Commitments

Founding Vision

Build Me a university, build it on My authority, and on the Holy Spirit. 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.

Mission

To build Holy Spirit-empowered leaders through whole person education to impact the world with God’s healing.

Core Values

Christian Distinctiveness

We are a God-centered university that upholds a Christian worldview with a charismatic emphasis. We endeavor to live in the power of the Holy Spirit and to become service-oriented leaders who go into every person’s world with healing for the totality of human need.

Whole-Person Education

We seek to develop the whole person in spirit, mind, and body, thereby preparing ourselves and our students to be professionally competent leaders who are spiritually alive, intellectually alert, physically disciplined, and socially adept.

Excellence with Integrity

We strive to operate with, and instill in our students, excellence with integrity in all personal, academic, professional, and corporate endeavors.

Caring Community

We are dedicated to providing a safe, caring, and Godly environment that encourages unity in diversity. We believe that all people have been created in the image of God and deserve to be respected.

Honor Code Living

As essential members of the ORU family, students must clearly recognize that all of us have a desire to further develop and exhibit responsible and mature behavior. That goal is a basic premise of the personal Honor Code.

At ORU, students pledge to endeavor to present a good appearance at all times. In both attire and behavior, students should strive to demonstrate good taste in all instances. The way they present themselves to others is of vital importance to the way others perceive Christ. An individual’s conduct should never be an embarrassment to others, but should exemplify the best qualities of a mature and respectful student. The university’s dress code promotes such an attitude. A detailed description of the dress code is available from the Student Development Office.

Additionally, each individual endeavors to maintain high standards in residence-hall living and pledges to avoid theft, removal, or damage to others’ personal property or that of the school.

Exemplifying the highest moral commitment, ORU students refrain from profanity, smoking, gambling, alcoholic beverages, dishonesty, illegal drugs, and all behavior that might cause Christ to grieve.

As responsible learners, students should make every effort to be prompt to classes, chapel, worship, and all appointments. Classes, chapel, assemblies, and worship services at local churches are all integral parts of the ORU lifestyle.

ORU students are committed to developing their minds by doing their own academic work. They do not engage in plagiarism, whether accidental or intentional. Plagiarism is the inappropriate use of others’ ideas or information, such as using sources without citations or direct quotes without quotation marks. Even paraphrasing or summarizing without giving credit to the original author is considered plagiarism. The ORU website (http://web.oru.edu/library/guides/plagiarism.html) gives more information and examples of plagiarism.

By providing an example for others in word and deed, each student should encourage others’ adherence to the Honor Code. Students should be sure not to incite another’s violation of the code and should seek to strengthen the bond of trust at every opportunity.

The students and administration of Oral Roberts University affirm that, regardless of faith, creed, or race, all students admitted to the university must agree to uphold the Honor Code and the rules governing ORU. No time, place, or circumstance gives release from the individual’s initial promise. The Honor Code is a way of life, measured by the heart and commitment of each member of the ORU family, and students should regard it as essential to development, not as an imposition or restriction.

The registration process is incomplete until students have formally signed the Honor Code Pledge. The code is in effect as long as the student is enrolled in the university.

Failure to enforce any university policy or rule constitutes a waiver only as to such particular policy or rule and shall not be deemed as a waiver of any other policy or rule.

The Honor Code is the central criterion of conduct for all who are a part of the ORU community. It is a concept of personal honor based on the principles of integrity, common sense, reverence for God, esteem for man, and respect for social and spiritual laws. It is assumed that a student deemed worthy of admission to the university already exemplifies these integral facets of the Christian character.

In accepting and following the Honor Code, students accept responsibility and discipline, which will enhance their moral and spiritual growth. Such qualities should be an inherent part of the ethical code held by an educated individual. In addition, students are protecting and preserving their own reputation, as well as that of their family at the university.

Honor Code Pledge

In signing the Honor Code Pledge, I fully recognize that Oral Roberts University was founded to be and is committed to being a leading academic institution serving the interdenominational Body of Christ, offering a lifestyle of commitment to Jesus Christ of Nazareth as personal Savior and Lord. I further recognize that the university’s ministry is that of providing a Whole Person education with a charismatic distinctive. It is therefore my personal commitment to be a person of integrity in my attitude and respect for what Oral Roberts University is in its calling to be a Christian university.

