All For All To All: ORU's Board Chair On Discovering Your Purpose

Mike RakesBy Mike Rakes

How can I hear God’s voice? This is the most frequent question I have heard as a Pastor. Over the past decade, I’ve come to see that ordinary believers live far beneath their potential to interact with God.

ORU’s Spirit-empowered education provides a unique place among Division I universities in that we believe and tacitly know God is speaking to the student body continually. This Spirit-empowered education elevates their spiritual awareness, intelligence, and confidence to have a greater capacity to hear God’s voice in their minds and hearts.

Our very ethos embodies the understanding that God is already communicating, and invites every student to discover his or her purpose. President Wilson has led us to an even greater understanding of the critical connection between a Spirit-empowered education and globalization.

A theologian who lived in Spain during the 1400s wrote that God was the “Great Communicator” and desired a dialogue with humanity. His main body of work taught that God spoke in three ways: Scriptures, Creation, and the Incarnation.

Whether a freshman is studying the Scriptures, or sitting in a biology class, or listening to the message of the incarnation during chapel, God the Great Communicator is speaking to him or her by His Spirit. Future research into epistemology, axiology, linguistics, theology, nursing, and beyond will confirm God has been speaking to us all along.

The genius of the Holy Spirit to work individually in every student, faculty, administration, alumni, donors, trustees, and friends as a corporate body pushes beyond the limits of our comprehension. The fact is: God the Great Communicator, by His Spirit, has brought us all together to hear His voice and empowers us all to communicate His love to all.


In April of this year, the ORU Board of Trustees elected Dr. Mike Rakes as the new Board Chair. He is an educator, author and pastor. Since 2006, he and his wife Darla have served as Lead Pastors at Winston Salem First in North Carolina. Dr. Rakes completed his undergraduate degree in ministry at Central Bible College, has an M.A. in Biblical Literature from AGTS as well as an M.Div. and D.Min. from Biola University. After pastoring in Oklahoma and Missouri, Dr. Rakes focused on higher education, becoming the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Southeastern University in Florida.