Chapman Seminary Endowment Fund


Total Pledged Toward $4 Million Goal

Message from the President

DempseyThe Preserving the Future Capital Campaign to endow Chapman Seminary and the School of Religious Studies. This exciting campaign will create a sustaining endowment fund to ensure the longterm viability and success of ministerial education at Oakland City University. Never has there been a campaign more directly related to our mission, and it comes at a critical moment in time for our great institution.

Oakland City University serves as the only General Baptist denominational school of higher education in America. Our students go forth throughout the nation and world with aptitudes to serve God and others. As Christians, we know the Great Commission tells us to go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Our education provides the contextual framework and pragmatic application to send forth graduates who directly answer that extraordinary calling.

Thank you for your kindness and stewardship!

Ron Dempsey, Ph.D.

Chapman Seminary History

Dr. Mercer teaching students

The beginning of a graduate school of theology in 1983 was a continuation and extension of that purpose. After thirty-seven years of existence, Chapman Seminary has repeatedly and successfully sharpened its purpose statement to be comprehensive, inclusive, and ecumenical. Accordingly, Chapman Seminary has drawn to it faculty who represent ecumenicity and students from a wide variety of denominational and non-denominational heritages. The current faculty has had ties to General Baptists, Southern Baptists, Church of God (Anderson), United Methodists, the Disciples of Christ, and the Episcopal Church. Some two-thirds of the student population historically has not been General Baptist; more than a dozen different denominational backgrounds have been represented among students, including several from the main-line denominations. The Chapman Mission Statement accurately refl ects a concern for the Church universal.

Chapman Seminary remains the one and only institute of higher learning for General Baptists, and Chapman explicitly honors its founding denomination through its faculty, its relationship to the denomination specifically, and to the student body. Chapman does not require faculty to sign statements of faith, but the General Baptist Statements of Faith and Social Principles of General Baptists (Appendices, Standard 1) are periodically reviewed at the annual Chapman Retreat. The faculty take active roles in educating and reaching out to General Baptists by participating in workshops at the denomination’s annual meeting as well as workshops for local churches.

What the University is Doing

Fully Online Bachelor’s Degree

Fully Online Masters Degree

Pursual of Online Certificate Programs

Increased Undergrad Scholarship for all GB Church Members

1/3 Scholarship for all GB Grad Students

Seminary Education in the 21st Century

Seminaries across the United States face the challenge of survival in the 21st Century. Student enrollments in many seminaries are on the decline, yet the need for trained leaders has never been greater.  In order to provide a high-quality education, Chapman Seminary needs to be financially endowed. In doing so, we will ensure the long-term viability and success of our beloved seminary.

Love, Dedication, and Service to Chapman Seminary & General Baptists

Dr. Douglas Low
Dean of Chapman Seminary and Professor of New Testament

There is something to be said and admired about a person who gives love, dedication, and a life of service to mission of Oakland City University, Chapman Seminary, and General Baptists. Dr. Douglas Low has taught at the university since 1990. Growing up in Bernie, Missouri and through the Bernie G.B. Church, Dr. Low has a lifetime of heritage and infl uence within General Baptist Ministries.

When asked about why the need for an endowment, Dr. Low responded “Due to the size of the denomination and having a limited number of students to send, tuition alone cannot sustain a standard of excellence. We must maintain a number of full-time professors to ensure a high-quality academic education.”

“The best example I can give regarding the long-term signifi cance of Chapman Seminary is the current Interim Executive Director of the General Association of General Baptists. Dr. Danny Dunivan came to OCU as an undergraduate student with a declared major other than religion. He took one of our classes and felt so strongly that God was calling him in this direction that he changed his major. Now, Dr. Dunivan leads our denomination and the future is bright for General Baptists.”


Alumni Success Stories

Marc Grimes came to Oakland City University in 2003 after accepting the call into ministry. At that time, Rev. Bill McMillen was pastoring First G.B. Church of Flint, Michigan and encouraged Marc to visit the campus. Marc graduated from OCU with a Bachelor’s in Religious Studies in 2004 and earned a Master of Divinity degree in 2008.

For 17 years, Marc has pastored Spurgeon General Baptist Church in Spurgeon, Indiana. He says “Deciding to attend OCU and Chapman Seminary was a labor of love for me, but also one of the best decisions that I’ve made in ministry. I do not know how I would pastor without my theological education from Chapman Seminary. My experiences provided me with a biblical framework to council and minister to my congregation in a holistic way. Additionally, my professors and colleagues instilled a love for scripture like no other.”

Marc and his wife, Emily (also an OCU alumnus), have two children: Mac (11) and Mia (4). He shares about the Parable of the Lost Coin in Luke 15. An underprivileged woman has only 10 silver coins. She loses one of coins;
finds it and decides to throw a party with others. “This what should motivate us as the church to seek the lost. We should seek the lost because they are God’s children who are worth a celebrating. Every single person has  value and worth to God. As Christians, we care about lost people, and we should always show them the love of Christ.”

Marc Grimes


Meet the Reverend Joshua Carpenter, alumnus of Oakland City University. Josh graduated from OCU with a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies, after accepting the call to preach the Gospel as a third-generation pastor. Shortly thereafter, Josh married his high school sweetheart, Kathy, and his pastor at the time, Rev. Jerry  Gregory, recommended he look into Oakland City University as a way of preparing for the ministry. Josh visited campus after receiving a call from Dr. Ora Johnson, Vice President, inviting he and his wife to come and tour OCU. They had a great visit meeting the Chapman staff, and within a few months made the decision to leave Arkansas, and move to Southern Indiana. Currently, Josh serves as Lead Pastor of Grace United General Baptist Church in Paragould, Arkansas. Additionally, he serves on the OCU Board of Trustees, as Secretary. He is a true leader within Oakland City University and the General Association of General Baptists.

Josh says “It is not an exaggeration for me to say that the lessons I learned at Chapman impact my ministry and life on a weekly basis. My theological footing was poured in the classrooms of old Stinson Hall through the lectures of devoted professors and discussions with other hungry students. My Biblical knowledge was forged through the challenges of curriculum that expected thorough study and searching. My faith was stretched by an expectation of not just knowing the right words but knowing what those words mean and how we came know them.” Josh and Kathy Carpenter have three children: Jonah (20), Zoe (16), and Kaleb Carpenter (14). Interestingly, their son, Jonah, is currently a Christian Studies student at OCU, and has also answered the call into preaching.

Josh Carpenter


Endowment Campaign

The endowment will be held and managed by the OCU Board of Trustees. The trustees will decide at their February board meeting on the amount of income produced (the endowment fund’s growth performance during the previous calendar year) to spend in the next fi scal year budget. Any excess funds from growth will be returned to the endowment fund.



  • Pray about your involvement in the campaign
  • Consider the signifi cant role that Chapman plays in the life and history of General Baptists
  • Help build the endowment through significant gifts
  • Consider making a planned gift through bequests and other venues
  • Suggest others who would be interested in serving and supporting the campaign