News http://www.oc.edu/news RSS Feed $2 million gift helps fund OC 'spiritual life reboot' http://www.oc.edu/news/r/2-million-gift-helps-fund-oc-spiritual-life-reboot/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Thanks in part to a $2 million gift, Oklahoma Christian University (OC) students have a new way to build their “life resume” this fall.

Ethos, OC’s new spiritual life program, provides multiple ways for students to grow in faith, serve others and worship God. OC students can fulfill their Spiritual Life requirements through daily Chapel services, mission trips, service projects, Bible studies and other options.

About a quarter of the anonymous $2 million gift is funding the launch of the Ethos initiative. In total, 11 givers have donated almost $600,000 toward Ethos since OC’s Thrive fundraising campaign launched in June.

“Ethos is valuable for OC students because it will help them build a resume of the whole person they’re becoming – not just academically, but in their service, leadership, community and spiritual dimensions, too,” Director of Ethos Summer Lashley said. “This is about more than helping students get jobs after graduation. It’s about students living a full life so they can become who God wants them to be.”

Ethos is rooted in Mark 12:30-31, where Jesus identified the greatest commands: to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The program encourages OC students to pursue their interests and use their talents in five dimensions: Community, Discipleship, Discovery, Servanthood and Worship.

Most of OC’s student body is already involved in service and ministry opportunities, many of which now count toward students’ Spiritual Life requirements through Ethos’ Servanthood component. The Worship component includes daily Chapel, an important OC tradition since the university began in 1950.

“Spiritual Life is at the core of the OC experience. OC students are known for actively living out their faith and reaching out to help others in community,” President John deSteiguer said. “But Ethos can be a game changer in the way it helps our students practice spiritual disciplines and become intentional about their spiritual lives.”

OC’s ultimate goal for full implementation of Ethos is $1 million. Meeting that goal will start an endowment to help students, faculty and staff members go on mission campaigns, provide leadership training and development for students, fund technical support and updates for the Ethos mobile application, and furnish on-campus venues for Bible studies and other gatherings. Information about donating toward Ethos can be found at oc.edu/thrive.

“Ethos represents a meaningful and relevant paradigm shift for our OC family,” Director of Advancement Operations Will Blanchard said. “We will be intentional in cultivating a campus where the Spirit lives and breathes, where students and employees serve alongside one another to meet the needs of our community, and where groups of Eagles regularly and personally worship and grow together.”

More information about this unique spiritual life initiative is available at oc.edu/ethos.

University friends have donated three separate seven-figure gifts to Oklahoma Christian this month. A $1 million donation by Benton and Paula Baugh of Houston, Texas, provided the startup capital for OC’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. Food service provider U Dining gave $1 million toward the renovation of OC’s dining hall.

Oklahoma Christian opened its 65th academic year Monday with what is expected to be another record-setting student body when enrollment is certified in September. The last nine years have featured OC’s nine highest total enrollments ever, including a record 2,424 students in 2013-14.

Recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, OC offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.

-OC-

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Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:00:00 CDT bd9b2b8c-e855-4548-8da5-9c1818193127
OC receives $1 million gift for College of Engineering and Computer Science http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-receives-1-million-gift-for-college-of-engineering-and-computer-science/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – For the second year in a row, Oklahoma Christian University (OC) is the beneficiary of a seven-figure gift from a special couple in Houston, Texas.

This week, OC announced a $1 million gift from Benton and Paula Baugh to serve as startup capital for the university’s newly reorganized College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Just last year, the Baughs gave $1.7 million to endow a preaching chair in OC’s College of Biblical Studies.

“Our society desperately needs talented, Christian engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists as leaders for tomorrow,” said Dr. Byron Newberry, formerly the chair of OC’s Graduate School of Engineering who now serves as dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “The generosity of the Baugh family will help grow OC’s influence in these fields. Their gift will help us continue to mentor students to see their talents as more than simply a means to a career, but as tools to serve others, much like Benton has done in his life.”

Benton is an energy engineer and inventor with 50 years of experience in oilfield and sub-sea systems. He holds more than 100 patents and founded Radoil, Inc. He has previously worked with Newberry, donating patents to OC’s ABET-accredited undergraduate programs in computer, electrical and mechanical engineering so faculty and students could develop new solutions to practical problems.

“We are incredibly honored by Benton and Paula’s generous hearts for our students and their strong belief in OC’s mission,” President John deSteiguer said. “Their investment is an exciting challenge for us to pursue an even higher level of excellence in our engineering and computer science programs.”

Though the Baughs did not attend Oklahoma Christian, they have fallen in love with the university through an OC trustee who serves as their minister at Memorial Church of Christ in Houston. David Duncan and his wife Barbara are 1989 OC alumni, and their passion for the university rubbed off on the Baughs.

“Ever since they learned about OC through the Duncans, Benton and Paula have been fascinated with this Christian university and its thriving engineering programs,” Vice President for Advancement Kent Allen said. “They were very impressed with Byron’s leadership, and Benton has even said that if he were starting his career again, he would choose OC. This gift truly speaks to their generous hearts.”

The Baughs’ gift is one of the most significant donations announced thus far for OC’s Thrive campaign, which launched in June. The $30 million campaign is helping fund 30 high-impact, student-focused projects over the next three years.

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

The last nine years have featured OC’s nine highest total enrollments ever, including a record 2,424 students in 2013-14. Another record enrollment is expected for the 2014-15 academic year, which begins next Monday.

-OC-

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Thu, 21 Aug 2014 09:00:00 CDT 1d5398fd-6979-4540-aed3-414c393e1c41
OC earns Princeton Review honors again http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-earns-princeton-review-honors-again/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Princeton Review honored Oklahoma Christian University (OC) as one of the best colleges in the western United States, placing OC among the top 25 percent of all four-year colleges nationwide.

The Princeton Review recognized 124 colleges in the western region, composed of 15 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Six other Oklahoma universities joined Oklahoma Christian on the “best colleges” list: the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma City University, Oral Roberts University, and the University of Tulsa.

“We’re pleased to recommend these colleges as the best schools to earn their undergrad degrees,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president and publisher. “We chose these as our ‘regional best’ colleges mainly for their excellent academic programs.”

The schools in The Princeton Review’s “2015 Best Colleges: Region by Region” website section are determined through institutional data, campus visits, college counselor recommendations, and independent student surveys.

OC students surveyed by The Princeton Review praised the student body’s unifying faith in God, a campus atmosphere where “everyone is willing to get along,” and a diverse community that includes a strong percentage of international students and “Third Culture Kids,” students who grew up overseas and identify with more than one culture.

The Princeton Review’s full list is available at www.princetonreview.com/best-regional-colleges.aspx.

Earlier this year, The Princeton Review honored OC as the No. 14 undergraduate school in the U.S. and Canada to study video game design. Oklahoma Christian joined the University of Southern California and the University of Utah as the only schools in the western United States in the top 15.

Oklahoma Christian also is recognized as a “Best University – Master’s” in U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges.”

“OC’s students, faculty and staff are second to none. That’s seen in honors like this and in the remarkable impact our graduates make in the United States and around the world,” OC president John deSteiguer said.

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

The last nine years have featured OC’s nine highest total enrollments ever, including a record 2,424 students in 2013-14. Another record enrollment is expected for the 2014-15 academic year, which begins next Monday.

-OC-

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Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:00:00 CDT c6b6fbf8-9c03-42ee-abb4-b1bca84f3e4d
OC alumni and students in Acappella bring “Good News” to prisoners http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-alumni-and-students-in-acappella-bring-good-news-to-prisoners-in-arkansas/ Oklahoma Christian University is proud of its extensive ties with Christian signing group Acappella. The group enjoyed a special experience performing for the second year in a row for an audience hungry for the Good News. Acappella performed at the Grimes Correctional Facility in Newport, Arkansas this week.

“While it was bittersweet to see familiar faces from our prior visits, there's a sweet, sweet spirit in that place,” bass singer and OC employee Wes McKinzie said.

A member of the Christian Music Hall of Fame, Acappella has sold more than three million units and toured every continent on the globe since the group formed in 1982.

The group’s five members have all graduated or attended OC. Since 2009, members receive a scholarship to attend OC through a unique partnership between the university and the Acappella Company. This partnership builds on a long history between OC and Acappella; 21 former or current OC students have served with the Acappella Company through the years.

After releasing the landmark album "Sweet Fellowship," Acappella signed with Word Records (and later Epic Records), and saw its popularity soar with releases such as “Rescue,” “We Have Seen His Glory” and “Set Me Free.” The song “More Precious Than Gold” became the centerpiece of a Sony Camcorder national television commercial. The group’s "Radiance" album won the 2007 CARA Award for Best Religious Album.

