Wade Christensen was born on December 14, 1954, in El Reno, Oklahoma, the hometown of his mother, Clairce Jo. There his father James D. Christensen worked as a school principal. He grew up playing football, basketball and track. He became active in Future Farmers of America (FFA) and was named Oklahoma's "star farmer" as a senior at Thomas High School. He also received the award for "star agribusinessman" in the national Western Region.
Mr. Christensen earned a bachelor's degree in business administration at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. After graduating from OSU, he joined his family in Thomas, Oklahoma, farming wheat and cattle and selling farm equipment for two years before attending the University of Tulsa College of Law.
Mr. Christensen currently works as an attorney in Oklahoma City. He and his wife, Governor Mary Fallin, first met as students at Oklahoma State University, and later became reacquainted through their church. They were married in November 2009, and their combined family includes six children.