Oral Roberts University (ORU) ,based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the United States, is an interdenominational, Charismatic Christian, comprehensive university with an enrollment of about 3,790 students from 49 U.S. states along with a significant number of international students from 70 countries. Founded in 1963, the university is named for its late founder, evangelist Oral Roberts, and is the largest Charismatic Christian university in the world.
The school fronts on South Lewis Avenue between East 75th Street and East 81st Street in South Tulsa. Sitting on a 500-acre (2.0 km2) campus, ORU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), and offers over 65 undergraduate degree programs along with a number of masters and doctoral degrees. ORU is classified as Doctoral/Research University by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. ORU was also ranked as one of 123 institutions in the 2009 “Best in the West” regional list produced by The Princeton Review.
According to the university it was founded by Oral Roberts in 1963 “as a result of the evangelist Oral Roberts’ obeying God’s mandate to build a university on God’s authority and the Holy Spirit. God’s commission to Oral Roberts was to ‘Raise up your students to hear My voice, to go where My light is dim, where My voice is heard small, and My healing power is not known, even to the uttermost bounds of the earth. Their work will exceed yours, and in this I am well pleased’.” The first students enrolled in 1965.
The school was accredited in 1971 by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It is also accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Oral Roberts’ son Richard Roberts was named president in 1993. In October 2007 Roberts took a leave of absence, citing a lawsuit filed by former ORU professors. Tulsa evangelist Billy Joe Daugherty and Oral Roberts were named executive regent and interim president of the university amid a widely publicized scandal and Richard Roberts resigned the following month.
In October 2007 the school was reportedly “struggling financially” with over $50 million in debt. ORU’s operating budget for 2007-2008 was more than $82 million. However, in the second quarter of 2009, the university’s debt was reduced to $720,000 as of result of a number of simultaneous efforts including a $70 million gift from the Green family of Oklahoma City and the $25 Million Dollar Matching Campaign, a part of the university’s Renewing the Vision effort. On September 23, 2009, it was announced at the end of the university’s chapel service that all of the university’s long-term debt obligations had been met and the school was debt-free.
In January 2009, the university’s presidential search committee recommended Dr. Mark Rutland, President of Southeastern University in Florida, to succeed Richard Roberts, which the Board of Trustees approved. Rutland took office on July 1, 2009 as the third president.
ORU’s graduate program in Theology and Ministry is focused solely on developing men and women of God who are leaders in Christian ministry, both for service in churches throughout the United States and in churches and missions worldwide. The program is an international school including students representing many nations in attendance. The education you receive through the graduate program will immerse you deeply in the teachings of the Bible and equip you with the theological training you need to confidently lead others in the path directed by the Holy Spirit.