Just a few weeks ago, Acappella performed the national anthem before the Texas Rangers baseball game at Globe-Life Park in Arlington, Texas. The performance was part of “OC Night With the Texas Rangers.”

Those nearby to OC can catch the group perform again soon. Acappella will perform Aug. 1 at Oklahoma Christian Academy’s gospel meeting in Edmond, Oklahoma. 

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Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:10:00 CDT 6805a7dc-d533-410d-8921-e3ab130ac171
Families from 43 countries attend Global Reunion 2014 at OC http://www.oc.edu/news/r/missionary-and-military-families-from-43-countries-attend-global-reunion-2014/ For the ninth year in a row, OC will host missionary and military families returning to the United States at Global Reunion 2014. The camp has doubled in size in the last two years with 150 participants from 43 countries on campus from July 23-27. 

The camp is for children aged 13 and older who are known as Third Culture Kids, though parents are allowed to attend sessions as well. Directors Kent and Nancy Hartman, missionaries-in-residence at OC, give tools and resources to families that have lived outside the United States and are now seeking to reenter U.S. culture. The Hartmans spent more than 10 years as missionaries in Australia and were surprised by the challenges of reintegrating their family into America.

“TCKs have both the culture of their parents, the culture of the country they have grown up in, and they develop from these a third culture which is uniquely their own,” Nancy Hartman said. “TCKs have American parents, look and sound like Americans and are expected to know and understand an American culture that is foreign to them.”

At Global Reunion, campers learn to deal with the grief, hidden losses, identity confusion and divided loyalties that can accompany cross-cultural moves. The camp is also filled with fun activities that will help the campers embrace their situation and thrive in it. 

In addition to OC, Global Reunion is co-hosted by InterMission, a group of former missionaries committed to supporting missionaries. InterMission was co-founded by the Hartmans and Memorial Road church of Christ in Oklahoma City. There are also many volunteers from local churches who provide meals for the campers. 

According to Kent Hartman, Global Reunion is the only camp of its kind in the world that combines classes for college-age and teen TCKs that also has classes for parents. It is also the only camp of its kind among churches of Christ.

“Global Reunion has put OC on the map in missionary and military circles around the world,” he said. “We are often referred to in those circles as ‘the university that cares about missionary and military families’ and the place to send TCKs when they reach university age.”

In recent years, OC has had an increase in the number of TCKs who call OC home. More than 60 students meet during the year, often with the Hartmans. They enjoy activities and relationships for successful living in their world of changing cultures and transitions. More information about the camp and program can be found at www.oc.edu/tck

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Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:33:00 CDT cb49b96e-2007-48ae-b797-6adeb1b6ccc0
Wilburn's company ranked eighth by Forbes http://www.oc.edu/news/r/wilburn-s-company-ranked-eighth-by-forbes/ Just Between Friends, a company co-founded and run by Oklahoma Christian University (OC) trustee Shannon Wilburn ranks No. 8 on Forbes’ list of top franchises in the United States.

Wilburn is now the sole owner of Just Between Friends, the nation’s leading children’s and maternity consignment sales event. The company has 141 franchises in 29 states and one in Canada. Gross sales topped $24 million in 2013.

Just Between Friends has been featured in “Entrepreneur” magazine and on “Good Morning America,” “The CBS Early Show,” “The Today Show,” CNN and FOX.

Wilburn joined OC’s Board of Trustees in May 2013. Her husband Mitch Wilburn, the preaching minister at Park Plaza Church of Christ in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is an alumnus of OC’s Graduate School of Theology.

-OC-

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Thu, 03 Jul 2014 10:00:00 CDT 03f6210e-a7b3-43df-b04e-e8fac869bded
OC up for 'Favorite College' honors in Readers' Choice Awards http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-up-for-favorite-college-honors-in-readers-choice-awards/ Oklahoma Christian University is a top 5 finalist in the “Favorite College” category in The Oklahoman’s Readers’ Choice Awards.

You can vote for Oklahoma Christian once a day by going to http://newsok.com/readerschoice and clicking on the “Just For Fun” category tab toward the bottom of the page.

It’s another chance to rally around our alma mater! Voting closes at midnight on Monday, June 23.

Recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, Oklahoma Christian offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity and theological studies.

-OC-

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Tue, 17 Jun 2014 15:00:00 CDT d00edfa6-9bb5-4cb7-8f02-1cb72d59e8a9
OC faculty present at 2014 Christian Scholars Conference http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-faculty-present-at-2014-christian-scholars-conference/ Members of the Oklahoma Christian University community participated in the 2014 Christian Scholars Conference last week at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn.

Known as the Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholars' Conference, professors, graduate students and professionals present more than 100 peer-reviewed and generative sessions to advance scholarship, collaboration and engaged dialogue. 

This year’s conference theme was "Leadership in the Academy, Religion and Civil Life."

Key speakers included Christian missions and history professor and author Lamin Sanneh, theologian, professor and author Carl Holladay, former college administrator and recognized religious author and publisher Phyllis Tickle and religion professor and author Elizabeth Clark. In addition, Nashville’s Blackbird Theatre presented the world premiere of the stage adaptation of John Updike’s novel “Roger’s Version.”   

OC professors participated in seven presentations at the conference.

OC Professor of History Matt McCook presented a paper titled “Reconsidering Again Alexander Campbell’s Political and Social Ethic.” His session was titled Liberty, Reform, and Schism in Antebellum America. In addition, McCook used the week to conduct research related to future scholarship.

Associate Professor of Communication Josh Watson presented on “Teaching Leadership Through Appreciative Inquiry and Dialogic Theory of Public Relations” and “Leadership and Follow-Ship: A Case Study of a Leader’s Framing of Risk-Taking.” His sessions were titled Leadership Development and Theory and Leadership Challenges, respectively.

OC Professor of New Testament John Harrison served as convener of the peer-reviewed session titled New Testament Exegesis I. Richard Wright, chair of the Graduate School of Bible and associate professor of Bible, also served as convener for the session titled Major Book Review: “Marcan Priority Without Q,” which was edited by John C. Poirier and Jeffrey Peterson.

In addition, OC alumnus and adjunct professor Jeremy Beller presented on “Terror Management, Dissociation and Religious Orientation: Addressing Allport’s Paradox of Religion and Racism.” His session was titled Civil Rights and Churches of Christ: Leadership in the Academy.

Finally, OC President John deSteiguer participated with other college presidents in the session titled The Future of Christian Higher Education: The Most Critical Issues We Face in the Decade Ahead. President deSteiguer also served as a reviewer for the session titled Major Book Review: “Christianity on Trial: A Lawyer Examines the Christian Faith,” which was written by Mark Lanier.  

The Christian Scholars Conference was created in 1981 under the direction of Dr. Thomas H. Olbricht, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Pepperdine University, and has since been hosted by several universities associated with churches of Christ. The conference calls together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines in the liberal arts, sciences, business, law, education and medicine to develop their own academic research and to reflect on the integration of scholarship and faith. 

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Fri, 13 Jun 2014 10:39:00 CDT f7d7cada-f8bf-4af7-b748-9b29df815b65
OC launches 'grand experiment' with new campaign http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-launches-grand-experiment-with-new-campaign/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) kicked off June with a new fundraising initiative.

“Thrive: The Complete Campaign” will raise approximately $30 million to fund near-term, high-impact projects in around 30 strategic areas by May 31, 2017.

Unlike most university fundraising campaigns, Thrive had no silent phase and will be public from start to finish.

“This is an exciting grand experiment,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “Most campaigns are long-term, endowment-heavy efforts that are secret for years until the timing and resources are right to announce them. But higher education is rapidly changing, and Thrive gives us the agility to respond to new market realities, donor wishes and student needs.”

Thrive will be student-focused – emphasizing building projects and programmatic efforts that quickly and directly impact OC’s campus experience and spiritual environment.

Among the first-year Thrive projects with fundraising goals of $1 million or more are a new home for OC’s School of Nursing, startup capital to launch three new academic colleges, funding for a new spiritual life initiative, and a new campus dining area.

OC will seek additional facility funding for a new coffee shop and upgrades to the Davisson American Heritage building, Hardeman Auditorium, on-campus student housing, and Das Millicanhaus, the university’s living-learning facility in Vienna, Austria.

“These projects are mission-driven and build on OC’s strengths,” deSteiguer said. “They are for our students – providing tangible things that will enhance their collegiate experience while keeping tuition affordable.”

Bolstered by nine straight years of the highest enrollments in school history, including a record 2,424 students last year, Oklahoma Christian kept undergraduate prices flat the past three years before announcing a 3.26 percent increase for 2014-15.