1. I PLEDGE to apply myself wholeheartedly to my intellectual pursuits and to use the full powers of my mind for the glory of God.

2. I PLEDGE to grow in my spirit by developing my own relationship with God.

3. I PLEDGE to develop my body with sound health habits by completing the required aerobics program and by participating in wholesome physical activities.

4. I PLEDGE to cultivate good social relationships and to seek to love others as I love myself. I will not lie; I will not steal; I will not curse; I will not be a talebearer. I will not cheat or plagiarize; I will do my own academic work and will not inappropriately collaborate with other students on assignments.

5. I PLEDGE at all times to keep my total being under subjection from all immoral and illegal actions and communications, whether on or off campus. I will not take any illegal drugs or misuse any drugs; I will not engage in or attempt to engage in any illicit, unscriptural sexual acts, which include any homosexual activity and sexual intercourse with one who is not my spouse through traditional marriage of one man and one woman. I will not drink alcoholic beverages of any kind; I will not use tobacco; I will not engage in other behavior that is contrary to the rules and regulations listed in the Student Handbook.

6. I PLEDGE to maintain an integrity of openness to God’s claims on my life and to do my utmost to know and follow His will for my life.

7. I PLEDGE to attend class, all required chapel services on campus, and my choice of a house of worship wherever God is honored and lifted up.

8. I PLEDGE to abide by the rules and regulations that may from time to time be adopted by the university administration. I understand Oral Roberts University is a private school that is governed by a Board of Trustees, which has final authority on all matters. I understand that the university reserves the right to require the withdrawal of a student at any time if in the judgment of the president of the university and the University Discipline Committee such action is deemed necessary to safeguard ORU’s ideals of scholarship or its spiritual and moral atmosphere as a Christian university.

I will keep the HONOR CODE carefully and prayerfully. I understand that my signature below is my acceptance of the entire Honor Code and completes a contract between me and Oral Roberts University, which is a prerequisite for matriculation and my continued association with the university. My signed pledge becomes a part of my permanent file. Further, my acceptance of the Honor Code is a solemn vow and promise to God as to how I will live my life.

What Is Oral Roberts University?

For the believer seeking an academic challenge in the context of uncompromising Christian commitment, Oral Roberts University provides a balanced program of educational endeavor. As each student takes part in ORU’s unique opportunities, he or she will develop a lifestyle of wholeness. Since Jesus Christ is the only person who has ever embodied perfection, each student is encouraged to look at Him as he or she strives to become the whole person Jesus Christ wants each person to become.

ORU is distinctly Christian. As students prepare for their life, they strive to attain academic excellence, physical fitness, and dynamic spiritual growth.

In the undergraduate program, the curriculum encompasses significant areas of knowledge, including Biblical studies, fine arts, social sciences, mathematics, communications, natural science, nursing, and humanities. On the graduate level, programs in business, education, and theology prepare students to influence all of mankind for Christ’s sake.

In addition to scholastic efforts, all students gather to worship in twice-weekly chapel services. Other opportunities, such as wing devotions, personal prayer times, and participation in outreach ministry offer additional possibilities for spiritual growth.

Physical fitness is fostered by ORU’s aerobics program, developed by the originator of modern aerobic exercise—Dr. Kenneth Cooper. The program includes recreation and competitive sports. The ultra-modern, well-equipped Aerobics Center provides an environment conducive to effective exercise.

The university’s extensive and comfortable housing facilities help make ORU primarily a residential campus, helping to bind the university members together as a family. Residence halls allow easy access to campus events, such as intercollegiate athletics, concerts, lectures, dramatic presentations, academic organizations, student publications, and special events.

In search of academic excellence and personal fitness, the discerning ORU student seeks understanding and knowledge within the context of faith and commitment, believing that divine power and wisdom are necessary for the most fruitful application of information.

