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 learning technologies that can transform teaching and learning; and planning for a possible new library or renovation of its existing facilities.
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.
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); and Galatians: New Cambridge Bible Commentary by Craig S. Keener (Cambridge University Press, 2018).
Roberts is currently writing a review on Keener’s commentary, with a colleague; also on how evangelicals’ adoption of contraceptive culture in the mid-twentieth century unwittingly advanced the sexual revolution and its resentment of created nature; and on Paul’s apostolic leadership under fire in his relationship with Corinthian believers.
His most recent publications are a review of opens new windowA Spiritual Economy: Gift Exchange in the Letters of Paul of Tarsus by Thomas R. Blanton, IV (Yale University Press, 2017); “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 windowVerbs 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.