ORU alumnus Stephen Mansfield goes into every man's world through literature
By Sara Rozalina Krstevski ('12)
Many years ago, Stephen Mansfield was just an ordinary student getting a college degree at Oral Roberts University. He graduated in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in history and philosophy. Little did he know that his time at the school would shape his writing abilities to help him become a New York Times best-selling author. Now he's coming back to ORU to speak at the Homecoming chapel at 11 a.m. CT on Friday.
"I didn't always want to be an author. After I left ORU, I went to be pastor. Eventually I started pursing my master's degree and started to read a lot," Mansfield said. "I fell in love with language and started writing articles. That led me to write my first book on Winston Churchill."
Having written books such as "The Faith of George W. Bush," "The Faith of Barack Obama" and "Where Has Oprah Taken Us," Mansfield tends to get a lot of backlash from the Christian and political community.
"At ORU, I learned a lot about faith and how faith shapes leadership. Having a biblical worldview is important. I like to write about people that are shaping our generation from a faith perspective," Mansfield said. "A lot of conservatives don't want to believe it, but Obama is faith-based in some way. The belief of our country's leaders reveals our times, and they shape our times."
Besides having grown academically at ORU, Mansfield was spiritually impacted.
"I got saved at ORU. Listening to Oral Roberts evangelize and attending classes meant a lot to me. ORU taught me the importance of a Biblical worldview," Mansfield said. "Worldviews are what shape laws and society. I had a desire to change the world and be a leader."
Having a chance to come back to ORU and speak in chapel is an event that Mansfield is excited about.
"I'm looking forward to coming to speak at chapel. ORU is dear to me and I respect Dr. Rutland. It will be fun hanging out on campus with my wife and going to the basketball game on Saturday," Mansfield said. "I can't stress enough how it transformed my life. What I do every day is connected to something I learned at ORU."
Mansfield's inspirations for his writings draw from multiple sources.
"I've been shaped by the writings of Winston Churchill and Francis Schaeffer. But my calling has been inspired by the Great Commission. God wants us to disciple to different groups and cultures." Mansfield said. "Like Oral Roberts said, 'We are to go into every man's world.' My writings have opened doors to places that I couldn't have gone through otherwise."
Mansfield believes that ORU alumni and current students are here for a reason.
"A lot of ORU grads are discouraged by what's going on in our country. It's an amazing time to get in the culture and change lives," Mansfield said. "People are hungry and open. We need to be bold and realize that God brought us into the kingdom for such a time as this."
The chapel service will air at noon ET/11 a.m. CT on DirecTv Channel 363 or online at http://oruedu.com/0.