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The tone for this 2nd edition of “Enduring Values: A Role for Faculty,” was set by the
position paper I wrote on January 18th. Entitled “The Uniqueness of ORU and the
Search for a New President,” it contains ideas expressed in my thank you letter to Oral
Roberts dated March 7, 2007. This paper and letter are the first two documents in this
revised edition.

When the shaking began at ORU last October, I went back to the original Enduring
Values papers and began sharing them with a few colleagues. Encouraged by their
support, I began to reprint them. That 1987 Enduring Values publication was inspired
in part by the 1985 Conference on Faculty Excellence and Effective Teaching (now the
annual faculty retreat). Two seminal papers from that 1985 conference are the
fountainhead for my subsequent writings on ORU’s founding values. Verbal Snook
wrote about ORU’s first 20 years, focusing on the essential need for Relationships.
My part followed with a projection for the next 20 years entitled “Possessing the
Land: The Quest for Excellence.” I have moved these core documents from the
Addenda to the third and fourth items in this second edition. I believe they provide a
roadmap for ORU’s future success.

The last item, two visions by David Ford, came during an especially turbulent winter of
1990. As John Korstad and I revisited these visions and other writings from that
period, John helped formulate a clear vision of what we believe God wants Oral
Roberts University to be:
A city set on a hill
A light to the world
A pure, crystal-clear fountain
a well of life-giving water.

I am amazed by the relevance of these earlier documents to our situation today. I

humbly offer this revised set of papers -- my understanding of our Enduring Values --
to all who share the vision and calling from the Holy Spirit to build what truly can be
called, “God’s University.”

On behalf of our students, God’s “precious little lambs,”

Nathan Meleen, PH.D

Professor of Earth Science & Geography
Oral Roberts University
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74171 February 2, 2008
CONTENTS -- 2008

“The Uniqueness of ORU and the Search for a New President” - - - - - - - - - - 1

Thank you letter to Oral Roberts, dated March 7, 2007 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3

“Relationships,” by Verbal Snook, ED.D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 7

“Possessing the Land: The Quest for Excellence” - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9

Letter of transmittal and Abstract for the 1987 Enduring Values paper - - - - - - 14

Part I, 1987 Enduring Values – “My Vision for ORU Faculty - - - - - - - - - - - - 16

Part II, 1987 Enduring Values – “The Task Before us”- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 21

Addendum No. 2, 1987 Enduring Values -- Oral Roberts’ remarks to the

Board of Regents about accreditation and the importance of the
Prayer Tower, November 21, 1986 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 30

Addendum No. 3 A & B, 1987 – Ideas About Our Fundamental Values - - - - - - 35

Addendum No. 4, 1987 – Ideas About Our Pastor-Teacher Calling - - - - - - - - 38

Dr. David Ford’s visions, January 18, 1990 and February 8, 1990 - - - - - - - - 39
A Position Paper by Nathan Meleen, PH.D.
January 18 & 26, 2008
From the beginning I have rejoiced in the involvement of the Green Family. Now that
the offer of new governance and vital financial help is imminent, why am I so troubled?
Change is always difficult, especially for those imprisoned for many years, but more is
involved here. We now face the possibility that the founding values established by Oral
Roberts during ORU's first decade will evolve into something different, and that ORU
will become just another Pentecostal Christian university. That possibility haunts me,
for I believe ORU is a special jewel in the Kingdom of God, a jewel that if lost would be
a colossal tragedy. This is not an attack on the Green family or the new board. It is a
plea for great sensitivity to the unique character of ORU, established during its founding
One of the two great threats to ORU's future is now past: the very real prospect of
bankruptcy. We now face the second great threat, erosion or outright loss of our
founding vision and distinctive culture. This threat is best understood in the differences
between Oral Roberts and denominational leaders. Oral has always been an enigma,
but his success is directly traceable to his emphasis on the Foursquare gospel, the Four
Cardinal Doctrines of the Assemblies of God: Jesus is Savior, Healer, Baptizer in the
Holy Spirit, and soon coming King. That focus on Jesus, and the minimizing of
denominational differences, launched the early Pentecostal and Charismatic
Oral hated the constraints of denominational dogma, and wanted the same freedom for
his faculty, students, and administration. This produced distinctives that are directly
linked to the success of our graduates. It is mind-boggling to see the accomplishments
of ORU alumni, for truly their work has exceeded Oral's.
The ORU mission is well known and easily could be embraced by new leadership:
1) "Build Me a university; build it on My authority, and on the Holy Spirit."
2) "Raise up your students to hear My voice, to go where My light is seen dim, My
voice is heard small, My power is not known; even to the uttermost parts of the
earth. Their work will exceed yours, and in this I am well pleased."
3) Whole person education aimed at vocational penetration (going into all the world
-- going into every person's world, (David Green's testimony).
But unlike the ORU mission, I'm concerned that the founding values are not well
understood, even within the ORU community. Twenty years ago in a paper entitled
"Enduring Values: A Role For Faculty," I tried to challenge faculty to identify these core
values and use them as guidelines for everything we do. At no time have I felt the list
was complete. I tried to articulate the major ones in my thank you letter to Oral (March
7, 2007, also the impetus for an annual founder's day), but I missed a most important
one: teamwork. This is an ongoing challenge for all of us. Of the five topics I did

