAFSA will take their income into account as if they are the ones picking up the check.

Government financial aid is divided among two categories. Need-based aid is financial aid that you can receive if you have financial need and meet other eligibility criteria. It includes grants, subsidized loans, and work-study opportunities. Non-need-based aid does not take Expected Family Contribution (based on household assets and income) into account, but rather is based on the other assistance a student has or will be receiving. Unsubsidized loans and minimal grants are included in non-need-based aid.


To qualify for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans, a student must be enrolled at least half-time (taking 6 credit hours of classes, for example). Subsidized loans give students a six-month post-graduation grace period until your payment obligation kicks in. Interest accumulated while the student is enrolled at least half-time is paid by the U.S. Department of Education. Interest payments for unsubsidized loans accrue throughout a student’s enrollment time and are tacked-on to the loan amount once the student graduates.  


Unlike loans, grants do not have to be paid back. Grants can be privately or governmentally funded. The Federal Pell Grant is part of FAFSA’s need-based aid and is usually awarded only to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a degree. Every student who is deemed eligible on a need-based evaluation can receive the Pell Grant. The amount allotted per student each year fluctuates and will change each academic year. Even if you do not qualify for grants through the government, there’s a good chance you can apply to some through your affordable small college’s website.


Scholarships are awarded for just about anything you could think of and though they usually require a lengthy application process, scholarships can help save thousands of dollars on college tuition. High schools, extracurriculars, and sports teams, as well as private foundations and companies, are all great resources for potential scholarship money. College websites list scholarships awarded through the school. Like grants, you don’t have to pay back scholarships.


Nearly every school offers a work-study program that provides part-time work for enrolled students with financial need as determined by FAFSA. Work-study programs are often available to both half-time and full-time students and include both on-campus jobs and jobs through select nonprofit organizations or public agencies. Work-study jobs are typically very flexible and work around class schedules. Students are paid hourly and placement is determined by a student’s skill-set and financial need, though the early worm does usually get the employment worm! Be proactive. If your FAFSA determined you eligible, apply before the semester starts to increase your chances of being placed.




President Cook’s Statement on Free Speech

To the Warner Pacific Community:

Recently, our Knights joined an on-going national conversation about free speech and the rights of student-athletes to protest peacefully. I know that many of you have strong feelings about these actions and some of you have shared your opinions about the decision by members of the men’s basketball team to kneel during the national anthem at the home game on November 15, 2016.

I have heard both support for the actions of these students as well as concerns over the choice they have made, and I understand the deep convictions and concerns driving both perspectives. As a community, our ability to live in this tension with grace is both our privilege as Americans and our calling as followers of Christ.

As a community, Warner Pacific is dedicated to putting our core values into practice. We respect students’ capacity to think independently and encourage each one to engage actively in the academic and co-curricular learning process. While at Warner Pacific, we desire for students to learn the importance of questioning the status quo as they become critical thinkers who are capable of evaluating evidence to inform their decisions. As the President of Warner Pacific College, I fully support your right to enter into this conversation respectfully and I welcome the diverse perspective that each of us brings.

I recognize that some people may be upset by the actions taken by these students, or by the response of those who oppose these actions. But let me be clear, Warner Pacific College holds fast to the First Amendment rights of every student and employee. Whether you are debating in the classroom, praying in the locker room, petitioning at city hall, waving the American flag, or kneeling during the national anthem; we are all protected under the same freedoms.

We have the privilege to walk with young people as they journey through this process of learning; wrestling with their perspectives on many things, including faith and grace. We have this moment—a span of a few years— to engage them in a Christ-centered learning process that will help form and frame their lives beyond this place.

My hope is that Warner Pacific will be known as a community that invites and encourages all to come to the table where we can engage in respectful and civil dialogue rather than shouting at one another from the corners.

With Hope and Gratitude,
Andrea P. Cook, Ph.D.

RELATED: Cascade Collegiate Conference Statement

















Certified Personal Trainer Certification Available to WPC Students

In partnership with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), Warner Pacific is excited to be able to offer our students a Bachelor of Science in Health & Wellness that includes a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) accreditation.