OC’s cost of attendance of $25,790 per year is significantly less than the national public-school average of $31,701 for out-of-state students and the private-school average of $40,917.

Alumni have helped Oklahoma Christian remain affordable; the university’s successful Homeward campaign doubled OC’s alumni participation rate over the past two years. More than 2,200 OC graduates financially supported their alma mater in the just-completed fiscal year.

Thrive is OC’s largest campaign initiative since the Higher Learning~Higher Calling campaign raised $64.3 million in less than six years, concluding in 2009.

“Thrive is a whole different breed of campaign,” deSteiguer said. “It’s unorthodox in higher education, but we’re raising money that can make a difference quickly. OC’s strength and spirit mean this campaign isn’t about surviving. It’s about thriving.”

More information about the Thrive campaign is available at www.oc.edu/thrive.

Recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, Oklahoma Christian offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.

-OC-

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Sun, 01 Jun 2014 00:00:00 CDT d4ad5aee-1567-4a70-87e2-552084f3a22b
Salvador Cariaga: Turning tragedy into triumph http://www.oc.edu/news/r/salvador-cariaga-turning-tragedy-into-triumph/ Oklahoma Christian University graduate Salvador Cariaga (83) is the executive director of ministries for Shepherd’s Hill International. OC president emeritus Mike O’Neal (68) is on the board of trustees for the ministry, which includes the Give A Goat initiative in Salavdor’s home country, the Philippines.

On November 7, Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines with the strength of a Category 5 hurricane, claiming almost 4,000 lives and injuring more than 12,000 people.

In the aftermath of one of the most destructive storms in Southeast Asia’s history, Salvador and Shepherd’s Hill were on the ground in the Philippines providing relief.

These excerpts from Salvador’s Facebook page show his passion for the people in his home country along with the real-time triumphs and trials of Christian disaster relief.

November 7 Lost contact with our Arapal brothers and sisters. The eye of the storm must be over the camp by now. There will be no live updates for a while. Wind and rain will continue raging for 4-6 hours before everything subsides. Their silence is deafening. Prayers please ...

November 8 Rescue. Relief. Rebuild. Renew.

November 8 LATEST DISASTER REPORT IN ARAPAL: GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS!

The good news is that my worst fear did not happen; there are no major or many casualties in our area. I have not gotten much update on death or injury yet, but the fact that I have not gotten much is good news.

The bad news is that my second worst fear happened. Collateral damage is complete. All our buildings in Arapal were destroyed, even Arapal Children’s Home is now roofless. There was no report of injuries of those who took shelter there (We have a concrete and rock basement that can hold 100 people). But all the huts were either gone or uninhabitable. Goat houses disappeared as expected.

Outside of our 100 acre campus is even worse. They were facing the brunt of the wind. We had their hills to protect us, somewhat. There are deaths reported there. Their devastation is more complete. The wind and rain smashed their houses at will. Initial reports give a very grim picture of our neighbors.

November 9 Arapal Livelihood Center, Arapal Christian Camp and Arapal Children’s Home were destroyed and decimated by the recent typhoon. Seven years of hard work, gone in seven horrifying and traumatic hours. Fortunately, lives were saved in the building BANDS (Body and Soul) Ministries donated. About 50 people huddled in the basement while the roof was mercilessly ripped off, but failed to harm them. With God’s help, we will rebuild. We will restore.

November 12 Distributing food and tarp in Arapal now. Got generator set and chain saws. Gerry Bastonero and crew taking more relief supplies to be distributed in and around Arapal Christian Camp. Hope to set up a temporary refugee camp there soon. Working on logistics and coordination. The government is overwhelmed. Too many people homeless. Meeting today in Fort Worth with US Relief Organizations BANDS Ministries, Christian Relief Fund, Healing Hands, Shepherd’s Hill, and other groups to help the Philippine disaster victims.

November 20 On the way to the disaster area. Prayers please. Thank you.

November 27 Worship is not limited to a physical structure. Even underneath a plastic tarp (during the day) or the moonlight (evening service), Arapal Christians and visitors continue to worship. I find open air worship more spiritually intimate than enclosed buildings.

December 1 I have been involved with a lot of disaster works in the Philippines since I was a kid. The Philippines is the most disaster-prone country in the world, unfortunately. However, I have never been hit so close to home before. This time, “HOME” is ground zero. People who are victims are not just faceless folks I just met and may never meet again, not that they are less important. This time, I have known the disaster victims’ faces, names, stories, and families for years. I have given them goats, seeds, and chicken.

On behalf of my people, please extend your help if you have not done so yet. The US Board of Trustees of Shepherds Hill committed to send 100% of your donation to the disaster work in the Philippines. This is a volunteer driven organization led by Dr. Mike O’Neal, former president of Oklahoma Christian University. For more information, please contact him at mike.oneal@oc.edu or send your gift to Shepherds Hill, PO Box 11000, Oklahoma City, OK 73136. Contributions will be promptly acknowledged by volunteer Dr. Elaine Kelly and will be tax deductible.

December 2 Have a house full of international disaster volunteer workers. More arriving.

December 5 I am in Arapal, Cebu. 6am here. No electricity in this disaster area for another three months or more. Nice paradise weather this week. 70s & 80s. Am in my tent. I can hear villagers hammering and rebuilding. Enjoying sunrise, sound of birds, chicken and goats. God is good!

December 6 Another beautiful sunrise in Arapal. A new day. A new beginning. God is good.

December 8 DISASTER WORK can also be a DISASTROUS LIFE. Lots of conflicts, jealousy, brush fires to put out – from the victims to the volunteers. Goats are so much easier to handle and herd. He he he.

December 14 Worshiping with the faithful on a hilltop church few miles from Arapal. Under a tarp roof because chapel roof and walls have been yanked away by the typhoon. Only the foundation is left. Although their building was crushed, their spirit is not destroyed.

December 24 Feeling very MERRY today. The container has been unloaded and cleared. Several sleigh were filled and on their way to ARAPAL. HO HO HO!

December 31 HAPPY NEW YEAR! Going out to deliver rebuilding materials with young volunteers today. House to house. First day of the year is the best day to help rebuild homes and lives. If you wish to join me sometime this year, please let me know. This is a long and massive effort. We need all the help we can get. Help us REBUILD ARAPAL!

January 3 MORE BAPTISMS TODAY IN ARAPAL. We need new fresh volunteer church workers, teachers, preachers, even if just for two weeks so that our worn out laborers ‘in the vineyard’ can get some rest. We also need to follow up on our new brethren, mentoring them and guiding them every day so that they will stay. School is starting next week. Our volunteers will be depleted down to 80% or more. Please share or email cariaga@yahoo.com for information.

January 4 FROM VOLUNTEERS TO VICTORS. 15 young men and women were baptized in this beautiful San Remegio beach yesterday near Arapal. They are all high school students from Lambusan who served as disaster volunteers during Christmas break.

January 5 Dodong Cabarles baptized most of the 65 who came forward today in Arapal. He has worked tirelessly here for years with only a little success in building up the church. This week, this little man became a giant in many eyes, including mine. His years of sacrifice and hard work suddenly came to life. His message and delivery has also stepped up like I have never heard him preach before. God shined upon him brightly after the storm.

January 11 Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Europe, Canada, and the US have been extremely generous in helping make it possible for us to do relief and rebuilding work in Arapal. We would like to thank all our donors, especially the Americans, for their help. I will again share in our church today that I am just a conduit, not the source. But ultimately, God is the ultimate source of all. We are all just stewards. Happy Lord’s Day everyone. God bless …

January 21 Almost eight years ago, Angel was fighting for her life as she tried to outrun the rush of incoming mudslide from the mountain. It buried her whole village and took the lives of her loved ones along with over 2,000 others. Her grandmother who was running with her fell, but urged her to keep running. She did not make it. Her sister who was also with them was covered with mud, but Angel and an uncle rescued her. Her grandfather who raised Angel and her sister Lyka survived, but mysteriously died a week later.

Last Sunday, Angel handled a class of what must be about 100 kids with grace and ease. She is one of our many partners who were once victims, but became volunteers. Theirs are stories of turning tragedy into triumph.

January 30 Another incoming typhoon due to hit landfall. Prayers please.

January 31 In my tent. Typhoon Signal #2. Wind blowing harder and harder in Arapal. Raining off and on. Just had 13 baptisms late today IN THE OCEAN. 23 this week. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want …”

January 31 All is well here now. Stopped raining. Wind is not as strong. Everyone safe. No report of major damage or any injuries here in the camp. Praise God. Thank you all for your prayers and concerns. Will update more later.

