About Ohio Christian University
We are committed to offering a complete education that develops students intellectually, professionally, and spiritually. We achieve this by providing accredited degree programs for residential undergraduate students, graduate students, adult, and online students. In addition, our Trailblazer Academy allows high school students to complete college classes. All of our programs are designed to equip students to become leaders in their careers, communities, families, and the world.
This article is reprinted with permission from the May 9th issue of the Circleville Herald. To view the article on The Herald web page click here CIRCLEVILLE —Ohio Christian University held its 72nd commencement ceremony to honor those 401 Trailblazers who earned their diplomas on Saturday at the Ministry and Performing Arts Center. Naming each graduation class is a unique tradition for OCU with this year’s class being called “The Proclaimers” — a name inspired by a Bible verse that comes from Luke 4:18-19, which says: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Along with naming the class, these scholars receive a Bible verse from which their name, identity and the logo come from. Ruth Edmonds and Kelly Kullberg served as the commencement speakers. As Director of Christian Engagement at the Center for Christian Virtue, Edmonds congratulated graduates in a ceremony dedicated to adult learners along with those hardworking students who earned online and master’s degrees. Echoing Scripture from the Book of Corinthians, Edmonds spoke of the importance of being a follower of Jesus Christ. “I say to you graduates, eyes have not seen, ears have not heard nor has it entered into the hearts of man what God has in store for those who love Christ,” she said to loud applause. “And I hope you love Him because I do.” Applying a Biblical reference from the Book of Matthew, Edmonds said to be a follower of Christ, one must not be afraid to step out of the boat to walk on water so as go “boldly where you’ve never gone before.” “I want to congratulate you on your academic excellence and successful student orientation,” said Edmonds, who serves on the Board of Trustees for the J. Jireh Development Corporation, a faith-based inner city ministry to benefit youth and homeless men. “You got out of the boat and you walk on water. I want to challenge you to set your head by Flint and focus leadership in a Christ centered way, because you are about to board another new boat and head out to water. Again, I want to charge you to remain biblically worldview based and ministry motivated all the rest of your days because this Christian life will forever present thresholds of getting out of the boat and walking on water.” Edmonds encouraged graduates to remain strong, steadfast against darkness. “There’s no time to get nauseated or sick of the wind and the waves of life,” said Edmonds, an ordained minister. ‘We must be strong and of a good courage and pursuing the call when our lives and the war against darkness. Now, the first trial part you’ve accomplished — you’re here and it’s graduation day, but in the days to come, the degree to which you embrace the challenge of leadership and the Christ centeredness, and be true to the charge of remaining biblical worldview based and ministry motivated will testify to the value you place on your own destiny.” As chaplain with the Harvard Graduate School of Christian Fellowship, Kullberg established the Veritas Forum. Veritas means “truth” and Kullberg envisioned the Forum as a place for students to raise and explore their hardest questions in relation to the person and worldview of Christ for whom Harvard College was originally founded. Kullberg addressed traditional graduates who earned associates and bachelor’s degrees. “You are going forth, comencing, into your future in an epic time of American history,” she said. “You have the opportunity to be a leading light into a hurting and confused world.” OCU is a private Christian college in Circleville, Ohio. The school is denominationally affiliated with the Churches of Christ in Christian Union.
Ohio Christian University closed on their first musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Saturday, April 9th and the OCU family couldn’t be prouder of the cast, crew, patrons, and supporters. With about 800 tickets sold, the first OCU musical production brought in families and community members, with a special dessert reception by Hallmark in the Ministry and Performing Arts Center lobby for opening night. Ohio Christian’s very own Nathan Strawser delivered a stellar Quasimodo performance Friday and Saturday night, and Mac Callahan, community member and OCU friend, also gave an excellent performance as Quasimodo during Saturday’s matinee. While Davi Da Silva (Clopin) stole our hearts and Elijah Newland (Phoebus) provided comedic relief, Alyna Whitmire as Esmeralda brought all of the emotion to her role and gave us chills during the haunting duet, “Someday.” A special shoutout to our ensemble for carrying the weight of the show with their beautiful voices and quick scene changes. Both the ensemble and choir delivered wonderful performances, navigating difficult songs (many in Latin), under the careful direction of our talented vocal director, Dr. Dione Bennett. The cast and crew of The Hunchback of Notre Dame would again like to thank Dr. Jon Kulaga and Lena Kulaga for their special support in making this show possible. The OCU Performing Arts Committee is excited to bring a new season of shows and fine arts events during the 22-23 academic calendar. Be on the lookout for next year’s productions!
