SHAWNEE—Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) announced the addition of Heath Thomas as dean of the Herschel H. Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry and associate vice president for church relations. Thomas will assume his duties effective Dec. 1.
Thomas earned a bachelor of arts degree in English literature at OBU, with a minor in Bible. He earned a master of arts degree in theology from Southwestern Seminary. He then earned a Ph.D. in Old Testament from the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham, United Kingdom.
He currently serves as associate professor of Old Testament & Hebrew at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. He likewise serves as the director of Ph.D. studies and as general editor of the “Southeastern Theological Review.”
OBU president David W. Whitlock believes that God directed the search process to the right man to serve as dean of the Hobbs College. “We are excited to welcome Dr. Thomas to the OBU community and look forward to his leadership of the Hobbs College. His passion for our University as an alumnus, coupled with his knowledge of God’s word and dedication to the Lord’s service, make him an ideal candidate. He is well suited to lead graduates from the Hobbs College in ministry preparation for service in these challenging times. I’m excited to see where his vision takes the Hobbs College into the future. I’m equally excited to see where his leadership will take OBU in our church relations efforts. This dual role will help the Hobbs College expand and train more Christian leaders beyond our campus, making a global impact for training leaders for Christ.”
Thomas is anxious to come back to his alma mater to lead the Hobbs College. “This is an exciting time in theological education, and OBU is a wonderful place to train men and women for teaching and ministerial service,” he said. “As an alumnus of this university, the thought of coming back to serve was almost too good to be true. But God in his goodness opened this door, and we were happy to walk through it.”
Thomas and his wife, Jill, have four children. He grew up in Texas and Oklahoma, and his father served as a pastor for 40 years. Thomas has likewise served on staff in four churches in Oklahoma, Texas and the United Kingdom.
/// Emerson joins OBU theology faculty
Oklahoma Baptist University is pleased to announce the addition of Matthew Emerson, who joins the faculty of the Herschel H. Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry as assistant professor of biblical and theological studies.
Emerson earned a bachelor of science degree in finance with a minor in religious studies from Auburn University. He then earned a master of divinity degree in Christian ministry and a doctor of philosophy degree in biblical theology, both from Southeastern Seminary. He is the author of the book, “Christ and the New Creation: A Canonical Approach to the Theology of the New Testament.”
Before joining the OBU faculty, he served as assistant professor of Christian studies at California Baptist University, as well as the chair of the Department of Arts and Sciences and the faculty lead for Christian studies. He previously served as an adjunct faculty member at Grand Canyon University and a teaching fellow at Southeastern Seminary. His ministry experience includes more than three years as a minister of education and evangelism.