• Comment

New Life partnering with Ouachita Baptist University for new degree program

Institutions waiting on letter of accreditation to move forward

Posted: January 8, 2014 - 5:54pm

Conway may have another higher-education option through a partnership between Ouachita Baptist University and New Life Church.

According to a press release from OBU, an action by the university’s Board of Trustees in December “authorizes Ouachita administrators to ‘establish a partnership with New Life Church to offer courses leading to the Associate of Arts degree at NLC’s Conway, Ark., campus beginning in August 2014, pending approval by appropriate accrediting bodies.’”

Brandon O’Brien, who is directing the partnership on behalf of New Life, said there could be an Associates of Arts degree offered at the New Life campus, but nothing is official until they receive a letter of accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The commission meets in mid-January and this project should be on their agenda.

“We’re hopeful that we’ll have good news by the end of the month,” O’Brien said.

Currently, OBU does not offer this kind of degree, which would be a general studies degree covering many core classes as well as some electives.

“Our goal will be to offer a full schedule of those [core] classes as well as a full schedule of electives that will transfer to even state schools in the area,” O’Brien said.

The program will be geared toward students thinking about ministry, but it leaves the door open for students to go into another field if they choose to continue with either Ouachita or another institution.

“What we hope to accomplish is that every student will have a chance to come in and discern their ministry gifting, whether they plan to be in ministry down the road or just be a regular layperson,” O’Brien said. “We do hope to have students invested in other ways.”

O’Brien said all faculty will have academic credentials, but the church location will provide a unique opportunity to have guest speakers from the church share insights students might not otherwise receive.

Additionally, there may be opportunities for volunteering or mentorships to help students get hands-on experience.

“There are certain things you just can’t learn until you do them,” O’Brien said. “We’re hopeful that this experience will put those two [academics and experience] together.”

This model of having a higher-education institution at a church is one O’Brien said he hasn’t seen — at least not the way New Life and OBU are attempting it. Often if a church is the host site for a school, the classes are strictly ministry focused.

“We’re really trying to make it a hybrid program to bring together the OBU liberal arts background and New Life’s innovative ministry efforts,” O’Brien said.

In a statement, Stan Poole, Ouachita’s vice president for academic affairs, said, “We’re excited about the potential for such a program not only to prepare young people for additional educational opportunities but also to mentor them to become faithful Christian leaders wherever they eventually live and serve.”

More information about specific degree plans, requirements and admissions will not be announced until the Higher Learning Commission provides a letter of accreditation.

(Staff writer Angela Spencer can be reached by email at angela.spencer@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1212. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

  • Comment
Comments (47) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
JH2014
6
Points
JH2014 01/09/14 - 09:33 am
4
4
This is so exciting! Two

This is so exciting! Two incredible institutions partnering together to offer this awesome opportunity in our community!

chad
6
Points
chad 01/09/14 - 09:33 am
4
4
I am excited for the students

I am excited for the students that will be attending: for their personal, educational, and leadership development and growth that they will get from both of these excellent institutions!

HarryB
5
Points
HarryB 01/09/14 - 09:35 am
3
4
OBU/NewLife

What a great opportunity for students about to graduate and looking for a higher education with the added benefit of pursuing ministry opportunities. It looks to be a win for everyone involved!

brandon
4
Points
brandon 01/09/14 - 09:37 am
2
3
OBU NLC

Awesome!

Josh
17
Points
Josh 01/09/14 - 09:44 am
3
4
OBU @ NLC

WOW! This is very exciting! I can't wait to see where the students go and what they do after graduating from OBU @ NLC. Both partners have a ton to offer students. What an amazingly unique opportunity!

D
8
Points
D 01/09/14 - 09:55 am
3
4
Welcome OBU

Welcome OBU to Conway! Excited about this great opportunity to attract students to our growing city.

hunter4120
5
Points
hunter4120 01/09/14 - 10:05 am
3
4
Can't Wait!!!

As a student myself I am so jealous of everyone who will get to take advantage of this opportunity!!! If only it would have been around when I started school. This is going to be a great experience for everyone involved.

ucantbserious
30361
Points
ucantbserious 01/09/14 - 10:25 am
8
1
Hmm

So all comments on this article have been from seven new users whose only post has been a huge talk-up of this program. All within 30 minutes.

Coincidence?

alipage72
1590
Points
alipage72 01/09/14 - 10:56 am
1
1
lol

Of course not...it's all about marketing

ucantbserious
30361
Points
ucantbserious 01/09/14 - 12:07 pm
3
1
Hmm

Now there are 19 brand new posters jumping in to show their excitement. I'm guessing either someone is creating a lot of new users or there was a pulpit call to log-in and talk this up.

Nothing like canned testimonials. At least in the commercials they'll have a disclaimer at the bottom about being a paid actor/actress.

Back to Top