WEDNESDAY, MAY 27
As one of its first steps toward becoming a premier seminary for Native American ministries, Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University will host a joint conference this summer with the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference.
The Aug. 8 conference will be held so that the Native American church leaders can share ideas on how the United Methodist seminary can help meet its educational goals, said Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University Dean Elaine Robinson.
“A seminary like Saint Paul can’t create programs unless we hear from the people we want to teach,” Robinson said. “We can’t assume that what works for one group of churches will have the same results for others.”
She said the meetings represent the first step in what will be a continuing conversation between the two groups as the school begins to create a curriculum to meet the specific needs of Native American leaders and lay members. She hopes to utilize the expertise of those within the Native American community to strengthen the seminary.
“There are many people already who want to attend the seminary, and we want to create courses and programs oriented to meet their needs, including lay and continuing education,” she added.
The school of theology obtained two grants to fund the conference — one from the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, the other from the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
David Wilson, Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference superintendent, said he is looking forward to the meetings at OCU and anticipates representatives from at least 50 churches will be present. An advisory board is scheduled to meet in June to list some objectives for the meetings with the theology school.
“We’re very pleased and excited that the Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University has taken the initiative to host this event,” Wilson said. “It is a great start to our partnership.”