Background

Granville Oral Roberts was born January 24, 1918, a Native American whose parents were Pentecostal preachers of modest means. In his teenage years, Oral contracted tuberculosis and was near death when his family took him to a healing evangelist’s meeting. While there, he was soundly converted and completely healed of this disease. He relates that on the night Rev. George Moncey prayed for his healing, he heard God speak to him: “Son, I am going to heal you and you are to take my healing power to your generation. You are to build Me a university and build it on My authority and the Holy Spirit.” After this experience, Oral became a preacher and healing evangelist. Later during his healing ministry, God reminded Oral of the educational mandate he received years before and clarified the assignment. “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.”

In 1963, Oral began to gather qualified academicians to build Oral Roberts University “on the authority of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.” The administration, faculty, and students are committed to the best of faith and scholarship and education of the whole person: spirit, mind, and body. Thus, Oral Roberts University promotes academic excellence, physical fitness, and dynamic spiritual growth. The community studies together, worships together, and prays together for corporate and individual growth. The founder has declared that “the Bible is the number one text at ORU,” and the ORU community mandates corporate and individual prayer and study of the Bible. St. Jerome stated, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”

In the undergraduate colleges, the university provides a liberal arts curriculum to provide a broad interrelated base for education and to take God’s healing power into every facet of human existence. Similarly, the graduate schools prepare students in an area of specialization to bring renewal to crucial fields of human endeavor. The major reason for the existence of Oral Roberts University is to bring healing to the Body of Christ and to a dying world: Healing is the watchword of the university.

Commitments

Since the key distinctive of Oral Roberts University is healing, and Jesus is the consummate Healer who passed on His healing ministry to His Church, all of the university courses seek to educate students toward healing and restoration in every facet of society. In order to remain true to its founding purpose, ORU has made the following commitments:

1. ORU is a Christian institution.

The university stands for the authority of the Bible as the Word of God and subscribes to historic Christianity through which the Holy Spirit has continued to guide the Church with His gifts.

ORU believes in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit as revealed in Scripture and explained by the Church in her ancient creedal statements.

The university has been supported by many generous Christians from various denominations who are faithful to the essentials of the Christian faith and acknowledge the continued activity of the Holy Spirit in the Church. ORU seeks to be faithful to its calling from God and to these dedicated brothers and sisters in Christ.

2. ORU is a Christian institution with the distinctive charismatic dimension of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit.

These include the wonder gifts as described by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 12-14, including the prayer language of the Holy Spirit, the ministry gifts (Romans 12:4-8), and the gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors-teachers (Ephesians 4:11-13). Faculty, students, and staff are expected to be actively open to participation in all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, thus demonstrating active participation in the charismatic experience.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit have not been revoked; there have been two thousand years of Pentecost. Thus, we affirm the Scriptures and the continued voice of the Spirit in the Church up to the present, holding fast to “treasures old and new.”

In its relentless quest for truth and wisdom, ORU exists so that the Holy Spirit can reveal new areas of research and add to the existing corpus of knowledge.

3. ORU is an ecumenical institution.

ORU exists to serve the whole Body of Christ worldwide. Over fifty different denominations are represented in the ORU community. Thus, the ORU community makes every effort to maintain “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). St. Paul continues, “There is one body, and one Spirit… one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” (Ephesians 4:4-6). ORU is not concerned with changing the church allegiance of its students or faculty. Rather, it seeks to bring all members of the university community into a more personal and vital relationship with Christ, to assist them in receiving Christ as their personal Savior, and to acquaint them more fully with the charismatic power of the Holy Spirit.

The university has a mandate to instruct students in the operation of and participation in all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The university sends the students to the churches of their choice as more committed and equipped disciples of Jesus Christ and servants of His Church. ORU students are expected to worship at a local church in addition to participating in worship on campus.

ORU desires unity in essentials, diversity in non-essentials, and love in all things.

4. ORU is grounded in the liberal arts and sciences tradition with a dedication to the education of the whole person.

This includes an emphasis on Western civilization and the Judeo-Christian tradition from which the institution of the university has emerged.

In addition to criteria for academic excellence, criteria exist for evaluating the spiritual and physical conditions of each student.

