Herschel H. Hobbs School of Theology and Ministry

A degree from the Hobbs School of Theology and Ministry formally prepares you for ministry, whether proclaiming the word of God through teaching, preaching or in practical avenues of leading, loving and serving others. Our mission is to empower and inspire future leaders for Kingdom impact.

We offer a variety of program paths in theology and ministry as well a host of programs you can choose as a minor emphasis. Our school can also prepare you through online and master’s degree programs. Each of our academic programs is biblically rooted, theologically faithful and practically relevant.

Featured Program

Biblical and Theological Studies

Complete 30-hours of biblical core courses and choose one of five areas of concentration that interests you most.

Preparing Students for What’s Next

Our graduates become pastors, missionaries, youth pastors, evangelists, church planters, professors, counselors or fulfill work in other important areas of Christian service. OBU students often attend seminary after graduation. Many take part in the BA to MDiv program giving them the opportunity to earn graduate degree credit at a participating seminary while still an undergraduate student at OBU.

Carsten Kates

Class of 2023

"As a student, it was encouraging to be surrounded by such godly and intentional adults. I had several professors who poured into my life and helped me become a better man, a successful student, a stronger Christian and an equipped minister."

Incredible Education, Affordable Cost.

OBU provides a minimum $10,000 per year scholarship to every incoming first-time freshman and $8,000 to every incoming transfer student. And you could qualify for even more financial aid! Many of our students also receive money through federal Pell grants and OBU Bison Grants.

To get an estimate of what your cost to attend OBU might be, please check out our Net Price Calculator. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how affordable an OBU education really is. Especially considering the incredible academic quality, personal mentor relationships with faculty and staff, and strong Christian commitment you will experience at OBU. You won’t find an experience like this anywhere else!

Scholarships and Grants

Undergraduate Programs

Biblical and Theological Studies

As you pursue the path of biblical and theological studies, you can choose from one of five areas of concentration. Each will guide you through the rich study of biblical texts in their historical, cultural and language contexts. You'll gain valuable insights into scripture and strengthen your scriptural knowledge and theological foundation. The specific areas of emphasis include biblical studies, biblical languages, Bible and theology, history and theology, and practical theology. This program is also taught in an online format.

Biblical and Theological Studies

Christian Ministry

If you have a heart for ministering to others, our Christian ministry degree can prepare you in one of four areas of concentration, including pastoral, student and family, women’s or Christian ministry emphasis. In addition to OBU’s distinctive Christian liberal arts education, you will complete biblical core courses along with your ministry emphasis.

Christian Ministry

Cross-Cultural Ministry

If you have an interest in engaging with other cultures and nations, OBU’s cross-cultural ministry degree can prepare you in this comprehensive program. As a student, you will gain the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to engage in work and ministry in diverse cultural contexts including language, customs, geographic impact and more.

Cross-Cultural Ministry

Global Marketplace Engagement

Our Global Marketplace Engagement (GME) degree provides you with an innovative onramp to cross-cultural service. If you choose this exciting ministry pathway, you will be prepared to enter the global marketplace by choosing an emphasis in business, global education, political science, math education, Spanish, teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) or graphic design. Each can provide a platform for intentional ministry.

Global Marketplace Engagement

Interdisciplinary

Our Interdisciplinary degree is considered a triple minor and allows you to explore three academic areas. All three minors can be earned from any of our 16 areas of study, or you can choose one or two minors from other OBU academic programs. If you have a specific career or ministry goal that requires multiple kinds of academic education, this degree may be a great fit for you.

Interdisciplinary

Philosophy

As a philosophy student, you will delve into a deep and diverse study of Western philosophy from a Christian worldview. You will learn to think logically and communicate clearly while you examine questions of knowledge, existence, reason, reality and values which provide a foundation for other disciplines. You can learn to answer the big questions in life as you grow in your love of wisdom.

Philosophy

Philosophy, Apologetics Emphasis

OBU is one of the few universities that offers an undergraduate program in Christian Apologetics. By studying apologetics, you will deepen and strengthen your own understanding of God and your commitment to Him. Our program will challenge you to establish stronger intellectual foundations and principles for your beliefs. You will be equipped to gain insights and formulate arguments through your understanding of history, theology, philosophy, science and sociology.

Philosophy, Apologetics Emphasis

Sports and Recreation, Sports Ministry Emphasis

Having a heart for ministry as well as a love of sports are key elements to consider in OBU’s sports and recreation, sports ministry emphasis. Here, you can learn to lead sports groups and activities at churches, camps, and other religious affiliations in order to enhance others’ mind, body and spirit. You will explore vocation and calling, evangelism, spiritual formation, basic counseling and more.

