Advancement Summer 2016

Fulfilling Our Mission


By Dr. Will Smallwood, Senior Vice President for Advancement and University Relations

The English preacher and theologian Thomas Brooks (1608-80) remarked once that “God loves adverbs better than nouns; not praying only but praying well; not doing good but doing it well.”

In 1907, Oklahoma Baptist pioneers envisioned a four-year, co-educational university that would be grounded in the liberal arts – a university that would prepare students to integrate their Christian faith and disciplines as educators, doctors, lawyers, artists, musicians, missionaries, pastors, entrepreneurs, nurses and more. They pursued this lofty vision with urgency and passion, and they pursued it well.

Three years later, the founders established a distinctively Christian university and understood that Christian higher education is best expressed within a liberal arts context, transforming students spiritually, intellectually and physically. A Christian liberal arts curriculum educates the whole person and prepares students to think critically about worldviews, values and truth. A liberal arts education invigorates scholarship and learning in integrative and imaginative ways, essential qualities for graduates in any generation. This type of institution was established on Bison Hill, and it was established well.

Today, the mission remains the same. OBU’s vision is to continue as a distinctively Christian university that prepares students, through the integration of faith and discipline, to be transformative servant leaders and agents of change in their families, churches, workplaces and ultimately in the world.

The pages of this magazine serve as a testimony to OBU fulfilling its mission, vision, and values well. Beginning with last summer’s issue, our goal is to share critical information and measurable data with you at the end of each academic year. The President’s Report is one way we can express OBU’s wellness. We hope that you are encouraged by what you see and read, and we hope you are inspired by the well doing of OBU.

Like OBU’s founders, you too can make a lasting impact on the next generation of world changers. We ask you consider doing just that, and even better, to do it well.

No greater gift can be given than prayer. Pray that OBU would remain faithful to her mission.

Send students to OBU and help them find their place in this world.

Introduce us to individuals and organizations that need to hear OBU’s compelling and incredible story.

Make a financial gift to impact the work of OBU at