Dr. Tim Ekblad is an Assistant Professor of Practical Theology in the ORU Graduate School of Theology and Missions and director of the Modular and Distance Education Program. When he received the call in January 2007 that a teaching/administrative position that had become available, Ekblad was certain that God was directing his steps back to ORU.  “The opportunity to lead others in this path of degree completion was very appealing,” says Ekblad.  “And the opportunity to multiply my ministry by teaching others out of my experience in pastoral ministry is also very rewarding.”

Ekblad grew up in Wilmar, Minnesota, in a family with many ministers. His fraternal grandfather emigrated from Sweden and pastored Swedish Baptist churches in America his entire career. His maternal grandfather was a lay Lutheran minister. Together, they helped a young pastor start the first Assembly of God church in Willmar, Minnesota. Several uncles, a brother-in-law and sister, and many cousins are also in full-time ministry and have been influential in shaping Ekblad’s career. 

True to his heritage, in the first grade, Ekblad accepted Jesus as his Savior at his churches’ Vacation Bible School.  In junior high, he received the baptism in the Holy Spirit at Lake Geneva youth camp.  And at the age of nineteen, he received a definite calling to ministry, at a crusade meeting.  

Prior to coming to ORU, Dr. Ekblad spent 24 years providing leadership and developing positive cultures within a number of Christian organizations. Two of these were churches that he served as the founding pastor, and a third was an evangelistic ministry called Flaming Hearts Ministries International where he is the current president. In a two-year period, he had the privilege of conducting 276 evangelistic meetings in Brazil and in Brazilian churches across America. He also spent three years as the director of Global Ministries Training Institute in Billings, MT; was an adjunct faculty member, teaching courses in theology, Bible, and ethics at North Central University in Minneapolis, MN; and was a contracted certified instructor for Northwest Airline employees. His pastoral ministry also includes experience with youth, Christian education, young adults, worship, and as an assistant or associate pastor in churches of all sizes in Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana.

Communicating the Gospel through effective preaching, and leadership development are ongoing passions with Ekblad.  He believes in and practices lifelong learning in order to stay intellectually alert and professionally competent, exercises daily and eats nutritionally balanced meals to stay physically fit.  To stay spiritually alive, he spends time in personal devotions and corporate worship and implements a lifestyle of giving. “I enjoy the daily use of my personal prayer language,” he states, “and the flow of the gifts of the Spirit in and through my life as the Holy Spirit leads.”

Dr. Ekblad and his wife Shawn were married in 1982 and have two wonderful sons: Trent (b.1989) is a student at ORU, and Tori (b. 1996) is in high school.  Both boys are talented musicians.  As a family, they love to spend time traveling or enjoying water activities together.  Ekblad also enjoys racquetball, swimming, travel and relaxing rides on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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