Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Impacting the World through Education from Wesley’s Point of View image
During a recent visit to a church, one high school senior said to me, “I do not want to attend Ohio Christian because I want a real-world education.” I’m sure he has his own definition of what constitutes a “real-world education,” but his statement concerned me. Today’s Christian parents must be alert to the fact that many higher education institutions present godless content and philosophies that can cause students to stray from their faith.  Now, I am not so naive as to think one cannot be a proponent of Christian education while supporting the education processes of local public entities. In fact, I firmly believe there are many great public institutions with great purposes, such as research in the areas of medicine and engineering, from which we all certainly benefit. Yet, I am passionate about Christian education and submit that, for my family, it is the only option in the developing years, including the early years of college. I purport this because of my concern for a biblical worldview. I do not intend to bash public education; instead, I hope to present a balanced perspective on the importance of Christian education and our role in supporting it.Should we as Christians reconsider how we view education?For decades, many in our Wesleyan circles misinterpreted John Wesley’s message regarding education. He valued education, but was always concerned that education for its own sake would promote the sin of pride. This mindset became the basis of the “ignorance is bliss” philosophy, which led some to justify their lack of educational pursuits. Our present society abhors ignorance, demands degrees, and expects an education. How must we approach a solution?A historical review suggests that education in Wesley’s day was not a highly developed concept in the minds of people. Families were poor, and children were required to work to support the family unit.  Children were not treated with respect. In fact, according to Herbert Byrne, writer of John Wesley and Learning, “the wealthy looked upon their children somewhat as a disease, and schools were used as boarding schools to get rid of the little nuisances that abounded” (Byrne 1983, p. 125). But an interesting change occurred.“Toward the end of the century, a more serious spirit permeated society, and parents began to feel greater responsibility for their children” (p. 125). Wesley was one of the leaders who helped foster a better understanding of the value of children.The children of the eighteenth century suffered immensely as the cold theological hand of Calvinism lay heavily upon the Church of England. Children were considered desperately wicked mortals who could only be saved by incessant punishment and coercion. While many people of the Wesleyan persuasion looked at children in this same way, John Wesley did not preach such lurid doctrines. He believed that children were born with inherited depravity, but he also emphasized love, not just incessant punishment (Byrne, p. 127).Wesley was convinced that education could change the woes of his day, as suggested in Volume 3 of his works, “I preached on the education of children wherein we are extremely wanting. Many were deeply convinced of this. I hope that they will not stifle that conviction” (Wesley, p. 270).  Wesley believed deeply that children should be well-mannered, and educated according to God’s principles. He understood that children were created by God for future service to the kingdom.As an educational leader of his day, John Wesley valued not only the education of children, but higher education as well. The two most prominent universities of his era were Oxford and Cambridge. These schools focused on deistic rationalism. Wesley, who was a university graduate, emphasized that education apart from God was flawed education. He even utilized the universities of his day to teach his message of “piety and purity.”During Wesley’s lifetime, he served at Lincoln College, Oxford, for about 25 years in a fellowship role. He was a Greek lecturer and teacher of the classics. Wesley’s strong belief in the plight of the poor encouraged him to found schools in Savannah, Georgia, and Bristol, London (Byrne, p.138). Thus we conclude that the concept of Christian education stems from one of our great church leaders of the past. As we continue to ponder the importance of education, we ask, “Where will the next century of Wesleyan educators be developed?” The question gives reason for pause, as we note a prevalent tendency to de-emphasize the whole process of Christian education. I believe we must actively engage our efforts to change this trend.We must clearly understand that uneducated church leaders will have little impact upon society in the twenty-first century.I personally agree with a typical Wesleyan (and I might add biblical) viewpoint that education for the sake of education promotes pride, but I take heart in recognizing that even Mr. Wesley did not forsake education because of this concern. He chose to emphasize the loftiness of God rather than the loftiness of man in the education process.As I have reflected upon our past, it has become increasingly clear to me that our ministries and organizations need educational leaders. Relating to the next century, Patricia Carrow-Muffet declares, “We will need leaders who are change agents, who have vision and purpose, and who understand the big picture. We will need leaders who are able to set direction and facilitate those involved in working cooperatively to meet the challenges of a diverse world” (Muffet, 1993, p. 58).  If Wesley were alive today, I believe he would challenge his ministers to obtain all the education they could, establish Christian schools, and impact the world through Christ-centered leadership.Within the scope of our educational leadership, I believe we can carry forth the Wesleyan message of heart purity to our world. We must:Emphasize the value of Christian educationPromote Christian education from every pulpitEducate young men and women to be the future leaders of our Wesleyan institutionsCreate new passion for the call to Christian educationTeach and mentor young men and women in understanding Wesley’s message of heart purityEducation, as a process, is vanity. Solomon, the wise king, warned, “Vanity of vanities -- all is vanity” (Eccl. 1:2).  As we move forward, let us remember that Christian education, principles of right living, and the messages of Christian character and heart purity are not vain pursuits. As summarized in Wesley’s message, these messages must be proclaimed! And what better places to proclaim them than educational institutions like Ohio Christian University?

