Oklahoma City University's Wimberly School of Religion will begin offering a master's of divinity degree in the fall semester of 2007. Currently, only two universities in Oklahoma are accredited by The Association of Theological Schools to offer the degree.
Despite an abundance of undergraduate programs at Christian colleges and universities in Oklahoma, there has been a dearth of master's of divinity programs, even though many denominations require the program for credentialing for vocational ministers.
Mark Davies, the dean of the Wimberly School of Religion, said the program is being offered through a joint effort between OCU and Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo.
Wimberly would be an extension site of Saint Paul, so students who opt for the master's of divinity program would need to fulfill one-third of the 90 required hours at Saint Paul.
"We have a mid-range plan to apply for full accreditation through The Association of Theological Schools to make Wimberly a full site," Davies said. "That would allow us to offer the entire degree program."
The metro area, including Shawnee, has religious colleges and universities that represent a wide spectrum of denominational backgrounds. However, the highest accredited advanced degree offered at any of those schools is a master of arts.
Davies believes that the lack of advanced degree programs represents a great opportunity for OCU. "We have all sorts of inquiries from students in Oklahoma City, western Oklahoma and even the Texas panhandle," he said. "Greg Horton