Dr. John Connor (’70) has spent decades serving the Kingdom of God through mission work, administrative work, and writing. During a special presentation at OKWU’s Commencement ceremony tomorrow, he will receive an honorary doctorate.
Connor grew up as a missionary kid in Papua New Guinea but completed his high school career at Central Pilgrim Academy. He went on to attend Central Pilgrim College—which later became OKWU. He met his wife, Marge, on campus, and after the two graduated in 1970, they embarked on a journey to the mission field that would come to define their life. The couple served for 12 years in Zambia, then ten years working in and for Korea. For 11 years, Dr. Connor worked as a Consultant for Church Development with The Wesleyan Church.
His greatest legacy, perhaps, will be his time serving as director of the JESUS Film partnership from 2003-2013. During this time, Connor supervised the training of national teams sent out worldwide to evangelize using the film curriculum. From 2006 to 2013, an average of 100 churches per year were started as a direct result of this ministry—35 churches were planted per year in Mozambique alone during that time. Connor stepped down from the ministry to serve as the Pacific Area director of The Wesleyan Church.
In addition to his mission work, Connor has written several books on theology and missiology. Wesleyan Doctrine Made Plain is a text on Wesleyan theology that has been widely translated and distributed throughout the world to teach the basics of the denomination’s theology. Connor’s dissertation—Modified Pluralism: A Paradigm for Wesleyan Ethnic Church Growth and Church Planting in the United States was lauded during his time at seminary.
From 2006 to 2013, an average of 100 churches per year were started as a direct result of this ministry—35 churches were planted a year during in Mozambique alone during that time.
In addition to his undergraduate work at OKWU, Connor has achieved a Master of Divinity from George Fox Theological Seminary, a Master of Theology in Missiology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and his Doctorate of Missiology, also with Fuller Theological Seminary. In 2014, John and Marge were named OKWU’s Alumni of the Year.
Both Connors are retired, and they live in Indiana. They have two children—both also involved in Kingdom work—and four grandchildren.
Congratulations to Dr. Connor! Watch commencement here.