Articles of Interest

OCU Kappa Delta Pi Chapter Inducts 28 New Members image

OCU Kappa Delta Pi Chapter Inducts 28 New Members

OCU Kappa Delta Pi Chapter Inducts 28 New Members image

Published: April 26, 2019

CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO—Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, is pleased to announce that 28 preservice educators have been invited and inducted into its membership through the Alpha Iota Sigma Chapter of Ohio Christian University. The initiation ceremony took place on April 9, 2019 at The Ministry and Performing Arts Center. The ceremony opened with Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost at Ohio Christian University, giving the welcome and prayer. Dr. Ann Shelly, of Kappa Delta Pi, installed the new members, the Alpha Iota Sigma Chapter and the officers. Mr. Jonathan Davis,
CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO—Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, is pleased to announce that 28 preservice educators have been invited and inducted into its membership through the Alpha Iota Sigma Chapter of Ohio Christian University. The initiation ceremony took place on April 9, 2019 at The Ministry and Performing Arts Center. The ceremony opened with Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost at
CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO—Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, is pleased to announce that 28 preservice educators have been invited and inducted into its membership through the Alpha
2019 Georgia Commencement image

2019 Georgia Commencement

2019 Georgia Commencement image

Published: April 11, 2019

On Saturday, April 6th, Ohio Christian University held its fourth commencement ceremony in Jonesboro, Georgia at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center. This is the first year at this location. OCU President, Dr. Jon Kulaga welcomed the record crowd of nearly 1,300 students, family and honored guests declaring, “We are living in a time where Christians have never been more needed-to be out there in society being salt and light.” He further challenged them stating that “your community needs you, your city needs you and your country needs you”.    Terence Chatmon was the commencement
On Saturday, April 6th, Ohio Christian University held its fourth commencement ceremony in Jonesboro, Georgia at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center. This is the first year at this location. OCU President, Dr. Jon Kulaga welcomed the record crowd of nearly 1,300 students, family and honored guests declaring, “We are living in a time where Christians have never been more needed-to be
On Saturday, April 6th, Ohio Christian University held its fourth commencement ceremony in Jonesboro, Georgia at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center. This is the first year at this location
Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus image

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus image

Published: April 10, 2019

On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
4.0 Students Recognized in Chapel Service image

4.0 Students Recognized in Chapel Service

4.0 Students Recognized in Chapel Service image

Published: January 23, 2019

The January 23rd Chapel Service included a time of recognition for students who achieved a 4.0 grade point average during the fall semester. Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost, presented each awardee with a coffee mug loaded with candy. Fellow Trailblazers cheered on their peers and helped recipients celebrate their successes. Over 60 students were awarded. 4.0 Student Rachel Hicks says, “Last semester was my first semester taking strictly pre-law courses, it was really tough. I worked extremely hard to achieve a 4.0 and it feels really good to have accomplished this.” Kevin Bennie, Director of
The January 23rd Chapel Service included a time of recognition for students who achieved a 4.0 grade point average during the fall semester. Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost, presented each awardee with a coffee mug loaded with candy. Fellow Trailblazers cheered on their peers and helped recipients celebrate their successes. Over 60 students were awarded. 4.0 Student Rachel Hicks says, “Last semester
The January 23rd Chapel Service included a time of recognition for students who achieved a 4.0 grade point average during the fall semester. Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost, presented each awardee with a

Archived Articles of Interest

Professor Krista Stonerock, General Studies Department Chairperson

Writing Center Success Highlighted at Conference for Writing Program Administrators

Professor Krista Stonerock, General Studies Department Chairperson

Published: October 8, 2018

English Professor Krista Stonerock, Writing Center Director at Ohio Christian University (OCU), recently presented “Connecting the University Writing Center to the First-Year Experience” at the Conference for Writing Program Administrators in Sacramento, California. Dr. Stonerock described how the OCU Writing Center serves as a critical resource for at-risk students during their first year at the university. Citing reflective logs of peer tutors and surveys of first-year students that illuminate the concerns and successes of the Writing Center, she described how the center is poised
English Professor Krista Stonerock, Writing Center Director at Ohio Christian University (OCU), recently presented “Connecting the University Writing Center to the First-Year Experience” at the Conference for Writing Program Administrators in Sacramento, California. Dr. Stonerock described how the OCU Writing Center serves as a critical resource for at-risk students during their first year
English Professor Krista Stonerock, Writing Center Director at Ohio Christian University (OCU), recently presented “Connecting the University Writing Center to the First-Year Experience” at the
Summer Adventures into Central Ohio History image

