By Morgan Smith, Faith Editor
Most students attend college with one goal in mind: to start a career.
OBU is known for having a high job placement rate, but one area where it excels is the ministry and missions field.
“OBU graduates have been very successful in finding positions, with wonderful mentorship through Hobbs College as well as their own annual career fair,” Marissa Lightsey, the director of Career Development, said.
“I have been very impressed with the success of our students,” Lightsey said.
Wednesday, Feb. 22, OBU hosted a ministry and non-profit career fair in the Geiger Center from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Jarret Corbin is one of a ministry student in his junior year.
While he still has a year until graduation, he said the ministry professors do a great deal to help ministry students to prepare for life after OBU.
“OBU also has many connections with local churches and ministries, so getting in touch with pastors and missionaries is as easy as dialing a phone,” Corbin said. “These connections also help tremendously in placing students in churches when–or often before–they graduate.”
Lightsey advices students to start making ministry connections as early as possible.
“A position in ministry requires a deep commitment,” she said. “Also ministry is a relational career in that it is important to network and develop relationships before seeking a position.”
Dr. Scott Pace is the Reverend A.E. and Dora Johnson Hughes Chair of Christian Ministry and associate professor of applied ministry.
He said mentoring ministry students is one of the most rewarding aspects of his job at OBU.
“To watch students discern their calling, explore their giftedness and begin to serve according to God’s purpose for their lives provides a deep level of satisfaction and fulfillment,” Pace said. “It is amazing to witness the joy of their discovery and the formation that occurs as they walk through the process.”
Of course, Pace said continuing to grow a relationship with Christ is the most important part of a career in ministry.
“If you’re not fully relying on Him and deepening your walk, you won’t make it,” Pace said. “You’re love for Christ will drive your love for people and be the ultimate measure of success in God’s economy.”
He also warns students that choosing a path in ministry means forfeiting some comforts, like income and notoriety.
“Fundamental qualities it also requires include a substantive knowledge of the Scriptures, organizational skills, people skills, flexibility and patience,” Pace said.
However, Corbin said that OBU reputation makes it an asset on any resume.
“It does take more than a fancy diploma to be a good minister though,” Corbin said. “They must be humble before God and people, willing to serve in any capacity required of them, able to teach and be taught, and set a godly example and not be reckless.”
In addition, Pace advices students to maximize their time at OBU.
“I encourage students to look for opportunities to serve while they’re here, whether in a formal or volunteer capacity,” he said.
“Students must also be willing to say ‘yes’ to whatever God calls them to, even if it doesn’t immediately look like what they’ve always envisioned.”
He said that specific ministry fields will flow from students’ experiences at OBU and their willingness to serve others.
“We also are intentional in helping our students make strategic connections with ministry and missional partners that recognize OBU graduates as the most prepared and equipped to serve,” Pace said.