Established in 2002,The Owen Wimberly Center for Continuing Education in Religion offers a variety of workshops and lectures for both clergy and laity on topics related to issues of ministry, theology, and religion.
Annual lectures hosted by the Owen Wimberly Center include the Willson Lectures, Neustadt Lectures, and the Martha Jean Lemon Special Lectures. Continuing education units for clergy are available for all Owen Wimberly Center events. Rev. Rodney Newman serves as the Director of this center founded by Dr. Mark Y. A. Davies.
Walter and Dolores Neustadt of Ardmore, Oklahoma, established the lecture series in 1983 for the purpose of strengthening understanding of the great contributions of the Judaic religious tradition to Western civilization and thought. Scholars are invited to the campus to speak on informative themes in the area of Hebrew Scripture,Judaic thought, and Jewish ethics and art. Such eminent scholars as Rabbi David Aaron, Rabbi Malka Drucker, David Nelson, and Benjamin D. Sommer have spoken in recent years.
This lectureship is provided by an endowment from James M. and Mavis Willson of Floydada, Texas. The lectures are directed to the interests of students in the area of religion and society. The Willsons were outstanding members of the United Methodist Church. Their Christian vision was truly ecumenical in its outreach. Since 1953 their gift to Oklahoma City University has brought to campus speakers of international stature from the areas of religion, science,Christian theology and ethics, church history, biblical studies, and liturgical studies. Such eminent scholars as Amy-Jill Levine, J. Philip Newell, Michelle Gonzalez Moldanado, and Joerg Rieger have spoken in recent years.
Martha Jean Lemon Lectures
These lectures are a gift from Lynette Lemon Wert and Larry H. Lemon in 2010 on behalf of the Lemon family of Oklahoma City and in honor of Martha Jean Lemon. Ms. Lemon was graduated from Oklahoma City University in 1968 with a degree in history and worked as an independent comparative religion scholar. The annual lecture series will feature speakers, workshops, or seminars on topics which promote religious leadership and service. Rev. Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor of Church of the Resurrection United Methodist Church in Leawood, Kansas presented the 2013 lecture on the topic, "Living as a Christian Today."
OCU is pleased to welcome Dr. Wendy Zierler to present the Neustadt Lectures on March 3, 2016. She is the Sigmund Falk Professor, Modern Jewish Literature and Feminist Studies at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Her topic is Reel Theology: Film as a Springboard for Religious Conversation, exploring Jewish theological themes in movies. Presentations are scheduled for 1:00, 2:30, and 7:00 p.m. in the chapel on the university campus.