ORU Releases Statement on Diversity
Oral Roberts University was founded and continues to be a diverse university with students from around the world. We have 115 nations represented in our student body and students from all 50 states and multiple ethnicities. At our core and stated as a goal is our passion to see God's Kingdom reflected on our campus and in the earth as we learn, serve, and work together while respecting our significant cultural differences. We do this by intentionally listening, modeling, and teaching our students that their primary identity is as a child of God, whatever their country of origin or the color of their skin. Cultural and ethnic diversity are celebrated at ORU. Though we desire "heaven on earth" at ORU, we also realize we live in a fallen world where cultural and ethnic differences are real and require patience, understanding, and dialogue. We are opposed to racism in any form and to the demeaning of any individual because of their culture or ethnicity. We denounce racism as sin, and its presence among students, staff or faculty will not be tolerated. We also understand that a few former students and staff may carry the vestiges of implicit or even explicit racial bias despite our very best efforts. We denounce those views and publicly declare that they do not represent ORU.
On campus, we have instituted and empowered a Multi-ethnic and Intercultural Relations Committee, including a new effort among our student-athletes called We Stand Together to work for equality, unity, and diversity. This committee provides a forum to discuss these issues and offer potential solutions. President William M. Wilson summarizes the heart and position of ORU in stating:
“I am very aware that deep emotional and spiritual pain continues to be experienced in America due to the sin of racism. We have all grieved at the injustices and inequities that have been portrayed before us multiple times over the last several months in unrighteous acts. My heart is broken for the young black men and women who live under a demonic cloud of intimidation and fear. This is simply not right. We must and we can do much better. Yes, black lives matter and every person deserves deep respect as a unique creation of God. We agree that ongoing reform must be pursued yet resolutely denounce violence and the destruction of property as a means to this transformation.
“At Oral Roberts University, we believe God has called us to maintain our prophetic
voice and healing purpose during these times. We are a Christian, Spirit-empowered
university representing the Kingdom of God on earth and will not be defined by the
world’s parameters. We stand with those who are suffering injustice while at the same
time standing against senseless rebellion. We encourage appropriate law enforcement
reform while also honoring those who hazard their lives to protect us on a daily basis.
Our voice will remain firm that the Holy Spirit is calling us to bring forth justice,
establish righteousness, honor one another, live in peace, and exemplify the love
of Jesus for all humanity.
“As President, my heart is to serve our students by equipping them as Whole Leaders who exemplify and live out Christ’s love in our broken world. I pray that in our nation, every person and every people group will experience God’s love while feeling valued and respected. Together, we can make a difference. It all starts with you and me.”