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Dean of the Pruet School of Christian Studies

The Opportunity:

Ouachita Baptist University invites applications and nominations for the next Dean of the Pruet School of Christian Studies. Combining exceptional scholarship and effective teaching with a vital focus on preparing graduates for practical ministry, the Pruet School, over the last two decades, has achieved significant growth, developed innovative programs, and benefitted from a recent renovation of its academic facilities, all under the able leadership of the two previous deans. With a highly experienced and collegial faculty, the next dean will have an exceptional opportunity to lead the school in a new era.

The university seeks a dean who understands and appreciates the school’s identity and mission and is ready to embrace opportunities for expanding its impact by strengthening hands-on learning, engaging ministry partners throughout the state and region, recruiting and developing new faculty, and guiding students and faculty in understanding and responding to cultural, demographic, and digital changes shaping the life of the church and the future of ministry.

Reporting to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the dean provides leadership and fosters excellence in all the school’s academic programs. The dean is responsible for maintaining academic and theological integrity, recruiting and retaining students, fostering a positive learning environment in collaboration with faculty colleagues, cultivating strong relationships with churches and leaders in the Arkansas Baptist State Convention and other ministry partners, and expanding opportunities for the school and its constituents.

Responsibilities:

  • Exemplify excellence in teaching and lead the faculty in ongoing attention to effective teaching and learning
  • Foster a strong scholarly community among the school’s faculty and students by promoting faculty development, scholarly contributions, and high-impact student learning opportunities, including internships and other practical learning experiences
  • Teach courses each semester in one’s field of expertise 
  • Guide curriculum and program development to ensure academic quality and integrity while advancing the strategic vision for the school and the university
  • Oversee effective assessment of student learning and promote positive student outcomes
  • Encourage student success and timely degree completion by guiding faculty efforts in advising, degree planning, and related student support
  • Aggressively recruit prospective students for the school’s programs, collaborating with appropriate faculty, staff, alumni, churches, and other ministry partners to enhance enrollment
  • Advance the university’s efforts to support faculty and students from diverse backgrounds
  • Cultivate positive relationships with churches and Arkansas Baptist leaders, making the educational resources of the Pruet School available for ministry training and professional development
  • Exercise sound financial management and cultivate philanthropic opportunities to expand the school’s resources, including leadership of the Pruet School Advisory Board

Detailed Job Description

Qualifications:

  • Earned Ph.D. in a field appropriate for the School of Christian Studies
  • A distinguished record of teaching, scholarship, and service at the university level
  • Authentic Christian faith, lived out through personal discipleship and active involvement in a local church
  • Enthusiastic support for the theological stance and educational aims expressed in the Mission Statement and Grounding Affirmations of the Pruet School of Christian Studies and the University’s Vision, Mission, and Values
  • At least three years of prior administrative experience in higher education, with a record of increasing levels of responsibility
  • Faithful leadership experience in church ministries or missions
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and establish positive relationships with a broad and diverse constituency, including faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, and churches

Compensation:

Salary and academic rank will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. The Dean of the Pruet School of Christian Studies serves on a 12-month contract with vacation. The university provides a generous benefits package.

The Pruet School of Christian Studies

From its earliest days, Ouachita Baptist University has served Arkansas Baptists by providing theological training and equipping servant leaders for the church in the context of a liberal arts education. In 1999, the university established the School of Christian Studies as a separate academic unit for programs in Biblical studies, theology, and related disciplines. Soon afterward, a generous endowment from Chesley and Elizabeth Pruet initiated a period of growth and accomplishment. A faculty with outstanding credentials and excellent teaching skills has provided stability and a strong sense of identity for the Pruet School over the last 22 years. The recently renovated Berry-Peeples Bible Building and Berry Chapel provide outstanding facilities for teaching and learning.

Identifying as Baptist, Pruet School faculty promote an academically rigorous theological education in the tradition of historic conservative Christianity. As a result, students of multiple evangelical persuasions from various denominations find their way to Ouachita to experience an education that is both highly academic and ministry oriented. Teaching is a priority for Pruet faculty, who must exhibit an effective and passionate classroom presence. Furthermore, the faculty excels in the academy, having written or edited over 50 books produced by academic publishers and served as presenters and key members of academic societies and professional organizations. The dean will be expected to lead in the classroom, the academy, and the church. 

In terms of theology and ecclesiology, the Pruet School and the university maintain a close relationship with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC). With a passion for missions at home and abroad, the school cooperates with the ABSC, with other Southern Baptist ministry organizations, and with churches throughout the state and region to promote the planting, nurturing, and strengthening of the church around the world. Committed to its distinctive role of cultivating scholarship in service to the church, the school prides itself on maintaining this important balance between high academic achievement by its faculty and students and a heart for ministry and active involvement in the work of God through the local church

Ouachita Baptist University

Founded by Arkansas Baptists in 1886, Ouachita Baptist University is a Christ-centered, liberal arts institution located in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, one hour south of Little Rock and four hours northeast of Dallas-Fort Worth on Interstate 30. Enrolling approximately 1,500 students from 29 states and 23 nations, Ouachita offers a strong residential community where 95% of undergraduate students live in university housing.

The university’s low student-faculty ratio, close-knit campus, and commitment to undergraduate research opportunities create an enriched environment for learning and growth. Reflecting strong institutional momentum, the university has recently recorded its highest enrollment and graduation rates, experienced record philanthropic support, and added graduate programs to expand its reach beyond its traditional, residential undergraduate students.

Faculty and staff embrace the university’s Christian mission and share the institution’s commitment to both academic and Christian excellence. Ouachita supports the principle of academic freedom in the context of the university mission, promotes equal opportunity, and seeks to develop a diverse faculty for the benefit of our students and community.

 

 

Applications and Nominations:

Review of applications will begin February 22 and continue until the position is filled. The application materials listed below should be prepared, preferably as a single PDF document, and emailed to pruetdeansearch@obu.edu:

  • Letter of application describing interest and qualifications for the position
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Statement of personal faith and ministry involvement
  • Philosophy of teaching
  • List of five references, including telephone and email contact information

Additional materials may be requested at a later stage in the process. All application materials will remain confidential, and references will be contacted only after candidates are notified.

Nominations and inquiries are encouraged and may be sent to pruetdeansearch@obu.edu or mailed to the following address:

Dr. Stan Poole
Vice President for Academic Affairs
OBU Box 3755
Ouachita Baptist University
Arkadelphia, AR 71998

Pruet School of Christian Studies

The Pruet School of Christian Studies is a great place to prepare our students for ministry, missions and more. Our students gain an understanding of the theological, biblical and practical elements of Christian ministry as well as hands-on experience in ministry, missions and service.

 

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