Today, we continue sharing our OBU stories. If you would like to send in yours, copy the text below and type to your heart's content! Email your story to SaveOBU@gmail.com for inclusion in an upcoming edition!
Name: Kris Shiplet
Major(s): Youth Ministry & Journalism
Hometown: Bixby, Oklahoma
Church Affiliation Then: Southern Baptist
How/Why I Chose OBU: I felt called to be a youth pastor and wanted to go to a college that would give me the knowledge needed for the job. Raised by a Baptist pastor and Shawnee was the perfect distance away from home.
Good Times: Many, many good memories. Meeting and bonding with several students, especially Bible and ministry majors. Eating with the guys at Van's Pig Stand, late-night studying at IHOP/Denny's. Working with some talented writers at The Bison and writing "The Ship on Sports." Meeting my wife through one of my roommates.
Bad Times: Seeing the odd tension between fundamentalists and moderates on a daily basis. I think we had a great blend of professors but it was obvious even then that OBU was headed in the wrong direction because of Dr. Brister's leanings. Being labeled a liberal amongst fellow ministry majors because I think women in ministry is a good thing.
Best Thing(s) about OBU: Preaching at "OBU Day" my Freshman and Sophomore years. When I preached at a church in Enid my Freshman year, that was my very first experience behind the pulpit. When I preached at a small church in St. Louis, OK my sophomore year, I got my very first job in youth ministry and was there for the rest of my time as a student. Learning from great profs like Mr. Philip Todd, Dr. Mac, Dr. Bobby Kelly and Dr. Tom Wilks...
Worst Thing(s) about OBU: Again, just the odd tension between a fundamentalist President and conservative/moderate profs. Finding out that not too long after I left Mr. Todd, who taught me not only about journalism but a great deal about life in general, was fired basically because he wouldn't allow Brister to completely censor the newspaper.
Spiritual/Religious Reflections (if any): OBU was great for my spiritual life. I had plenty of fellow students and professors who encouraged me in my faith. When my mom had a stroke, I had a lot of support. If I had a question about ministry or something good to share, I always had support right there. I learned to think for myself and become more open-minded, but definitely didn't "lose my faith." I came there with the idea of learning things on my own, not just taking my dad's opinion, and I accomplished that.
Life/Career: I'm married and have a great dog :) I work as a customer service rep for US Cellular and volunteer/teach in the youth ministry at Christ's Church of Yukon.
Residence: Yukon, OK
Church Affiliation Now: Christian Independent
Final Thoughts: I genuinely loved my time on Bison Hill and pray for its success. I still have friends who work there and hope they can continue to teach future generations. I hope true balanced liberal arts education can be restored.
Now, it's your turn...
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Worst Thing(s) about OBU:
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