Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) has introduced a new degree that will include a semester-long internship during the student’s junior year. The bachelor of arts in global marketplace engagement will include the development of marketplace skills and a cross-cultural component.
The university has a long history of partnering with the International Mission Board (IMB). In addition to spring break and summer short-term trips, students pursuing the university’s new degree will join IMB missionaries around the globe during a semester-long internship. Some of these internships will plug OBU students into refugee ministries. The first cycle of students began the program in fall 2019.
“One part of our mission statement is to engage a diverse world,” said Joy Turner, the director of global mobilization and professor of Christian ministry at OBU. “So I think connecting that to global outreach and study abroad and local ministry, each of those pieces fit within that [mission statement].
“We’re moving people along in their walk with Jesus while they’re here, and we see this global outreach piece as just one piece of that.”
Turner is an OBU alumna and served with the North American Mission Board in Hawaii before moving back to Oklahoma to work for OBU.
Engaging the nations has long been a part of the OBU campus experience. Students at OBU can choose to participate in short-term trips, called GO Trips, during the summer. The university also provides a January-term trip lasting three weeks and a spring break trip. Turner said OBU sends somewhere between 200 and 250 students on GO Trips each year.
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(EDITOR’S NOTE – Caroline Anderson is a writer for the IMB serving in Southeast Asia.)