February 15 God does not waste hurt or hunger. Many of the people who followed Jesus in the hills were after bread. He provided them more than bread to eat. He gave them the bread of life. Happy Lord’s Day!

February 16 I asked the patriarch of this family who will donate a valuable land for our new church in Arapal, what led them to decide to donate a valuable property. He said, “I heard of Arapal and what you have been doing through my employees and relatives. I think what you are doing is great and I want to support that.”

For over eight years, we have labored in Arapal serving the poorest of the poor. Never it crossed my mind, that the rich were watching us through the eyes of the poor. And it was even further from my mind that rich and poor land owners will donate properties for our new church buildings around Arapal.

God works in mysterious ways. God is Great!

February 24 Over 300 souls have been baptized since after the big typhoon in Cebu. We have been averaging 500+ in our Sunday morning attendance for three months now. Yesterday, we had more than 730. 32 souls accepted Christ. One of those who was born again was Willy Claren, a retired police colonel. He came to church Sunday to donate a piece of land for one of our new church buildings. He told me before our morning service that he liked what we are doing in his community and want to help. He had no plans of being baptized, but when the invitation was extended, he came forward and was immersed. People come to Arapal for various reasons. Many come for aid, others want to help, while some are just curious. God meets people at the point of their needs and draws them to Him. That is what’s happening in Arapal today. Please share.

February 24 One of our new temporary staff members gave her share of roofing material to let a neighbor have it instead. She said, “They need it more than I do.” A typhoon disaster victim lost her home the second time due to fire, one of our longtime staff workers donated pots and pans from their own personal funds. Today, we have volunteers bringing sacks of potatoes, cassava, pounds of fish, fruits, and vegetables. With school being out, there are over 300 men, women, and children in Arapal today. We are becoming a huge close-knit family here. Imagine what our lunch is going to be like. he he he

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:42-47

February 26 Activities are super full. Another baptism yesterday. 300 volunteers working. Some brought chicken, vegetables, fish, and fruits. One lady brought her whole family to cook special Filipino desert of “puto ug bodbod’ from scratch. It was a culinary demonstration of native food for everyone to see and later on enjoy. Building relationships. Building communities. Building churches. Praise the Lord.

March 9 Every Sunday, our pictures will show that there is always something new in Arapal. Again, our stage is bigger and better. The “Big Tent” is now longer again to accommodate more people. 722 attended our morning worship and 19 more souls were added to the Lord, including an 80 year old man who wanted to be baptized with his ‘new’ necktie on. LOL!

March 16 This 80+ year old lady came with a bag of mongo beans as her offering. She was proud of her gift. Her response to my interview cracked the audience. She has a great sense of humor and obviously a sincere will to serve the Lord.

March 21 The burden of sustaining this momentum, discipling and mentoring new members, developing an organizational structure that meets the needs of our new brothers in Christ is quite heavy and complicated. We still have an ongoing relief and rebuilding work to do, along with our existing programs of livelihood, children’s home, Christian camp, Christian schools, etc. In April and May, we will be conducting VBS in 20 different sites around Arapal and Cebu.

Please pray for this work, that God may give us the wisdom what to do and the means to capitalize on this extraordinary situation and opportunity. Growth this fast and this big in a disaster situation is full of complications, confusion, and conflicts. Majority of our workforce are young and inexperienced. Our key leaders have been stretched and stressed. We have no blueprint or pattern and had to start from scratch and make things up as we go. We need your prayers and support now more than ever.

April 8 VBS starts today in four different villages around Arapal. Targeting 20 or more different sites. Teachers mostly teenagers. Prayers please.

April 22 355 attended Sunday morning worship service in Arapal. 120 Sunday night. Six souls accepted Christ, one of them is Fernando Naparuta. His parents, brother and sister were killed in the Leyte disaster (mudslide) eight years ago. He joined our team this summer as a volunteer. From victim to volunteer, to victory in Jesus.

April 24 GIVE A PIG. Oink! Oink! Arapal Livelihood Center has been developing its organic pig farm for over two years. Now we are ready to expand by sharing our knowledge and experience to help fight poverty and break the cycle of dependency through organic pig raising. For more information, please message me or email me at cariaga@yahoo.com or donate directly to Shepherds Hill, PO BOX 11000, Oklahoma City, OK 73136. Note: Give a pig.

May 2 In Arapal, we have been partnering for almost six months with various individuals, churches, and non-profit groups (local and international). Among them are BandS Ministries, Disaster Tech Lab, Disaster Missions, Christian Relief Fund, Ecoweb, Peace Relief Mission, etc. We are grateful to all our partners and welcome any new ones who wish to come.

May 3 500 Families around Arapal still need disaster aid in forms of roofing, walls, nails, gutter, wood, etc. Rebuilding mission will go on for another six months to a year. Lots of homes still need repair. We are budgeting about $100 per household. Please help. Send your aid through Shepherds Hill, PO Box 11000, Oklahoma City, OK 73136. Kindly share this with your friends, family, or home church.

May 11 There are now 21 new converts here in the islet. One of the converts is Arse Lopez. He is one of the patriarchs of this place with 12 children and 40 grandchildren. When l first approached him for Bible study in his village, he answered, “We need to hear God’s word in this island.”

May 13 27 Souls were baptized in the last few days in Arapal and surrounding areas, 18 of them in Arapal Island. Over 350 attended worship in Arapal Sunday morning, over 50 attended Sunday night in the islet. 603 have now accepted Christ since typhoon Yolanda (Hainan) six months ago. To God be the glory. Praise the Lord!

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Mon, 19 May 2014 12:00:00 CDT 244748df-79a6-41e7-81b2-e2256f16c0e1
Peters picked for Baugh Chair of Gospel Preaching http://www.oc.edu/news/r/peters-picked-for-baugh-chair-of-gospel-preaching/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Dr. Doug Peters will be the first Baugh Chair of Gospel Preaching in the College of Biblical Studies at Oklahoma Christian University (OC).

Peters has 27 years of experience in ministry and preaching, including the last 13 years as the pulpit minister for North Davis Church of Christ in Arlington, Texas. He also has served churches in Abilene, Texas; Houston, Texas; and Birmingham, Alabama.

Peters has been a guest preacher and teacher in more than 60 congregations, 10 states and eight nations. In his new role at Oklahoma Christian, Peters will focus on recruiting, teaching, training and mentoring future preachers.

“OC’s growing number of preaching ministry majors will be blessed by Dr. Peters’ scholarship, experience and influence,” said Alan Martin, dean of OC’s College of Biblical Studies. “We will benefit greatly from his contributions in the realm of practical ministry and his experience in coaching and mentoring leaders.”

Oklahoma Christian offers a preaching major and preaching scholarships ranging from half-tuition to full tuition. Last March, Benton and Paula Baugh helped Oklahoma Christian build on this foundation by pledging $1.7 million to OC’s College of Biblical Studies.

In addition to establishing the Baugh Chair of Gospel Preaching, this endowment will help Oklahoma Christian offer seminars for pulpit ministers on topics they need to thrive in their roles.

“We are grateful to have this endowed chair for preaching at Oklahoma Christian,” Vice President for Academic Affairs Scott LaMascus said. “Not only does the endowment provide for program leadership, but also for scholarships and other program funds. We are grateful and eager to see what OC faculty and students can do in this important area of Kingdom work.”

Peters earned an associate of science degree in electrical engineering technology at Midwestern State University, then earned his bachelor’s degree in Bible and master’s degree in biblical studies at Abilene Christian University.

He received his doctor of ministry degree from ACU in 2006. His emphases were in preaching and congregational leadership; he was guided and mentored by the late Charles Siburt.

Peters and his wife Sheryl have been married since 1983. They have two daughters: Alani, 18, and Lauren, 23.

“For the past 13 years, I have been on the front lines preaching and serving in a wonderful and loving local church in Arlington, Texas,” Peters said. “While the decision to transition was not easy, I accepted this call because I am passionate about the kingdom impact of local churches and their preachers. I am convinced that Oklahoma Christian is uniquely positioned to invest in God’s mission by preparing future preachers and congregational leaders.”

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

The last nine years have featured the nine largest enrollments in OC history, including a record 2,424 students during the 2013-14 academic year.

-OC-

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Mon, 19 May 2014 11:00:00 CDT 69b0d493-9126-437c-81fc-41b7db84172e
Oklahoma Christian honors outstanding faculty, staff http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oklahoma-christian-honors-outstanding-faculty-staff/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – At its spring commencement ceremony, Oklahoma Christian University (OC) presented four faculty members with awards for their outstanding accomplishments, service and leadership.

