Charles Rix Named Dean

Feb 26, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Charles Rix, a classical piano virtuoso, experienced minister and respected scholar, has been named dean of Oklahoma Christian University’s College of Biblical Studies, announced Scott LaMascus, Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Rix, an associate professor of Bible at OC, moves into this leadership role after serving as chair of the university’s undergraduate programs in biblical studies and interim dean for more than a year.  He was selected to sponsor the university’s Fall 2017 Vienna Studies program, where he taught The Bible and Holocaust Studies and The Bible, Theology and Art on OC’s campus in Vienna, Austria using many of Vienna’s iconic art museums and Jewish historical sites as his classroom.

“I like this opportunity to think creatively about how we teach Bible. We want to help students think through how scripture speaks to 21st century challenges,” Rix said. “Our world and culture are changing so fast; there are so many competing voices. We want our programs and the way we teach not just to be relevant, but faith-forming. We want students to grow in their understanding of what it means to be Christians in whatever professions they pursue.”

Rix came to Oklahoma Christian in 2011 from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, where he worked as an associate dean and professor. He also served as the pulpit minister for Monmouth Church of Christ in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, and previously held financial positions with ExxonMobil Corporation domestically and overseas.

He holds graduate degrees in business, theology and philosophy, and completed his Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Drew Theological School.

An accomplished pianist, Rix has performed around the world and was selected a finalist in international competitions. As an executive for a top, international oil corporation, Rix and his family were stationed abroad for many years.

"Charles brings great talent and capacity to the role of Dean. A committed Christian with a heart for others, Charles is a master at relationships and connecting. His love for God and scholarly acumen are augmented by his years of leadership and managerial experience in the business and ministry world - Charles is remarkably well-equipped to lead OC's College of Biblical Studies. He is respected by both his colleagues and students. He is a blessing,” said President John deSteiguer.

“Charles Rix has already proven himself to be a leader who can help the College of Biblical Studies and the university grow,” said Scott LaMascus, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “He demonstrates tremendous executive capacity, which we’re seeing now in his management of program revisions to create a 36-hour online graduate program in Christianity and culture, expected in fall 2018.”

LaMascus noted that Rix demonstrates his commitment to Restoration churches as an invited speaker in congregations across the nation. As a scholar, Rix regularly has been selected to present and publish scholarship in national and international conferences.  “He has a big, big portfolio of skills to share, which he does with generosity, insight and gentleness,” said LaMascus.

As interim dean, Rix also provided the leadership which brought Dr. Barbara Price to OC full-time to build the Children’s Ministry Certificate program, an online training program for church education volunteers and staff.  The program has grown an impressive enrollment worldwide and hosts an annual conference for face-to-face community and enrichment of children’s education leaders, teachers, and volunteers.

Another accomplishment of Rix’s interim service has been the re-launching of OC’s longtime department for serving churches.  “Not only has Charles worked to secure the leadership of OC alum and long-time minister Dr. Grady King, but he also helps Grady and the college find appropriate ways to provide a 21st century Church Resources program that is quickly becoming a national model for strong bridges between a great Christian university and the founding fellowship we love and serve,” said LaMascus.

In addition to serving as dean and professor, Rix holds the Benton and Paula Baugh Chair of Biblical Studies, an endowed chair to enhance the health and vibrancy of ministerial training for churches of Christ.  

Rix regularly is invited to speak in chapels, leads an annual mission trip to Swaziland, and has served the university as one of its Title IX deputy coordinators, among many other roles.  He regularly is invited to guest teach at congregations including Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City, the Park Plaza Church of Christ in Tulsa, and the Memorial Church of Christ in Houston, to name a few recent invitations.

“I would put my colleagues in the College of Biblical Studies up against any department anywhere. We have a rigorous program with professors who are excellent scholars in their fields and well connected in their ministries and disciplines,” Rix said. “Building mentoring relationships with students will continue to be key. Our faculty already is involved in mentoring students. We are a campus culture that values relationship building and I want to help that grow.”

Rix’s wife, Jenny, passed away in 2005 after a life devoted to ministry, most notably as a Christian missionary to Singapore, a teacher of blind and visually handicapped children, a homeschooling teacher, and an advocate for child safety in their New Jersey township. Son, Nathan and wife, Kristen Anne Rix, live in Portland, Oregon and  daughter, Abby Rix Degge and her husband David Degge live in New York City.  

Oklahoma Christian, recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, set a school record this past year with 2,479 students enrolled. Overall, the last decade has featured OC’s 10 highest enrollments ever.

The university offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, computer science, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.

Previous university press on Rix include:

https://www.oc.edu/stories/content/heart-for-service

and

https://www.oc.edu/stories/content/oc-picks-rix-as-biblical-studies-dean