As the only four-year institution in Oregon affiliated with NASM, Warner Pacific believes this partnership will provide our graduates with the competitive edge they need to enter the workforce with the skills, training, and confidence to succeed as health and wellness professionals. According to NASM, “The fitness professional provides guidance to help clients achieve their personal, health, fitness, and performance goals via the implementation of exercise programs, nutritional recommendations, and suggestions in lifestyle modification.”

The NASM CPT certification is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA is a nationally recognized third party agency that accredits certification programs which are able to meet and comply with its standards. NCCA’s mission is to help ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the accreditation of certification programs that assess professional competence.

Earning your CPT as you complete your Warner Pacific degree program means that you’ll have the practical and scientific knowledge to work in a variety of facilities, including health clubs, gyms, university, corporate, and community or public fitness centers, and positions ranging from freelance to full-time.

Warner Pacific Students Participate in the Murdock College Science Research Conference

At the recent Murdock College Science Research Conference (November 2016) hosted at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, two Warner Pacific science students presented research posters. Science posters are a key component of communicating a snapshot of research and are intended to invite conversation about the work.

The Conference focuses on sharing and advancing new knowledge in the natural sciences that were created or discovered through collaborative faculty-student research at colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest.

In honor of the program’s silver anniversary, the theme of the Conference this year was “Celebrating 25 Years in Supporting Undergraduate Research.”

Attendance at this Conference is by invitation; Warner Pacific was one of 30 invited. Oral and poster research presentations by students form the core of the Conference with over 300 students participating.


WPC Student Ben Durham at Murdock Conference 2016
Ben Durham entered: Biology-Ecology Competition may lead to declines in American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) nest box use at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and its implications for management.
WPC student Brook Mengistu at Murdock Conference 2016
Biruktawit (Brook) Mengistu entered: Biology Developmental Biology –  Effect of maternal obesity on expression of Carnitine Palmitoyltransferase 1a (CPT 1a) in the human placenta.

Fall Concert Series

Autum leaves on sheet musicEnjoy the musical talents of our extraordinary students during our Fall Concert Series:

Jazz Concert

Featuring the Warner Pacific Jazz Band and Vocal Jazz Ensemble performing family-friendly music that includes ballads, rock, jazz, Latin, and gospel songs.

Wednesday, November 16, at 7:30 pm

Choir Concert

Featuring the Warner Pacific Concert Choir and Warner Chorale. This entertaining program highlights music by composers such as Bruckner, Arnesen, Augustinas, and Whalum, featuring rich harmonies, captivating arrangements, and a musical surprise or two.  People of all ages are welcome and will find this concert to be inspiring and uplifting.

Sunday, November 20, at 3:00 pm

Wind Ensemble Concert

Wednesday, November 30, at 7:30 pm


All concerts are free and take place at Warner Pacific’s McGuire Auditorium (2219 SE 68th Ave.). Plenty of free parking available.


Join us for Advent Brunch (December 3)

Warner Pacific Advent BrunchPlease join us for the 5th Annual Advent Brunch hosted President Andrea Cook; a joyful time of fellowship, reflection, and renewal.


  • Saturday, December 3
  • 10 am – 12 pm
  • McGuire Auditorium (2219 SE 68th Ave., Portland)
  • Gourmet Brunch
  • Advent Brunch RSVP buttonHelp us spread joy this season by bringing and donating a new or gently used children’s book for the Children’s Book Bank Drive and help us give kids throughout Portland the gift of reading
  • Be our guests (there is no charge to attend); however, please RSVP to reserve your spot.
  • Please RSVP by Wednesday, November 23

Give the Gift of Reading

We are excited to once again partner with the Children’s Book Bank, supporting  their work to bring the gift of reading to kids throughout Portland. Easy access to books is foundational to literacy development. Scarcity of books in the home is one of the greatest obstacles that must be overcome by children living in poverty. Children with books in the home become better readers and do better in school.

