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Pepperdine Confers Honorary Doctorate Degree Upon Thomas H. Olbricht
Thomas H. Olbricht, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Religion at Pepperdine University and founder of the Christian Scholars’ Conference, will be conferred an honorary doctorate degree Friday, June 17, at 7 p.m. at a dinner event as part of this year’s conference.
“That Tom Olbricht is a dedicated minister, renowned scholar, and prolific author is well known,” notes Pepperdine President Andrew K. Benton. “He has been called the ‘most beloved educator’ in the Churches of Christ and those fortunate to be counted among his friends know how blessed our lives have been to be nourished by his spirit and lifted up by his intellect.”
Olbricht has been a minister in the Churches of Christ for over 50 years, serving as an elder for more than 20. His establishment of the Christian Scholars’ Conference in 1981 has brought institutions of higher education together for three decades with Christian scholars from all academic disciplines. The conference nurtures an intellectual and Christian community that joins individuals and institutions to stimulate networks of scholarly dialogue and collaboration.
For nearly 45 years, Olbright has taught and occupied administrative posts at the University of Iowa, Harding University, the University of Dubuque, Pennsylvania State University, Abilene Christian University, and Pepperdine University, teaching more than 2,000 students who have gone on to become ministers, missionaries, or university professors. He has given scholarly lectures on all continents except for Antarctica and has published more than 20 books and 200 essays in books and journals on church history, the Restoration Movement, biblical theology, rhetoric, and theology.
Olbricht received his S.T.B. with a focus on church history from Harvard Divinity School. He continued to earn his Ph.D. in rhetoric and early church history as well as his M.A. in speech communication from the University of Iowa.