OBU Increases Two Church-Related Scholarships

Oklahoma Baptist University recently made significant changes to two church-related scholarships available to all students in hope of supporting more students who want to attend the state's only Southern Baptist-affiliated university.

The Church Partnership Scholarship Program and the Church Staff Dependent Scholarship are two scholarship funds designed to encourage Baptist youth to attend OBU by forming a financial partnership between the university and Baptist churches and associations.

The Church Partnership Scholarship combines funds provided by Baptist churches or associations with equal funds provided by OBU. The scholarship, previously matching up to $250 per year, was increased to match funds up to $1,000 per year, for a total of $2,000 per year when funds are combined. The partnership scholarship program is available for any Baptist church in the nation.

The Church Staff Dependent Scholarship was increased from $500 per year to $1,000 per year. The scholarship is available to children or spouses of currently employed full-time vocational ministers working with a Southern Baptist church, association, or state convention, or with the Southern Baptist Convention.

"We want to provide a way for the Baptist churches to participate at a higher level in the Christian higher education of their students," said Jonna Raney, OBU's director of student financial services.

Two other church-related OBU scholarships are available to participants in two Oklahoma Baptist summer camp programs. The Falls Creek Scholarship and Super Summer Scholarship provide $1,000 per year for the number of years the student attends each camp. The scholarship can be combined annually, offering up to $8,000 in scholarship aid over a four-year span. Churches are required to verify the student's participation in Falls Creek or Super Summer programs.

"Our church-related scholarships offer great benefits for students," said Odus Compton, OBU's director of church relations. "The four scholarships combined equal $5,000 per year, almost one-third of our tuition."

"We hope that it sends the message to churches that OBU wants to help their students attend the university," Raney said. "We hope to attract students who have been very active in their youth groups and will then be great Christian leaders for OBU."

For the 2008-2009 school year, 391 students were awarded the Church Partnership Scholarship, with 312 from Oklahoma. The Church Staff Dependent Scholarship was awarded to 115 students, with 69 from Oklahoma. More than 750 students received the Falls Creek or Super Summer Scholarship.

Raney said more than 95 percent of OBU students receive some form of financial aid each year.

For more information about available scholarships and other financial aid topics, contact OBU's student financial services office at (405) 878-2016 or student.financial.services@okbu.edu.