Dr. Matthew Arbo and Dr. Matthew Emerson were installed to academic positions during Oklahoma Baptist University's annual Convocation service Aug. 26.
In each installation, OBU Provost Stan Norman presented the recipients with a certificate in recognition of exemplary scholarship and excellence in teaching. OBU President David W. Whitlock presented the recipients with the medallions representing the chairs and professorship.
Endowed chairs and professorships are awarded to select professors who are outstanding teachers and who have demonstrated exceptional ability in their academic disciplines. The gift which provides an endowed academic position is invested in the University's permanent endowment fund, and the annual earnings are used to assist with compensation.
Dr. Matthew Arbo is the fourth recipient of the Jewell and Joe Huitt Professorship in Religious Education. He earned his doctorate from the University of Edinburgh and currently serves as assistant professor of biblical and theological studies. Before his arrival at OBU in 2014, Arbo served for three years as assistant professor of Christian ethics at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri.
Joe Huitt received a degree from Southwest Missouri State Teachers College in Springfield, Missouri. He served on the executive boards of the Southern Baptist Convention and Tulsa Baptist Association, and was a messenger to the Southern Baptist Convention. He served on the Board of Trustees at OBU and was a life member of the president's council. He provided this endowed gift in memory of his late wife, Jewell, and this professorship is dedicated to her life-long interest and involvement in religious education through her local church.
Dr. Matthew Emerson is the fourth recipient of the Dickinson Chair of Religion. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance with a minor in religious studies from Auburn University. He then earned a Master of Divinity in Christian Ministry and a Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Theology, both from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He joined the OBU faculty in 2015 and currently serves as assistant professor of religion.
Paul Dickinson established the Dickinson Chair of Religion in 1986. He was the founder and executive officer of an Ardmore-based wholesale automotive parts business. He was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by Oklahoma Baptist University in February 1988. For his strong support of OBU, the College of Business was named in his honor. The faculty member who holds this post will teach religion courses to those entering the ministry and other church-related vocations and will provide instruction in the area of practical Christian ministries.