By Elizabeth Ennis, a Junior Psychology Major, Event Leader for the Student Involvement Council, and Treasurer of Craft Crew. The events in Ukraine have created a humanitarian crisis that is weighing on the hearts of many people across the world. Last month, several junior and sophomore students at Ohio Christian University felt they needed to do something to help with crisis relief in the Ukraine and Eastern Europe. These students brought the idea of running a fundraiser for humanitarian relief to the student clubs which have helped to make this fundraiser possible. Members of the Table-top Guild, Friday Night Live, Craft Crew, and Nerd Herd worked together to run a fundraising table with baked goods outside of the Blaze Café in the Hickman Student Center. When asked why she was participating in this fundraiser, sophomore Emergency and Disaster Management major Gabriella Egbert responded, “I don’t know a lot about what I can do, but at the very least I can do this.” Students also recognized that there has been a lot of confusion about situation and why it is important to citizens of the United States of America. These students reached out to Dr. Bradford Sample and Professor Michael Burchett to organize an informational session. This session was attended by 75 students, faculty, and staff and gave students the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the situation and far-reaching international impact. All proceeds of the fundraiser were given to East-West Ministry, a missions organization OCU is partnered with that is providing humanitarian relief in Eastern Europe. Anyone wanting to donate can do so online at https://www.eastwest.org/ukraine/.
On Wednesday, April 6th, hundreds of students, faculty, and staff converged on the cities of Circleville, Chillicothe, Columbus, and Lancaster to serve area churches. Classes and chapel were canceled in order to allow the Ohio Christian community to be the hands and feet of Christ to our brothers and sisters throughout south central Ohio. Approximately a dozen area churches were served by groups who came to clean, repair, do yardwork and whatever else was requested by leadership of said churches. Participants met in the Maxwell Center to grab some breakfast, then meet with their teams in the gym in order to prepare to go out and minister at their ministry assignments. Everyone gathered for prayer led by Kevin Bennie, Director of Spiritual Formation and Student Life, then picked up bag lunches, gloves and tools, before heading out and tackling the tasks at hand. This annual event is yet another way we strive to fulfill our mission: Ohio Christian University prepares students to serve effectively in the church and society by providing a holistic, Christ-centered, biblically integrated education in the Wesleyan tradition.
Ohio Christian University is hosting its first Christian Worldview Event, My Future, on Saturday, May 14th from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Ohio Christian alum, Tim Keep, intentionally designed the My Future event to give Christian students in grades 7-12 and their families a day to develop a God-centered vision for their futures. The day offers a main session with keynote speaker, Jeff Keaton, from Renewanation and iLumenEd Academy, whose work revolves around the great need to give every child a biblical worldview. Students will attend three different breakout sessions that will cover a variety of skill-building topics like resume building, business planning, public speaking and even sharing one’s faith. Students who attend this event will be entered into a drawing for a $3,000 renewable scholarship through Ohio Christian University. Ultimately, Ohio Christian’s hope is that students leave feeling better equipped for whatever future endeavors the Lord has in store for them. Student registration fee is $25, and the non-registrant (meal ticket) fee is $5. Registration is open now at https://www.ohiochristian.edu/lp/myfuture
Ohio Christian University Celebrates 72nd Commencement
First Musical Theater Performance a Success
Students Involved in Ukraine Relief Support
2022 Church Service Day a Success
OCU to Host a Christian Worldview Event for Students
