Starting at the Roots: How ORU’s Lillian Uwanjye Is Transforming the Lives of Children

Lillian Uwanjye

Hometown: Rwanda
Major: Business Administration

Lillian UwanjyeGrowing up, Lillian Uwanjye always believed she could change the world. In her homeland of Rwanda, Lillian witnessed the transformative power of education in her own life and the lives of those around her. With a desire to create change, Lillian set her sights on pursuing a degree at Oral Roberts University (ORU). Lillian believes that education, coupled with unwavering faith, can bring about positive change and empower people, particularly children. 

“I've always believed in changing the world,” Lillian said, “so I thought, what's the best way to do this? And God gave me an idea. If you want to change something, you must change it from the roots. To me, the roots would be the children. If we invest in children—in their future, what we teach them, empowering them as individuals— we can impact the world.”

Teaching Children the Power of Choice

Lillian recognized that teaching children was the first step in shaping the future of her community and beyond. She set her sights on improving her education with a focus on child development, learning theories, and applications of faith. All of which she began using three years ago in her weekly virtual teaching sessions with children and teenagers ages 5-16. Through this, Lillian is reaching children from around the world.

“I teach them social skills and how to live with Godly values,” said Lillian. I can teach kindness and other positive things… but the substance is Christ. Organizations are targeting children with harmful information, and I want them to know the truth… that they have the choice to do the right thing.” 

“I've always believed in changing the world, so I thought, what's the best way to do this? And God gave me an idea. If you want to change something, you must change it from the roots. To me, the roots would be the children."
Lillian Uwanjye

The Transformative Power of a Spirit-empowered Education

As a student, Lillian continues to work with non-profit organizations that provide educational support to children and families. Eventually, she wants to help fund missionary work, including those that focus on investing in children. As she looks to the future, Lillian says that ORU’s Spirit-empowered education has played a major role in expanding her faith and transforming her outlook on life. 

“The person you become at ORU,” Lillian said, “no one can take that away. Since I arrived on campus, my view of God has grown and changed. It’s been amazing! When I say yes to God and obey, He opens many doors. It's like a curtain opening, and I’m seeing things that I've never seen before.”

To learn more about how you can develop as a leader, please visit oru.edu.


ORU is a Christian, Spirit-empowered, interdenominational university in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with over a decade of consecutive enrollment growth. Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, ORU offers over 150 majors, minors, concentrations, and pre-professional programs at the bachelor’s level, ranging from business and engineering to nursing, ministry, and more. Under the leadership of President Dr. William Wilson, ORU is preparing students from all 50 states and 150 nations (from 2019 to 2023) to be whole leaders for the whole world. 

The Wall Street Journal ranked ORU as the #4 university in the nation for student engagement. This ranking is based upon faculty interactions, collaborative learning, critical thinking, real-world applications of student learning, the extent to which classes challenge students, and whether students would recommend a university to others. Niche recognizes ORU as one of the most diverse colleges in America.

ORU has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as: 

  • #1 in Undergraduate Teaching
  • #2 in Most International Students
  • #3 in Best Value
  • #6 in Best College for Veterans
  • #7 in Best Regional Colleges in the West

For more information, visit www.oru.edu. 


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