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Advancing the Gospel in the 21st Century

Current research shows 90% of the church in North America is either in decline or growing at the same rate as their community (Rainer, 2016). This clearly is not the Acts' Great Commission Church which saw new converts daily. Some believe the closest resemblance to a missional church is a new church plant where growth occurs more often through conversion rather than transfer growth (Malphurs, 2004).

In Acts 1:8, Jesus’ final command to his disciples before His ascension into heaven is to go and be His witnesses throughout the world. The Acts of the Apostles is a chronicle of the birth and expansion of Jesus Christ’s Church. This Church was and is today a living and growing organism and not an organization in buildings. Christ's command was simple: become bands of disciples living out his Word; be witnesses to the love of Jesus; and be filled with the power of His love to a lost world. This living Church established witness centers in the major cities, regions, and to every living creature on the earth.

C. Peter Wagner echoes the age-old principle from the New Testament when he says, “The single most effective evangelistic methodology under heaven is planting new churches.” Ohio Christian University is committed to this missional purpose like no other university. As Dr. Wayne J. Pessia, Assistant Director of the AGS Ministry Programs explains, “There are very few Christian universities who are designing their programs to prepare students called to plant new churches and to grow missional churches, and who equip those students for bi-vocational ministry.” New majors and concentrations have been created to advance the Gospel in light of current ministry trends and challenges.

For example, new concentrations in OCU’s AGS Ministry Programs were created to train leaders with the most current ministry philosophy and practices for starting a New Testament church and growing a Great Commission church. OCU offers multiple degree options for bi-vocational ministry with its growing Dual Master degree completing both a Master of Business Administration and Master of Ministry in an accelerated format.

Ohio Christian University has had excellent programs in Pastoral Ministry and Biblical Studies for many years. OCU believes the church and its ministry needs to return to its New Testament missional effectiveness. World evangelism is the heartbeat of OCU. OCU faculty are foremost biblically and theologically sound, but more importantly love Jesus and others enough to adapt ministry to reach our 21st century world. OCU students are trained to be world-class leaders and to graduate prepared to engage their culture with a sharpened mind, evangelistic focus, and heart warmed toward God and others.