ARKADELPHIA - Ouachita Baptist University and New Life Church are partnering to offer a new degree program based entirely at New Life Church's Conway campus, pending accreditation.
OBU's board of trustees authorized the partnership to establish an Associate of Arts degree program based at the church but fully directed by the university using their professors, curriculum and textbooks, according to university president Rex Horne.
"Students will receive a world-class Christian education while serving and growing in a life-giving local church," said Dr. Brandon O'Brien, New Life Church spokesman. "This is an incredible opportunity for students to discern their calling while pursuing their education."
O'Brien, who is directing plans for the partnership on behalf of New Life Church, is a 2004 Ouachita graduate.
"This partnership will offer a unique program blending a foundational liberal arts education with opportunities for hands-on ministry and spiritual formation integrated into the life of a dynamic local church," said Dr. Stan Poole, Ouachita's vice president for academic affairs.
Poole added that university officials "see this program as a creative response to the changing dynamics of both higher education and church life."
If the program receives academic accreditation, classes will begin in the Fall 2014 semester.