Dr. Mark E. Roberts joined ORU in 1999 as a reference librarian and director of the Holy Spirit Research Center, after nearly eight years of publishing books and several years of pastoring and teaching college. Before becoming dean, he initiated digitizing HSRC (and other ORU) materials to share globally through ORU’s Digital Showcase (http://DigitalShowcase.ORU.eduopens new window), the university’s digital institutional repository.
President Wilson appointed him Dean of Learning Resources in June 2017, after the retirement of the library’s beloved founding dean, Dr. William Jernigan, who served 52 years.
Dean Roberts’ focus for the ORU Library is fourfold: promoting study and deeper reading by students; managing for greatest benefit the growth of Library’s print and digital collections; enchanting users with innovative technologies that can transform teaching and learning; and planning for a new library.
From this focus, in partnership with ORU Information Technology, the Library recently received the Collaboration as a Strategy award from the 2019 Commission on Technology Conference of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities. In April 2020, Roberts received, for the Library, one of three $10,000 Presidential Teach-Off awards to expand the Digital Showcase so it promotes Open-Access learning and new-student recruitment
Roberts helped resurrect Spiritus: [The] ORU Journal of Theology and helps lead the new ORU Press. He has also helped ORU host intellectual and creative events as the past chair of the opens new window President’s Performing Arts & Lecture Series. He teaches university and seminary courses occasionally and church Bible classes often. For hobbies, he publishes freelance and through Word & Spirit Press and plays French horn.
He is currently reading Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith by Michael Reeves (IVP Academic, 2012); Certain Trumpets: The Nature of Leadership by Garry Wills (Simon & Schuster, 1995); Reframing Academic Leadership by Lee G. Bolman and Joan V. Gallos (Jossey-Bass, 2011).
His most recent publications are reviews of opens new windowtwo commentaries on Galatians by Craig Keener (Cambridge University Press, 2018, and Baker Academic, 2019) and of opens new windowA Spiritual Economy: Gift Exchange in the Letters of Paul of Tarsus by Thomas R. Blanton, IV (Yale University Press, 2017); and the chapters "Only Jesus is Savior and Lord? How the New Testament Responds to Religious and Political Pluralism," forthcoming in Proclaiming Christ in the Power of the Holy Spirit: Opportunities and Challenges, edited by Wonsuk Ma and Emmanuel Anim (ORU Press, 2020) and “Evidence of Grace in the Old Testament,” in The Truth about Grace: Spirit-Empowered Perspectives, edited by Vinson Synan (Charisma House & Empowered21, 2018); and the online post opens new window “Verbs First: Targeting the Crucial Action.”
From Vista, California, Roberts attended Palomar College, graduated from Jackson (Miss.) College of Ministries, earned his BA in Religion from Mississippi College, an MA in English from The Ohio State University, and an MA and PhD in Religion (New Testament) from Vanderbilt University. To serve the ORU Library better, Roberts completed the Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education in its Class of 2019. He and his wife Carol (née Crosser) have four adult children and five grandchildren.