Oklahoma Wesleyan University

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Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Oklahoma Wesleyan University logo.png
Motto A university where Jesus is Lord
Type Private
Religious affiliation
Wesleyan Church
Endowment $5,461,866 (as of 2014)[1]
President Everett Piper
Location Bartlesville, Oklahoma, U.S.
Colors University Navy and Red
Athletics NAIAKCAC
Nickname Eagles
Website www.okwu.edu

Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU) is an evangelical Christian university of the Wesleyan Church located in Bartlesville, in the U.S. state of Oklahoma.

School overview[edit]

The President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU) is Dr. Everett Piper (Ph.D, Michigan State University), who came to OKWU from Spring Arbor University in 2002.[2]

OKWU offers over 50 majors through its traditional campus program.[3] It has 1205 undergraduate students, with approximately 600 on the main campus in Bartlesville.[1]

In 2016, it was ranked #12 among Regional Colleges in the western region, according to U.S. News and World Report.[1]


Oklahoma Wesleyan University was founded by the Wesleyan Church to provide higher education within a Christian environment for Wesleyan youth. Central Pilgrim College its predecessor, was founded on the campus in Bartlesville, Oklahoma from a series of mergers of several schools: the Colorado Bible College (Colorado Springs, Colorado), the Pilgrim Bible College (Pasadena, California), and the Holiness Evangelistic Institute (El Monte, California). Central Pilgrim College was renamed Bartlesville Wesleyan College in 1968, following a merger of the Pilgrim Holiness Church and the Wesleyan Methodist Church to become the Weslayan Church. In August 2001, Bartlesville Wesleyan College became Oklahoma Wesleyan University.[4]

In 1972, OKWU merged with a Kansas school, Miltonvale Wesleyan College. OKWU then became a four-year college having about 1300 students.[4]

Antecedent schools[edit]

The following is a list of antecedent schools:[5]

  • Bartlesville Wesleyan College
  • Miltonvale Wesleyan College
  • Central Pilgrim College
  • Holiness Evangelistic Institute
  • Pilgrim Bible College
  • Colorado Springs Bible College


  • 1909 – Miltonvale Wesleyan College is founded in Miltonvale, Kansas.
  • 1910 – Colorado Springs Bible College is founded in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • 1917 – Pilgrim Bible College is founded in Pasadena, California.
  • 1932 – Holiness Evangelistic Institute is founded in El Monte, California.
  • 1959 – Colorado Springs Bible College, Pilgrim Bible College and Holiness Evangelistic Institute merge to become Central Pilgrim College in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
  • 1968 – The Pilgrim Holiness Church and Wesleyan Methodist Church merge to become the Wesleyan Church. Central Pilgrim College becomes Bartlesville Wesleyan College.
  • 1972 – Miltonvale Wesleyan College and Bartlesville Wesleyan College merge and retain the Bartlesville Wesleyan College name.
  • 2001 – Bartlesville Wesleyan College becomes Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

Council for Christian Colleges and Universities[edit]

On August 31, 2015 Oklahoma Wesleyan announced the withdrawal of its membership from the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), citing the CCCU's "reluctance to make a swift decision" as an unwillingness to defend the biblical definition of marriage, in response to the decisions of two member schools (Goshen College and Eastern Mennonite University) which changed their hiring policies to include same-sex couples. “In doing so CCCU has not adequately represented Oklahoma Wesleyan and our legal interests,” President Everett Piper said. Calling the decision to withdraw a difficult one, Piper nonetheless said the decision had the support of the school’s faculty, staff, and trustees.[6]

DOE Title IX lawsuit[edit]

On August 15, 2016 OKWU joined a court challenge to a 2011 mandate from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) requiring colleges and universities adjudicate what they called "a unconstitutional process and standard." President Piper stated, in part, that they "refuse to accept any government intrusion that would require OKWU to teach the antithesis of our Christian beliefs concerning sexual behavior" and that OKWU's students "should have the legal right to avail themselves of local law enforcement without their petition being compromised by the intrusion of an OCR-mandated committee of amateurs that contravenes the due process and confidentiality of the legal process.” The suit is sponsored by the civil liberties organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).[7]


Official Athletics logo

Oklahoma Wesleyan teams, nicknamed athletically as the Eagles, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, and previously the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) until 2015.[8]

Men's sports include baseball, basketball, golf, soccer, cross country, and track & field. Women's sports include basketball, soccer, softball, track & field, golf, cross country, and volleyball.[8]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Oklahoma Wesleyan University". U.S. News - Education Rankings & Advice. U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved August 15, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Spring Arbor's loss is Oklahoma Wesleyan's gain". Spring Arbor University. September 13, 2002. Retrieved August 8, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Residential Academic Programs". Oklahoma Weslyan University. Oklahoma Weslyan University. Retrieved August 15, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Linda D. Wilson, "Oklahoma Weslayan University." Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  5. ^ "OKWU History". Oklahoma Wesleyan University. OKWU. Retrieved August 8, 2016. 
  6. ^ J.C. Derrick (August 31, 2015). "Second school leaves the CCCU". WORLD Magazine. Retrieved August 8, 2016. “We believe in missional clarity and view the defense of the biblical definition of marriage as an issue of critical importance,” said Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, “The CCCU’s reluctance to make a swift decision sends a message of confusion rather than conviction.” 
  7. ^ "Oklahoma Wesleyan Files Suit Challenging Department of Education". Press Release. Oklahoma Wesleyan. Retrieved August 19, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "Oklahoma Wesleyan to Join KCAC in Fall 2015". KCAC. Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. June 23, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°43′03″N 95°57′24″W / 36.71750°N 95.95667°W / 36.71750; -95.95667