On Aug. 13, the Robert Haskins School of Christian Ministry will celebrate its graduating class of 2022.

This year, 18 students from around the state will be receiving their diplomas and certificates in pastoral and church ministry. During the previous six years, more than 200 students have been able to take classes, and receive high quality, practical, contextualized ministry training through one of our five programs.

There is a great need in our convention to train existing and prospective leaders to help them minister in many of our smaller in attendance, ethnic and bi-vocational churches. That has been the vision and the goal of our School.

That vision is the continuation of Robert Haskins’ original dream; to help ethnic and bi-vocational pastors, not only survive, but thrive in their particular ministries. For that reason, this year the Haskins School will present Dr. Haskins with the inaugural honorary shepherd’s staff during our graduation celebration.

This honorary shepherd’s staff represents the collective appreciation of Oklahoma Baptists to one special individual who has been a champion for bi-vocational, ethnic and small churches. As the namesake of the school, Dr. Haskins will be the first to be awarded this honor. His dedication as a pastor and a denominational leader for many decades has had a great positive impact in our convention.

Oklahoma Baptists are united by one objective primarily, and that is to take the Gospel to as many people in our communities, our state, our nation and around the world. It is that desire that motivates us to work together in equipping capable pastors and leaders who can lead fruitful ministries.

Thanks to the past and current efforts of thoughtful and compassionate leaders such as Dr. Haskins, we can rest assured that Oklahoma Baptists will continue the wonderful work of training ministry leaders in Oklahoma.

Another milestone for the Haskins School is that it will be graduating its first recipient of the Advanced Diploma in Pastoral Ministry this year. This diploma will be awarded to James R Nowlin, member of Saint Louis, First in Pottawatomie County.

The Haskins School offers certificates and diplomas in church ministry, pastoral ministry and now a new diploma in evangelism and missions. There has never been a better time for someone with the desire to be trained in practical Christian ministry than now.

Besides the four different programs offered in English, the school has its own program, 100 percent in Spanish, known as Instituto Bautista de Oklahoma. This program offers the same certificates and diplomas as its counterparts, completely in Spanish, with online lectures given by prominent Hispanic ministry leaders from around the nation. That means that the students not only receive their course content in their own language but are trained with the Hispanic ministry context in mind.

The same can be said about the other programs designed for Native American, African American, women and small rural church leaders. This is extremely important to the success of the School because every year there is a growing need to identify, equip and send out more ethnic and bi-vocational leaders into the harvest field. The face of our state is rapidly changing, and Oklahoma Baptists have accepted the challenge to assist the local church to minister more effectively in this ever-changing environment.

Receiving a diploma from the Haskins School does not automatically mean that the person is ready to lead a successful ministry in a local church. What it does mean is that the person has acquired the necessary tools to continue learning and applying that knowledge in his or her particular setting. Whether it is pastoral, youth, women, children’s, deacons or evangelism ministry, a graduate from the Haskins School is someone who is willing to work hard and set priorities to accomplish their goals.

If you are a leader looking for an opportunity to receive practical ministry training or sharpen your current skills, consider the Robert Haskins School of Christian Ministry to help you accomplish your goals. Visit us at haskinsschool.org or give us a call at 405/942-3800.