Oklahoma Baptist University

A Word of Welcome from the Dean of Spiritual Life

Welcome to OBU. You've chosen academic excellence and spiritual growth fully integrated into life by choosing OBU. Over the next four years, you will be challenged by academic rigors, sharpened through personal skill development, strengthened through physical training, and encouraged by life long relationships. Each of these key elements of university life provide a platform for God's grace as He guides you into His full desire for your life through higher education. Yet, a few practical questions arise:

How Can I Grow Spiritually While at OBU?
What Can I Expect?
What are the three primary areas of ministry at OBU?
How can I get involved?
What is meant by the curricular approach?
Will I be required to purchase these texts?
When and where will I meet the upperclassmen mentors?

How can I grow spiritually while at OBU?

You may ask, "Since I'm at a Christian University, why do I need to focus on Spiritual Growth as well as my academic, social and physical goals?" Isn't it enough to just choose OBU?"

Would you expect to succeed in your chosen field of study without preparation outside the classroom? Would you expect to excel as a student academically without studying? In the same way, would you expect to grow spiritually without personal investment in the Bible or without a planned approach to worship and service or mission?

You were created for good works in Jesus Christ. At OBU, we see no dividing line between what takes place in your academic endeavors, physical exercise, and your personal spiritual growth. It all works hand in hand.

The exciting news about your decision to attend OBU is that a support system is present to encourage you as you walk the road of discovery. The fully educated person learns to ask questions and to keep on asking. "Ask and keep on asking… seek and keep on seeking… knock and keep on knocking (Luke 11:9-10; Amplified Bible)." That is the heart cry of the Creator of the universe as He applauds your desire for faith and learning fully integrated.

Along the way, you will have many mentors who will walk with you through your personal experience of faith integration. At first, you'll have upper classmen assist you. Then, you'll discover the joyful role faculty members play in faith development. Administrators and staff members will also provide influence. However, the best guide you will have is the Holy Spirit.

When Jesus spoke his departing words just before His ascension in Matthew 28, he promised, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." That promise is fulfilled in the presence of the Holy Spirit sent to guide, comfort, convict, and challenge you each step of the way.

So, don't quench the spirit, as Paul said in I Thessalonians 5:21. Take a moment now to speak a prayer to the Lord about your desire to be taught by Him during your days at OBU.
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What can I expect?

OBU is built on a strong core liberal arts curriculum. Each field of study is built on this strong academic base. You can expect to be challenged spiritually outside the classroom through a curricular approach as well.

The curricular approach will encourage, challenge and guide you in a way that compliments your academic pursuits at OBU.
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What are the three primary areas of ministry at OBU?

The three primary areas for spiritual growth complimenting your work in the classroom are Worship, Community and Outreach.

  • Worship includes chapel, Worship Nights/Canterbury, Saturday in the Park, and other special events through out the year.
  • Community involves community groups (CG's are bible studies, house fellowships, book study groups, and specially designed discipleship focus groups). Large community group experiences include 905, Noonday, Journey (men's ministry), Refuge (women's ministry), FCA and special events through out the year.

  • Outreach is both local and global:
  • Local Outreach includes the 12 plus ongoing service projects in the immediate Shawnee and Oklahoma City area. Most of the projects have a weekly meeting for preparation and a weekly time of active service.
  • Global Outreach includes GO Trips (Global Outreach Trips) & Global Awareness
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    How can I get involved?

    Top 10 ways to get involved in Campus Ministry right away

    1. Look for your NETWORKer and walk with them through the material they have designed just for you. It's brief, fun, and will help you discover what might interest you most. Most of this work can be done in a small group experience on your floor.

    2. Attend SATURDAY IN THE PARK. This open and free worship event at Woodland Park in downtown Shawnee is the first Saturday of each Fall Semester. You will discover this worship experience is designed just for you and your upper classmates. If you're motivated to do more than attend, find a Networker or Access leader and express your desire to volunteer with Saturday in the Park.

