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Sports and Recreation, Sports Ministry Emphasis

Having a heart for ministry as well as a love of sports are key elements to consider in OBU’s sports and recreation, sports ministry emphasis. Here, you can learn to lead youth sports groups and activities at churches, camps and other religious affiliations in order to enhance participants’ mind, body and spirit.

You will study outdoor recreation, basic counseling skills, outdoor recreations, evangelism, spiritual formation, administration and other related topics. Students often enhance their training with a minor or second degree from OBU’s Hobbs School of Theology and Ministry.

Carolyn Sosinski Ward

Class of 2019

“Attending OBU was a transformative experience. Through the guidance of dedicated faculty and a holistic approach to education, OBU nurtured my passion for sports and instilled a deep understanding of faith and community.”

Benefits of OBU Sports and Recreation, Sports Ministry Program

Sports Ministry as a Major Degree

OBU is one of the few universities that offers sports ministry as a degree major and not merely a minor degree. The curriculum blends a variety of theology and church organizational courses along with sports management courses to offer a depth of understanding. You can use this degree to serve as an associate pastor or work in sports, recreational or fitness ministries.

Articulation Agreements with Graduate Level Programs

The Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation program continually seeks partnerships with universities offering admission for advanced degrees. The agreements are designed to align with programs of interest to our students. Currently, OBU has a guaranteed admissions program with Oklahoma State University’s Center for Health Sciences (CHS). The program guarantees two top graduates from OBU’s ESSR program, who apply and meet specified criteria, will be guaranteed admission to the OSU-CHS Master of Athletic Training program pending an interview and selection.

Articulation Agreement Information

Program Information

Professional Networking Opportunities

Our sports and recreation programs enjoy collaborations and connections with professional sports organizations such as the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Uncommon Sports Group, Athletic Business Conference, REACHgathering Sports Ministry Conference, and other Christian sports associations.

You will have opportunities for field trips, internships, and association with professionals from these areas of industry to expand your knowledge and scope of the multi-faceted sports industry.

Impact of Exceptional Faculty

As a Sports Recreation, Sports Ministry student, you will have personal interaction with professors who have leadership experience in a variety of sports professions and ministry settings. They share their knowledge and expertise with you in a small classroom setting allowing you to enjoy interpersonal relationships. They serve as both professors and mentors, investing in you as you continue to grow and develop in the important role of sports ministry.

Opportunities for Internships

You can gain valuable experience in the realm of sports, through OBU’s sports and recreation internship opportunities with various organizations such as Oklahoma City Thunder professional basketball organization, collegiate and high school athletics, municipal recreation centers, churches and non-profit agencies and programs. Many of our graduates gain full-time employment with these organizations as a result of their internship.

Integration of Faith

All Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation program courses are taught from a Christian worldview with professors who serve as personal mentors, supporting both your intellectual and spiritual development. Through a small class setting of 15-25 students, our faculty instill a solid foundation of faith and biblical perspective through their instruction and personal lives. Our mission is to invest in you as a future health professional to exemplify Christian principles, approaches, and practices with utmost respect for those you serve.

Job Opportunities and Outcomes

Graduates of the OBU Sports and Recreation, Sports Ministry program may find satisfying jobs with churches, Christian sports camps, youth sports ministries, senior adult recreational programs, as a church minister in sports, recreation, or fitness.

Recent Sports and Recreation, Sports Ministry graduates are now working at:

  • First Baptist Church, Broken Arrow, OK
  • Christ Church of the Valley, Phoenix, AZ
  • First Baptist Church, Carrollton, TX
  • Green Acres Baptist Church, Tyler, TX

Program Options

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Additional Studies

Students in this major often minor or continue with a degree from OBU’s Hobbs School of Theology and Ministry.

World-Class Faculty

OBU faculty are experts in their fields and will be with you every step of the way.

Dr. Chad Payn

Dr. Chad Payn

Chair, Division of Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation
Associate Professor of Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation
Faculty Athletics Representative

Dr. Meredith Bailey

Dr. Meredith Bailey

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation

Dr. Jeffrey Hogan

Dr. Jeffrey Hogan

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, Sports and Recreation