Heath Jones and Jeff Simmons received OC’s Faculty Leadership Award; Jeff Price received the Gaylord Chair of Distinguished Teaching Award; and Richard Wright received the Jack and Barbara Rowe Distinguished Scholar Award.

Jones is a professor of music at Oklahoma Christian, where he directs the OC Jazz Ensemble. He has served as president of the Oklahoma Jazz Educators Association and was named the 2008 University Jazz Educator of the Year. A professional saxophonist, he has performed with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Lesley Gore, Frankie Avalon, Jim Nabors, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Wayne Newton, and many more. His upcoming album features jazz notables Tony Monaco, Grant Goldstein and Willie Peterson.

Price leads OC’s Gaming and Animation program, which The Princeton Review and PC Gamer ranked 14th in the nation this year. OC is the state’s only university, and one of just two in the southwestern United States, to be honored on the undergraduate list. As principal of Price Media Group, he has won numerous industry awards in video, animation, interactive, and print design. His students have gone on to work at industry giants such as Dreamworks, Sony Imageworks, Midway Games, and Big Idea.

Simmons chairs the Department of Management and Marketing in OC’s School of Business Administration. He has led the university’s ethics team to two consecutive state championships, advancing to the regional and national competition for two years running. He teaches OC’s international business and global marketing courses; his expertise includes a stint with the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Wright is an associate professor of New Testament in OC’s College of Biblical Studies. His scholarship explores the intersection of the New Testament and the early church with Greco-Roman philosophies and religions. His recent research has explored philosophies about music’s role in moral formation and in Greco-Roman society. His upcoming book is tentatively titled, “Citizenship in Heaven: Paul’s Advice to a Status-Conscious Church.”

Oklahoma Christian also presented awards to outstanding staff and faculty at its annual Spring Dinner. The university named Judy Davis as the Staff Employee of the Year. Davis has served as OC’s director of residence life since 2000. She has worked at Oklahoma Christian for almost 30 years, previously serving as a hall director, housing director, and director of campus life.

The Second Mile Award, sponsored by Citizens Bank of Edmond, was presented to missionary-in-residence Kent Hartman and associate professor of biology Eric Phelps. Hartman teaches Bible classes and a popular class on personal and family finances at OC. Phelps recently received a $60,000 OCAST grant to develop new training resources for undergraduate educational programs.

-OC-

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Tue, 06 May 2014 12:00:00 CDT 5fec644e-ca13-48e0-a380-acdde5ff2a9e
OC awards degrees at Spring Commencement http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-awards-degrees-at-spring-commencement/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) will present 198 undergraduate degrees and 39 graduate degrees at its spring commencement ceremonies on April 25-26.

The undergraduate ceremony starts at 10 a.m. Friday in OC’s Payne Athletic Center. The graduate ceremony starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in OC’s Hardeman Auditorium.

The undergraduate degree candidates, including 21 graduates from OC’s Honors Program, come from 28 states and 11 countries. They majored in a combined 38 academic disciplines at Oklahoma Christian. 

The master’s degree candidates come from six states and seven countries, and represent 13 graduate areas of study.

Mark Brewer, senior vice president and chief information officer for Seagate Technology, LLC, will deliver the undergraduate commencement address on Friday. William “Chip” Kooi, a professor of theology at Oklahoma Christian, will keynote Saturday’s graduate ceremony.

Brewer leads all of Seagate Technology’s information technology operations worldwide and is a member of the company’s Executive Council. 

His area consists of 1,600 IT professionals located in 20 different countries. His responsibilities include all business systems, factory information systems, electronic security, business continuity and collaboration services, as well as other traditional IT support services for Seagate’s 50,000 employees.

Brewer holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from Oklahoma State University. He serves as vice chairman of OC’s Board of Trustees and also is on the boards of the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank and the Missions Resource Network. He is a member of the Strategic Advisory Council for OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology.

Kooi graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 1981, then earned his master’s degree in New Testament from Abilene Christian University in 1990, and his doctorate in religion from Baylor University in 1999.

Kooi worked in education, pulpit ministry and inner-city ministry before returning to teach at Oklahoma Christian in 2001. An accomplished theological scholar, he has written for The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell MovementLeaven, and The Christian Chronicle.

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

The last nine years have featured the nine largest enrollments in OC history, including a record 2,424 students this year.

-OC-

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Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:00:00 CDT 51c455fc-77cb-4437-9b4b-10860b728de5
OC expands to five colleges, appoints new deans http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-expands-to-five-academic-colleges-appoints-new-deans/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) will expand from three to five colleges beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year.

OC’s five academic colleges will be the College of Biblical Studies, the College of Business Administration, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Natural and Health Sciences.

“Our academic and leadership teams have been planning, praying and discussing how to build on OC’s legacy of exceptional success in science, engineering and business,” said Dr. Scott LaMascus, vice president for academic affairs. “Our new colleges will focus on growth in these areas and implement strategic planning to help us serve more students.”

This academic reorganization will not affect degree plans for current students, but will expand students’ opportunities for learning and connecting with experts in their chosen fields.

“Students choose Oklahoma Christian because they are drawn to OC’s vibrant community for faith and learning, led by exceptional teaching faculty who truly care about students,” President John deSteiguer said. “These five colleges will provide further focus for our learning communities as we help students discover their missions in life.”

Dr. Jeff McCormack, a 1983 Oklahoma Christian graduate, will return to his alma mater as the new dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences and the Lawson Professor of Microbiology and Immunology.

Dr. McCormack has been on the Lipscomb University faculty since 1999 and is currently associate provost. He also has served as an elder at Harpeth Hills Church of Christ in Brentwood, Tenn.

He is the son of OC professor emeritus Joe McCormack and his wife, Lottie. Jeff and his wife Tina, also a 1983 OC graduate, have four children: Daniel, an OC alumnus working on his doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin; Katie, a Lipscomb graduate and a nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Michael, a graduate of Pepperdine University who is in medical school at the University of Tennessee; and Sarah, a sophomore at Lipscomb.

“Dr. McCormack will be a key leader for our revitalization and reorganization,” LaMascus said. “We are poised to build and expand on OC’s legacy of rigorous science education and excellent placement of our graduates in medical schools, graduate studies, and health and science careers.”

Dr. Byron Newberry will serve as dean of OC’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. Newberry is a professor of mechanical engineering and chairs OC’s Graduate School of Engineering.

After graduating from Oklahoma Christian in 1991 with a degree in mechanical engineering, Newberry went on to earn his master’s degree and doctorate at the University of Michigan. He also has served as a senior research engineer and consultant at Shell International Exploration and Production.

Newberry and his wife Tammy have two children, Isaac and Olivia. They worship at Memorial Road Church of Christ.

“Dr. Newberry’s leadership at the helm of our graduate engineering programs has been exceptional, and we know he will be equally successful leading OC’s College of Engineering and Computer Science,” said Don Drew, associate vice president for academics. “He has worked closely with Tinker Air Force Base to ensure we are responding to needs in the aerospace industry and advanced engineering education.”

Oklahoma Christian will name a dean for the College of Business Administration later this year. Dr. Alan Martin and Dr. David Lowry will continue as deans of OC’s College of Biblical Studies and College of Liberal Arts (formerly the College of Arts and Sciences), respectively.

“Drs. Lowry and Martin are excellent leaders who have helped us make great strides in adding and developing programs that support OC’s mission,” LaMascus said. “Our programs in the liberal arts, fine arts, humanities and biblical studies have outstanding placement and student success records. All of our programs seek to be best-in-class among Christian universities, and no university is exceptional without valuing all of these learning communities.”

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

The last nine years have featured the nine largest enrollments in OC history, including a record 2,424 students this year.

-OC-

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Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:30:00 CDT 6d714f1a-bb24-4bdc-8972-68ca08e436e6
OC hosts noted authors for intergenerational faith event http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-hosts-noted-authors-for-intergerational-faith-event/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Two leading experts in spiritual development will be the featured speakers at the third-annual Intergenerational Faith Center Dialogues at Oklahoma Christian University (OC) on April 1.

John Westerhoff, author of the classic book, Will Our Children Have Faith?, and Holly Allen, author of Intergenerational Christian Formation: Bringing the Whole Church Together in Ministry, Community and Worship, will share their insights at this special event, which is free and open to the public.

The event begins at 7 p.m. in OC’s Judd Theatre. Free tickets can be ordered online at www.oc.edu/ifc or by calling (405) 425-5370.

“This will be a unique opportunity to hear one of Christian education’s original voices in spiritual formation and a fresh new voice in intergenerational spiritual formation,” said IFC co-director Dudley Chancey, a professor of youth and family ministry at Oklahoma Christian. “Dr. Westerhoff and Dr. Allen both will give past, present, and future perspectives on the age-old question, ‘Will our children have faith?’”

