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The Dr. Gary J. Oliver Endowed Chair

John Brown University

John Brown University

Siloam Springs, AR, USA
Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The Dr. Gary J. Oliver Endowed Chair

Posted 09/12/2023

View Position Booklet (PDF)

Opportunity Overview

The Center for Healthy Relationships (CHR) seeks to fill the position of the Dr. Gary J. Oliver Endowed Chair with a relational leader and educator. In support of the Executive Director, the Chair will bring content expertise concerning relationships and marriage, relational acumen within diverse networks, educational proficiency and strategic thought.

The CHR operates as an endowed center within John Brown University (JBU). The CHR provides practical resources that encourage and empower the growth of healthy, resilient relationships in personal, collegiate, and professional settings. Strengthening marriages at all stages of family life, the original mandate of the CHR, continues to be a strong focus. A core value is the faithful integration of psychology, theology, and spiritual formation practices in the resources developed by the CHR. The CHR serves a diverse community including JBU students, faculty, and staff, as well as churches, mental health clinicians, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and the general population of Northwest Arkansas (NWA) and surrounding areas.

As the CHR grows over the next decade, our goal is to develop and work with a diverse network of churches and the therapeutic community to support marriages and families, as well as provide businesses and organizations with materials and training to enhance healthy relationships in the workplace. Specifically, the CHR plans to develop innovative resources that will strengthen relational resiliency in each of these contexts.

CHR History

The CHR opened in 1998 as the Center for Marriage and Family Studies on the JBU campus through a generous gift from the Wingate Foundation. From the beginning, under the leadership of Dr. Gary Oliver, the CHR has been dedicated to helping individuals and couples lay a foundation for healthy relationships, strong marriages, and vital families.

One of the CHR’s early efforts was to develop a master’s degree program in counseling at JBU. In addition to student scholarships, the CHR established and managed a community clinic, which was eventually transferred to the JBU Graduate Counseling program and became the foundation for what is now the Community Counseling Clinic. The CHR continues to offer support to the Graduate Counseling program through scholarships and the hiring of Graduate Fellows.

In addition to serving the JBU campus, the CHR continues to provide events, workshops, programs, and resources for community members, churches, and church leadership in Northwest Arkansas, nationally, and globally. The CHR develops emotional and relational assessment tools for churches and colleges. The CHR’s success was recognized in 2006 when the Federal Office of Family Assistance awarded JBU a “healthy marriage demonstration grant”. This grant provided several million dollars in funding over 5 years, which enabled the CHR to expand services to the broader community. In 2011, a second round of funding was awarded.

In September 2022, Rosemary Flaaten began as the Executive Director. Her vision is to lead the CHR in substantial growth by building on the foundation and reputation of the Center and meeting the increasing need for current and innovative relational resources. Presently, the CHR is conducting a large-scale research project to identify the contemporary needs for marriages in NWA. The data gathered will inform the strategies to scale the work of the CHR. The Chair will play a critical role in the development and implementation of these strategies.

The Endowed Chair Role

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Chair is responsible for:

Relationship Development

  • Build networks among ministerial leaders, the therapeutic community, businesses, non-profit organizations, and the NWA community at large.
  • In collaboration with the Executive Director, develop and implement a strategic plan for servicing these networks with resources for resilient, healthy relationships

Content Development

  • Serve as a content expert, by incorporating psychological and theological-based approaches into resources for healthy relationships and marriage.
  • Review, select, organize, and curate relational materials for the network to access.
  • Analyze research to ensure resources developed by CHR are current and data-informed.


  • Teach graduate and/or undergraduate courses in Counseling, Psychology, and Family and Human Services (12 credits per year)
  • Deliver resources through professional development seminars, workshops, and training.

Essential Attributes/Qualifications

  • Demonstrated ability to develop strong relationships and build networks in a community and engage collaboratively with a diversity of viewpoints and/or populations.
  • Demonstrated competency in designing, implementing, and disseminating original content on relational topics and marriage.
  • Masters level degree in Counseling, Psychology, Christian ministry leadership, or another relevant field.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in teaching at the graduate or undergraduate level in one of the potential disciplines.
  • A committed follower of Jesus Christ.

Preferred Attributes/Qualifications

  • A terminal degree in Counseling, Psychology, Christian ministry leadership, or another relevant field.
  • Professional Licensure in Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology, or Social Work with competency in a variety of therapeutic approaches.
  • Success in securing internal or external grant funding.
  • Demonstrated experience in either a business setting or a pastoral position.
  • Demonstrated record of scholarly and/or trade publications.
  • Demonstrated ability as an effective and engaging communicator.


A competitive salary exists which will be commensurate with training and/or experience. In addition, JBU offers a comprehensive benefits package including 403(b) retirement plan, medical and dental insurance, tuition remission, leave related to the birth of a child, adoption leave, and moving expenses.

