As an evangelical Christian university of The Wesleyan Church, Oklahoma Wesleyan University models a way of thought, a way of life, and a way of faith. It is a place of serious study, honest questions, and critical engagement, all in the context of a liberal arts community that honors the Primacy of Jesus Christ, the Priority of Scripture, the Pursuit of Truth, and the Practice of Wisdom.
- The Primacy of Jesus Christ as the incarnate Son of God, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is the lens for all learning and the Lord of our daily lives.
- The Priority of Scripture as the inerrant and authoritative written Word of God that guides us in all matters of faith, learning, and living.
- The Pursuit of Truth as an objective, attainable reality grounded in the person and example of Jesus Christ and anchored in the Bible.
- The Practice of Wisdom as the goal for all members of the university community, who work to promote healing and wholeness in a broken culture and hurting world.
Statement of Faith
- That the Bible, composed of the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired and inerrant Word of God and is the supreme and final authority in faith and life
- That there is one God, eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- In Jesus Christ as truly God and truly man, His virgin birth, His vicarious death, His bodily resurrection, and His promised second coming
- In the personality of the Holy Spirit and that the Spirit’s ministry is to reveal Christ unto mankind
- That God created mankind and the universe by special operation of divine power
- In the fall of mankind and the consequent sinful nature of all humanity which necessitates a divine atonement
- In justification by grace through faith and in regeneration by the Holy Spirit, who makes the penitent believer a new creature in Christ; and that, although God holds tenaciously to His own, it is possible for believers to repudiate faith in Christ, and unless they turn back to saving faith, be eternally lost. But by the grace of God such persons may by true repentance and faith find forgiveness and restoration
- That entire sanctification is an act of divine grace wrought in the believer through an act of the Holy Spirit whereby the Spirit takes full possession, cleanses, and equips for service on condition of total surrender and obedient faith
- That the gifts of the Spirit are given to believers as God wills for the purpose of edifying and strengthening believers and are not the evidence of the Spirit’s fullness, nor are they necessary for salvation. We affirm the miraculous use of languages and the interpretation of languages in its Biblical and historical setting; however, speaking or praying in an unknown language is not the evidence of the baptism with the Holy Spirit (or of the entire sanctification which the baptism accomplishes) and is therefore not to be promoted among us
- In the personal existence of Satan
- That the Scriptures plainly teach the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, the everlasting happiness of the saved, and the everlasting and conscious suffering of the lost
- That all true Christians, assisted by the Holy Spirit, give evidence of a true faith by their good works and social concern
The Wesleyan Church founded Oklahoma Wesleyan University in order to provide higher education within a Christian environment for Wesleyan youth. Its predecessor, Bartlesville Wesleyan College, was established on the Bartlesville campus as a result of a series of mergers that included Colorado Springs Bible College, founded in 1910 in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Pilgrim Bible College, founded in 1917 in Pasadena, California; and Holiness Evangelistic Institute founded in 1932 in El Monte, California, and later named Western Pilgrim College.
In 1959, the Bartlesville campus was purchased, and Colorado Springs Bible College was moved to Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The college, renamed Central Pilgrim College, held its first classes in September 1959. The following fall, Western Pilgrim College was merged with Central Pilgrim College. The name Bartlesville Wesleyan College was adopted in 1968 after the merger of the Wesleyan Methodist and Pilgrim Holiness churches. In the fall of 1972, Miltonvale Wesleyan College (founded in Miltonvale, Kansas by the Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1909) was consolidated with BWC on the Bartlesville campus.