Westerhoff is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University. He taught at Harvard before serving as a professor at the Duke University Divinity School for 20 years. He was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1974, and most recently served as priest associate, resident theologian, and teacher at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta, Ga.

He has authored or co-authored 35 books. Will Our Children Have Faith? has been used extensively in college and seminary religious education classes since it was originally published in 1976. In this book, Westerhoff advocates experiential faith formation within families, churches, and schools rather than relegating religious education to Sunday morning classes.

Allen is a professor of biblical studies and director of the Child and Family Studies Program at John Brown University. She holds degrees from Harding University, the University of Iowa, and Talbot School of Theology.

She is noted for her research on spiritual development in children, and is frequently sought by parents, the educational establishment, social workers, and churches to speak on children’s spirituality.

OC’s Intergenerational Faith Center assists and equips families and faith-based institutions in spiritual formation. The IFC provides strategies and advises ministers, church leaders and other groups in developing intergenerational programming and practices.

Previous speakers for the IFC Dialogues include best-selling authors David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, and Gabe Lyons, founder of Q Ideas and Catalyst.

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

The last nine years have featured the nine largest enrollments in OC history, including a record 2,424 students this year.

-OC-

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Wed, 26 Mar 2014 09:15:00 CDT 52824a0f-402b-42ab-8e33-95bac0187e23
Renowned scholar N.T. Wright to speak at OC http://www.oc.edu/news/r/renowned-scholar-nt-wright-to-speak-at-oc/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – One of the world’s premier theologians will speak at Oklahoma Christian University (OC) March 24-25. 

N.T. Wright is a best-selling, award-winning author and professor who holds dual doctorates from Oxford University. He will lead a panel discussion on March 25 titled “Paul and the Faithfulness of God.” The event begins at 10 a.m. in OC’s Hardeman Auditorium. 

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at www.oc.edu/ntwright.

Wright is research professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland. He holds a doctorate in divinity and a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University. 

He has written more than 60 books, including his best-selling “Simply Christian,” “Simply Jesus” and “How God Became King.” He also is known for his multi-volume work “Christian Origins and the Question of God,” of which volume four, “Paul and the Faithfulness of God,” has recently been released. 
 
In addition to the panel discussion, Wright will speak the night before to a sold-out crowd of 2,700 on the topic of “The Strange Challenge of Truth.”

John Harrison, professor of New Testament and Ministry at Oklahoma Christian, said hosting Wright for the university’s latest McGaw Lecture is a significant honor.

“N.T. Wright is our generation’s foremost expert on New Testament studies, especially in regard to postmodernity and the reliability of the Biblical narrative,” Harrison said. “He combines scholarship and applied insights in an understandable way that resonates with audiences, as evidenced by his sold-out public lecture.”
 
Those interested in hearing Wright can still attend the panel discussion the next day.
 
“Fortunately, the panel discussion presents another opportunity to hear from this distinguished scholar,” Harrison said. “In addition, Wright will be joined by three scholars in the study of Paul who will critique Wright's new book on Paul. This is truly a rare and unique opportunity to hear from established New Testament scholars.”
 
Accomplished professors Richard Hays, Jerry Sumney and James Thompson will join Wright for the panel discussion. 

Hays is the dean of Duke University’s Divinity School and the George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament. Sumney teaches New Testament at Lexington Theological Seminary and is the chair for the Pauline Epistles and Literature section of the International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. Thompson is Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Theology at Abilene Christian University and the editor of Restoration Quarterly.

In conjunction with Wright’s lecture, all OC students, faculty and staff members received a free copy of “Simply Christian,” and the book has been integrated into the curriculum of a number of classes. 

This outreach builds on the university’s commitment to spiritual growth. Earlier this semester, OC launched “WORD: OC’s 60-Day New Testament Plan” through the Edmond-based YouVersion Bible app, which is used on more than 100 million devices around the world.

OC’s McGaw Lectures exist to increase national awareness of three of America’s founding core values: faith in God, constitutional government and private enterprise. The lectures are made possible by an endowment fund created by the late Mary and Foster McGaw. Just last month, OC hosted two members of the Little Rock Nine, Carlotta Walls LaNier and Terrence Roberts, for the university’s most recent McGaw Lecture.
 
About Oklahoma Christian University
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, offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity and theological studies. The last nine years have featured the nine largest enrollments in OC history, including a record 2,424 students this year.

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Fri, 07 Mar 2014 15:30:00 CST aaa75764-a626-476e-b937-0ec85aa1b4a2
OC Olympic Connections http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-olympic-connections/ Oklahoma Christian University is a destination point for students from all over the world who seek a quality education. In fact, students from 57 countries are currently enrolled at OC.

Below is a list of the nations that competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics that have students at OC, along with the medal count for those nations.

And while you're in the Olympic spirit, check out features about OC alumni Jennifer Ma and Jeff Bennett. Ma was a chief designer of the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Bennett was the United States’ top decathlete in the 1972 Summer Olympics, placing fourth overall.

Country

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total

Russia

13

11

9

33

United States

9

7

12

28

Canada

10

10

5

25

Germany

8

6

5

19

Austria

4

8

5

17

France

4

4

7

15

China

3

4

2

9

South Korea

3

3

2

8

Czech Republic

2

4

2

8

Japan

1

4

3

8

Great Britain

1

1

2

4

Australia

0

2

1

3

Belgium

0

0

0

0

British Virgin Islands

0

0

0

0

Israel

0

0

0

0

Mexico

0

0

0

0

Moldova

0

0

0

0

Morocco

0

0

0

0

Nepal

0

0

0

0

Pakistan

0

0

0

0

Paraguay

0

0

0

0

Peru

0

0

0

0

Philippines

0

0

0

0

Portugal

0

0

0

0

Spain

0

0

0

0

Thailand

0

0

0

0

Togo

0

0

0

0

Turkey

0

0

0

0

Venezuela

0

0

0

0

In addition to this year's competing Winter Olympic nations, Oklahoma Christian currently has students from Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Syria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam. Click here for more information on OC's International Programs.

-OC-

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Sun, 23 Feb 2014 13:00:00 CST b2832dfe-a4f5-4ea4-928a-0cdc6bb09d94
OC maintains affordability with 2014-15 pricing http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-maintains-affordability-with-2014-15-pricing/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – After keeping undergraduate prices flat for three years, Oklahoma Christian University (OC) has announced a small increase for 2014-15.

OC’s cost of attendance will move to $25,790 per year (including tuition, room and board). That will represent a 3.26 percent increase over 2011-12, the last time Oklahoma Christian raised prices.

Oklahoma Christian’s approach contrasts with the nationwide trend; according to the College Board, the average cost of attendance at private colleges rose 7.9 percent during OC’s multi-year price freeze, including an increase of almost 4 percent this year. Total charges at private schools averaged $40,917 this year while public schools cost an average of $31,701 for out-of-state students.

“Our commitment to affordability makes OC a tremendous value for students seeking premier academic programs in a supportive Christian environment,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “We’re dedicated to holding prices down, even as we’re faced with higher operating expenses like rising healthcare costs. We know students and families will appreciate that OC is bucking the trend of the large price increases seen at many colleges nationwide.”

Oklahoma Christian is continuing its policy of not charging undergraduate student fees. This allows students and families to better compare Oklahoma Christian with schools that charge numerous fees on top of their tuition “sticker price.” Differential tuition will continue for students participating in nursing clinicals or taking private music lessons.

OC students can take up to 17 hours per semester for the base tuition price, and can further shape their costs with on-campus housing choices that best fit their budgets and needs.

More than 90 percent of OC’s undergraduate students receive financial aid, including performance and athletic scholarships, need-based financial grants, and governmental assistance.

OC’s Presidential Academic Success Scholarship rewards academic achievement tied to student performance on ACT and SAT exams. Oklahoma Christian also offers significant scholarships for National Merit Scholars. OC has 37 National Merit Finalists in its student body, the third-most per capita in the state of Oklahoma and the most per capita among all Church of Christ universities.

On the graduate level, OC’s tuition will remain flat for all students in the Graduate School of Theology ($400 per credit hour) and Graduate School of Engineering ($495/hour), and for returning students in the Graduate School of Business ($470/hour). New graduate business students who enroll this fall will pay $484 per credit hour.

Complete pricing information is available at www.oc.edu/costs.

“We’re able to make a first-rate education affordable at Oklahoma Christian through our location in Oklahoma City, which boasts one of the nation’s strongest economies, and through the enthusiastic support of our alumni and donors,” deSteiguer said.