Important Dates

Position begins the summer of 2024. The CHR will work with the successful candidate on a mutually agreeable starting date.  Applications are being accepted, and the screening process is anticipated to start on November 15, 2023, and continue until the position is filled.


John Brown University’s mission is to provide Christ-centered education that prepares people to honor God and serve others by developing their intellectual, spiritual, and professional lives. Founded in 1919, JBU is a Christ-centered, Biblically-faithful, interdenominational university that represents the best of Protestant evangelicalism in our commitment to the following theological principles: the fundamental human need for conversion and lifelong discipleship; the centrality of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection for the redemption of human beings; high regard for, and obedience to, the Bible as our authority; and active involvement in a local church, in missions and in ministries that work for Biblical justice and serve people in need. At JBU, we seek to integrate faith and learning, foster holistic Christian formation, promote pragmatic liberal arts education, and prepare people to follow Christ’s call to serve others in all areas of life. All employees must affirm JBU’s Employee Expectations and Articles of Faith.
With more than 2,250 students from 37 states and 42 countries, JBU offers over 50 undergraduate programs, seven fully online bachelor’s degrees and 12 graduate degrees in business, education, cybersecurity and counseling. The Higher Learning Commission accredits JBU and holds program-specific accreditations from various agencies. More information is available at jbu.edu/accreditation.
JBU has benefited from stable and excellent leadership throughout the organization. President Chip Pollard started in 2004 and has led the organization in consistently meeting enrollment goals, completing two capital campaigns and launching a third, completing two strategic plans and launching a third, 17 major building projects, encouraging efforts to recruit and retain diverse faculty, staff, and students, and navigating the educational and financial challenges of the pandemic successfully. He served on the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) board for thirteen years and as chair for five years. Most of the president’s cabinet has served for over 20 years, and all cabinet members have held volunteer leadership positions in the CCCU, ACSD, CIC, NACUBO, and other higher education associations. JBU’s board of trustees are people of deep Christian faith, generous spirit, and professional expertise, with an average length of service of 11 years. They are deeply committed to maintaining JBU’s mission to educate students to honor God and serve others.
JBU has experienced a season of God’s favor and blessing, for which we are grateful. In the last 20 years, JBU has received over $300 million in gifts and grants and has built or renovated over 90% of the university’s facilities. JBU has only about $4 million of debt on over $220 million of assets. During that same time, JBU’s endowment has grown from about $50 million to over $150 million, much of it dedicated to scholarships and academic programs and to support maintenance costs for new facilities. This financial strength has enabled JBU to retain excellent faculty and staff with consistent compensation increases and funds for faculty and staff development. JBU has not been not immune to the economic and cultural challenges facing higher education, but it is positioned better than many institutions to respond.
JBU has received national recognition from many national newspapers and industry journals. For instance, in eight out of the last nine years, the Chronicle of Higher Education has named JBU on its “high honor roll” in its “Great Place to Work” survey. The Wall Street Journal has named JBU to its Best Colleges list since 2019, ranking us the top private school in Arkansas (2020) and top Arkansas university overall (2022, 2024). We are typically in the top 10% in our category (master’s level universities in the South) in U.S. News and World Report rankings.
JBU is located in Northwest Arkansas, a region predicted to have the third fastest job growth rate in the country behind only Austin, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina. Three of the largest corporations in the world are located here—Walmart, Tyson Foods, and JB Hunt—and there is a growing technology, entrepreneurial, and art business ecosystem in the region. The quality of life is enhanced with a world-class art museum, Crystal Bridges, 25 miles from campus, over 400 miles of mountain biking trails, several state and national historic sites, parks, and large lakes, and a new $33 million whitewater rafting park just five miles south of campus. Siloam Springs has approximately 18,350 people with affordable housing and good private and public schools.


JBU desires to increase the diversity of its faculty, staff, and students to honor how all humans are created in the image of God, to reflect better the diversity of the Kingdom of God, to further our Christian commitment to justice, and to increase the quality of our educational experience. JBU is pursuing the goal of teaching and working in a multicultural environment and strongly encourages applications from ethnic minorities and women. For more information, visit our diversity webpage.

More information about JBU

summary describing the university and CHR (https://liferelationships.com) are available online.

Physical demands and work environment:

  • Physical demands: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to walk; stand; sit; use hands; reach with hands and arms; balance; stoop; talk and hear. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 15 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.
  • Work environment: The noise level in the work environment is usually minimal.


Please upload the following documents to the "Upload Your Documents" page:

  1. Letter of Interest
  2. Your resume or CV
  3. Faculty application (completed and signed)
  4. Statement of Christian Commitment -regarding your relationship with Jesus Christ and your Christian Commitment (integration of faith and learning) related to your teaching, scholarship and/or service.

The employee is expected to adhere to all University policies.

Contact Information:
Office of Human Resources
John Brown University
2000 West University Street
Siloam Springs, AR 72761
Phone: 479.524.7197
e-mail: jobs@jbu.edu