|Ozark Christian College in Joplin will celebrate its 70th anniversary on Tuesday, June 12, 2012. The school was founded on June 12, 1942 in Bentonville, Arkansas. Two years later it moved to Joplin where it has remained for the past 68 years.
The school is a focused Bible college training men and women for Christian service. An average of 90% of each graduating class enters vocational ministry.
OCC President Matt Proctor said, "Joplin has been a great community for our college family. Our employees, students and alumni are scattered throughout Joplin where they serve as church leaders, community volunteers, loyal employees, not-profit directors, and even city officials, and we trust that OCC has been a quiet but steady influence for good in the city."
The college was heavily involved in relief activities after the EF5 tornado on May 22, 2011. The entire campus was used in these ways: Red Cross Command Center, housing for 3,300 volunteers in the dorms, child care, doctors office and meeting place for three churches that lost their buildings.
Joplin's Mayor, Melodee Colbert-Kean, wrote in her proclamation, "Stable leadership has been a hallmark of OCC throughout its history and will be the guiding force for future improvements and expansion of their ministry." OCC has had only five presidents and five academic deans during its 70 year history.
The school is a positive influence on the Joplin community and surrounding area. The annual operating budget is over $9,800,000, which is spent mostly in the greater Joplin area. Campus events including The Living Christmas Tree, the Preaching-Teaching Convention and several youth events bring more than 20,000 guests to Joplin annually.
Many students work in the Joplin area during their college years; some remain. In addition, over the years many alumni have moved back to Joplin in their retirement years.
OCC students participate in thousands of hours of volunteer service each year. College personnel serve on the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce boards and committees.
OCC's campus includes 16 buildings on 85 acres and is located at 1111 N. Main St. The first Joplin campus was located at 516 N. Wall St. It moved to the present location in 1963.