    3. Make sure to attend all FIRST FOUR events at 905 (9:05 pm) in the Geiger Center the first four Tuesday nights of the Fall Semester. At these events, you'll be introduced to some key leaders and hear about opportunities for Worship, Community and Outreach at OBU.

    4. Join your classmates for lunch at NOONDAY the first Friday in September at noon and each subsequent Friday. Local churches provide the food (which is free to you), and the Spiritual Life Staff will provide a brief life impacting message.

    5. Visit CANTERBURY (Worship Night) the first Thursday night in September. This emerging generation styled service is fully student led with a unique touch that matches each new generation of students.*

    6. Check out an ONGOING LOCAL SERVICE PROJECT during the first weeks of school. During the fourth week of class, Global Outreach week will promote these opportunities. Don't wait for the fourth week. Ask your NETWORKer or ACCESS leader right away.

    7. Sign up to attend MOMENTUM, a state wide college student event in Oklahoma City the third Friday night in September (Momentum 2009 is on Friday evening September 11). This is a great way to meet college students who are involved in campus ministries on other campuses across Oklahoma.

    8. Apply for a GLOBAL OUTREACH TRIP and explore the possibilities. Watch for these opportunities during GLOBAL OUTREACH WEEK.

    9. Sign up to go to THE GLENN OVER SPRING BREAK. Short term retreats (between two and 10 days) are a great way to connect with peers and build relationships of depth. Other retreats to keep in mind are the Men's Journey Retreat at the beginning of the Fall semester, the Ladies' Refuge Retreats in the Fall and Spring, and individual ministry related retreats through out the year.

    10. Check out the flow of ministry involvement at OBU known as ADVANCE. You can find out more information about ADVANCE by connecting with any of the ministry opportunities mentioned above. Advance follows Awareness (first semester), Belonging (second semester), Doing (third semester), Leading (fourth and fifth semesters), Coaching (sixth and seventh semesters), and Launching (eighth semester).

    *Cris Lowery (BGCO Young Adult Specialist) is a resource for CM in emerging generation patterns.
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    What is meant by the curricular approach?

    The primary text for spiritual growth without exception is the Bible. Recently, Dr. Timothy George, Dean of the Beeson School of Theology at Samford University was asked about his view on a divisive theological topic. In the question, a request for a good source was made. Dr. George said, "You might want to consider the Bible."

    Secondary texts will also be used to encourage, challenge and guide you through your discovery of God's personal desire for you. These will include contemporary authors, and authors reaching back to the early church leaders.
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    Will I be required to purchase these texts?

    No, but you will be fully apprised of the presence of the books/materials and the role they play in the development of the Worship track, Community Group, or Outreach direction. Watch for these clarifications during your time on campus.

    Three examples: Recently, A.W. Tozer's book, Knowledge of the Holy provided the backdrop for the chapel series called "Lost and Found: Reclaiming the Knowledge of the Holiness of God." John Piper's book, Desiring God provided the outline for the discipleship study at 905 on Tuesday nights. As several of our Global Outreach trips have formed, the material written by Jeff Lewis, God's Heart for the Nations, has provided encouragement for the teams.
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    When and where will I meet the upperclassmen mentors?

    Mentor is probably too strong of a word for the role of the upperclassmen. These students function more as encouragers. They've simply walked a little further down the road at OBU and want to see you succeed and find your way.

    You've already met the first wave of encouragers. These are the Welcome Week Workers (affectionately known as Tri-Ws). They spent, or will spend, the first four to five days with you as you get oriented to campus. Many of these Tri-Ws help form the second wave of encouragement. The second wave includes NETWORKers whom you will get to know in the dorms as they assist your RA in your transition to college life. The second wave also includes ACCESS which is made up of the co-chairs and key leaders for the ministry teams leading out in the three primary arenas of ministry (Worship, Community and Outreach). NETWORK and ACCESS will provide the base of small group leaders to help you find your way to community groups*, worship events and the local and global service and mission outreach opportunities you are looking to find.

    *CGs are: bible studies, house fellowships, book study groups, and special discipleship focus groups
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    Dale Griffin
    Dean of Spiritual Life