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Pastors School Set for July 16-18

May 14, 2012

Sponsored by the OBU Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry, The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma and NavPress, the school will feature three Baptist scholars and pastors: Dr. Hance Dilbeck, pastor of Quail Springs Baptist Church, Edmond, Okla., and a 1987 OBU alum; Dr. Calvin Miller, former pastor of Westside Church in Omaha, Neb., and a 1958 OBU alum; and Dr. John Bisagno, pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church, Houston, and a 1955 OBU alum.

Dr. Hance Dilbeck Dr. Calvin Miller Dr. John Bisago

"Years ago, as a new bivocational pastor, I realized I needed preparation for ministry," Dr. Whitlock said. "In addition to enrolling in courses through OBU, in the summers I attended pastors schools at Beeson Divinity School at Samford University. These times of study and growth were extremely helpful. Several years later, as a part of my research on bivocational ministry, one of the primary concerns identified was the need for theological and ministry preparation. I was convinced that distinctively Christian universities were uniquely positioned to reach out to ministers -- both full-time and bivocational.

"I am very excited that OBU is re-establishing its long tradition of reaching out to ministers in our state and beyond through a summer pastors school. Developing strong relationships directly with local churches will prove to be mutually beneficial to the church and to OBU. This is another way we can fulfill our mission and core values."

Dilbeck will lead the morning Bible study on the theme "Shepherd the Flock," based on 1 Peter 5:1-5. Miller will lead the afternoon plenary sessions on the theme "Preach Like Jesus: Exposition Redefined," based on Matthew 13:34. Bisgano will lead the evening plenary sessions on the theme "12 Principals for Blessed Ministry" and "Get 'er Done."

"Pastors need to be refreshed, renewed and, quite often, refocused," said Dr. Mark McClellan, dean of the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry. "Our love and appreciation for pastors has led us to prepare a school that will give them strong biblical instruction, models for great preaching, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to receive wisdom for the pastorate from three great, experienced pastors and preachers. We marvel that these three men have agreed to come together at this school for pastors. Pastors, OBU and the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry want to serve you at a one-of-a-kind experience. I know this is going to have an impact on my life and yours."

Dilbeck has served at Quail Springs Baptist Church since April 2003. He previously served as senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Ponca City, Okla., for more than seven years. Dilbeck attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, earning a master's degree in 1992 and a doctorate in 2002. Dilbeck has been the featured preacher for Falls Creek Youth Camp, chairman of the Board of Trustees at OBU (2001), and currently serves as a trustee at Southwestern Seminary.

Miller is a noted author, professor, pastor and artist. He attended Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., graduating with a master's degree in 1961 and a doctorate in 1975. He served as senior pastor of Westside Church in Omaha, Neb., for 25 years, during which time the congregation grew from 10 members to more than 2,500 members. Miller served as professor of communication and ministry studies and writer-in-residence at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He later joined the faculty of Samford University's Beeson Divinity School as professor of preaching and pastoral ministry. After retiring in 2007, he assumed the role of research professor and distinguished writer in residence. He is the author of more than 40 books of popular theology and inspiration.

Bisagno is pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church, Houston, which has 25,000 members. He previously served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Del City, Okla. He received an honorary doctorate from OBU and a doctor of letters from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. He earned a doctorate from Houston Baptist University, where he serves as a trustee and a chair of evangelism is named in his honor. He served as president of the Southern Baptist Pastors Conference and gained national recognition as a crusade evangelist and Bible teacher. He is the author of 30 books, including the best-seller, "The Power of Positive Praying." He has spoken at the Southern Baptist Convention, the World Congress on evangelism, and every major state convention and state evangelism conference.

"For our first re-established OBU Pastors School, I am thrilled to know that the three primary voices that will be heard are all graduates of OBU," said Dale Griffin, dean of spiritual life at OBU. "Dilbeck, Miller and Bisagno will provide an excellent program. I, for one, don't want to miss a session. The program line-up seems so obvious and helpful. The success and wisdom these men bring to the three-day event will yield a harvest of wisdom and counsel in the lives of all who attend. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the Pastors School Committee, chaired by Dr. Mark McClellan, as we have actively watched the program unfold before our eyes."

Dr. Alan Bandy Dr. Christian George

The event also will feature breakout sessions, including those taught by OBU professors from the Hobbs College. Dr. Alan Bandy will lead a breakout session titled "Preaching Revelation," and Dr. Christian George will lead a session titled "Preaching Like Spurgeon."

Bandy joined the College of Theology and Ministry faculty as the Rowena R. Strickland Professorship in New Testament / assistant professor of New Testament in the fall of 2009. He earned a bachelor's degree from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College; a master's degree from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary; and a doctorate from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously served as assistant director of Ph.D. studies for Southeastern and as an adjunct professor of biblical and theological studies in Liberty University's Distance Learning Program. He also served as assistant professor of Christian Studies at Louisiana College. He has served in several ministerial church positions including pastor, pastor to students, and pastor to children/youth.

George joined the faculty of OBU in 2011 as the Jewell and Joe L. Huitt Assistant Professor of Religious Education. He earned a bachelor's degree from Samford University, a master's degree from Beeson Divinity School and a doctorate from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, where he also served for three years as a doctoral tutor. He is the author of several books. He has contributed to the Journal of Theological Studies, Theology in Scotland, and Perichoresis Journal of Theology, and also to popular theological magazines such as Conversations and Modern Reformation. His work has been featured in magazines such as Christianity Today, The Christian Century, and Preaching.

In addition to the Bible studies and plenary sessions, the OBU Pastors School includes housing on campus for two nights, two evening meals, two breakfasts and one lunch. Cost for the school is $99.

"I can think of no greater blessing than for our pastors to be able to spend time with some of the greatest expositors in our convention," said Wendell Lang, director of church relations at OBU. "Personally, I can't wait for this time to sharpen my skills as a pastor and preacher. This is a can't-miss opportunity."

For more information, contact OBU Spiritual Life at (405) 878-2377.