KOKOMO, IN – Although the first round of conference tournament play did not go the way they intended, the Ohio Christian Softball team attempted to change their fate late in the round 2 matchup. Today they faced off against Indiana University Southeast and gave them a run for their money. The teams had split their series during the regular season and with both teams sitting at the 2-seed in the East and West Divisions, it was sure to be a tough game for either side. IU-Southeast was able to jump out and score the first run of the game in the top of the 1st off a throwing error from third base. They tacked on yet another unanswered run in the top of the 2nd from an RBI fielder's choice. It wasn't until after the Grenadiers scored their third run of the afternoon in the third inning that Ohio Christian answered with their own run as Kylee Bako reached first on a wild pitch, this giving Hilarie Spitler enough time to reach home and put on the first Trailblazer point in the game. Later in the inning, Emma Dammeyer stole home to put up the second run of the game. The next inning ended up in the same fashion though this time, both teams split scoring one apiece. OCU's Kristin Gardner singled to left field and batted in Emma Hastings on a bases-loaded situation. At this point the score was 3-5 with the Grenadiers in the lead. After a scoreless 5th inning, the largest scoring inning of the game began in the top of the 6th as Southeast scored twice giving the Trailblazers a rough hole to get out of at 3-7. This is when the game started getting interesting for Ohio Christian as Kristin Gardner doubled to left field bringing in a Karissa McLean run making it a 4-7 deficit. Hilarie Spitler came up to the plate later to hit her second home run of the season and this was a huge one bringing in Gardner from second taking the point differential down to just one. Unfortunately, this was the final run seen by the Trailblazer team while Indiana Southeast put three more runs on the board to end this one at 6-10, victory to the Grenadiers. With such an exciting and phenomenal season, Coach Lewis had this to say about his team. "I have no words that can express how much fun this season has been for not just the girls, but myself as well. Not many people saw what this team knew they had deep down inside of them, though they gave it their all every single game. Being able to say that they are only the second team ever to make it to the conference tournament and not only that but are now the owners of the best team record in school history is something they can take and hold on to. I've said this before, but this team is young and with only losing Emma Dammeyer, we should have the core back and more next season." He went on to talk about Emma and her importance to the team, "I say 'only' simply for the fact of having a team that has done all that they've done this year with just one senior moving on after the season is amazing. Emma has meant so much to this team and she has accomplished more than I think she thought she would. Being named All-Conference First Team is a big honor to walk out with and I'm very proud of what she's been able to contribute to this team. Glory to God for all He has given us this year and all that He will continue to bless us with. This team has definitely been blessed all season." Although this season is over, they have accomplished too many things this season to hang their heads low after today's loss. Best conference record in school history, best overall record in school history, having athletes in almost every top 5 statistic within the conference, and more. No, they aren't coming home with a conference championship, but this season will go down in Trailblazer Softball history has one of the best Trailblazer teams in school history. Until next season, follow all your Trailblazer Softball action and news on Instagram (@ocu_softball) and on Twitter (@OCUSB). For general Trailblazer news, follow us on Instagram and Twitter (@OCUTrailblazers) and on Facebook (Ohio Christian University Trailblazers).
CHILLICOTHE, OH - Though his team was unable to make it to the conference tournament held at the VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, OH, Tanner Popp was recognized last night as receiving the NAIA Champions of Character Award. The Champion of Character Award is given to a member of the team that epitomizes the pillars of the program: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership. Throughout the season, Tanner represented all these things to her teammates and everyone around her, on and off the field. In the 10 games he started this season, he pitched a total of 60.2 innings with four wins coming from those games. He's broken numerous records this season and plans to return next season as well. Coach McDonald had this to say about his pitcher, "Tanner has been a leader this season for this team, and I couldn't be prouder of how he carried himself attempting to put the team first in any situation. I'm excited to have him back next year and see him do even better than he did this past season." For more Trailblazer Baseball action and news, follow us on Instagram and Twitter (@OCUTrailblazers) and on Facebook (Ohio Christian University Trailblazers).
