Division of Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation

As our society continues to demonstrate a strong emphasis on sports, recreation and personal wellness, the OBU division of Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation (ESSR) is on the forefront of trends, training and career programs related to these topics.

A sports and recreation or exercise science degree from OBU provides a strong educational foundation in athletics, recreation, leisure studies, sports, outdoor adventure, coaching, allied health, kinesiology, pre-occupational therapy, pre-physical therapy, fitness, and sports science. Our six program emphases offer specialized training to equip you to make positive differences in the lives of others.

Featured Program

Exercise Science, Pre-Allied Health Emphasis

Make a positive impact on the overall wellness and lifestyle of others with a career in pre-allied health.

Preparing Students for What’s Next

Graduates of the ESSR program are enjoying fulfilling roles in physical therapy, occupational therapy, as exercise physiologists, strength and conditioning coaches, athletic directors and in sports management.

Dr. Meredith Bailey

Assistant Professor, ESSR

“As a professor at OBU, I get to integrate faith into my teaching. I believe it is really important for students to have a backing in their faith along with their academic study of exercise science to be successful in their careers.”

Incredible Education, Affordable Cost.

OBU provides a minimum $10,000 per year scholarship to every incoming first-time freshman and $8,000 to every incoming transfer student. And you could qualify for even more financial aid! Many of our students also receive money through federal Pell grants and OBU Bison Grants.

To get an estimate of what your cost to attend OBU might be, please check out our Net Price Calculator. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how affordable an OBU education really is. Especially considering the incredible academic quality, personal mentor relationships with faculty and staff, and strong Christian commitment you will experience at OBU. You won’t find an experience like this anywhere else!

Scholarships and Grants

Undergraduate Programs

Exercise Science, Pre-Allied Health Emphasis

In this progressive and engaging major, you will learn how exercise, nutrition, activity, and recreation affect lifestyle and wellness. Discover how exercise physiology and behavior modification relate to disease, illness, chronic conditions, and injuries. If you are interested in occupational therapy, physical therapy, or other post-graduate allied health degrees you will find this a valuable undergraduate program.

Exercise Science, Pre-Allied Health Emphasis

Exercise Science, Human Performance Emphasis

The exercise science, human performance program explores how exercise, physical activity, optimal nutrition and lifestyle affect the human body and way of life. You will take a closer look at the elements of human movement and coordination through the study of exercise physiology. This area of work offers a satisfying career path as you help others perform at their optimum abilities.

Exercise Science, Human Performance Emphasis

Sports and Recreation, Athletic Coaching Emphasis

The coach’s role is vital in impacting another’s athletic skills, development and performance. In our athletic coaching degree program, you will learn about such factors as nutrition, sports psychology, sports management, injuries and human performance. As you continue in your study, you will develop your own personal coaching philosophy including leadership and management skills.

Sports and Recreation, Athletic Coaching Emphasis

Sports and Recreation, Camp Administration Emphasis

If you love the great outdoors and an organized recreational setting, you may consider a degree in sports and recreation with a camp administration emphasis. Learn about legal issues, business principles, leadership, adventure activities, outdoor education and more. This degree explores how physical activity, exercise and sports can enhance leadership skills, teamwork and fellowship.

Sports and Recreation, Camp Administration Emphasis

Sports and Recreation, Sports and Recreation Management Emphasis

A well-managed sports program is important to the success of any organized athletic discipline. With a sports and recreation management emphasis degree, you will gain a strong foundation related to the management of exercise and sports. You will learn to develop safe and relevant programs while learning to strengthen your communication and interpersonal skills.

Sports and Recreation, Sports and Recreation Management Emphasis

Sports and Recreation, Sports Ministry Emphasis

Having a heart for ministry as well as a love of sports are key elements to consider in OBU’s sports and recreation, sports ministry emphasis. Here, you can learn to lead sports groups and activities at churches, camps, and other religious affiliations in order to enhance others’ mind, body and spirit. You will explore vocation and calling, evangelism, spiritual formation, basic counseling and more.

Sports and Recreation, Sports Ministry Emphasis

World-Class Faculty

OBU faculty are experts in their fields and will be with you every step of the way.

Dr. Chad Payn

Dr. Chad Payn

Chair, Division of Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation
Associate Professor of Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation
Faculty Athletics Representative

Dr. Meredith Bailey

Dr. Meredith Bailey

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation

Dr. Jeffrey Hogan

Dr. Jeffrey Hogan

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation