OBU 2020

Oklahoma Baptist University is thriving in its second century. With a growing enrollment, highly motivated faculty and employees committed to the mission, OBU is the preferred place to study, learn, and invest your life. By 2020, OBU will be well on its way to achieving this vision, including having accomplished the following.

OBU is nationally and internationally recognized through centers of excellence. These centers of excellence include music, education, theology, church recreation, and faith and discipline integration. Through existing and future centers, OBU will be recognized for:
  • Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach: Founded in 2007, this Center will be nationally recognized as a leader in research and preparation for missions, including working closely with undergraduate and graduate students in intercultural and orality studies. OBU students will be educated so that in all disciplines a sound grasp and appreciation for international issues and cultural sensitivity is obligatory. Every college and academic program will be proactive to ensure that students are prepared to serve and lead in an ever-increasing global environment. Every academic college will work with the Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach to implement at least one international, cross-cultural experience for their students that integrates missional or service-oriented projects.
  • Center for Faith Integration: This center would be at the heart of the OBU mission, providing faculty, staff, and student development activities to promote and lead the effort of integrating faith and discipline. The center would sponsor workshops and summer institutes featuring speakers of national prominence.
  • Center for Excellence in Teacher Education: With a focus on teachers and students preparing for careers as teachers, this center would host an online journal featuring research that benefits teacher education programs and home school educators nationwide. It also would host yearly seminars and other outreach activities that bring Oklahoma teachers to the OBU campus.
  • Center for Sports and Recreation Leadership: This center, with initial funding from the BGCO already secured, will become the premier resource for sports and recreation leaders and will work closely with Lifeway Christian Resources.
  • Baptist Center: This center would incorporate a "Pastors School" each summer for OBU students, Oklahoma Baptist pastors and families, as well as OBU alumni, featuring workshops and activities on the OBU campus specifically designed to minister to ministers. Working with the BGCO and other entities, a speakers series featuring outstanding Christian leaders would be offered for ministers and current students.

OBU is nationally recognized as a Christ-centered, innovative university known for excellent academics and faith integration in both graduate and undergraduate education. The graduate programs of the University will target new and innovative academic areas based upon a vibrant liberal arts foundation. These programs will include new degrees in the following areas as well as other fields of study and preparation consistent with our mission and new environments:
  • Theology and Ministry
  • Education
  • Allied Health Fields
  • Counseling - Marriage and Family Therapy

OBU's capital campaign efforts have increased OBU's endowment to four times its annual budget over the next 15-20 years, and have established:
  • Endowments for student scholarships including instituting a scholarship program specifically designed for students who are members of Oklahoma Baptist churches;
  • An endowed faculty development program for continued education, and professional and scholarly activities;
  • At least one endowed professorship or chair in every academic department;
  • An endowed missions program, with the goal of assisting students and faculty financially with international travel;
  • Endowment of the first-year experience program for entering freshmen with funds for student enrichment activities;

As tuition rates at private Christian universities rise to cover the increasing costs of education, the necessity of fundraising takes on greater significance. Raising funds for student scholarships is critical to making OBU financially accessible. By 2020, OBU has added an additional $20 million to its scholarship endowment. Increased and additional performance-based and leadership scholarships will have been added to the endowment. Specific scholarships targeting Oklahoma Baptist ministers' dependents and students preparing for full time Christian vocations will be provided so that in addition to need-based state and national grant programs, sufficient financial aid and scholarships provide for a minimum of half of the tuition costs. Competitive scholarships for missionary dependents will be provided so that in addition to need-based state and national grant programs, sufficient financial aid and scholarships provide for full tuition costs.