Dr. John McWilliams

W.B. Blackstock Family Chair in Science Education
Professor of Natural Science
Office Location Wood Science Building, 202-G
Phone (Office) 405.585.4128
OBU Mailbox # 61772
Email john.mcwilliams@okbu.edu


Dr. John McWilliams' fascination with nature shines through in his teaching. His students gain hands-on experience in field research through the North 40 Outdoor Classroom, a curriculum he has developed just north of campus. His students learn the basics of earth science, ecology, and general biology by participating in inquiry-based activities from habitat assessment to atmospheric measurements. Each summer, he works with local K12 teachers in hands-on science training workshops and local STEM activities. Dr. McWilliams and his wife, Sherry, have three children, Angie, Stephen, and Bethany; and four grandchildren, Sophia, Seraphina, Daniel, and Susanna.

In his spare time, Dr. McWilliams researches, builds, and records Medieval stringed instruments. His latest CD, Music of the High Medieval Era, is the first compilation of 12th Century music performed entirely on authentic period instruments. He and his wife, Sherry, present educational workshops in early music, and enjoy performing a variety of early music genres.



  • B.S., University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
  • M.S., University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
  • Ed.D., University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Subjects Taught

  • Earth, Environmental, and Life Sciences
  • Planetarium Operations
  • Botany

Awards and Honors

Dr. McWilliams has received the Crosstimbers RC&D Community Service Award and the Shawnee Conservation District’s Teacher of the Year Award for his work in environmental education and conservation. He has also received OBU's Distinguished Teacher Award. Currently, he holds the W.B. Blackstock Family Chair in Science Education.

Selected Publications

Dr. McWilliams has authored several computer-based instructional packages and other supplemental resources for Prentice Hall Biology, and is currently writing a text for undergraduate biology. He was also co-author of the SOAR curriculum for STEM teaching.

Selected Presentations

Dr. McWilliams has a passion for Christian apologetics, especially as they relate to science. He has presented apologetic classes and seminars both at OBU and for area churches, often incorporating the OBU Planetarium, which he directs. In 2017, he published the novel The Lights over Middle Creek, and the accompanying study guide, which use a fiction-based format to introduce and explore several scriptural and apologetic concepts.