KOKOMO, IN - Hard work deserves to be rewarded, and it was last night at the RSC Softball Award Ceremony. This season was an unprecedented one for the Lady Trailblazers, with the school record for wins being set and qualifying as a high seed in postseason conference play. Four of our wonderful women were honored during the banquet, along with a very prestigious award for Coach Lewis. Our first athlete honored was Emma Dammeyer. Dammeyer is the lone senior on this Blazer squad that is filled with promising young talent. She received First Team All-Conference recognition tonight for all the amazing work she put in this season. Emma comes in ranked 7th in the nation for walks drawn this season with a whopping 33. Some might say it's because people were afraid to pitch to her, and who could blame those opposing pitchers? In 40 games played she had a .416 batting average (highest on the team), 7 home runs, 30 RBIs, and 33 runs scored. She led the team in on-base percentage (.585) and was ranked 4th in the nation in that category. Her slugging percentage was also the highest on the team at .861 which was 9th in the nation this year. Dammeyer was a true star for a great Lady Trailblazer's team Secondly, we have Emma Hastings. Hastings was also honored as a First Team All-Conference member. The standout freshman was a force to be reckoned with everywhere she was on the field, both offensively and defensively. Known for her speed, she came in ranked 29th overall in stolen bases nationally, with a staggering 34 bases stolen in her freshman campaign. She had a .316 batting average (third on the team), 4 home runs, 28 RBIs, and 36 runs. We look forward to having Hastings for the next three years. Thirdly, we have star pitcher Hilarie Spitler. Spitler was the third and final member of the Blazers honored with First Team All-Conference. She started 16 of the 40 games on the mound for OCU. As a starting pitcher, she went 10-6 this season with 128 strikeouts and only one error. She averaged 7.95 strikeouts per game, which was 30th in the nation. Of her 16 starts, 5 of them were shutouts. Along with being the pitcher, she was also the Blazers' leadoff hitter. At the leadoff spot, she was fourth on the team in batting average with a .317. She also has tallied 14 RBIs and 29 runs so far as a star on both sides of the ball. Hilarie will have another two years with the Blazers, and we look forward to having her for the coming seasons. The last Lady Trailblazer honored this evening was freshman Kristin Gardner. Gardner was honored as a member of the Second Team All-Conference and received the NAIA Champions of Character Award. The Champion of Character Award is given to a member of the team that epitomizes the pillars of the program: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership. Throughout the season, Kristin represented all these things to her teammates and everyone around her, on and off the field. Along with her character, she was also a standout athlete for the Blazers. Like Spitler, she was a pitcher that played multiple different positions and was the anchor in the batting order. She had the second-best batting average on the team with a .360, with 10 RBIs and 21 runs. She started 7 games on the mound for the Blazers with 25 strikeouts pitched. She was a real Swiss army knife for the Blazers this year, and we look forward to three more great years with her. Coach Lewis talked to us after the ceremony on what these girls accomplished this season: "Proud is an understatement for these ladies. Each one of these individuals deserve every award they received. At the beginning of the fall, we had everyone on the team write down some individual goals they would like to achieve this season and just about every one of them exceeded every goal they wrote down. Being first/second team all-conference was one of them! We have such a young team. This is just the start to something great! Many more achievements to come for these individuals!" Along with the ladies receiving their awards, Lewis received the RSC Coach of the Year Award. The first-year head coach led the Trailblazers to a 23-19 regular season record, their best in program history. He inherited a program where they had gone 9-39 the year prior, with girls that were hungry to improve. He was a huge part of creating a culture shift within the program, and it is shown in the attitudes of the girls and in the results on paper. When asked about receiving the prestigious award, he said, "I'm truly humbled and honored to be receiving RSC Coach of The Year. I never realized the recognition I had within the conference. It's truly a blessing to be surrounded by such an amazing group of women. Without them I would have never received this award. They bought into what I've been teaching and ran with it! I'm excited to see where the future takes us! All glory to the Lord above!" The Blazers look to keep their season going today against the Grenadiers of IU Southeast at 1pm EST, so follow along for a link to live stats and a live stream. The link to the RSC Softball Tournament Central can be found here: http://www.riverstatesconference.com/article/5216.php The article will be updated as the day goes on with results and matchups, so tune in to see how far the Blazers can go! For more Trailblazer Softball action and news, follow them on Instagram (@ocu_softball) and on Twitter (@OCUSB). For general Trailblazer news, follow us on Instagram and Twitter (@OCUTrailblazers) and on Facebook (Ohio Christian University Trailblazers).
