Ohio Christian University
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1476 Lancaster Pike
Circleville, OH 43113
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CEO/Executive Director
Dr. Mark A. Smith
Board Chair
Dr. Thomas Hermiz
Churches of Christ in Christian Union

To prepare students to serve effectively in the church and society by providing a holistic, Christ-centered, and biblically integrated education in the Wesleyan tradition.

Organization Overview

Impact Statement


  • We hired former Ohio State University basketball star Tony Stockman as our new basketball coach, which followed Curtis Christopher ending his coaching career with a third place finish in the National Christian College Athletic Association national tournament.

  • We hosted the Leadership Forum with 1,800 in attendance with NFL quaterback Tim Tebow and best-selling author and Ohio Christian University alumnus Dr. John C. Maxwell as speakers.

  • We received gifts of a building and property worth $2.55 million in Morrow, GA  and will begin offering evening classes designed for busy adults at this site in early 2013.

  • We grew our enrollment from 2,382 to 3,146, winning the Association for Biblical Higher Education Enrollment Growth Award for the sixth consecutive year while starting several new education programs: undergraduate programs in government, pre-nursing, and early childhood development; and a Master of Business Administration.

  • We received two awards for community service in 2012: Medical Mutual Pillar Award and President Obama’s Community Service Honor Roll. These honors are the result of numerous community efforts such as:

    • Annual Ralph P. Starkey Community Action Day with 500 students, employees, and community participants.
    • Christian service programming.
    • Missions trips.
    • Allowing use of OCU facilities by 50,000 people annually.
    • Developing new programs to meet local needs (e.g., agribusiness and logistics management).
    • Employees and students serving on more than 100 boards, committees, and councils, etc.
    • Courses that include service learning.
    • Six deployments of our Disaster Management & Relief students to disaster areas.

2013 GOALS

  • We will increase enrollment to 4,000. To accomplish this we will:

    • Focus on increasing the retention of current students.
    • Start new programs, such as the Master of Management and RN-BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing for those who are already Registered Nurses).
    • Offer programs online that have previously only be offered on-site (Master of Arts in Ministry and Substance Abuse Counseling).
    • Open new education sites (such as one near Atlanta, GA, and another one in Columbus, OH).
  • We will enhance our customer service by developing a customer service vision and setting customer service standards. We began conducting focus group meetings with students last year, and will continue these. We have been regularly assessing student learning and student and alumni satisfaction with their learning experience. We have also been assessing student satisfaction with their student support services, and will begin making objective measurements of student support services.

  • We will raise $5 million to construct a performing arts and ministry center. This building, like all university facilities, would be open to use by the community. The building would also be used as a chapel, allowing larger groups than we can now accommodate.

Background Statement

Ohio Christian University (OCU) was originally founded as Circleville Bible College and received its first students in September 1948. In 1966, the college moved from Circleville to a 40-acre tract on Route 22 east of Circleville, where it remains today. In 1999, OCU began offering a non-traditional adult degree completion program to serve busy adults. In 2007, OCU began offering online degrees. In addition to the main campus in Circleville, classes are also held in 12 other locations, including Columbus, Chillicothe, Dublin, Lancaster, Washington Courthouse, and Nelsonville. OCU was initially created to train ministers. The mission of the University has expanded to prepare individuals to serve both the church and society, and majors are now offered in business, agribusiness, disaster management and relief, intercultural ministries, logistics management, ministry, music, psychology, substance abuse counseling, and teacher education. On January 1, 2006, Dr. Mark A. Smith became the 10th president. In August 2006, the name of the college was changed to Ohio Christian University. Under Dr. Smith’s leadership, enrollment has grown from 380 to 3,146. The president’s administrative cabinet consists of seven vice presidents: provost, vice president for adult and graduate studies, vice president for finance, vice president for student development, vice president for enrollment, vice president for operations, and vice president for university advancement. The president seeks the advice of vice presidents for planning and making decisions, and he has developed an outstanding team. Vice presidents are empowered to lead their area, and are doing a wonderful job of leading the University under the president’s mentorship, as evidenced by OCU's recent success.

