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Ouachita Stories


What does attending a “Christian college” even mean? #askingforafriend

Berry Chapel renovatedMay 03, 2019 - James Taylor

We know you have questions, some that you might be afraid to ask, about what to expect if you attend a Baptist university. We know that every Christian college is different, but we want you to know exactly what makes Ouachita, Ouachita. Here are answers to some of the questions we hear all the time, so there’s no need to ask “for your friends!”

What does it mean exactly that Ouachita is a Christian college?

Faith is an important part of most people's lives, and we think it should be part of your college experience, too. The Christian faith is a foundational part of Ouachita's vision, mission and values, but that doesn’t mean that every student at Ouachita is a Christian or that people are expected to believe the same things.

At a state university, religious life is usually separate from the school and led by outside organizations or churches. At a Christian college like Ouachita, spiritual growth is encouraged from within the university – by faculty and staff members and by university programs like Campus Ministries and chapel. We also encourage you to be involved with local churches during your college years.

So, do I have to memorize the Bible?

Every Ouachita student takes two classes as part of their CORE requirements: Survey of the Bible and Interpreting the Bible. Survey of the Bible covers the big picture of scripture and helps you see how its stories, from Genesis to Revelation, all come together. Interpreting the Bible introduces you to the skills to read, study and interpret smaller passages of scripture in their context. These classes provide you the perfect opportunity to ask questions you may have been wondering for years, to help you navigate how to study the Bible and to grow in your own beliefs about who God is.

While your professor might require you to memorize some scripture, it is more likely that you will have to remember biblical characters, timelines and bible-reading concepts.

Read about how Ouachita has been a special place for generations of students studying the Bible, regardless of their major.

Do we meet for chapel every day?

We believe that being present with other people is key to any Christian community, and that includes our community here at Ouachita. We all meet in Jones Performing Arts Center (JPAC for short) every Tuesday morning to worship, learn and appreciate our diversity on campus. Professors and campus staff come, too! Chapel is different each week, and a variety of programs and guest speakers bring their ideas, thoughts and experiences to us. Chapel is an exciting place you will learn and grow!

Chapel is also a great way to meet your classmates. With assigned seating, you get to know your chapel buddies really well.

Is Ouachita like church camp?

Not exactly, but we have several opportunities for spiritual growth that we know you will want to be a part of!

The Campus Ministries (CM) office coordinates several student-led ministries on campus. They offer discipleship groups (“Life Groups”) and encourage leading and attending weekly student-led worship times like Noonday (Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons) and Refuge (Thursday night).

There are also great opportunities for you to serve the community through ministries like Backyard Bible Club, Ouachita’s Elrod Center programs (Tiger Serve Day, Thanksgiving baskets, ElderServe and more) and through local churches.

Each year, Ouachita also offers several mission trips through Campus Ministries and the Pruet School of Christian Studies. These include spring break trips within the U.S. and international trips during the summer.

Contributors: James Taylor, director of Campus Ministries, and Ian Cosh, vice president for community & international engagement and director of the Elrod Center