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Sharon Betsworth, Ph.D.

Sharon Betsworth, Ph.D.

Sharon Betsworth, Ph.D.,



Intro to Biblical Literature, Intro to World Religions, Methods of Biblical Analysis, Gospels and Acts, Pauline Letters, Religion in Contemporary American, Women in the New Testament, New Testament Greek, and Liberal Arts Seminar: Lost - Children in the Gospel and Beyond.

About Me

I love teaching at Oklahoma City University for a lot of reasons. One reason is that OCU reminds me of the liberal arts college I attended as an undergraduate. I was a German and history double major at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. I was intent on being a German or social studies high school teacher. After I graduated, I changed my major and continued my education at Simpson College ( a United Methodist college), because I decided I wanted to teach elementary students. After a brief stint teaching in an elementary school, I headed to Wesley Theological Seminary. Once I began seminary, I wondered why I didn't major in religion as an undergraduate in the first place. In college, I liked all of my religion classes and I loved seminary even more!

I am an ordained minister (elder) in the United Methodist Church, and I served as a pastor in Mason City, Iowa for five years before I decided to continue my graduate studies. I studied New Testament for a year at Princeton Theological Seminary and then went to the Graduate Theology Union in Berkeley, CA. for a doctoral program in biblical studies. I came to OCU in 2007 and have been the Director of the Wimberly School of Religion since 2009.

While my main teaching and research interests are in biblical studies, I am also passionate about interfaith studies and inter-religious dialogue. I have recently begun teaching world religions, and we have developed an interfaith studies minor in the School of Religion. We work closely with the Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago, which has been an exciting adventure!

Of Note

My research focuses on children in the Gospels. I have published two books in this area. My most recent one is Children in Early Christian Narratives, which came out in 2015. My first book, The Reign of God is Such as These: A Socio-Literary Analysis of Daughters in the Gospel of Mark in 2010, was a revision of my dissertation. I co-chair the Children in the Biblical World section of the Society of Biblical Literature, the professional organization for biblical scholars.

Contact Information

2nd Floor West
Gold Star Building
Oklahoma City, OK 73106