Ozark Christian College
|Ozark Christian College|
|Motto||"Not to be served, but to serve."|
|Type||Private, Christian school|
|Location||Joplin, MO, Missouri, United States|
|Affiliations||Part of Restoration Movement Christian Churches/Churches of Christ|
Ozark Bible College was established in Bentonville, Arkansas, on June 12, 1942. The school was committed to training men and women for Christian service by teaching the Word of Christ in the Spirit of Christ. An earlier OZARK CHRISTIAN COLLEGE was established in St. Joe, Arkansas, in 1938. It moved to Harrison, Arkansas, in 1939, and then to Bentonville in 1940. This school was to provide both occupational training and Bible teaching in affiliation with the Restoration Movement.
Ozark Bible College was founded to be a Bible college training full-time and part-time Christian workers. Workers were prepared to be ministers, missionaries, evangelistic singers, church secretaries, educational directors and assistant ministers, as well as elders, deacons and volunteer workers in the local church. The trustees elected F. W. Strong as president and Seth Wilson as dean, positions they held in the former college.
Many churches in the four state area of Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma were closed and hundreds were without preachers. Ozark Bible College desired to provide Biblical preachers whose preaching would revive the churches.
In October 1944, Ozark Bible College moved to Joplin, Missouri. The Cragin Mansion located at 516 N. Wall Street became the new home for the college. Joplin was chosen as the new location for the college because it was easily reached by car, bus, train or plane. Many churches surrounded Joplin, which provided opportunities for student ministries. Joplin also had job opportunities for students.
In 1946, Edwin B. Strong succeeded his father as president of Ozark Bible College. The college grew from sixteen students in 1942 to 123 students in the fall of 1949. An addition to the building in 1948 provided a dining room, a small chapel and two classrooms. At this time most of the full-time faculty preached every weekend. Area ministers assisted as part-time instructors. Students were involved in service in the churches on weekends.
The curriculum has always stressed a knowledge of the Bible, gained through a direct study of the Biblical text, with every degree carrying a major in Bible. Strong emphasis has been placed on apologetics (knowing why we believe in God, Christ and the Bible) and hermeneutics (principles and methods for understanding the Bible). Skills for ministry were also taught at this time.
In 1952, Don Earl Boatman became the third president of Ozark Bible College, a post he held for 27 years. The college had a vision and desire to grow. In 1953 additions to the college provided a large chapel, a library and additional classrooms. This enabled the college to accommodate the 176 students who enrolled in the fall of 1954. In 1955, seventy-five churches were served by Ozark faculty, staff and students. Soon the college reached the maximum capacity in the 516 N. Wall building.
In 1959, forty acres were purchased on North Main Street, a mile north of downtown Joplin and less than a mile from the Wall Street location. The Missions Building and Alumni Hall were completed in 1963 providing classrooms and a dormitory for women. This enabled the college to move to the new campus to welcome 309 students in the fall of 1963. The Administration Building was completed a few weeks after the fall semester started. Under the direction of Walter Goodman, thirteen buildings were constructed on the new campus during its first two decades.
Every year during the 1960s enrollment increased, reaching a peak of 803 in the fall of 1974. New faculty and programs expanded the outreach of the college. The college was known for its emphasis on evangelism and missions.
In 1979, new leaders assumed responsibilities at Ozark Bible College. Ken Idleman became president and Wallace Wartick was named academic dean. Lynn Gardner became academic dean in 1981. In the same year, Ozark began the process of accreditation and received it from the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges (now called The Association for Biblical Higher Education) in 1988. On July 1, 1985, Midwest Christian College of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, consolidated with Ozark Bible College on the Joplin campus under the name of OZARK CHRISTIAN COLLEGE. The college grew numerically from the mid 1980s until the present. A new record enrollment was set in the fall of 2005 of 849. Mark Scott became Academic Dean in 1998 and served until 2011.
In 2005, Matt Proctor was announced as the fifth president of OCC. He served for one year as the President Elect. On July 1, 2006 Matt Proctor officially became President of OCC with Ken Idleman serving as Chancellor.
