Oral Roberts University (ORU), based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the United States, is an interdenominational, Christian, comprehensive liberal arts university with an enrollment of about 3,661 students. Founded in 1963, the university is named after its late founder, evangelist Oral Roberts, and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).
The school fronts on South Lewis Avenue between East 75th Street and East 81st Street in South Tulsa. Sitting on a 263-acre (1.06 km2) campus, ORU offers over 65 undergraduate degree programs along with a number of masters and doctoral degrees. ORU is classified as Master’s University by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. ORU was also ranked as one of 123 institutions in the 2012 “Best in the West” regional list produced by The Princeton Review.
Founded to educate the whole person – spirit, mind and body – Oral Roberts University promises a thorough education in the context of a vibrant Christ-centered community.
ORU is a place for advancing knowledge, pursuing intellectual discovery and building life-long friendships in a vibrant campus community. ORU students are empowered on the quest for wholeness; having the time of their lives, while preparing for their life’s mission.
Faculty members educated at the nation’s top graduate schools serve as academic, professional and spiritual mentors to students.
ORU continues to redefine what it means to be a leading Christian university by embracing a globalized format at home and abroad. The Tulsa campus is home to students from all 50 U.S. states and 86 international countries. ORU and its students also deliver the Whole Person distinctive to all inhabited regions through distance learning, study abroad, educational partnerships, missions and outreach work, all anchored in a Christian worldview.
The university was founded by Oral Roberts in 1965 “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 Mart 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 Mark Rutland, President of Southeastern University of the Assemblies of God in Florida, to succeed Richard Roberts, which the Board of Trustees approved. Rutland took office on July 1, 2009 as the third president
The university’s residential policy requires all unmarried undergraduate students who are younger than 25 to live on campus, although exceptions are made for those students who live with their parents within the Tulsa area. Men and women are housed in separate dormitory facilities on campus with student access to housing of the opposite sex largely restricted. In addition to having a chaplain on every “wing” of each dormitory, there are also Residential Advisers for each floor, who enforce curfew, take attendance at Chapel services, and serve as “go-to persons” for students living on their floors. As well, each floor has an Academic Peer Adviser (APA) who serves to offer or facilitate tutoring services to students who need assistance with their studies; the APA also keeps students informed of academic news and obligations. Every Monday night is a mandatory Hall Meeting at which announcements are made by dorm leadership.