Statement from Dr. Mark A. Smith, President

The remarkable growth we have experienced has been achieved by offering new education programs, offering our education programs at additional sites, and offering online education, which has become very popular with busy individuals. The evening and online programs are very convenient for busy adults, and instructors teach both theory and application because most of them are currently employed in their content area. Additional funding would allow OCU to recruit more students, offer programs at additional sites, and provide additional programs and services designed to help retrain the population for twenty first century jobs.

Statement from Dr. Thomas Hermiz , Churches of Christ in Christian Union

OCU is leading efforts to bring new jobs to central Ohio, and OCU’s president, vice presidents, and faculty are involved in every aspect of the life of the community through leading economic development. Pickaway County has the lowest baccalaureate completion rate and highest unemployment rate in the eight-county Columbus metropolitan area. As the only institution of higher education in the county, OCU is uniquely positioned to educate both traditional students (ages 18-23) and busy adults--improving their lives, career opportunities, and overall economic stability of the region. OCU is serving inner-city Columbus with African-American professors who work very closely with the mayor of Columbus to impact the inner-city with education programs.



Dr. Mark A. Smith, 
Term Start 1/2006 
Compensated Yes 
Biographical Statement

Dr. Smith is the president of Ohio Christian University. Prior to coming to Ohio Christian University, from 2001-05 Dr. Smith served as vice president for adult and graduate studies at Indiana Wesleyan University. Prior to that, he was dean at Indiana Wesleyan University. Dr. Smith has a bachelor of arts degree from Hobe Sound College and a master’s degree in college teaching from Northeastern State University. He attended Kansas University’s graduate school. He graduated from West Virginia University with a doctor of education degree. Dr. Smith was elected and served on Marion City Council in Indiana and was appointed for a three-year term by President George Bush to an education board that focused on excellence in education. Dr. Smith completed Harvard University’s Institute of Educational Management for Executive Management. He has published scores of articles for professional and church organizations. 

Mr. Robert Hartman, 
Biographical Statement

Mr. Hartman is the vice president for financial affairs and the chief financial officer for Ohio Christian University. Previously, Mr. Hartman served as the executive director of finance for the College of Adult and Professional Studies and the College of Graduate Studies at Indiana Wesleyan University. Prior to that, he served Union Bible College as its vice president and chief financial officer. Mr. Hartman holds a master in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Dr. Hank Kelly, 
Biographical Statement

Dr. Hank Kelly is provost of Ohio Christian University and is responsible for the university’s traditional and non-traditional on-site and online education programs designed for busy adults. Under his direction, enrollment in the latter program has grown from 166 to 3,000. Previously he was at Indiana Wesleyan University for eight years, responsible for online education, implementing new education programs, and starting new off-campus sites. During those years, online enrollment grew from zero to 3,000. He was in the Air Force for 26 years, serving in many different capacities including commander of a 300-person squadron and 8 years at the Air Force Institute of Technology as an instructor, department head, or associate dean. Dr. Kelly has a Ph.D. in civil engineering and an Ed.D. in educational leadership.

Mr. Mark W. Taylor, 
Biographical Statement

Mr. Taylor is the vice president for university advancement at Ohio Christian University. His past positions include chief financial officer of the Churches of Christ in Christian Union and treasurer/business manager of Circleville City Schools. He holds a BS in accounting from the University of Cincinnati. Mr. Taylor is also the past president of Circleville Rotary Club and is currently a board member of Metropolitan Housing Authority of Pickaway County.

Additional Organization Information
Number of Full-Time Staff: 137 
Number of Part-Time Staff: 22 
Number of Volunteers: 50 
Staff Retention Rate: 95% 


Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Fundraising Plan No
Management Succession/Training Plan No
Organization Policies and Procedures No
Strategic Plan No
Additional Organization Information

Ashland University, Ohio University Chillicothe, Columbus State Community College, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Hocking College, Fairfield Christian School, the Computer Workshop, Wright State University, Southern State Community College, Pickaway Progress Partnership, Pickaway County Community Foundation, Columbus 2020, Tech Columbus, Pickaway Competitiveness Network, Pickaway Higher Education Learning Partners for Students, Salvation Army, Red Cross, All Hands, Samaritan's Purse.