Sports and Recreation, Sports Ministry Emphasis

Worship Studies

Are you passionate about worship and dreaming of becoming an impactful worship leader in your local church? Our Worship Studies program is tailor-made for you! Through engaging classes and hands-on experiences, we aim to equip you with the necessary tools to lead worship thoughtfully, effectively, and with confidence.

Worship Studies

BA to MDiv

As an undergraduate, you can earn your bachelor’s degree while progressing towards an MDiv through our Bachelor of Arts to Master of Divinity (BA to MDiv) accelerated program. We enjoy partnerships with all six Baptist seminaries and select others to provide advanced tracks where you can earn up to 25% of your MDiv degree while enrolled at OBU. This is a convenient benefit, propelling you forward while saving you time and further cost of tuition.

BA to MDiv Information


Graduate Programs

Master of Arts in Christian Studies

Our Master of Arts degree in Christian studies offers you foundational knowledge and specialized skills for ministry. You will gain a deeper understanding of the Christian faith and Christian worldview. With this degree structure, you can choose from one of three tracks including: biblical and theological studies, leadership or apologetics.

Master of Arts in Christian Studies

Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies

If you have a heart for advancing the gospel and reaching the world, our intercultural studies program can accelerate your understanding and practical preparation in any discipline at OBU. With an emphasis on the study of various cultures, geographic regions, church planting and missions, you will broaden your vision and develop specialized skills for intercultural ministry.

Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies

Integrated MA

As an undergraduate student in any major at OBU, you can begin work on a Master of Arts in Christian studies or Master of Arts in intercultural studies through our integrated MA program. This program allows you to begin work towards a graduate degree at OBU while still completing your bachelor’s degree.

Integrated MA

World-Class Faculty

OBU faculty are experts in their fields and will be with you every step of the way.

Dr. Brandon D. Smith

Dr. Brandon D. Smith

Chair, Herschel H. Hobbs School of Theology and Ministry
Associate Professor of Theology and Early Christianity
Dickinson Chair of Religion
MA Director

Rachelle Helmbacher

Rachelle Helmbacher

Executive Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Theology, Arts and Humanities
Theology, Arts and Humanities Academic Support Staff Coordinator

Amber Meek

Amber Meek

Administrative Assistant, School of Theology and Ministry

Dr. Rafael Bello

Dr. Rafael Bello

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Ida Elizabeth and J.W. Hollums Chair of Bible

Dr. Matthew Boswell

Dr. Matthew Boswell

Visiting Professor of Worship Studies and Ministry

Dr. Matthew Y. Emerson

Dr. Matthew Y. Emerson

Co-Provost
Dean of Theology, Arts and Humanities
Floyd K. Clark Chair of Christian Leadership
Professor of Religion

Dr. David Gambo

Dr. David Gambo

Reverend A.E. and Dora Hughes Chair of Christian Ministry
Assistant Professor of Christian Ministry

Dr. Keith A. Hess

Dr. Keith A. Hess

Jewell and Joe Huitt Associate Professor in Religious Education
Associate Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics

Dr. Bobby Kelly

Dr. Bobby Kelly

Ruth Dickinson Professor of Religion

Dr. Micah S. Meek

Dr. Micah S. Meek

Associate Dean for Online, Nontraditional and Graduate Education
Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics
Director of the Online BA in Christian Studies

Dr. Mario Melendez

Dr. Mario Melendez

Auguie Henry Chair of Old Testament
Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Studies

Dr. Bruce Perkins

Dr. Bruce Perkins

Associate Professor of Religion
Director of Prison Divinity Program

Dr. Randy Ridenour

Dr. Randy Ridenour

Professor of Philosophy

Dr. Paul Sanchez

Dr. Paul Sanchez

Assistant Professor of Religion
Assistant Director of Honors

Dr. Elbert Smith

Dr. Elbert Smith

Associate Professor of Missions
Director, Tom Elliff Center for Missions

Dr. Heath A. Thomas

Dr. Heath A. Thomas

President
Professor of Old Testament

Dr. Joy Turner

Dr. Joy Turner

Associate Professor of Missions

Dr. Jeffrey DeGiacomo

Dr. Jeffrey DeGiacomo

Lecturer in Student Ministry

Dr. Tom Elliff

Dr. Tom Elliff

Mentor and Facilitator in Missions for the Tom Elliff Center for Missions
Hobbs School Lecturer

Dr. Aaron Fullbright

Dr. Aaron Fullbright

Lecturer in Student Ministry

Dr. Matthew Kearns

Dr. Matthew Kearns

Director of Student Ministry
Lecturer in Student Ministry

Dr. Lawrence Kirk

Dr. Lawrence Kirk

Hobbs School Lecturer

Dr. Warren McWilliams

Dr. Warren McWilliams

Senior Professor of Theology

Dr. Todd Sanders

Dr. Todd Sanders

Lecturer in Student Ministry