Seven OBU representatives recently attended the 2013 University Educators for Global Engagement annual conference in Richmond, Va., joining a collaboration of leaders from other Christian universities who seek to educate and equip their students, faculty and staff to intentionally engage the world for Jesus Christ.
Representatives of OBU attending the April 11-14 meeting included Dr. Mark McClellan, dean of the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry, who served as president of the group for the past year; Dr. David Houghton, dean of the Dickinson College of Business; Brandon Skaggs, dean of students; Dr. Pam Robinson, associate provost and dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; Dr. Alan Bandy, assistant professor of New Testament; Dr. Joy Turner, director of global mobilization; and Dr. Bruce Carlton, professor of cross-cultural ministry and director of the Avery T. Willis Center for Global Outreach.
"UEGE is committed to the effective integration of the Christian Faith, academic disciplines of learning and biblical mission," McClellan said. "Our members represent a broad scope of university life working together and expanding networks and collaborative efforts both nationally and globally. The annual conferences over the past few years have been at the cutting edge of university global engagement for mission. They have also been prayerful and inspiring. OBU representatives are contributing significant leadership to UEGE, and we have developed wonderful friendships and relationships nationally with other universities and with many others who are serving internationally."
Carlton noted most of the participants are not Bible or missions professors, but most are faculty from a variety of disciplines and staff from student services. The theme of this year's conference was "Mind, Marketplace and Missions" - how to get marketplace professionals to think and act missionally, both in the United States and abroad.
The conference's seminar and discussion topics included cultivating a globally minded university community; collaborating to develop blended educational and missional partnerships; bridging the gap between academics and student services; studying abroad with purpose; engaging the marketplace; developing short-term missions opportunities with long-term impact; mobilizing next generation leadership; exploring theology of risk; and fundraising strategies for global involvement.
"Interacting with like-minded people was a blessing," Turner said. "The networking aspect of UEGE enables participants to share ideas, learn from each other and pray for one another."
The event is hosted by the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention at its International Learning Center. This year, 10 Baptist universities participated: Oklahoma Baptist University, Ouachita Baptist University, Union University, Southwest Baptist University, Williams College, East Texas Baptist University, California Baptist University, Liberty University, William Carey University, and North Greenville University.
Carlton said the group desires to enlist additional faculty, administrators and staff to be a part of UEGE. For more information about the group's cross-cultural involvement visit the University Educators for Global Engagement's website.