Government Licenses Education
National Accreditations Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools - 10 Year Accreditation


Local Governing Board
Board Chair Dr. Thomas Hermiz,
Board Chair Term 8/2012 -  8/2014  
Board Members
Rev. Joe Atherly,  
Rev. Michael Aubrey,  
Rev. Kevin Behrer,  
Dr. Connie Bowman,  
Mr. Dan Davitz,  
Rev. Brad Dixon,  
Rev. Joe Duvall,  
Mr. Dan Fouts,  
Dr. Tom Griffin,  
Rev. Gary Heimbach,  
Rev. Mike Holbrook,  
Dr. Gideon King,  
Mr. Leonard Kuhns,  
Rev. Jason Otero,  
Rev. Ron Reese,  
Rev. Frank Skies,  
Dr. Mark A. Smith,  
Mr. Philip Tipton,  
Mr. Gary Uber,  
Additional Organization Information
Board Meetings Annually
Board Meeting Attendance 92% 
Board Member Monetary Contributions 182%
Board Member In-kind Contributions 182%
Gender Female 5%
  Male 95%
Race African-American/Black 10%
  Asian-American/Pacific Islander 0%
  Caucasian 90%
  Hispanic/Latino 0%
  Native American/American Indian 0%
  Multi-Racial 0%
  Other 0%
Advisory Board
No members in the Advisory Board.


Post-Secondary Education

OCU offers associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees in business, disaster management and relief, government, ministry, music, pre-nursing, psychology, sports management, substance abuse counseling, and teacher education.  Education is offered on the campus in a traditional daytime mode. OCU also offers busy adults non-traditional on-site and online educational programs designed for both convenience and maximum learning. On-site classes are held once a week in the evening or on Saturdays at various locations, including Dublin, Columbus State Community College, and two other locations in Columbus. Online classes are offered asynchronously for maximum convenience and flexibility.  Finally, OCU offers post-secondary enrollment option (PSEO) classes to high school students on the Circleville campus, at some high school campuses, and online. These students earn both high school and college credits for taking these classes. 

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Data reflects three most recently completed fiscal years.

Current Fiscal Year 07/01/2012 - 06/30/2013
Projected Revenue $29,542,000
Projected Expense $29,145,936
Endowment Fund Yes
Value $1,069,601
Current Capital Campaign? No
Anticipate a capital campaign in next 5 years? Yes

Revenues by Source

  2012   2011   2010  
Total Direct Support $3,612,310  $948,521  $945,184 
Direct Support Foundations
Direct Support Corporations
Direct Support Individuals
Direct Support Unspecified $3,612,310  $948,521  $945,184 
Government $236,159  $1,441,847 
Indirect Public Support
Earned Revenue $16,989,093  $13,693,072  $9,732,824 
Interest and Dividends $124,109  $219,768  $220,072 
Membership Dues
Special Events
Other $4,425,649  $3,433,803  $2,381,337 
TOTAL REVENUE $25,151,161  $18,531,323  $14,721,264 

Expense by Type

  2012   2011   2010  
Programs $17,350,391  $13,588,958  $8,817,012 
Administration $2,643,336  $1,405,704  $2,629,741 
Fundraising $1,015,054  $659,198  $436,071 
Payment to Affiliates
TOTAL EXPENSES $21,008,781  $15,653,860  $11,882,824 

Assets and Liabilities

  2012   2011   2010  
Total Assets $30,771,043  $24,027,578  $19,325,067 
Current Assets $7,042,509  $7,345,250  $5,163,194 
Total Liabilities $15,583,577  $12,982,492  $11,108,940 
Current Liabilities $6,664,295  $4,400,634  $2,641,102 
NET ASSETS $15,187,466  $11,045,086  $8,216,127 


TCF Staff:
Documents Form 990 2011 Form 990 2010

All portrait information is provided voluntarily by nonprofit organizations. An organization may decline to participate. At a minimum, information is updated annually--sometimes more frequently. Documents indicated as available by an organization are verified by Foundation staff. The financial section is completed by Foundation staff based on available documents for a three-year period.