An unprecedented 1,479 Oklahoma Christian graduates gave to their alma mater last year, helping OC’s alumni participation rate (13.6 percent) eclipse the national average (11.2 percent).

Recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, Oklahoma Christian offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.

OC’s 200-acre campus is located in northeast Oklahoma City and borders the city of Edmond. The last nine years have featured the nine largest enrollments in OC history, including a record 2,424 students this year.

-OC-

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Fri, 14 Feb 2014 08:00:00 CST 902a492f-af5b-4d64-b027-8493471e44cf
Oklahoma Christian hosts pioneers of integration http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oklahoma-christian-hosts-pioneers-of-integration/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) will host two members of the “Little Rock Nine” for a special event that is free and open to the public on Feb. 24.

Carlotta Walls LaNier and Terrence Roberts were two of the nine teenagers who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., on Sept. 25, 1957. They were confronted by a hostile crowd and escorted by the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division on that historic day.

“In the midst of one of the most turbulent times in this country’s history, it’s amazing that we found strength in the unlikeliest of places – in a group of nine kids,” said Gary Jones, OC’s Multicultural and Service Learning Coordinator. “Even in the face of injustice, prejudice and inequality, their story of perseverance will live forever. The Little Rock Nine helped lead the charge of equality in education and opportunity for education in America.”

At age 14 in 1957, LaNier was the youngest member of the Little Rock Nine. She went on to graduate from Central High School in 1960 and earned her bachelor’s degree from Colorado State College, now known as the University of Northern Colorado.

She worked for the YWCA as a program administrator before beginning a successful career as a real estate broker. She continues to operate LaNier and Company, the firm she founded in 1977.

She serves as president of the Little Rock Nine Foundation and speaks across the country about her experiences as a pioneer of school integration. Her memoir, A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice of Little Rock Central High School, offers an inside look at this significant civil rights battle.

Roberts was a 15-year-old junior when he entered Little Rock Central High School. He completed his junior year, then moved to California and graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1959.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from California State University at Los Angeles in 1967, a master’s degree in social welfare from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1970, and a doctorate in psychology from Southern Illinois University in 1976.

He now serves as chief executive officer of Terrence J. Roberts & Associates, a management consultant firm. He also maintains a private psychology practice and speaks on a wide variety of topics across the country. His memoir, Lessons from Little Rock, came out in 2009.

Both LaNier and Roberts have been honored with the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal and the Congressional Gold Medal.

History Speaks: Little Rock Nine starts at 7 p.m. on Feb. 24 in OC’s Hardeman Auditorium, Though admission is free, pre-registration is required at www.oc.edu/littlerock9.

The event is part of Oklahoma Christian’s McGaw Lecture Series.

Recognized as one of the best universities in the western United States by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review, Oklahoma Christian offers undergraduate programs in more than 60 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.


-OC-

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Wed, 05 Feb 2014 16:25:00 CST d14ba800-ebc6-4fd1-b93d-8198d06a5303
OC partners with YouVersion for Bible reading plan http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-partners-with-youversion-for-bible-reading-plan/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) unveiled a new Bible reading plan on YouVersion this week.

The plan allows anybody with access to the YouVersion app or online site (bible.com) to read through the entire New Testament by the end of the spring semester.

Along with a daily Bible reading, OC’s plan features devotional thoughts written by Oklahoma Christian students, faculty and staff members.

“We are so thankful to YouVersion for their willingness to partner with us,” Campus Minister Summer Lashley said. “I believe that great things can happen when a community commits to reading God’s word together. I hope that others are blessed by reading alongside our campus community.”

The plan is titled “WORD: OC’s 60-Day New Testament Plan.” Readers can search for and subscribe to the plan for free in YouVersion online or on their smartphones or tablets. More information is available at oc.edu/youversion.

“This is a great opportunity to share a common goal to read the New Testament this semester. We hope this becomes a yearly endeavor that encourages our campus to read the Bible daily,” Associate Dean of Spiritual Life Chance Vanover said. “One of the difficulties of trying to start a new habit of reading our Bible is knowing when and where to begin. That is why we are excited to partner with YouVersion, which has made this project so accessible for anyone interested in joining the journey with us.”

YouVersion is the No. 1 Bible app in the world, used on more than 100 million devices around the globe. The free app, created by LifeChurch.tv, offers the Bible in hundreds of translations and in almost 150 languages. 

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

-OC-

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Tue, 07 Jan 2014 10:32:00 CST dbfec219-ef09-4f65-9051-2121c5c49063
OC's South Africans reflect on Mandela's passing http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-s-south-africans-reflect-on-mandela-s-passing/ By Bobby Ross
The Christian Chronicle

Bullets came flying at Alan Martin as he stepped off a Cape Town, South Africa, bus after a Wednesday night Bible study.

Martin, now dean of the College of Biblical Studies at Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City, grew up in a segregated church and faced violence and oppression during the apartheid era.

Apartheid - an Afrikaans word meaning “the state of being apart” - was a government policy of segregation and racial and economic discrimination against non-whites.

“When I became a teenager, I became aware of apartheid. I just saw the discrimination, and I saw the unfairness,” Martin said as he reflected on anti-apartheid champion Nelson Mandela, whose Dec. 5 death at age 95 drew tears and condolences worldwide.

Like admirers around the globe, the roughly 30,000 members of Churches of Christ in South Africa celebrated the legacy of Mandela, who served as the nation’s first black president from 1994 to 1999.

In today’s South Africa, Christians of all races — including blacks, whites and “coloreds,” as those of mixed races are known — can worship together freely. That’s just one legacy of the life of Mandela, who had Methodist roots and wrote in a 1975 letter, “Never forget that a saint is a sinner who keeps trying.”

Click here to read the full story from The Christian Chronicle, which also includes reflections from Nduduzo Collen Ngaleka, another native of South Africa who is currently a student in OC’s Graduate School of Theology.

Click here to read a feature about Dr. Martin and his background helping African refugees.

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Wed, 18 Dec 2013 15:04:00 CST f8773fd5-6ffc-4efc-b059-01bea5d474a1
OC awards degrees at Winter Commencement http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oklahoma-christian-awards-degrees-at-winter-commencement/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) will present 87 undergraduate degrees and 85 graduate degrees at its winter commencement ceremonies on Dec. 13-14.

The undergraduate degree candidates come from 16 states and seven countries, and majored in a combined 36 academic disciplines at Oklahoma Christian. The master’s degree candidates come from six states and 10 countries, and represent 14 graduate areas of study.

Jim Baird, director of OC’s Honors Program, will deliver the undergraduate commencement address on Friday. Byron Newberry, chair of OC’s Graduate School of Engineering, will keynote Saturday’s graduate ceremony.

In addition to his director’s role with the Honors Program, Baird is a professor of Bible and philosophy at Oklahoma Christian. He also has served as the preaching minister at Wilshire Church of Christ since 2000. His father, James O. Baird, was Oklahoma Christian’s second president.

Jim Baird graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in Bible and English, received his theology degree from the Harding Graduate School of Religion in 1982, and earned his doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University in 1992.

He has taught in OC’s College of Biblical Studies since 1992. He won the 2001 Gaylord Chair of Distinguished Teaching, which recognizes teaching excellence, innovation and effectiveness in working with OC students in and out of the classroom.

His Honors Program course with Professor of Physics Len Feuerhelm, “The Bible, Science and Human Values,” won a $10,000 prize from the John Templeton Foundation.

Newberry serves as a professor of mechanical engineering at Oklahoma Christian. He also uses his expertise to teach high school students taking engineering courses in OC’s Honors Summer Academy.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Oklahoma Christian in 1991 before going to the University of Michigan, where he earned his master of science in engineering degree and doctorate.

He teaches Bible classes and helps with the missions and media ministries at Memorial Road Church of Christ.

“It’s a great thrill to have two of our finest professors sharing their wisdom and experience with these outstanding graduates,” OC president John deSteiguer said.

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

For the last three years, the cost of attendance for OC undergraduate students has stayed the same, making Oklahoma Christian the only university in the state and the only reporting member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities that did not raise its total price. More information is available at www.oc.edu/value.

-OC-

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Tue, 10 Dec 2013 13:32:00 CST 134c7527-36da-4e15-a8eb-e6d5d21d4325
OC mourns passing of Charles Branch http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-mourns-passing-of-charles-branch/ Dr. Charles Branch, Sr., one of the most cherished members of the Oklahoma Christian University family, passed away Friday, Dec. 6 at age 87.

He and his wife Sylvia recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. She and other members of the Branch family were with Charles when God called him home.

