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Martin Named Dean of School of Christian Services

March 14, 2003

"Dr. Martin is an educator, an administrator, a visionary, and an active minister," said Dr. Brister. "He brings key skills to this vital position on our campus, and we look forward to continued success for our School of Christian Service students."

Martin has served on the faculty at Golden Gate Seminary, in Mill Valley, Calif., since 1984. He moved to the rank of full professor of New Testament interpretation in 1997, and was promoted to serve as the seminary's first dean of theology in November 2002. Before starting his 19-year tenure at GGBTS, he taught religion at California Baptist College from 1981-84, serving as chair of the college's division of religion from 1982-84.

In addition to teaching responsibilities, Martin has served in a variety of administrative roles at GGBTS, including director of faculty development, director of online education, and director of the seminary's master of theology degree program. He has been a member of the seminary's strategic leadership team for the past three years. In his role as dean, he is responsible for faculty, schedules and budgets related to the M.Div., MATS and Th.M. degree programs on the seminary's main campus.

Martin said while moving to the collegiate community will be a transition, he anticipates a very positive environment.

"I enjoy working with students with whom the call to ministry is normally very fresh and the energy level is very high," he said.

"I'm leaving a place I've been for 20 years, and have a history and associations with the seminary and the churches," Martin said. "Yet, there is a general feeling of peace, that this is God's timing and God's move for me."

Martin's tenure at GGBTS, and his relationships with faculty, students, and area churches, attracted OBU's search committee.

"Dr. Martin has a proven track record as an effective faculty leader, and as a teacher," said Weaver, who chaired the dean search committee. "Classroom effectiveness is a major part of the OBU educational process. He is a strong teacher, as well as a strong administrator. Those skills, combined with the current strength of our School of Christian Service faculty, and the quality of our students in the SCS programs, should create a very effective formula for continued success."

Martin is a member of the Society for Biblical Literature and the Institute for Biblical Research. He was the author of the 1 & 2 Thessalonians commentary for the New American Commentary, published by Broadman and Holman. He has written numerous articles, papers and Bible study materials.

Martin earned a Ph.D. degree in New Testament studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and also holds an M.Div. degree from Southwestern. He completed a bachelor of arts degree in religion and philosophy from Dallas Baptist College.

"Dr. Martin brings a rich background of scholarly work, coupled with recognized teaching ability," said Brister. "After an extensive search, which invited input from varied groups, we are confident that he is the man to lead our Christian service programs."

OBU's Joe L. Ingram School of Christian Service offers bachelor of arts degrees in applied ministry, with emphases in children's ministry, church administration, education, cross-cultural ministry, pastoral ministry, and youth ministry. The school also offers bachelors of arts degrees in Christian studies, philosophy, and religion, with emphases in Bible, biblical languages. In addition, OBU offers an associate of arts degree in Christian studies.

The School of Christian Service has nine full-time faculty members. In the fall of 2002, 265 students were declared majors in the school, and an additional 225 were enrolled in OBU's Ministry Training Institute, which offers off-campus college-level courses in Christian studies across Oklahoma and in seven other states.

Martin fills the position vacated by the retirement of Dr. Dick Rader in June 2002. Rader, who had served as dean of the School of Christian Service since 1985, was diagnosed with cancer in early 2002, and died in October. Dr. Warren McWilliams, OBU's Auguie Henry professor of Bible, currently serves as interim dean of the School of Christian Service. He will continue in that capacity through July 31.

Martin and his wife, Beth, have two sons, Philip and Garrett. They currently are members of Petaluma Valley Baptist Church in Petaluma, Calif.

OBU, founded in 1910, offers nine bachelor's degrees, with 77 fields of study. The university also offers a master's degree in marriage and family therapy. In 2003, U.S. News & World Report ranked as one of the top two comprehensive colleges in the western part of the nation. It marked the 11th consecutive year for OBU to be rated as one of the top 10 colleges in the West by the national news magazine. OBU's fall 2002 enrollment of 1,851 included students from 40 states and 22 other countries.