Joshua Bybee’s journey to becoming an OKWU student looks a little different than most.
Like many in The Wesleyan Church, Bybee grew up hearing tales of the Wesleyan college in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. A native of Rapid City, South Dakota, Bybee heard stories from his grandmother, Joann (’68), and her children, Kody and Kottie. His roots go even further than that, as he is related to OKWU’s Provost, Keri (Bybee) Bostwick (’98, ’13), and his younger sister, Grace, currently attends OKWU and plays volleyball.
In his younger years, Bybee heard about OKWU from his family as well as the OKWU students who volunteered at his church camps. Bybee felt a call to ministry early on, but it wasn’t until more recently that he honored that call and decided to pursue his degree in Ministry and Leadership.
All Roads Lead to Bartlesville
Bybee started his academic journey at another school before he decided that it was time to follow God’s direction for his life. He went to the mission field next, spending six months in New Zealand, India, Thailand, and Laos.
Upon his return, he decided to enroll in OKWU’s online GPS program. His history with OKWU drew him in, and the program’s flexibility allowed him to pursue his degree while still working to support his wife. The couple welcomed their first child a few months ago.
“The flexibility of GPS has been huge with having a baby. I’m awake at 4 AM anyways,” he jokes. “And I work in real estate, which is not your typical 9 to 5.”
Bybee will graduate in the spring and plans to find a role in ministry, whether that’s at a church or a parachurch organization. He has been an intern with his church’s missions coordinator.
Next in Line
For now, Bybee is proud to be the next chapter in his family’s history with OKWU.
“Obviously, I don’t remember it, but there’s a picture of me standing by the college’s sign when I was one year old,” Bybee said. “My mom took it, just in case, you know? I feel honored to have the Bybee name and to be another Bybee to show up on the alumni list.”
Bybee is the 2023 recipient of the Alumni Association Scholarship, given annually to a legacy student at OKWU.
“I have a deep appreciation for OKWU,” he said, “and it has truly helped me achieve my goals and dreams. I know that it will equip me to do even more of the Lord’s work when I graduate.”