The college is now administered by three senior administrators: Matt Proctor, President, Greg Hafer, Executive Vice President; and Doug Aldridge, Academic Dean. These men work with the executive directors (Troy Nelson, Admissions; Monte Shoemake, Student Development; and David McMillin, Campus Operations; Doug Miller, Institutional Assessment and Legal Counsel) to form the Administrative Council.
Today the attractive campus includes the Chapel, Missions Building, Seth Wilson Library Building, Casteel Administration Building, Christian Service and Internship Building, Dining Hall, Multi-Purpose Building, Mabee Student Center, Missionary-on-Campus Residence and Hospitality House, Maintenance Building and six Residence Halls. A strong faculty consists of twenty-eight full-time teachers and thirty-seven part-time teachers. The current student enrollment is between 600 and 700. The college today continues to prepare men and women for vocational and volunteer Christian service. The college reaffirms its historic purpose by teaching the Word of God to men and women who will be equipped to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2).
Programs and campus
Its stated purpose is to "train men and women for Christian service" through an undergraduate Bible college education. Coursework focuses almost exclusively on the Bible, Christian History, ministry and related topics. The college places little to no emphasis on the use of the English language, as evidenced by the quality of writing herein. Music ministry and deaf ministry are also taught. Sports teams are known as the Ambassadors and include men's basketball, men's baseball, men's soccer, women's basketball, women's soccer and women's volleyball. Athletic teams are members of the Midwest Christian College Conference.
The campus has 16 buildings including 3 female dorms, 3 male dorms, cafeteria, Multi-purpose building, Mabee student center, Seth Wilson Library, the chapel building, missions building, Casteel administration building, Christian service building, physical power plant, and the Ozark book store. The college owns about 95 acres (38.4 ha) of land around the campus.
Ozark Christian College Athletics
Ozark has an athletic program. The college believes that players have divine talents and aims to develop athletes physically as well as spiritually. Ozark’s sports teams are known as the Ambassadors and they include men's basketball, women's basketball, men's soccer, and women's volleyball. The college also has a host of intramural sports ranging from Ultimate Frisbee to Volleyball and Basketball. Varsity athletic teams are members of the Midwest Christian College Conference. Most training can be done in the Multi-Purpose Building which provides a full size basketball/volleyball floor, indoor walking/running area, a weight room, racquetball court, locker rooms for athletic teams, and theater seating for spectators. There also is a soccer field just outside of the Multi-Purpose Building.
While most of the students do live on campus, you can find them out and about participating in different activities around the local area of Joplin, Missouri. Ozark Christian College is located in an urban setting, but in a small town (even though that's totally a contradiction in terms). Many students refer to the town as “one big family”. Since it is a Christian College it does not have the typical college nightlife people expect while attending college. Outside of the central campus they have tons of restaurants in Joplin the students enjoy, but not many college hangouts such as; tattoo parlors, bars, and clubs (seriously, learn how to correctly use a semicolon).(Very seriously, learn how not to split an infinitive.) The school also has no Greek Life at all. It does have religious groups for students to get involved in and help the community. The students, although not having many sports teams, do fully support their teams and have amazing school spirit for their Ambassadors.
Ozark Academic Policies
Ozark has a strict policy on tardiness, by which tardy students are considered absent from the class. Once marked absent, the student has the option to speak with their professor after the class is over and request that their absence be removed, but the tardy will still count. An accumulation of four class tardies will lead to an absence. That being said, Ozark possesses a lenient inclement weather policy. This policy states that the college does not wish to place any student in danger, and asks that students use their best judgment to determine whether they think it is safe to travel to school. In addition, school sponsored trips do not result in a reduction of a student’s grade or extra work. Ozark also has a Christian service policy that requires students enrolled in eight or more hours of coursework to be involved in Christian service. Students have four options to pick from in order to fulfill this requirement including: four weekend experiences, nine single experiences, a mix of each, or weekly involvement in church activities. Some examples of these experiences include youth camps, big brother, tutoring, and prison missions.