The memorial service will be held at MacArthur Park Church of Christ in San Antonio at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Memorials may be sent to Oklahoma Christian University, in care of The Charles and Sylvia Branch Family Scholarship Fund (email: kent.allen@oc.edu), or to IHCF African Christian Hospitals, in care of The Charles and Sylvia Branch Emergency Center at Nigerian Christian Hospital (email: tom.ihcf@sbcglobal.net).

“Charles was a wonderful man who exemplified Christ in his life,” the family said in a statement. “He was a man of faith dedicated to his God, beloved wife Sylvia of over 60 years, his family, and the many others he helped and served throughout his life. Our family is thankful to all of you and who have been praying for Dad during his illness and encouraging Mom in her steadfast dedication to his care.”

Dr. Branch was the patriarch of a family that is in its fifth decade of leadership and involvement with Oklahoma Christian.

Branch family at 2010 Alumni BanquetThe Branch children – Charlie (77), Warren (77), Dan (80), Alfred (84), and Cynthia Branch Adams (86) – all attended OC and have gone on to remarkable careers of their own while actively supporting their alma mater. Alfred was a longtime executive vice president at Oklahoma Christian and served as OC’s fifth president.

Four of Charles and Sylvia’s grandchildren – Daniel Branch (05), Henson Adams (11), Meagan Branch Lytton (11), and Lee Branch (an OC senior) – have called Oklahoma Christian home.

There are many more potential OC students in this and future generations of the Branch family. The Branches received the university’s inaugural “Legacy Award” in 2010.

“Dr. Charles Branch is an Oklahoma Christian hero,” President John deSteiguer said. “A longtime trustee and generous supporter, Dr. Branch made OC his university. He was always encouraging us and always championing us. Charles and Sylvia are inspiring examples of faithful, committed Christians. The entire OC community mourns with Sylvia and the family over Charles’ passing. I will miss this great man whom I loved and admired.”

Dr. Branch served on the university’s Board of Trustees for 20 years before becoming a Life Trustee. He was an active member of MacArthur Park Church of Christ, where he served as a Sunday school teacher, deacon, medical missionary and elder for more than 43 years.

Born Aug. 9, 1926, in Bells, Tenn., he later moved with his family to Jackson, Tenn. He honorably served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II.

After the war, he attended David Lipscomb College in Nashville, known today as Lipscomb University, and graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1949 and Vanderbilt University Medical School in 1953. He completed a neurosurgical residency at the University of Chicago and while there received a fellowship to McGill University.

Dr. Branch became a prominent and distinguished neurosurgeon, whose expertise in the field was demonstrated in his practice, his teaching, and his numerous published works on a host of neurological and neurosurgical topics.

He was a clinical professor at McGill University Medical School and at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and a distinguished guest lecturer at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

He also was a vocational minister in Montreal, Canada, for 15 years and annually served as a medical missionary to African Christian Hospital for many years.

He received the 2004 AANS Humanitarian Award for his medical mission work in Nigeria, Haiti and Guyana. In 2010, the renowned Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas in Dallas honored him by creating the Charles L. Branch Award to recognize the nation’s leading neuroscientists.

“My grandfather lived a wonderful life that was full of great accomplishments by earthly standards. He changed the lives of so many people through his skilled hands as a neurosurgeon and left his mark in the medical field,” said Henson Adams, a former OC Student Government Association president who earned one of OC’s Distinguished Young Alumni awards in 2012. “However, his greatest gifts to this world were the countless people he influenced spiritually and the vast many people he lent a helping hand to when they were in need. He was a humble servant of the Lord and a steward of the gifts that God has given to him.”

Charlie and Lesa Williams Branch gave a $1.5 million gift to Oklahoma Christian in 2004 for the Williams-Branch Center for Biblical Studies, named for Charles and Sylvia and for Lesa’s parents, Charles and Joyce Williams.

“Oklahoma Christian University is a special place. The university stands for the real value of Christian principles and the value of Christian family,” Charlie said at the building’s dedication. “So many entities in today’s society are tearing down the family, and we hope that, in some way, holding up our parents will remind all of us how valuable and important the family is. This institution, and what it stands for and what it’s doing, is very special to our parents. It’s almost natural that we could honor them and bless other people at the same time.”

Click here to read a Vision magazine feature on the Branch family from 2010, when they were honored with OC’s inaugural Legacy Award.

Click here to read Lynn McMillon’s interview with Dr. Branch from a 2010 edition of The Christian Chronicle.

-OC-

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Fri, 06 Dec 2013 15:00:00 CST 24503131-8518-4080-8d07-02b22df48bf7
OC names Baird and Driskill to Registrar leadership roles http://www.oc.edu/news/r/oc-names-baird-and-driskill-to-registrar-leadership-roles/ OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Stephanie Baird will become Oklahoma Christian University’s new Registrar and Karen Driskill will become OC’s Associate Registrar on Jan. 1.

Baird will fill the post vacated by Mickey Banister, who is retiring after a distinguished career in education, including the last 19 years at Oklahoma Christian.

Baird is completing a dissertation in higher education at Oklahoma State University on the topic of retention and graduation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts/communication from Flagler College and a master’s degree in higher education/student affairs from Iowa State University.

She served as Oklahoma Christian’s graduate programs development manager before becoming the graduate engineering program director in 2011, leading all business aspects of OC’s Graduate School of Engineering. She previously held leadership roles at Pepperdine University and Oklahoma City Community College and taught at the University of Central Oklahoma.

“We are so pleased that Stephanie has agreed to serve as our Registrar and help lead us into a new era of fully integrated and student-oriented enrollment services,” Vice President for Academic Affairs Scott LaMascus said. “Her advanced studies and her experience with graduate programs will be among her strengths as she works with OC students, faculty and programs.”

Driskill has worked in the Registrar’s Office since 1997, most recently as the registration coordinator for administrative services. She earned her bachelor’s degree and MBA degree in leadership and organizational management from Oklahoma Christian.

“Karen’s experience in our registration, enrollment and advisement systems is invaluable,” LaMascus said. “She also has provided leadership in the area of advisement and advisor training, empowering faculty to play a powerful role in mentoring students and helping them with their degree plans.”

LaMascus said Oklahoma Christian will form a task force in 2014 to begin shaping the university’s new “One Stop” enrollment services plan.

“Both of these leaders will be invaluable in that process,” LaMascus said.

-OC-

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Thu, 21 Nov 2013 10:25:00 CST 52dbb9ed-5e68-407b-b9ad-96fc2feebe82
Former OC president, alumnus lead Philippines relief efforts http://www.oc.edu/news/r/former-oc-president-alumnus-lead-philippines-relief-efforts/

Oklahoma Christian University alumnus Salvador Cariaga is helping lead the efforts to provide relief to the Philippines after Typhoon Yolanda hit on Nov. 8, claiming as many as 10,000 lives.

Cariaga is the executive director of ministries for Shepherd's Hill International and Oklahoma Christian president emeritus Mike O'Neal is on the ministry's board of trustees.

In the accompanying video, Cariaga appears on The Weather Channel to discuss the devastation and relief efforts in the Philippines.

You can help by donating through Shepherd's Hill International and Christian Relief Fund.

More from The Christian Chronicle:

Most of the buildings — and goats — at Arapal Christian Camp are gone, says Salvador Cariaga, a Church of Christ missionary who oversees the camp on the island of Cebu in the Philippines.

Typhoon Yolanda, a Category 5 storm with winds approaching 200 miles per hour, ripped across the northern tip of the island on Nov. 8. The storm, one of the strongest in recorded history, may have claimed as many as 10,000 lives, CNN reports.

The storm destroyed much of Arapal camp, a church-supported demonstration farm where Christians practice sustainable agriculture and livelihood projects. Shepherd's Hill International, also known as Give A Goat, contributes to the work, as do other church-supported nonprofits, including the Christian Relief Fund. Nearly 50 people who huddled in one of the camp's concrete structures survived the storm.

"Lost all our buildings in Arapal, but glad no lives were lost — just goats, but not the dreams" Cariaga reports via Facebook. Currently in Texas raising funds for the work, the missionary is in contact with a team of volunteers surveying the damage.

In March, a team of students from Southwest Christian School in Fort Worth, Texas, worked at the camp to build a new home for Bebe, a recovering alcoholic who lives on the camp's property. (Read the story of Bebe's transformation.)

That home is now a mass of broken limbs and tarp, Cariaga says.

"We will reach out and give relief," he adds, "rebuild and restore, renew and revive."

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Mon, 11 Nov 2013 10:42:00 CST 3c550741-600d-4b07-8409-98fc0f2b7bb6