Oak Hills Christian University (OHCU) is a private non-denominational Christian university located in Bemidji, Minnesota. It was founded in 1946 through the vision of a group of six men who prayed under an Oak tree on the shores of Lake Marquette to ask for land that can be used as a Christian camp and training facility. The group eventually grew into an organization now known as the Oak Hills Fellowship while the Oak tree became the Prayer Oak in recognition of the answered prayer that came through donations from friends and themselves. The university is considered a division of the Fellowship.
During the course of its development, it adapted different names. From the original Oak Hills Training School, it became known as the Oak Hills Bible Institute in 1959, the Oak Hills Bible College in 1985, and the Oak Hills Christian College in 1998. It adapted its present name when it obtained university status. From the original 14 acres established property, the university now occupies at least 180 acres of property on the shores of Lake Marquette. What started as a ministry of camping, evangelism, and church planting, became an important means to a training facility that provides instruction on the Bible, Christian Character, and fellowship.
The university was established by the Fellowship for the purpose of instructing youth and adults in Bible without denominational emphasis or bias. Being interdenominational, its students, faculty, and staff come from various churches. It considers the Bible as central to the formation of a Christian life and worldview. It believes in the salvation of sinners, eternal life, two destinies for believers and unbelievers, the church as headed by Jesus Christ, and the one commission of making Christ known by work and example through the disciples then and the continuing church today.
Academic programs of Oak Hills Christian University include the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies which is also offered in several emphasis options consisting of Children’s Ministry, Intercultural Studies, Pastoral Ministry, Worship Arts, and the Youth Ministry; the Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies and Applied Psychology; the Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies and Small Business Administration; and the Associate of Arts (General) which is also offered in the Biblical Studies Concentration. A one-year Certificate Program in Biblical Studies is also offered. The university also offers Adult Education Programs either for credit or audit based on a non-degree admission. These classes will help students understand God’s work allowing them to minister to other people. Oak Hills Christian University is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education.
Estimated annual educational cost is $19,850.00 inclusive of full-time tuition, room and board, and student activity fee. OHCU has transfer agreements with Crown College and Bemidji State University in relation to availing of financial aid. Regular tuition rates of each institution will apply. Financial aid is provided through federal/state programs, private scholarships and grants, and on-campus jobs.
There are about 175 students currently enrolled at Oak Hills Christian University. The student/faculty ratio is 11:1. Students are given the advantage of living in a close-knit community. They are encouraged to fully develop their potentials by joining Student Leadership Teams in worship, family ministry, student activities, student action leadership, and as resident assistants. The average class size is 18.
Oak Hills Christian University is a participating member of the Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC), the Association of Christian College Athletic (ACCA), and the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC). It fields its athletic teams known as the Wolf Pack in men’s basketball and women’s volleyball. The athletic department also offers intramurals ports such as flag football, and floor hockey, among others.