5. ORU is a distinct institution.

•Faculty. Faculty members are dedicated Christian men and women who acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and are actively open to all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They practice and support charismatic spirituality and live out a spiritual ecumenicity that reaches out to the greater Body of Christ. They affirm with Oral Roberts, the founder, that different churches have “a piece of the truth of God” and that ORU emphasizes “the healing ministry of Jesus returning to the people” which “has been neglected or forgotten” (Expect a Miracle: Autobiography 139). The faculty members are expected to serve in the various churches and denominations in which they choose to worship.

•Curriculum. ORU has a broad liberal arts and professional curriculum with particular emphasis upon biblical and theological studies, humanities, fine arts, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences, education, and business. This enables the student body to take God’s illumination and renewal into every person’s world.

•Truth. ORU holds that all truth, whether natural or supernatural, scientific or spiritual, has a divine origin and that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, becomes a catalyst in the quest for truth. ORU presents all major positions and viewpoints in a fair assessment, but the university does not espouse all viewpoints. It is committed to promoting historic Christianity and the fruits of Western civilization.

•Prayer. ORU emphasizes prayer as a way of life. On the ORU campus, prayer is a normal and natural means of constantly relating all of life to the will of God. ORU emphasizes prayer both on the level of the inner person, “praying in the Spirit,” and prayer on the level of understanding (1 Corinthians 14:15, Ephesians 6:18, 1 Thessalonians 5:17).

6. ORU has definite rules and regulations for the development of self-discipline and character.

ORU believes that self-discipline and learning should go hand-in-hand to build character and that students can best develop in the dimension of the whole person when they have both an academic education and a voluntary and strict disciplining of their life and character.

The university has an Honor Code, developed by the administration and student body, that calls for responsibility with privilege and for freedom of expression with discretion. Students are expected to abide by the Honor Code both on and off the campus.

7. ORU has a strong spiritual participation and outreach program for its students.

ORU realizes that its educational program must constantly lead its students into personal interaction with humankind and its needs. Through its Student Development Department, ORU students learn to minister in several areas:

•Campus activities. ORU students have the unusual opportunity of participating in various programs, conferences, and workshops on campus.

•Community activities. ORU students may participate in many community activities individually and in groups through music, drama, speech, art, the philharmonic orchestra, and civic opera. They express their Christian witness through other avenues of service to civic clubs, churches, missions, hospitals, jails, retirement homes, and in radio and television. These and other community opportunities provide unusual potential for personal growth and meaningful service.

•International activities. ORU has a well-developed missions program. Hundreds of students travel each summer to many nations of the earth carrying the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His healing power to thousands of people.

Dedication to Developing the Whole Person

Oral Roberts University is designed for a special and specific type of individual. Students seeking a balanced development of the spirit, mind, and body will want to apply for admission. The concept of wholeness is not just a theory; it is a way of life, practiced and perfected each day by thousands as they seek to follow God’s direction for their lives. A genuine spiritual, mental, and physical commitment is necessary for contentment and development at the university.

Academically, highly ambitious students pursue exceptional standards of excellence. The academic programs seek to help students develop those qualities of the intellect that permit them to reason soundly, to evaluate the wealth of information confronting society, and to find creative, Christ-centered solutions to contemporary problems.

Fitness for a long and healthy life is an important part of the ORU lifestyle. All full-time ORU students are required to enroll in and pass a Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPE) course each semester. The physical fitness program also includes opportunities for competitive intramural sports for both men and women.

An emphasis on spiritual growth stands as the foremost consideration in the development of the whole person. Spiritual growth is encouraged as part of academic instruction in chapel services and in voluntary campus worship services. Opportunities for service with local churches and ministries, as well as personal devotions, are readily available. In addition, every faculty member is expected to exemplify the Spirit of Christ and actively motivate others to participate in ORU’s unique spiritual atmosphere.

Quest for the Whole Person

Extracts from address by President Oral Roberts to the first class at ORU, September 7, 1965.

You young men and women who have enrolled today are our first class. As your president, I salute and congratulate you and extend to you my warm personal welcome.

You have been carefully selected from among some of America’s top young people. You have, in coming to ORU, pledged yourselves to join us in what I consider to be the most exciting and revolutionary quest in modern times—the quest for the whole man.

