June 26, 2017
Mark Weeter (M.Div. ’83): Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dean of the School of Ministry and Christian Thought, Professor of Theological Studies
In 1977, just two months after marrying my wife, Brenda, we packed up and moved to Mississippi to attend WBS. It was still in its infancy and was meeting in a mansion on State Street. As I crammed three years into six for my studies, while I pastored churches and taught at Wesley College, I had the joy of being taught by true saints such as Dr. Delbert Rose and Dr. Eldon Fuhrman. Upon graduating in 1983, I was able to teach Elementary Greek for the seminary.
As I complete my 31st year at Oklahoma Wesleyan, I cannot imagine a better partnership. Not only will the M. Div. program meet a real need in the Tulsa area, I cannot think of any two institutions who are more closely aligned in their views on biblical authority, scriptural inerrancy, and heart holiness. I anticipate this truly to be a partnership made in heaven, with wonderful outcomes.
Devon Smith (M.Div. ’98): Director of The Master of Arts in Theology and Apologetics
I have served in four different states in several different positions, including as a youth pastor, church planter, senior pastor, the dean of online learning at OKWU, and now as the director of our Master of Arts in Theology and Apologetics program as well as the Josh McDowell Institute. I still lean on the training I received at WBS while training the next generation. WBS taught me to seek the Lord, trust him with all my heart, and walk by faith. Along with my peers, I am excited to be a part of bringing this same spirit, mission, and passion to the Tulsa/Bartlesville, Oklahoma area.
I have been married to Annette for almost 22 years and we have two teenage children, Micah and Levi. Micah has answered the call to ministry, and I pray that he will seek WBS for his seminary training.
Jerome VanKuiken (M.Div. ’00): Associate Professor of Ministry and Christian Thought
Roughly two decades before John Neihof became the president of WBS, he was my class sponsor at Kentucky Mountain Bible College. He cast a classmate and me—both of us Missionary Kids—as a married couple in the sophomore play. Two years later, I married her for real. That fall, I started my M.Div. at WBS. My time at seminary enriched me in so many ways: the theologically and biblically solid teaching, mentoring by godly professors, classmates’ camaraderie, and birth of a daughter (during exam week!). I graduated in 2000 with a sense of calling to higher education and have taught in colleges ever since.
In 2011, I moved my wife, daughter, and son to Oklahoma to teach full-time at OKWU. For some time, I’ve hoped that OKWU and WBS would form a partnership. The two institutions are so similar in their theological, missional, and cultural commitments that I was sure they’d make a good match. I’m thrilled that my hope has begun to materialize. Maybe that’s how President Neihof felt twenty-something years ago when a couple of his sophomores started dating.
Chris Breiland (M.A. ’13): Director of Residential Life
As a first generation college student, I fell in love with OKWU. Like many freshmen, I struggled with the transition from high school to college. Once I found my bearings, I realized that, for me, college was not only a place for getting an education; it was a place for serious spiritual growth and ministry. After OKWU, a seminary education at WBS was an obvious next step for me. During this time, I found a passion for campus ministry to college students and was hired on to the staff at OKWU.
The partnership between OKWU and WBS will give students access to a quality seminary education close to Bartlesville. I always tell students that they will love WBS for the same reasons they love OKWU. Not only are the professors experts in their particular field of study, but they are actively engaged in ministry within their community. I only wish this partnership had happened years ago!
I live in Bartlesville, Oklahoma with my wife, Whitney, and our two dogs, Scout and Lola. Baby Breiland is due October 2017.
Interested in becoming an M.Div. student at OKWU’s Tulsa site? Click here to connect!