The Oregon Extension

I am thrilled to announce that I will be taking a faculty position as assistant professor of environmental studies at The Oregon Extension for the coming school year! It’s a unique and amazing college outside of Ashland, OR. Students from colleges and universities around the country spend fall term there, earning 17 credits, going backpacking and camping, and learning practical sustainability skills. Most of the students come from Christian colleges and universities, and the courses focus on faith and environmental care, which is the exact area I’ve been focusing on in my academic and personal life. The OE is a place I’ve been interested in since some of my friends attended in college, and I’m excited to finally have the chance to spend time there.

A few raised beds, then a goat area, then a larger garden space. Goat house on the left, with a greenhouse and chicken coop behind it (not pictured).

We visited in March, and my whole family loved the place! It’s on 100 acres in the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument, and there’s a large fishing pond right across the street. We’ve already spent hours out on the pond in a canoe and kayak. The OE also has chickens, goats, gardens, worm compost and hot compost, and an extensive recycling system.

E looking out across the Cascades after a short hike from The Oregon Extension.

The courses are taught collaboratively, with faculty overseeing students in their area(s) of expertise so that students can receive a range of credits, and also read core texts together. Courses are called: What is Nature, What is Community, What is a Sustainable World, and What Does It Mean to be Human. (You can read more about the courses here.)

Labyrinth at The Oregon Extension.

I’m really excited about this opportunity professionally, because it is exactly the type of job I’ve been preparing for, and I’m also excited about it for my family. What a place to be able to grow up! We are looking forward to lots of outdoor time, learning new skills and a new region, and hanging out with the others who live at the OE. We’ll miss our family and community, but glad that we’re only moving about 5 hours away.

The Oregon Extension’s library and classroom, offices, computer area, and “cookhouse” (game room and kitchen), in the original buildings that made up Lincoln, OR, a mill town from the 1920s.

5 Replies to “The Oregon Extension”

  1. This is so exciting! We will certainly miss you, but it exactly fits your education and interests. Your boys will love it! Joel will, too! I’m glad the Lord is leading you to a wonderful oppotunity.


  2. Congratulations on this exciting opportunity for your entire family.

    Please consider returning to Sherwood the week of July 9 for the Sherwood Rotary Peace Village. It is a full week of youth camp just like one Newberg has hosted for 7 years. We are recruiting teachers (like you & others you may know)in 4 instructional areas for this non-denominational camp for children ages preschool-K through 8th grade. 9th graders and older people might want to apply to be an assistant.

    The photo lists more contact info. Please consider joining us & enrolling your sons in the camp which is open 9-3:30 pm with children care until 4:00 pm.

    Please note we are collaborating with St Francis Catholic Church and School and Tualatin Wildlife Refuge. Both organizations are not having their own youth camps to support the peaceful activities we are doing together in communication with nature, mindful movement, media literacy, and conflict resolution.


    1. Thanks, Jane! Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll be able to participate in Peace Village this year. I’m excited to hear that Sherwood is going to host a Peace Village, though! My kids have enjoyed the Newberg one for the last several years. I hope it goes well!


  3. Don’t do it! They have horrible faculty turn over rates! I attended there as a student last year and had the worst experiences of my life. Lots of drama among the faculty and students. They all seem nice until you’re there. A faculty member had to leave in the middle of the term last year because of terrible things happening to her. We learned later that lawyers were brought in. At least talk to Eli Knapp and his family before you go. They had really bad experiences too. At the last vesper’s service Heidi asked us not to talk about what happened at The OE before we went back to our colleges. A lot of us talked about it when we went back to our cabins that night because it was so transparent that they didn’t want us to report the issues back to our schools. Seriously, you’ll regret moving your family.


  4. Hope it goes better for you than it did for me. Went there a few years ago and the folks in charge had a lot of outbursts and unhealthy habits. They were switching over at the time and then took a year off. Don’t know if things got better. Talk to some of the alumni before you go and Allson Kling! She knows the whole history. Also, if you’re at George Fox, see if you can find some students that went there. Heard some things through the grapevine.


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