CIRCLEVILLE, OH - The Lady Trailblazers traveled to Kokomo, IN to take on the Eagles of Midway University in first round of the RSC Softball Championship. The Blazers qualified as the two seed in the RSC East Division, which put them up against Midway, who had locked up the three seed in the RSC West Division. Splitting the season series at one a piece, this looked to be a good match-up with both sides hungry to move on in the winner's bracket. In a game that we knew was going to be a battle, the first four innings were just that: no runs were scored by either team during that timeframe. Going into the fifth inning, both teams were in search of some offense, and the Eagles found it first. Defensive lapses all over the field for the Blazers due to a terrible downpour of rain allowed a huge nine-run inning for Midway, and the Blazers were left needing a response. In the bottom of that same fifth inning, Kristin Gardner was brought in by a Kylee Bako single to make the score 9-1. However, the Blazers could not find another run in that inning and the umpires were forced to call the game by the run rule. Two bright spots for OCU in this one were Gardner (2/2 [1.000], one run) and Bako (1/2 [.500], one RBI) Pictured above is Kylee Bako The Blazers are not out yet, as the tournament is double-elimination style. Later today, they will play again at 1PM ET with the threat of elimination. Their opponent will be the loser of the first game of the day, which is the top seeded Redstorm of Rio Grande taking on the Grenadiers of IU Southeast. The loser of that game will be sent home, while the winner will go on to another elimination game that same night at 6PM ET. For more Trailblazer Softball action and news, follow them on Instagram (@ocu_softball) and on Twitter (@OCUSB). For general Trailblazer news, follow us on Instagram and Twitter (@OCUTrailblazers) and on Facebook (Ohio Christian University Trailblazers).
CIRCLEVILLE, OH – After the exciting announcement of an addition to the list of Trailblazer sports, Ohio Christian University proudly announces the hiring of Ryan Holbrook as Head Coach of the Disc Golf program. Brought on with him is also Assistant Head Coach Nic Baker. Director of Athletics, George Arroyo Jr, discussed some of the hardest pieces in bringing a sport such as disc golf to OCU. "One of the challenges in creating a new sport on campus is finding the right person to lead. This coach is tasked with navigating a program from scratch, generating excitement on campus and in the community and building a roster to compete. After several discussions, we have found coaches who are both knowledgeable and passionate about the sport. On behalf of Ohio Christian University, we welcome Coach Ryan Holbrook and Coach Nic Baker as the first ever coaches in OCU Disc Golf history. They are extremely active on the course, and are also familiar with Ohio Christian athletics, recruiting and facilities having already served in coaching roles within our athletic department. I'm excited to see this program take-off and believe Coach Holbrook and Coach Baker will be crucial in growing the sport on campus while developing student-athletes spiritually and in the classroom!" Both Ryan and Nic serve on the grounds crew here at Ohio Christian and are invaluable people here at Ohio Christian University. As the world of Disc Golf continues to rise in popularity, Coach Holbrook and Coach Baker are excited to bring the sport it's inaugural season this Fall here to the OCU campus. Pictured on left is Asst Coach Nic Baker. Pictured on right is Head Coach Ryan Holbrook Coach Holbrook graduated from Ohio Christian University with a BA in Business and currently works as Director of Grounds for the University. Assistant Coach Baker graduated from Ohio Christian in 2017 with a BA in Disaster Management and Business Management. "Disc Golf is booming!" said Coach Holbrook, "The last couple of year have been amazing to see the growth in the sport of disc golf. I am so happy that OCU has jumped on board, and I look forward to seeing the sport and course explode here on campus." Assistant Coach Baker told us, "I have been looking forward to a disc golf course and team coming to OCU and am thrilled to be apart of the first coaching staff here." He went on to say, "I