Wholeness is a way of life here. It’s something you can get; it’s something you can become. You can leave as the whole person God intended you to be. Here you can reach for excellence and find it. In today’s world, you cannot get through without it. If your muscles are flabby, you will have to toughen them. If you have been sheltered, you will have to make adjustment to the outside world. Competition is furious out there. To make the grade, you will have to call forth every resource of your inner and outer man—in short, you will have to stand up on the inside and be able to take the offensive.

What am I trying to say to you? I am asking you to get the vision of wholeness and reach for it by making every effort to develop your spirit, your mind, and your body and to help to start a unique trend toward sanity and achievement in this exploding civilization.

ORU is a daring new concept in higher education. It was planned to be from the beginning one that would be able and willing to innovate change in all three basic aspects of your being: the intellect, the physical, and the spiritual.

Plato said, “The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.” Your start here is the direction of a whole man.

First—There’s an education here for your mind, for without the development of your intellect you cannot be a complete person.

To develop your intellect fully, learn the art of asking questions. Our Master acquired this art. Throughout His lifetime He probed, questioned, reasoned, and sought answers wherever there was something to be learned, to be done, to be changed.

You made up your mind to enroll, you followed through, you are on campus, and you are ready to go. All right. Open up your inner self to the joy that is before you and get off on the right foot by learning to study immediately. You are an adult now, and at ORU we will treat you as an adult. You have a big job ahead of you. Learn and learn some more. You want to graduate with your head up and with a light in your eye. And what you do learn—apply. Learn to gear it to meet the needs of people.

It is our earnest desire and purpose to make ORU not only tops academically, but a foremost university in the formation of character. Character is spiritual and has a vigorous moral fiber especially instilled by self-discipline and commitment to principle. This, of course, rules out cheating in every form because cheating cheapens your character and weakens your moral fiber. I believe that no person rises above his personal integrity, and no one can truly fail when he has it. Let me emphasize that while we are innovators in educational techniques, we are definitely old-fashioned when it comes to Christian morals and character. We respect the integrity of each student, and you will want to earn that respect.

Second—There’s an education here for your body, for that too is essential to your development as a whole person.

We are going to expose you to one of the most exciting health programs you have ever known—one designed to beautify and strengthen the physical house your inner man lives in. We believe that your four-year stay here on this campus is the best time to learn positive and effective ways to develop healthy attitudes and habits that will benefit you throughout life. Here you will learn to appreciate and take care of your wonderful body.

Third—There is a unique opportunity here for an education or development of the inner man, for the most important part of you is your spirit.

ORU has a well-defined program of academic excellence. Along with excelling in the education of the mind, you will be expected to add the other two dimensions of your body and spirit. Along with your academic progress and your physical fitness, we expect you to be open to the creative activity of the Holy Spirit in your inner man, indeed in your whole person.

The focus is to assist students to develop a Christian worldview, understand their purpose from a Kingdom perspective, and to ultimately know their own core values and live by them. A sad commentary on higher education today is that many students get out of college having had very little or absolutely no exposure to spiritual development.

Admittedly, this is a difficult area in which to work. It is not fashionable to teach college students to develop their spiritual life. Many university educations leave students virtually undeveloped in the most meaningful part of their existence. Indeed, some seriously damage what Christian convictions students may have had.

Your spiritual development includes a new birth through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, a constant cleansing of your inner self from sin, the baptism in the Holy Spirit in the charismatic dimension for empowerment and personal edification, a manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit through you for meeting the needs of others, a personal witness of your Master to your fellow man, and a daily application of Christian principles to the demands of daily life. In this way, you can learn the meaning of your own life and be in a position to make a worthwhile contribution to help man solve his problems. In this way, you can become a part of the answer and not part of the problem.

I think you can emerge as the world's most wanted college graduates. With a healthy body, you know how to take care of a trained and disciplined mind that never settles for less than excellence, governed by an invincible spirit of integrity, inspired by a personal relationship with a living God, and driven by an irresistible desire to be a whole man to make a troubled world whole again; you will be in demand.

Now, with all your vital energies, let’s get to the task together.