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Carlton Retiring in May 2023, Smith and Turner New Appointments

March 7, 2023

OBU extends a heartfelt thank you and deep sense of gratitude to Dr. Bruce Carlton for his service on Bison Hill. Carlton will retire as Director of the Bachelor of Arts in Global Marketplace Engagement and Professor of Cross-Cultural Ministry in May 2023.

"Some people we encounter don't just enhance our experience, they fundamentally transform our lives for the better,” said Dr. Heath Thomas, OBU President. “We come away saying that we are better because we have lived life with them. So it is for our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Bruce Carlton. He has made all of us better because of his investment and impact at OBU: students, faculty and staff. I am privileged to call Bruce a friend and pray God's richest blessings on he and the family as he moves into this new stage of continued Kingdom service. We love you Bruce, and we are grateful for you."

Carlton joined the OBU faculty in the Hobbs School of Theology and Ministry in August 2011. He came to OBU with over 20 years of field experience with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (1986-2007).

Carlton and his wife Gloria lived and served in Hong Kong, Cambodia, India, and Singapore during their missionary career. Having been actively involved in church-planting movements in various places in Asia, Carlton is well-respected as a missionary trainer and remains involved in training missionaries and church planters around the globe. Previously, he served as an associate professor of missions and departmental coordinator at Boyce College in Louisville, KY (2007-2011).

After much prayer and consideration, Dr. Elbert Smith, current Director of the Tom Elliff Center for Missions, and Dr. Joy Turner, current Director of Global Mobilization and Professor of Christian Ministry, will join the Hobbs faculty, beginning August 1, 2023.

"I cannot be more excited about Drs. Smith and Turner joining the faculty as they invest in the future of missions and evangelism at OBU,” Thomas said. “There is no dynamic duo more qualified or experienced to build on our fantastic foundation and carry us forward. They will help our students know what it means to live all of life, all for Jesus, all over the world!"

Smith will serve as Associate Professor of Missions while continuing as Director of the Elliff Center. Turner will serve as Associate Professor of Missions and Director of the Global Marketplace Engagement Program.

Smith will focus on our missiology courses and the continued operation of the Elliff Center, while Turner will focus on evangelism and the continued operation and growth of the GME program (along with our women’s ministry courses that she already teaches so effectively).

“In my conversations with them, and based on the feedback of Faculty Council, the Hobbs faculty, and the administration, this is a reflection of their respective passions and areas of expertise,” said Dr. Matt Emerson, Dean of Theology, Arts and Humanities. “I would like us all to take a moment to thank God for his kindness to us in providing such a complementary pair of godly, qualified, passionate, student-focused faculty to step into the space left by Dr. Carlton’s impending retirement.”