Summer Adventures into Central Ohio History

Summer Adventures into Central Ohio History image

Published: September 14, 2018

By Amber Ginter, ‘19 Every summer, Ohio Christian University offers monthly on-campus and online courses ranging from Math Systems to Music Fundamentals, Psychology, and Ohio History. The courses carry college credit and exciting field adventures. In teaching central Ohio history, Professor Michael Burchett provides hands-on activities. Most students are teacher education majors, interested in local history for creating more effective and interactive lessons. Trips to Logan's Elm, Adena Mansion and Gardens, The Ohio History Connection, and Tecumseh bring the subject to life, and the
By Amber Ginter, ‘19 Every summer, Ohio Christian University offers monthly on-campus and online courses ranging from Math Systems to Music Fundamentals, Psychology, and Ohio History. The courses carry college credit and exciting field adventures. In teaching central Ohio history, Professor Michael Burchett provides hands-on activities. Most students are teacher education majors, interested
By Amber Ginter, ‘19 Every summer, Ohio Christian University offers monthly on-campus and online courses ranging from Math Systems to Music Fundamentals, Psychology, and Ohio History. The courses
Professor Scott Barr: Fruits of Summer Labor image

Professor Scott Barr: Fruits of Summer Labor

Professor Scott Barr: Fruits of Summer Labor image

Published: September 14, 2018

By Amber Ginter ‘19 English Professor Scott Barr, after over four decades of teaching, is no stranger to being productive during Central Ohio's long, hot summers. Investing in summer projects this year, Barr found his activities refreshing and fruitful. In May, Barr became lead writer for Ohio Christian University’s (OCU) accreditation report for the Higher Learning Commission. In preparing for the Commission’s 2019 visit, he is examining all aspects of OCU’s effectiveness. Barr met with the audit preparation team to discuss five main areas within 21 sub-components. These included
By Amber Ginter ‘19 English Professor Scott Barr, after over four decades of teaching, is no stranger to being productive during Central Ohio's long, hot summers. Investing in summer projects this year, Barr found his activities refreshing and fruitful. In May, Barr became lead writer for Ohio Christian University’s (OCU) accreditation report for the Higher Learning Commission. In preparing
By Amber Ginter ‘19 English Professor Scott Barr, after over four decades of teaching, is no stranger to being productive during Central Ohio's long, hot summers. Investing in summer projects this
Secretary of State Husted Shares Plan to Innovate and Invest image

Secretary of State Husted Shares Plan to Innovate and Invest

Secretary of State Husted Shares Plan to Innovate and Invest image

Published: September 10, 2018

Secretary of State Jon A. Husted met with Ohio Christian University (OCU), Circleville, and Pickaway County officials at the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center to discuss Attorney General Mike DeWine’s and his “Ohio Prosperity Plan” that they will implement if elected Ohio Governor and Lt. Governor. The Plan provides for training to give Ohioans 21st-century technology job skills through funding completion of 10,000 training certificates for skills such as basic computer software coding and data analytics. Short courses will cost around $600 each, offered by the likes of the
Secretary of State Jon A. Husted met with Ohio Christian University (OCU), Circleville, and Pickaway County officials at the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center to discuss Attorney General Mike DeWine’s and his “Ohio Prosperity Plan” that they will implement if elected Ohio Governor and Lt. Governor. The Plan provides for training to give Ohioans 21st-century technology job skills
Secretary of State Jon A. Husted met with Ohio Christian University (OCU), Circleville, and Pickaway County officials at the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center to discuss Attorney General
OCU Emergency Management Program Ranks #3

Ohio Christian University Ranks #3 of Online Emergency Management Programs!

OCU Emergency Management Program Ranks #3

Published: August 6, 2018

Best Schools has ranked Ohio Christian University’s Emergency and Disaster Management Program #3 among the top 15 programs based on its quality and courses provided, as well as the school’s other awards, rankings, and reputation. OCU's Emergency and Disaster Management program trains students to lead during disasters. Graduates contribute during every stage of disaster management and recovery, including providing immediate relief and rebuilding and redeveloping communities. Student Lesli Holt, Operations Manager for Warren County Ohio's Office of Emergency Management, comments that “
Best Schools has ranked Ohio Christian University’s Emergency and Disaster Management Program #3 among the top 15 programs based on its quality and courses provided, as well as the school’s other awards, rankings, and reputation. OCU's Emergency and Disaster Management program trains students to lead during disasters. Graduates contribute during every stage of disaster management and
Best Schools has ranked Ohio Christian University’s Emergency and Disaster Management Program #3 among the top 15 programs based on its quality and courses provided, as well as the school’s other