February 10, 2017 – Bartlesville, OK
Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU) and Wesley Biblical Seminary (WBS) today announced a new cooperative effort promoting the mission and expanding the reach of both institutions. The first step will be for WBS to offer the Master of Divinity degree at OKWU’s Tulsa Center beginning August 2017. The Association of Theological Schools, WBS’s accrediting body, has approved Tulsa as an extension site for WBS, who is now completing the necessary steps for authorization by the State of Oklahoma. The second phase of the partnership will be for OKWU to launch an undergraduate degree-completion program for ministry on WBS’s Jackson, Mississippi, campus beginning in the fall of 2018. This program will provide a much-needed educational resource for pastoral training and theological education.
As sister institutions, OKWU and WBS have much in common. A number of OKWU alumni have received master’s degrees at WBS and five WBS alumni now serve on the faculty or administration of OKWU. Both institutions have a Wesleyan heritage, share a common view of their mission, Scriptural authority, and human liberty, and both reach out to the broader evangelical church.
Dr. Everett Piper, President of OKWU, and Dr. John Neihof, President of WBS, announced the new work on Friday, Feb. 10, at a chapel service on the OKWU campus in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. “Wesley Biblical Seminary is thrilled to join with Oklahoma Wesleyan University in advancing our mutual commitment to the authority of Scripture, God’s call to holy living, and excellence in ministerial preparation,” said Dr. Neihof.
Wesley Biblical Seminary, founded in 1974, is a multi-denominational, graduate school of theology within the evangelical, Wesleyan–Arminian tradition that is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. WBS exists to advance Christ’s Kingdom through the Church and make disciples of Jesus by offering life-transforming theological education producing Spirit-filled shepherd-theologians and leaders for the 21st century, who demonstrate an unwavering commitment to trinitarian faith, Christ-centered holiness, biblical authority, and personal accountability. The Seminary’s main campus is located in Jackson, Mississippi, and they have a nationally recognized, fully accredited virtual online campus.
Oklahoma Wesleyan University is a recognized educational leader in the state of Oklahoma and beyond. OKWU has received national recognition from U.S. News and World Report, Forbes.com, and CBSNews MoneyWatch both for its excellent academic reputation as well as its missional integrity. The university is a four-year, Christian university of the liberal arts and sciences that is accredited by the North Central Association. OKWU also receives professional accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). OKWU boasts national championship athletic programs in men’s and women’s basketball as well as baseball. Perhaps most important, OKWU is known for its bold and clear mission which emphasizes the Primacy of Jesus Christ, the Priority of Scripture, the Pursuit of Truth and the Practice of Wisdom.