Named for the outstanding Mississippi Baptist industrialist Owen Cooper and his wife Elizabeth, the institute promotes missions awareness, conducts missions seminars, provides training, assists with planning of university affiliated mission trips, and evaluates the disbursement of missions funds. By providing opportunities for local, national, and international mission experiences, the institute prepares students to communicate the Gospel responsibly in an intercultural context. Owen Cooper was the only Mississippian to serve as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of only two laymen to serve in that position.

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