Dr. William M. Wilson
As President of the historic, globally recognized Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK, Dr. William M. Wilson is leading the mission to develop Holy Spirit-empowered leaders through whole person education to impact the world.
With over four decades of executive leadership experience, Wilson is recognized globally for his unwavering ethics in leadership and as a champion for new generations of Spirit-empowered leaders. Through his unique ability to foster global partnerships, Wilson is instrumental in uniting leaders from various cultures, ethnicities, and spheres of influence.
Wilson served on the ORU Board of Trustees as Vice Chair until his election as the fourth President in June 2013. Since taking office, Wilson has piloted one of the largest campus expansions in the University’s history. Under his leadership, ORU opened the Global Learning Center, a re-engineered 54,000 square-foot television studio that features augmented/virtual reality learning and supports global instruction. Wilson also spearheaded a campus improvement plan that included a contemporary $10 million apartment-style student residence hall. Wilson was responsible for the visionary purchase and transformation of a 100,000 square-foot venue into ORU’s Nursing and Engineering Complex and oversaw the completion of the ONEOK Sports Complex, one of Tulsa’s top collegiate track and tennis facilities. These improvements were funded in part by the University’s $50 million 50th Anniversary campaign, one of the President’s successful efforts to expand ORU while remaining debt-free.
Most recently, President Wilson launched the “Whole Leaders for the Whole World” campaign, raising $77 million for scholarships, three new buildings including a campus Welcome Center, Media Arts Center, the J.D. McKean Library, and the David and Barbara Green Centre for Global Leadership. Another $5 million was raised for the new Fenimore Fisher Graduate School of Business which includes a fully-operational Trading Floor. In addition, $21 million is being raised for the Mike Carter Athletic Center and a substantial renovation of the Mabee Center Arena including new blue seating, a spectacular concourse, and additional suites.
During Wilson’s tenure, ORU’s enrollment has reached unprecedented and historic numbers. Since Wilson assumed office in 2013, ORU’s student body has grown annually. In the Fall of 2021, ORU achieved the largest year-over-year recorded percentage growth in over 25 years. As an international university, ORU has enrolled students from 142 nations in the last four years and with its multicultural identity, has been ranked as one of the top 25 most diverse universities in America.
Beyond ORU, Wilson serves as the Global Chair for Empowered21 (E21), an organization influencing the future of the global Spirit-empowered movement. E21 is recognized as the world’s largest Spirit-empowered relational network, bringing together ministry leaders, scholars, evangelists, and next-generation voices who collectively represent over 650 million Christians worldwide. Since 2010, E21 has expanded exponentially with 14 regional cabinets around the world and numerous working groups, such as the recently launched Global Prayer Alliance.
Wilson serves as Chair of the historic Pentecostal World Fellowship and as an at-large member of the board of the National Association of Evangelicals. He also holds leadership positions with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce. He served as the executive officer for the 2006 Azusa Street Centennial, which drew more than 50,000 people from 112 nations to Los Angeles. He forged a national ecumenical coalition with more than 250 denominations and parachurch ministries through the Awakening America Alliance, founding the national 9-11 prayer gathering, Cry Out America.
A sought-after Bible communicator, his weekly television program, "World Impact with Dr. Billy Wilson," inspires and empowers viewers from a biblical worldview and can presently be seen in over 150 nations in multiple languages.
Wilson has authored several books, including Father Cry, A-Z Guide: Marriage Recovery, A-Z Guide: Sexual Intimacy in Marriage, The Parenthood Plan, The Exclusive Claims of Jesus Christ, Today’s Church: A Look at Yesterday’s Church to See Today’s Church More Clearly, Foundations of Faith, Fasting Forward, As the Waters Cover the Sea, (with Dr. Vinson Synan), and his latest work, Generation Z: Born for the Storm. A native of Owensboro, Kentucky, Wilson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education from Western Kentucky University, as well as Master of Arts and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Pentecostal Theological Seminary. Wilson has also participated in numerous ongoing educational opportunities including the Harvard Institute for University Presidents. He is an ordained Bishop with the Church of God, Cleveland, TN.
Wilson and his wife Lisa have two children. Their son Ashley and his wife Jamie have three children, and their daughter Sara and her husband Shaun have four children. The Wilson family resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.