Good news for my alma mater: ORU

December 23, 2007

Kenny, Sara

oru4 I love ORU. It was one of the best seasons of my life. It was where I was shaped and prepared for life and ministry. It was where I met and fell in love with Sara. Even before attending, it was ORU students and graduates who greatly impacted me while attending mission trips with Teen Mania. Unfortunately, as with most things, you have to date the good with the bad. As great of a school ORU is, there was a lot of junk that came with it. Too often in the 8 years since graduating have I defended the school to those who were not familiar with the school. Most people’s only exposure to the school is what they’ve seen on Christian TV. Most chapel services and Richard and Lindsay’s daily healing show are broadcast around the world. The impression most people get from what they see is that of disbelief. Too often it looks like a religious circus.

Yes, I’ve seen it all. Too many times have I sat in a chapel service and just bow my head and shake my head at what I was hearing… wondering if lightning would soon strike the building. However, that is NOT ORU! Even as a theology major, my Christian Education was from a conservative point of view. There was definitely two different camps at ORU. One of conservative Christianity and one of flaky spirituality. Don’t get me wrong though, not every message from the stage was a three ring circus… that just depended on who was speaking. Some of the most incredible services I have ever been at were at ORU’s chapel service. It’s just unfortunate that it had to be this way.

If you’ve been following the news, you’ve may have seen that ORU has been in the headlines. Three former ORU professors (one of them was Sara’s favorite professor at ORU) are suing the school, the ministry, the board and Richard and Lindsay. Apparently they got tired of some of the silly things that go on and they stood up to the leadership. Shortly after they were dismissed. So they are suing the school for wrongful termination. However, the interesting part of all of this is that the listed all the inappropriate spending and actions of Richard and Lindsay Roberts, inappropriate spending of school and ministry funds to live an outrageous and lavish lifestyle. As I read the lawsuit… I simply laughed. Most of the things listed are things that everyone at the school knew about. It was one of those uneasy things people talked about. People joked about it behind closed doors (the brave ones did out loud). It was one of those things that you just shrugged your shoulders at and asked, “what’s anyone going to do about it?” So, finally someone did stand up to the leadership and as a result, they lost their jobs. When they sued the university, I was afraid that this could be the last straw for the university, which has struggled financially for a long time. Although I would hate to see my alma mater close down because of a massive drop in enrollment or because of donors who stop giving, this really needed to happen.

In case you didn’t see, but all the tenured professors gathered and almost unanimously voted “no confidence” in the leadership of Richard Roberts… regardless of the results of the lawsuit. This spoke volumes and led to Richard Roberts officially stepping down from the position of President of Oral Roberts University. Shortly after this, Mart Green, the founder of Mardel and Hobby Lobby donated $70 million to the University. This officially gets the university out of debt. Woo Hoo! Although when the suit first went public, things looked really bad for the university. Now, the future looks brighter than ever. Maybe one day we’ll send our little Titus off to ORU as well!

Read the article about all of this here.


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One Response to “Good news for my alma mater: ORU”

  1. Natalie Bounds Says:

    Hi Kenny,

    Thanks for posting about ORU. I’ve had the pleasure (most of the time) of reading over a thousand e-mails from alumni since “Ten Two”. That’s the date the lawsuit was announced.

    I don’t have your e-mail address. If you want to send it to me, I’ll make sure you get the monthly alumni e-newsletter.


    Natalie Bounds
    ORU Alumni Relations Director
    (Class of ’88)


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