Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Leslie Long joins Wimberly School of Religion faculty


Leslie Long, in the OCU chapel

The Wimberly School of Religion is pleased to announce the appointment of Leslie Long as assistant professor of religious education. She fills the position opened upon the retirement of Don Emler after his many years of distinguished service at Oklahoma City University.

Rev. Dr. Long will teach both undergraduates and graduate students in the School of Religion, advise undergraduates majoring in religious education and youth ministry, and advise the Master of Religious Education students. This master’s degree is offered and awarded through OCU, in cooperation with Saint Paul School of Theology at OCU.

Dr. Long’s courses will cover such topics as: the nature and work of Christian education, leadership in Christian education, the Bible in Christian education, theology and Christian education, ministry with youth, ministry with adults, ministry with children and family, and the adolescent world.

Long is an ordained elder in the Oklahoma Conference and most recently served as campus minister at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. Her ministry has included service as pastor at OKC-Selecman UMC and Bethel UMC in Shawnee, as associate at BridgeView UMC in Norman, and as campus minister at Northeastern State University (NSU) in Tahlequah.

Collaborating with Diana Northcutt, she helped design the Youth Worker’s Academy and currently serves as dean. She has volunteered in Camping ministry, working with Joy Camp, district camps, JEM, and CYME. 

Long also has worked as a consultant with The Methodist Church in Bolivia, assisting in writing curriculum for children ages 4-15. That material is used throughout the country in Sunday school programming.

Long received her B.S. from Oklahoma State University, in elementary education; M.Div. from Phillips Theological Seminary; and Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma, in instructional leadership and academic curriculum, with emphasis in early childhood education. She has taught at NSU, OU, and OCU as an adjunct professor.

Don Wheeler, her husband, works for the state Department of Labor. They have three children: Keegan, an OU student, and London and Brenna, students at Norman North High School. 

Sharon Betsworth, director of the Wimberly School of Religion, said, "I am excited to have Rev. Dr. Long joining the faculty. Her experience in youth ministry and campus ministry, as well as her connections within the Oklahoma Conference of The United Methodist Church, will enable her to grow these already well-established programs."


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