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Dr. Bruce Carlton

Professor of Cross-Cultural Ministry
WMU Professor of Missions


R. Bruce Carlton joined the OBU faculty in the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry in August 2011. Carlton comes to OBU with over 20 years of field experience with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (1986-2007). Carlton and his wife Gloria lived and served in Hong Kong, Cambodia, India and the sub-continent during their missionary career. The Carltons have been involved in church planting, primarily in areas with little or no Christian witness, with an emphasis on equipping church planters to model their lives and ministries on 2 Timothy 2:2. The goal is multiplication that births church-multiplication and disciple-making movements and brings glory to God. Having been actively involved in several of these movements in various places in Asia, Carlton is well-respected as a missionary trainer and remains involved in training missionaries and church planters around the globe.

Before coming to OBU, Carlton served as an Associate Professor of Missions and Departmental Coordinator at Boyce College in Louisville, KY (2007-2011). The Carltons have been married for 35 years and have two grown daughters Elizabeth Falls (Ryan) and Mary Margaret Sparks (Jason). They have one granddaughter Miriam Falls.


B.A., Georgetown College, 1978

M.Div., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1983

M.A., Azusa Pacific University, 1992

D.Th., University of South Africa, 2006

Courses Taught

Introduction to Cross-Cultural Ministry
Survey of Cross-Cultural Ministry
Introduction to Evangelism
Cross-Cultural Church Planting
Language Acquisition for Cross-Cultural Ministry
Urban Ministry
Chronological Bible Storying
Church Planting Internship
World Religions
Principles and Methods of Cross-Cultural Ministry
Field Research in Cross-Cultural Ministry
Research and Readings in Cross-Cultural Ministry: Spiritual Warfare
Practicum in Orality Studies


Member of University Educators for Global Engagement (UEGE)

Member Evangelical Missiological Society (EMS)

Selected Publications

Acts 29: Practical Training in Facilitating Church-Planting Movements among the Neglected Harvest Fields (2003) – translated into 17 languages

Acts 29 Trainer’s Manual (2003)

Project Thessalonica: Acts 29 Training for Churches (2003)

Amazing Grace: Lessons on Church-Planting Movements from Cambodia (2004)

Strategy Coordinator: Changing the Course of Southern Baptist Missions (2009)

“Multiplying Leaders on Mission with God,” in On Mission with God (2012)