Welcome to Oklahoma Wesleyan University! We are a university that believes in and practices the transforming grace of Jesus Christ. Without Him, we can do nothing. With Him, all things are possible!
The transformations of lives is core to all that Oklahoma Wesleyan University is and does. Being an orthodox Christian, liberal arts university, we believe God wants to change the whole person by His grace and truth in order for His disciples to change the whole world for the good of His Kingdom. This is a place that prioritizes the whole development of the whole person spiritually, academically, emotionally, and physically including the worldview a person looks upon others and the culture God has called us to witness to through and with His love. We honor the Primacy of Jesus Christ, the Priority of Scripture, the Pursuit of Truth, and the Practice of Wisdom for the whole person so the Kingdom of Jesus Christ can impact the whole world.
As you consider Oklahoma Wesleyan University as your choice to develop who it is that God has called you to be and what He has wired you to do in life, I am confident in our mission, our people, our grace-giving, our truth-telling, and our Christian worldview culture. We desire to be so full of Jesus Christ that the grace and truth of Jesus Christ oozes out of all we are and do through Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
As one who graduated from this outstanding university, I wholeheartedly recommend this place and these people to you looking forward to the impact the ministry of the Gospel continues to have on all of us in every area of our lives. I look forward to interacting with you in order to learn how God is at work in your story. Join the OKWU family as we seek to honor Jesus Christ in all we are and do.
James A. Dunn, D.Min.
Oklahoma Wesleyan University
As an evangelical Christian university of The Wesleyan Church, Oklahoma Wesleyan University models a way of thought, a way of life, and a way of faith. It is a place of serious study, honest questions, and critical engagement, all in the context of a liberal arts community that honors the Primacy of Jesus Christ, the Priority of Scripture, the Pursuit of Truth, and the Practice of Wisdom.
- The Primacy of Jesus Christ as the incarnate Son of God, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is the lens for all learning and the Lord of our daily lives.
- The Priority of Scripture as the inerrant and authoritative written Word of God that guides us in all matters of faith, learning, and living.
- The Pursuit of Truth as an objective, attainable reality grounded in the person and example of Jesus Christ and anchored in the Bible.
- The Practice of Wisdom as the goal for all members of the university community, who work to promote healing and wholeness in a broken culture and hurting world.
Statement of Faith
- That the Bible, composed of the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired and inerrant Word of God and is the supreme and final authority in faith and life
- That there is one God, eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- In Jesus Christ as truly God and truly man, His virgin birth, His vicarious death, His bodily resurrection, and His promised second coming
- In the personality of the Holy Spirit and that the Spirit’s ministry is to reveal Christ unto mankind
- That God created mankind and the universe by special operation of divine power
- In the fall of mankind and the consequent sinful nature of all humanity which necessitates a divine atonement
- In justification by grace through faith and in regeneration by the Holy Spirit, who makes the penitent believer a new creature in Christ; and that, although God holds tenaciously to His own, it is possible for believers to repudiate faith in Christ, and unless they turn back to saving faith, be eternally lost. But by the grace of God such persons may by true repentance and faith find forgiveness and restoration
- That entire sanctification is an act of divine grace wrought in the believer through an act of the Holy Spirit whereby the Spirit takes full possession, cleanses, and equips for service on condition of total surrender and obedient faith
- That the gifts of the Spirit are given to believers as God wills for the purpose of edifying and strengthening believers and are not the evidence of the Spirit’s fullness, nor are they necessary for salvation. We affirm the miraculous use of languages and the interpretation of languages in its Biblical and historical setting; however, speaking or praying in an unknown language is not the evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit (or of the entire sanctification which the baptism accomplishes) and is therefore not to be promoted among us
- In the personal existence of Satan
- That the Scriptures plainly teach the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, the everlasting happiness of the saved, and the everlasting and conscious suffering of the lost
- That all true Christians, assisted by the Holy Spirit, give evidence of a true faith by their good works and social concern
Our Heritage and History
Oklahoma Wesleyan University’s history began in 1905 with Rocky Mountain Missionary & Evangelistic School. In 1910, its name was changed to Colorado Springs Bible College. In 1909, Miltonvale Wesleyan College began in Kansas and, in 1917, Pasadena Bible Training School opened in California.
Colorado Springs Bible College was initiated by the Pilgrim Holiness Church to train students for full-time Christian service. It expanded to include students desiring to attend college in a Christ-centered environment and later relocated to Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Miltonvale Wesleyan College was part of the Wesleyan Methodist denomination. Its purpose for 63 years was to initiate students to a Christian experience, intellectual training, social culture and physical development. A “Holiness Unto the Lord” motto summarized its mission and hung as a banner on the administration building. That banner now hangs on the Bartlesville campus.
After financial challenges, schools merged with Western Pilgrim College. They joined Central Pilgrim College shortly after its move to Bartlesville.
When the Bartlesville property was purchased, the La Quinta Mansion was the focal point. Previous owners used the property for a college, making the location suitable for Central Pilgrim College. The mansion remains, as do the Carriage House and Susanna Wesley Hall (women’s dorm).
In 1968, the Pilgrim Holiness Church and the Wesleyan Methodist Church merged to form The Wesleyan Church. The college became Bartlesville Wesleyan College. In 1972, Miltonvale Wesleyan College and Bartlesville Wesleyan College merged. Enrollment increased in the 1970s, and Bartlesville Wesleyan College experienced the largest increase of any four-year college in Oklahoma. With enrollment increasing at 97.4 percent, campus expansion became imperative. Four new buildings were built: Haltom Campus Center, Robert & Joyce Campbell Science building, Dorm ‘74 and Mueller Sports Center.
In 2001, the college officially became Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Since then, Lyon Chapel & Fine Arts Center, Keating Center, Lisa & Mark Roberts Fitness Annex, Janice & Charles Drake Library, six dormitories and additional athletic fields have all been built. The University’s outreach now includes an extension in Tulsa and online classes.
The Future Looks Bright
The University’s objective has expanded, but the mission has always been to prepare individuals to reach out and touch the world for Christ. Thousands of alumni have made a difference globally. OKWU’s vision and mandate remain steadfast. With the Lord’s leadership, President Dunn—as well as the university leadership, faculty, staff, students, partners and alumni—can rest assured that OKWU will continue to live out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).