Ohio Christian University
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1476 Lancaster Pike
Circleville, OH 43113
Mr. Mark Taylor  
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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 grew enrollment from 3,146 to 3,711 students.

  • Our men's basketball team won the NCCAA Division II National Championship for the second year in a row.

  • We completed the 30,000 square foot, $6.5 million Dean and Diana Hickman Student Center. The building includes a cafeteria, café, bookstore, intramural gym, and game room, as well as classrooms, and offices.

  • We hosted a Leadership Forum with Dr. John Maxwell, Dr. Ben Carson, and Senator Rick Santorum.

  • We graduated our first students in the MBA and master of management programs, and started these new degree programs: AA in biblical studies, BA in criminal justice, BA in organizational leadership, and a BS completion program in nursing (RN-BSN).


  • We will increase enrollment to 4,500 by focusing on student retention, offering new degree programs, and opening new sites.

  • We will create a customer service culture by implementing new customer service strategies.

  •  We will raise $6.2 million to construct a performing arts and ministry center; $4.1 million has been pledged to date.

  • We will raise $4.9 million to construct the Business Innovation Center; $2.9 million has been pledged to date.

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 21st 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 graduated from West Virginia University with a doctor of education degree. Dr. Smith was appointed for a three-year term by President George Bush to an education board that focused on excellence in education. He now serves on the Columbus 2020 board and is chairman of the Association for Biblical Higher Education board. 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: 198 
Number of Part-Time Staff: 23 
Number of Volunteers: 120 
Staff Retention Rate: 90% 


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, and American Red Cross.

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 6/2014 -  6/2018  
Board Members
Rev. Joe Atherly,  
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. Ron Reese,  
Rev. Frank Skies,  
Dr. Mark A. Smith,  
Dr. Dan Tipton,  
Mr. Philip Tipton,  
Mr. Gary Uber,  
Rev. Oliver Wallace,  
Additional Organization Information
Board Meetings Annually
Board Meeting Attendance 94% 
Board Member Monetary Contributions 100%
Board Member In-kind Contributions 100%
Gender Female 5%
  Male 95%
Race African-American/Black 11%
  Asian-American/Pacific Islander 0%
  Caucasian 89%
  Hispanic/Latino 0%
  Native American/American Indian 0%
  Multi-Racial 0%
  Other 0%
Advisory Board
No members in the Advisory Board.


Adult and Graduate Studies

Ohio Christian University's College of Adult and Graduate Studies offers associate, bachelor, and master's degrees in an accelerated degree program format designed for busy adults. OCU offers online education and evening or Saturday classes at campuses in Ohio and Georgia to make earning a degree convenient, flexible, and affordable. Classes are offered at four Columbus locations and at The Computer Workshop in Dublin, OH.

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Traditional Undergraduate Programs

Ohio Christian University offers associate and bachelor 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.

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Trailblazer Academy

Ohio Christian University offers high school students the opportunity to take college courses at the Circleville campus through the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO). Additionally, our program allows students to take college courses online and at select high schools. These students earn both high school and college credit for taking these classes. PSEO is an option for qualifying students attending more than 60 Ohio high schools.

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Data reflects three most recently completed fiscal years.

Current Fiscal Year 07/01/2014 - 06/30/2015
Projected Revenue $32,054,870
Projected Expense $30,649,448
Endowment Fund Yes
Value $3,726,624
Current Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Start/End Dates 7/2012 - 6/2015
Campaign Goal $16,100,000

Our capital campaign is designed to raise $16.1 million. The funds are to be used to construct a performing arts and ministry center, a business innovation center, and for our general scholarship fund. 

Revenues by Source

  2014   2013   2012  
Total Direct Support $6,263,900  $2,681,782  $3,612,310 
Direct Support Foundations
Direct Support Corporations
Direct Support Individuals
Direct Support Unspecified $6,263,900  $2,681,782  $3,612,310 
Indirect Public Support
Earned Revenue $24,816,039  $22,867,465  $16,989,093 
Interest and Dividends $405,083  $160,097  $124,109 
Membership Dues
Special Events
Other $2,476,468  $5,151,669  $4,425,649 
TOTAL REVENUE $33,961,490  $30,861,013  $25,151,161 

Expense by Type

  2014   2013   2012  
Programs $24,604,476  $22,839,040  $17,350,391 
Administration $2,377,490  $2,678,663  $2,643,336 
Fundraising $1,080,679  $972,124  $1,015,054 
Payment to Affiliates
TOTAL EXPENSES $28,062,645  $26,489,827  $21,008,781 

Assets and Liabilities

  2014   2013   2012  
Total Assets $39,946,211  $39,645,795  $30,771,043 
Current Assets $12,421,256  $13,498,298  $7,042,509 
Total Liabilities $14,488,714  $20,087,143  $15,583,577 
Current Liabilities $5,952,506  $11,390,054  $6,664,295 
NET ASSETS $25,457,497  $19,558,652  $15,187,466 


TCF Staff:

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.