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Ozark Christian College

Ozark Christian College is a private, not-for-profit college located at 1111 North Main Street, Joplin, Missouri affiliated with the Restoration Movement of Christian churches and churches of Christ.


1111 N Main St
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College Type
Religious Affiliation
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Campus Housing
White Blue
Midwest Christian

College History


Ozark Bible College was established in Bentonville, Arkansas, on June 12, 1942. The school was committed to training men and women for Christian service by teaching the Word of Christ in the Spirit of Christ. An earlier OZARK CHRISTIAN COLLEGE was established in St. Joe, Arkansas, in 1938. It moved to Harrison, Arkansas, in 1939, and then to Bentonville in 1940. This school was to provide both occupational training and Bible teaching in affiliation with the Restoration Movement. Ozark Bible College was founded to be a Bible college training full-time and part-time Christian workers. Workers were prepared to be ministers, missionaries, evangelistic singers, church secretaries, educational directors and assistant ministers, as well as elders, deacons and volunteer workers in the local church. The trustees elected F. W. Strong as president and Seth Wilson as dean, positions they held in the former college. Many churches in the four state area of Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma were closed and hundreds were without preachers. Ozark Bible College desired to provide Biblical preachers whose preaching would revive the churches. In October 1944, Ozark Bible College moved to Joplin, Missouri. The Cragin Mansion located at 516 N. Wall Street became the new home for the college. Joplin was chosen as the new location for the college because it was easily reached by car, bus, train or plane. Many churches surrounded Joplin, which provided opportunities for student ministries. Joplin also had job opportunities for students. In 1946, Edwin B. Strong succeeded his father as president of Ozark Bible College. The college grew from sixteen students in 1942 to 123 students in the fall of 1949. An addition to the building in 1948 provided a dining room, a small chapel and two classrooms. At this time most of the full-time faculty preached every weekend. Area ministers assisted as part-time instructors. Students were involved in service in the churches on weekends. The curriculum has always stressed a knowledge of the Bible, gained through a direct study of the Biblical text, with every degree carrying a major in Bible. Strong emphasis has been placed on apologetics (knowing why we believe in God, Christ and the Bible) and hermeneutics (principles and methods for understanding the Bible). Skills for ministry were also taught at this time. In 1952, Don Earl Boatman became the third president of Ozark Bible College, a post he held for 27 years. The college had a vision and desire to grow. In 1953 additions to the college provided a large chapel, a library and additional classrooms. This enabled the college to accommodate the 176 students who enrolled in the fall of 1954. In 1955, seventy-five churches were served by Ozark faculty, staff and students. Soon the college reached the maximum capacity in the 516 N. Wall building. In 1959, forty acres were purchased on North Main Street, a mile north of downtown Joplin and less than a mile from the Wall Street location. The Missions Building and Alumni Hall were completed in 1963 providing classrooms and a dormitory for women. This enabled the college to move to the new campus to welcome 309 students in the fall of 1963. The Administration Building was completed a few weeks after the fall semester started. Under the direction of Walter Goodman, thirteen buildings were constructed on the new campus during its first two decades. Every year during the 1960s enrollment increased, reaching a peak of 803 in the fall of 1974. New faculty and programs expanded the outreach of the college. The college was known for its emphasis on evangelism and missions. In 1979, new leaders assumed responsibilities at Ozark Bible College. Ken Idleman became president and Wallace Wartick was named academic dean. Lynn Gardner became academic dean in 1981. In the same year, Ozark began the process of accreditation and received it from the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges (now called The Association for Biblical Higher Education) in 1988.On July 1, 1985, Midwest Christian College of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, consolidated with Ozark Bible College on the Joplin campus under the name of OZARK CHRISTIAN COLLEGE. The college grew numerically from the mid 1980s until the present. A new record enrollment was set in the fall of 2005 of 849. Mark Scott became Academic Dean in 1998 and served until 2011. In 2005, Matt Proctor was announced as the fifth president of OCC. He served for one year as the President Elect. On July 1, 2006 Matt Proctor officially became President of OCC with Ken Idleman serving as Chancellor. Ken served as Chancellor until 2007 before moving on to another ministry. The college is now administered by three senior administrators: Matt Proctor, President, Damien Spikereit, Executive Vice President; and Doug Aldridge, Academic Dean. These men work with the executive directors (Troy Nelson, Admissions; Monte Shoemake, Student Development; and David McMillin, Campus Operations; Doug Miller, Institutional Assessment and Legal Counsel) to form the Administrative Council.

College Specialty


The ultimate mission of OZARK CHRISTIAN COLLEGE is to glorify God by seeking the evangelization of the lost and the edification of Christians worldwide. The immediate mission of OZARK CHRISTIAN COLLEGE is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education. Emphasis is given to vocational preparation for preaching ministers, missionaries, Christian educators, ministers of music, youth ministers, day-care directors and ministers to the deaf. Biblical and practical training is also provided for those who will serve in the church in non-vocational roles such as elders, deacons, Bible school teachers, and youth sponsors. OZARK CHRISTIAN COLLEGE seeks to glorify God by doing His will. God's truth we must "entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also" (2 Timothy 2:2). We are involved in declaring the wisdom of God (Ephesians 3:7-12). We share in the work of equipping "the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ ... speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ" (Ephesians 4:12,13,15). We accomplish this purpose of God stated by Paul- "God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ. And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me" (Colossians 1:27-29). "The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith" (I Timothy 1:5).



95 acres (38.4�ha)