What does this mean? If the BGCO relinquished its control of OBU and spent its CP dollars more efficiently, it could more than double the amount it spends on collegiate ministries in Oklahoma. And it could still expand the size of its OBU BCM. Even after all that, there would still be hundreds of thousands of CP dollars left to allocate to vital ministry areas.
There are 207,000 students enrolled in Oklahoma colleges and universities, 205,000 of whom are not at OBU. Yet BGCO elites so value owning and controlling OBU that they are willing to spend more money on fewer than 1% of Oklahoma college students than on the remaining 99% combined. What does that tell us about ministry and mission priorities? It tells us a few things:
- BGCO spending on OBU is clearly about controlling an institution, not about ministry
- Oklahoma Baptist messengers, laypeople, clergy, and BCM directors/staff/supporters should question this shocking disparity
- The BGCO could easily double its investment in more than 200,000 young, mostly unsaved people from whom tomorrow's clergy, lay leaders, and missionaries will emerge. Instead, it spends lavishly on an institution populated almost exclusively by people who are already saved and baptized, many of whom will go on to non-SBC seminaries, make their homes and careers in other states, and bring the BGCO little return on its investment.
- Baptist state conventions that have relinquished control over Baptist colleges have been able to dramatically expand the scope of their collegiate ministries.
- We already know that Baptist youth who go to state schools actually emerge more doctrinally orthodox than Baptist youth who attend Baptist colleges. So, clearly BCM programs are better at keeping Baptists within the fold than OBU (see Table 5.2).