Oral Roberts University (ORU) is an interdenominational Christian university with a comprehensive liberal arts focus. ORU has been rated in the top 5% of U.S. universities, and ranks in the top five healthiest universities in America. The university is named after its late founder, charismatic evangelist Oral Roberts. Mart Green, Hobby Lobby heir and founder of Mardel Christian and educational supply, serves on the Board of Regents.
Notable ORU alumni include megachurch pastor Joel Osteen, Hour of Power pastor Robert V. “Bobby” Schuller, television host Kathie Lee Gifford, and historian David Barton of WallBuilders. In addition, more than 300 ORU alumni are practicing physicians throughout the United States.
Founded in 1963, the 263-acre campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was designed with a futuristic look and architecture. The ORU Prayer Tower with its gas flame is a tourist attraction and icon recognized around the world. Erected at the center of campus, the tower’s structure is full of Christian symbolism.
ORU is preparing its students spiritually, mentally, and physically. The mission of ORU – in its commitment to the Christian faith – is to educate the whole person in spirit, mind, and body, thereby preparing its graduates to be professionally competent servant-leaders who are spiritually alive, intellectually alert, physically disciplined, professionally competent, and socially adept. The university seeks to synthesize the best practices of liberal arts, professional, and graduate education with a charismatic emphasis to enable students to go into every person’s world with God’s message of salvation and healing for the totality of human need.
ORU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). A major distinction of ORU is its high number of additional specialized program accreditations, especially for a university of its size. ORU’s specialized programs are found in the College of Business, College of Education, College of Science and Engineering, College of Nursing, College of Theology and Ministry, and College of Social Work. Faculty members educated at the nation’s top graduate schools serve as academic, spiritual, and professional mentors to students – and these professors are approachable, kind, and helpful.
A comprehensive university dedicated to student outcomes, ORU offers more than 65 undergraduate majors. Undergraduate programs include: theology, business, music, communication arts, modern languages, behavioral sciences, graphics, education, exercise science, biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematical science, engineering, physics, English, history, humanities, government, nursing, pre-medical and pre-dental. The university also has a graduate seminary and fully accredited graduate programs in Business and Education. Find degree plan sheets here.
Students in the College of Science and Engineering with a GPA of 3.4 or higher have an 86% medical school acceptance rate and 75% dental school acceptance rate. ORU students have been accepted into more than 70 medical schools nationally, including Johns Hopkins University, Washington University, and Duke University. Because of the high acceptance rates for medicine, ORU signed an early assurance program with Oklahoma State University college of Osteopathic Medicine in 2011, allowing high achieving students to receive conditional admission to OSU’s medical school program. ORU is also one of the few undergraduate colleges in the southwest to have a human cadaver dissection class. (Note: While ORU is considered a Christian University, the College of Science and Engineering does not ignore evolutionary theories.)
The ORU Tulsa campus is home to students from all 50 states and more than 60 countries, representing 40 denominations. ORU and its students also deliver the “whole person” distinctive to all inhabited regions through distance learning, study abroad, educational partnerships, mission trips and outreach work, all anchored in a Christian worldview.
When you enroll at ORU, you become part of an enthusiastic, energetic student body. ORU offers a vast array of opportunities to help students achieve and maintain optimal health, including providing healthy dining options in the cafeteria and around campus. In addition to participating in physical education classes, you can enjoy your choice of intercollegiate and intramural sports. There’s something for every interest and inclination.
ORU is not a big enough school for a football program, but they have a variety of other sports including mens’ and womens’ basketball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, golf, cross country, track and field. ORU’s athletic teams for both men and women are known as the Golden Eagles. The Sports Marketing/Sports Information staff works at NCAA Division I athletic events both up front and behind the scenes.
Starting this year, as part of ORU’s emphasis on mandatory physical fitness, all incoming ORU students will be required to wear fitness trackers in a pioneering program that allows Fitbit data to be integrated into the school’s grading system. Until this year, ORU students carried paper notebooks with them to record their exercise. The new system provides a far more accurate picture of whether students are reaching fitness goals. It will also enable the university to grade students more on their weekly exercise and less on the end-of-semester field test (usually a 1½-mile run for freshmen).
ORU freshman Eden Watson said just walking around campus meets the university’s goal for 10,000 steps taken each day, and she jogs or does other cardio exercise to meet the aerobic goal of having an elevated heart rate for the required number of minutes each week. She said her fellow freshmen at ORU generally accept the Fitbit program, and “think it’s cool.” As data is collected over the next several years, the university will be able to determine if there is a correlation between exercise and academic success.
ORU has a vibrant campus community with many associations and clubs for advancing knowledge, pursuing intellectual discovery, and building life-long friendships. ORU students are empowered on their quest for wholeness, having the time of their life while preparing for their life’s mission.
Nearly everyone at ORU says that if they had to make their college decision all over again, they would still choose this university. Another positive is the size of the school – students say it’s small enough that you can get personal attention from the teachers, but the school is large enough that you’ll regularly be able to meet lots of new, unique people.
While Tulsa is the second largest city in Oklahoma, it also has all the friendliness and close-knit attitude of a much smaller town. The city has four major museums including the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art. The revitalized downtown area is home to various music and dance companies, including the internationally known Tulsa Opera and Tulsa Ballet. The historic Greenwood Jazz District and the Blue Dome Arts District are also not to be missed.
Oral Roberts University Homeschool Grant
ORU was one of the first universities to accept homeschoolers. Oral Roberts’ son Richard (second president of the university) and his wife homeschooled their own three daughters.
In the fall of 1994, Dean of Enrollment Management Mike Mitchell reported that 212 homeschool students were enrolled at ORU, comprising about 10 percent of the student body. At the same time, 88% of those homeschooled students were involved in one or more outreach ministries, over 90% of the homeschoolers participated in intramural sports, and nearly 80% in various campus clubs and organizations. Homeschoolers were active in all areas of college life, debunking the myth that homeschoolers are largely unsocialized! In addition, virtually all embraced the ORU honor code as an already adopted way of life.
Mitchell also reported the average homeschooler at ORU had an ACT score of 24 and an SAT score of 1005, consistent with the average score for all ORU students, but higher than the national average. Mitchell’s report noted that the average ORU homeschooler’s GPA was 3.02, while the overall average ORU student’s GPA was 2.76.
As a result of the homeschool study, ORU created a unique Homeschool College Preparatory Program for homeschooled students to earn a semester of college credit at home in advance. ORU also established a $6,000 scholarship especially for homeschool graduates, above and beyond all other financial aid.
Awards worth $2,000 each are distributed to applicants who graduated from a homeschool after at least four-years of home-based education. To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must have been previously accepted into ORU. Once accepted, homeschooled scholarship candidates are encouraged to apply through the school’s financial aid department.
Homeschool students may also be interested in the ORU Advantage Program, which offers the opportunity for high school students to earn college credit. The courses may be completed via independent study or offered as part of a course facilitated by a high school teacher or homeschool group and offered for dual enrollment credit.
For more information about ORU, visit www.oru.edu.