Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

OCU offers elementary teacher certification


Ana Raygoza leads her first-grade class in an English lesson at Oklahoma City’s Westwood Elementary School. She earned a bachelor of science degree from OCU in 2009.

For more than 100 years, Oklahoma City University has enriched our state through sending out pastors, youth workers, attorneys, business leaders, and a host of other professionals. Among them are the quality educators teaching in schools large and small.

They touch the lives of countless students each day.

To further expand the ranks of excellent teachers, OCU recently added a Master of Arts program in teaching elementary education. This set of courses provides an opportunity for a person who already has a bachelor’s degree in another subject to become a certified teacher in elementary schools.

This is the only master’s degree program in Oklahoma that allows candidates to earn certification in one year.

There are two facets: certification and master’s work.

The certification portion consists of 30 hours of coursework and field experience, spanning summer, fall, and spring sessions, achieving certification at the end of the spring session.

The master’s portion consists of two courses taken during a second academic year, while certified candidates are teaching.

Elizabeth Willner, director of teacher education, described the ideal students for this new program: dedicated, intelligent adults who care about elementary-age children.

"If you’re teaching a children’s Sunday School class and you can’t wait for it to begin, or if you live for the start of Vacation Bible School, you may be just the type of person we’re looking for in this program."

Our state faces a shortage of about 1,000 elementary-school teachers. This is OCU’s way of offering a quality education at an accelerated pace that can help address this vital need.

You may contact Dr. Willner at 405-208-5935 or ewillner@okcu.edu to learn more about the Master of Arts in Teaching.

She also enjoys speaking to church and community groups and welcomes invitations to share her insights and messages of hope.


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Senior papers examine local-church ministry

Each senior in OCU’s Wimberly School of Religion writes an extensive research paper as part of the graduation requirements. An annual spring term highlight is when they share the results of their work.

Eleven students gave presentations the evening of Feb. 12 in the Watson Lounge of the Chapel. Their topics ranged from philosophical to practical.

Some explored ministry in The United Methodist Church or with children and youth, as expressed in these titles.

  • Worship in the United Methodist Tradition

  • Sacred Worth: A United Methodist Approach to Interfaith Cooperation

  • Social Media and Technology in Youth Ministry

  • Wonderfully Made: Special Needs Inclusion in the Church

  • Raising Children and Youth in the Church to be Resilient, Drug-free, and Loved

  • Incarceration Prevention for Children with Incarcerated Parents and the Church’s Contribution

Following graduation this spring, some of the students have plans for graduate study, others for seminary, while others plan to immediately serve the local church in ministry.

We celebrate these young people and their dedication to making a difference in the Church and the world.


Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World

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