Found along the banks of the Ouachita River is the aptly names Ouachita Baptist University, in the facilities of what was once a school for the blind. Located in Arkadelphia, Arkansas since its founding in 1886 (though it was initially teaching from the local Baptist High School), it was conceived as a “seminary for the education of the ministry”, but has grown since to eight schools offering a variety of liberal arts based majors.
Ouachita Baptist’s 85 acres are home to around 1500 undergraduate degree seekers, more than 80% of which reside in one of a dozen or so university owned dorms/apartments (as only those with family in town or over the age of 22 may reside in non-university residences). Further, though it is a coed school, dorms are not and there are strict times when members of the opposite sex are allowed to mingle in the campus residences. However, this is a school built on “Christ-centered learning”, working on students’ “intellectual AND spiritual growth” and fostering “a love of God and a love of learning”. To this end, there are chapel credits and religious classes built in to the curriculum of all majors that are essential for graduation from OBU.
Offering a Bachelor of Arts degree to most students, OBU also has programs resulting in a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Music, with a total of 65+ degree programs to choose from. With no real online learning here, students are wholly trained traditionally, utilizing a 12:1 faculty/student ratio to attend to the personal needs of students regardless of course of study. Popular majors at Ouachita Baptist are often religiously based (surprised?) with a Pruet School of Christian Studies with courses in Christian Studies (of course), as well as Biblical Languages and more 21st century religious majors like Church Media/Production Arts and Christian Media/Communications. For non-religious students, there are fine education programs offered through the Huckabee School of Education (the former Arkansas governor was a student), each continuously being researched and refined to offer the best educational training available, whether in Secondary Teaching or even Health Education or Coaching.
There is no distance learning community to speak of really, with an IT department that aids in emails and registrar/financial services more than online course delivery. Library materials from the two on campus libraries are also available.
Though there is no virtual distance learning, studying abroad and missionary/service trips offer numerous opportunities to get off campus. The Center for International Studies organizes exchanges with countries from China to Mexico, while those looking to stay closer to home can do good works through the Elrod Center for Family and Community (organizing service work to benefit the local area). There are no frats/sororities allowed, but many “social clubs” are available for those with free time, as well as an ROTC program, and an incredible array of campus ministries (including summer missionary work both here and abroad).
Working a love of God into education to promote a lifetime of service and give graduates the tools to be aware of the needs of the world around them, Ouachita Baptist creates learners who look to better.