This year, Oklahoma Christian University is hosting the annual Presidential Conference for Church of Christ Schools.
Oklahoma Christian’s President Mike O’Neal is the host of this year’s conference and he believes there are benefits to holding these types of events on campus.
“We wind up picking up ideas from each other. We get to know one another, and to have fellowship, [and] we will learn from one another as we talk about the things that we are doing on various campuses. So when there are issues among our schools we can just pick up the phone and we know the people on the other end can help.” O’Neal said.
There are 15-plus schools attending this year’s presidential conference. All are from different areas and have different points of view.
The Presidents will be in Oklahoma beginning Nov. 11. The Presidents will all be together for Memorial Road Church of Christ’s service that evening. At this time, Abilene Christian University President Royce Money is speaking to the congregation.
This will be an opportunity for students to have a connection to the conference being held at Oklahoma Christian. Not much time is available for students to interact with the presidents from the other schools present. After the service, presidents and their spouses will have the chance to mingle at O’Neal’s home for dinner and a reception.
The conference meetings begin on Nov. 12. The presidents will take time out of their conference to attend chapel with the students. They will discuss the different ways in which the schools address higher education and other issues not on the schedule, such as how international programs work at other schools.
“We will be talking about best practices relating to our constituents, how to have service learning a more important part in what we do in Christian higher education,” O’Neal said. “There will be a conversation, even though it is not a formal conversation, on things we might cooperate on and work together on.”
The conference gives the presidents a chance to discuss problems they are dealing with and possibly come up with a better way to solve these problems.
Though not on the conference schedule, Higher Education Month (in January) and the research commissioned among the Church of Christ schools may be discussed. The research commissioned by the Church of Christ schools is about how people can be more professionally and spiritually qualified while at the Christian schools.
Part of the conference is getting to know the area of Oklahoma. The presidents will have a short visit to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and to the National Bombing Memorial downtown for a brief message by an Oklahoma Christian alumni working there. The evening will close with a dinner in downtown Oklahoma City.
The final day of the conference is Nov. 13. The presidents will have more time that day to discuss more issues, but the event will be finished by noon.
Much of what is going to be talked about at this conference will later affect Oklahoma Christian. The thoughts of the other schools and their ideas will be a large impact on the future of the University.
To make a difference in how our school is represented in presidential conferences, students must get involved. The more ideas students come up with, the more O’Neal can bring to the other schools.