am excited about the new challenge of coaching a sport on the rise and bringing more recognition to disc golf. I've been an avid disc golfer for about nine years and have played dozens of courses across multiple states." Ryan says he has played disc golf since high school, but really started getting more involved in the sport in the last few years. Upon accepting the position as head coach, Holbrook had this to say about the offer as well as his heart for starting up the sport, "I am so grateful for the opportunity to be the coach of the disc golf program. It's an amazing opportunity and I can't wait to get started and build this program from the ground up." Pictured above: Head Coach Ryan Holbrook and his wife Kandi "God is the reason. Prayer is the reason," exclaims Holbrook. "Disc golf has been a part of OCU for a long time. I remember playing on the old baskets throughout campus back when I was in school here in 2007. Disc golf and our OCU course has come a long way since then. I have been praying and seeking out ways for OCU to advance the disc golf course for several years. God closed some doors at first, but lately He just started opening some and once He did, the flood gates opened." "It has been a wild journey this last year. As the Director of Grounds, I truly love this campus and this property. To get to build and design this new 18-hole disc golf course on this property I love so deeply has been a dream come true. Once the course was in the works then with all eyes on the growth of disc golf as a sport, it became an easy decision to start a team here at OCU. I am so stoked to get started building this team and see what God has in store next for OCU X Disc Golf." The team will take to the course in their first bout of competition this Fall. To come will be the official announcement of the finalized Ohio Christian University 18-Hole Disc Golf course.
THE HISTORIC 2022 TRAILBLAZER SOFTBALL SEASON HAS COME TO A CLOSE
POPP TAKES HOME ONE LAST ACCOLADE FOR THE 2022 SEASON
TRAILBLAZER SOFTBALL AWARDED ALL CONFERENCE HONORS AMID RSC CHAMPIONSHIP
FIRST ROUND UPSET FOR THE LADY TRAILBLAZERS
OHIO CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY WELCOMES NEW DISC GOLF HEAD COACH
Explore Academic and Athletics News
newsOhio Christian University Celebrates 72nd Commencement - Published: May 13, 2022 First Musical Theater Performance a Success - Published: April 25, 2022 Students Involved in Ukraine Relief Support - Published: April 10, 2022 2022 Church Service Day a Success - Published: April 10, 2022 OCU to Host a Christian Worldview Event for Students - Published: February 22, 2022
athleticsTHE HISTORIC 2022 TRAILBLAZER SOFTBALL SEASON HAS COME TO A CLOSE - Published: May 6, 2022 POPP TAKES HOME ONE LAST ACCOLADE FOR THE 2022 SEASON - Published: May 6, 2022 TRAILBLAZER SOFTBALL AWARDED ALL CONFERENCE HONORS AMID RSC CHAMPIONSHIP - Published: May 6, 2022 FIRST ROUND UPSET FOR THE LADY TRAILBLAZERS - Published: May 6, 2022 OHIO CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY WELCOMES NEW DISC GOLF HEAD COACH - Published: May 4, 2022
“One of the best things about OCU is the professors. They not only care about your growth educationally, but they also want to see you grow spiritually.”
- Alex McCrary ‘18
“I enrolled in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS) because it is attuned to helping working adults achieve their career goals.”
- Sharon Sharpe ‘18
“I got to know so many amazing people through Ohio Christian University.”
- Crystal Bethel ‘21
“The courses are useful and beneficial. Taking these courses hasn’t seemed like work.”
- Victoria Litteral ‘19
“I graduated college early because of the Trailblazer Academy! The atmosphere, courses, and people were all amazing and truly prepared me for college life.”
- Sarah Dorsett ‘18
“The school’s spiritual focus had a powerful positive impact, supported by fellowship with students. I was growing in God’s Word and was ministering, combining interests in ministry and athletics.”
- Mike Holbrook ‘78
“The Christ-centered focus here creates a supportive environment that encourages students to do the best they can.”
- Quentin Detillion '20
“OCU has taught me to take chances. Through Christ, we can do anything, even the seemingly impossible.”
- Clarissa Crowley ‘19