Written by: University Relations
Dr. Jim Dunn is the 2015 Alumnus of the Year. This award recognizes an alumnus for outstanding accomplishments in his or her profession, as well as service to the church, community and Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Not only does Dr. Dunn exemplify all of these attributes, he is also recognized for his impact on the Church because of his key leadership in church multiplication and spiritual formation.
“Jim is the poster-child of what it means to be a loyal alumnus,” said Dr. Piper, “He loves OKWU and has an unwavering commitment to its mission. When you stand next to Jim you know you’re standing next to a man of courage and tenacity and a trusted partner in building the Kingdom.”
Dr. Dunn graduated from OKWU (then Bartlesville Wesleyan College) with a degree in Christian Ministries. During his time at Oklahoma Wesleyan, Jim was influenced by a number of OKWU leaders, including Dr. Bob Black, Dr. Larry Hughes, Dr. Mark Weeter, Dr. David Eaton, Coach Don Maness, and professors Melba Crain, Mary Maness, Robert Rogers, and Dean Larry Mealy. Jim recalls building great relationships and countless times of learning and spiritual growth, but also many memories of just plain fun:
“One of the most fun stories was when the BWC Basketball team beat John Brown University in the district playoffs to go to the national tournament for the [NCCAA] playoffs in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (JBU had beaten us by 67 points in the regular season).”
After graduation from BWC in 1988, Dr. Dunn earned his Master of Divinity at Asbury Theological Seminary and became Senior Pastor of Brown’s Chapel Wesleyan Church in Greenfield, Indiana in 1991. That same year, he married Melinda Cartwright. Jim and Melinda had two children, Caleb and Courtney, both of whom currently attend Indiana Wesleyan University.
After earning his doctorate in the late 1990s, Dr. Dunn was elected by the General Conference of the Wesleyan Church to serve as General Director of the Spiritual Formation Department. He served in this position for the following eight years. In 2012, Dunn was elected to his current position as Executive Director of the Church Multiplication and Discipleship Division of the Wesleyan Church. The following year, The Dunn family lost Melinda to a battle with cancer at the age of 44.
Today, in addition to his role at Wesleyan Headquarters, Dr. Dunn sits on a number of boards and committees of the Wesleyan Church. He regularly speaks at churches and conferences around the world and is also the author of many articles and publications.
Since graduating from BWC, the University’s mission has continued to have an impact on Jim’s life and ministry, he emphasizes:
“OKWU has long held a strong, high view of Christ and His Word. The Wesleyan Quadrilateral is essential to the core ethos of OKWU. This foundation prepared me for graduate education as well as local and denominational church service.”