Please bring your new or gently used books to the brunch and help us give  Portland’s most vulnerable children the gift of reading. Types of books most in need are Dr. Seuss and Spanish-language books. Other requests are: picture books, board books, alphabet books, and counting books. (New books are preferred for Christmas.)

Click here to purchase books specially requested by the Children’s Book Bank.

Chldren's Book Bank

5 Reasons Students Attend a Christian College

As a young Christian trying to decide which college to attend for the first time, you may be wavering between a secular or Christian college. Both Christian colleges and non-christian colleges offer you a great education, but in order to make your decision, you may have to look a little deeper.

The truth is, choosing which college to attend is a huge decision. The college you choose affects your choice of major, the friends you will make, extracurricular activities that you partake in, and the location you are gaining experience. Your choice to attend one college or another may very well determine what you end up doing for work as a result of your time there. Possibly even who you marry. 

When it comes down to it, your choice of which college to attend is also your decision about which campus you want to grow at over the next four years, and the community you want to help guide you to find your place in God’s Kingdom.5 Reasons Students Attend a Christian College

Here are five reasons students choose to attend a Christian college:

  1. Use College As A Chance To Grow Your Faith

Christian colleges provide you with an environment primed for building your faith. Whether it’s incorporating Christian values and lessons into classes, to weekly religious services and spiritual advisors, having an infrastructure that prioritizes your relationship with Christ is a huge benefit to your faith. Attending a secular college can sometimes be a jarring experience, especially if you are used to the comforts of a Christian environment at home. But Christian colleges give you the chance to be surrounded by reminders every day. Whether it’s prayer before class, or a morning bible study in your dorm room, these reminders can go a long way toward helping grow into a stronger faith in the next four years, leaving you better prepared for the working world, both mentally and spiritually.  

  1. Learn With Your Values Integrated Into The Classroom

At a secular college, you may be confronted with opposing views that don’t align with God’s vision, and it can be a really difficult process to detangle, especially if you are surrounded by people who don’t share your faith. But your faith and your education shouldn’t have to be compartmentalized or separated. At a Christian college, faith-based values are integrated into every class. Whether it’s an art class, science or engineering class, you’ll get the benefit of seeing and hearing the influence of the Word on every subject. Professors and teachers bring you the benefit of their real life experiences as believers in their field, giving you a deeper understanding of the subject you are studying, and how it impacts the world in alignment with God’s plan.

  1. Surround Yourself With A Community Of Believers

The relationships you build while you are in college will follow you forward into the rest of your life. Some of these relationships may end up becoming life long friends, others may be coworkers or bosses, and one may even become your partner for life. So, it’s important to choose a community that gives you the best opportunity to meet people who ground you and encourage you in the right ways. Christian colleges attract strong young men and women from every walk of life, but having the common denominator of a shared faith can make the difference between falling into temptation during your college years and finding God’s calling. Your classmates will understand your values, and hopefully share them. Having that accountability and support can be a huge benefit to your time in school.

  1. Programs Built With Your Values In Mind

Aside from classroom experience, there’s a whole world of other activities and events that colleges can offer you, from studying abroad to internships and on-campus activities. As a student at a Christian college, you’ll also be provided with opportunities to get involved in spiritually-minded activities. Get credit for an internship or community involvement at a local church, sign up to attend a mission trip over spring break, or hear from foreign missionaries and pastors during on-campus speaking events. When you attend a Christian college, the whole campus and culture are organized around the same values, making it easier to prioritize your faith and put your time and energy to good use.

  1. Religious Services On Campus

It’s easy to let your good habits fall by the wayside when you start going to college. With new friends, classes, homework and a whole new set of distractions to pull your attention and time, things like attending a church regularly, joining a Bible study, or participating in a worship group often fall to the wayside. It’s hard to prioritize. All of these things take time and energy, which is something that comes at a bit of a premium when your homework starts piling up. Attending a Christian college makes it easy for you to prioritize your faith. With chapel services, Bible studies, and worship times all on campus, you don’t have to go far to find a good place to connect with God.