As an OCC student, I learned a proverb, “Methods are many, principles are few. Methods always change, principles never do.” For over 75 years, Ozark has stayed true to one unchanging mission—training men and women for Christian service—but our methods have often changed. One method that served us well for many years was no Monday classes. But when school starts in a few weeks, OCC will offer classes Monday through Friday. Why the change? Two reasons:
This change reflects the changing rhythm of students’ weekly ministry. Our commitment to ministry remains strong, as 98% of our students serve in some kind of ministry. But rhythms change.
- Years ago, many student ministries were at least two hours away and involved Sunday evening. Students involved in ministry all day Sunday had Monday to travel back to Joplin and do homework.
- Today, most student ministries are within two hours, and while 65% of our students serve on Sunday morning, only 6% serve on Sunday night. Additionally, 57% serve in a church on Wednesday evening, which has been our busiest class day.
The new five-day class week loosens Wednesday’s schedule and creates more margin for students with mid-week ministries.
This change reflects the changing rhythm of students’ weekly classes. Our curriculum remains Scripture-saturated, as students still take 50+ required hours in Bible classes. But rhythms change.
- Years ago, our curriculum was built on four-hour classes (18 required four-hour classes, 6 three-hour classes). This worked well in a four-day class week (Tuesday-Friday), making it simple for students to take a full load.
- Today our curriculum is built on three-hour classes (24 required three-hour classes, 6 four-hour classes). It is difficult for students to fill out a full-time schedule (16 hours/semester) on a four-day schedule, and without a full load, a student’s college career can lengthen, resulting in greater cost.
A five-day class week allows students to more easily take a full load each semester, helping them graduate on time and with less debt.
Neither our Bible college accreditors nor regional accreditors have asked for this change. Rather, amid changing rhythms, it’s driven by a desire to serve our students well as they prepare for ministry. So please join me in praying for our incoming freshmen as they begin classes Monday, August 20. Since 1942, OCC has given students a Bible-based, Christ-centered, ministry-focused education, and we’ll keep doing that—five days every week.