discuss, I believe we are most in danger of losing academic freedom, diversity, and
Seed Faith. Few Christian schools have true academic freedom, but Oral by his very
nature embraced it. Concerning diversity, I'm convinced that Oral Roberts University is
by far the most diverse campus on earth. We are an exception to the mostly Caucasian
makeup of many Christian universities and colleges. Seed Faith (or as I like to call it,
The Eternal Law of Sowing and Reaping), has been so badly abused by the evangelical
community that we could easily discard the baby with the bath, and yet it is essential for
effective Christian ministry.
The Presidential Search. Many in the ORU community are looking for a president with
a national or international reputation to provide 21st Century leadership for ORU. But
who can replace Oral, this truly unique, enigmatic, iconoclastic, 20th Century Apostle?
Healing televangelists are now horribly tainted in the public's eye (see Jack Hayford's
sermon of April 24, 1988 entitled: "Where Have All the Flowers Gone)." Oral publicly
stated his desire for the ORU president always to be a healing evangelist. But who out
there is qualified, having sufficient stature to stand above the current public perception
of such ministers?
But the alternative troubles me almost as much. What national or international leader
could take on the ORU presidency without fundamentally altering the culture
established by Oral Roberts during the first decade (1963 to 1973)? It would be easy
for a denominational leader to move from one college to another within that
denomination, or for someone steeped in Christian higher education to lead another
Christian university. Under either type of leader, ORU could continue to produce high
quality graduates, but would we keep our distinctive reason for being?
The core of my thesis is that ORU is truly unique, raised up by God for high destiny,
for a very special mission, to fill a highly specialized niche. Based on that premise I
believe it is essential for the next ORU president to have roots in ORU's first decade,
either as an alumnus, administrator, or faculty. This person needs to understand the
founding vision, work to instill or restore it throughout the fabric of ORU, and collaborate
with Trustees and Tenured Faculty to cement this vision as the blueprint and road map
for the future.
Among other qualities, the next ORU president must be a skilled communicator, able to
impact all the ORU constituencies. This communication skill was one of Oral's great
gifts. We have a treasure trove of his messages from the first decade, such as his
"Quest For the Whole Man" given during the first chapel service. We must identify
and revisit these core documents.
With trustees, faculty, academic leaders, and alumni, the new president must be a true
guardian of both the mission and culture -- the Enduring Values -- of ORU. We are truly
a unique (one of a kind) institution, raised up by God for a special mission. We must
remain true to our calling to build God the university He has raised up through Oral


March 7, 2007

Dear Chancellor Roberts,

With the passage of the years I have felt a growing appreciation and awe for the
wonderful gift you have given us through your incredibly wise founding of Oral Roberts
University. I know you will give the Holy Spirit all the credit, but that too just enhances
my respect and admiration for you and your founding vision. Several streams have
combined to produce this growing appreciation, and it is my strong desire to thank you
for all the sacrifices and efforts you have made to bring ORU into existence. I enjoy
sharing with faculty and students the firm conviction that ORU has been incredibly well-
founded, giving us distinctives as a university that serve us well in carrying out our
mission and fulfilling God’s will.

I. Scholarship. In March 1990, I was privileged to accompany your son Richard on his
revival trip to Guatemala. On the return flight he told me something about you that I
have often shared with others. He stated that you read a book a week. I began to
appreciate in a new way your great thirst for knowledge. You epitomized what writer
George Will stated. “It is not necessary to know the origin of the universe; it is
necessary to want to know. Civilization depends not on any particular knowledge, but
on the disposition to crave knowledge” (emphasis mine). (Newsweek).

During my first visit to your home on a Sunday afternoon I heard you share with a group
of faculty that “our scholarship must not be suspect.” As I sat in faculty meetings it was
clear that you expected first class scholarship. As a Pentecostal who yearned for a
respectable university, I embraced that. I remember well your sharing that the goal of a
university was to collect the knowledge of the past, add to it, and pass it on.

As president of the Faculty Senate in 1986-87, I was privileged to sit in on the Regents
Meeting where you shared your conversation with the consultant sent to help you with
accreditation. Your concern was that the Bible be at the heart. Ruth Rooks provided
me a copy of your talk, which I included in a paper I entitled, “Enduring Values: A Role
for Faculty.” Your talk was an extensive and powerful statement about how we valued
learning. “Doctor, if you really represent the North Central Accrediting Association in
what you said, we’ve got a deal, because we are people of excellence to begin with. I,
Oral Roberts, represent a segment of the most spiritual people in the world who are not
dummies. . . we are scholars . . . we are searchers . . . We read thousands of books.
We’re listening all the time. We’re advancing ourselves.“

During the spring of 1968, you invited faculty to prayer meetings in your home. During
one unforgettable evening you had a vision of Jesus where He gave you a word for

each couple present. You asked us to come forward, couple by couple, stating that you
would not remember, but we were to embrace and hold fast to the word Jesus had for
us. Years later Ray Lewandowski told me he also had a vivid memory of that evening.
The word you shared with Judy and me was, “Scholarship and students.” It took
decades for me to fully appreciate that, but I never forgot it. Now in my own ministry,
described shortly, I have come to fully embrace those words of Jesus as I strive to
minister to ORU students.

II. Academic Freedom. Every semester in my earth science class I quote an editorial
by Jenkin Lloyd Jones, entitled, “My friend Oral.” Responding to his query about how
you were going to teach geology, you gave him a profound reply. “Anything that can be
scientifically proven must be God’s work; how else could it exist.” In that statement I
believe you set the academic course for ORU. We would be mainstream, not trying to
sell some specialized viewpoint or novel interpretation. We would be participants in
academics, part of the solution, preparing our students to go into every person’s world.

You gave us incredible academic freedom. John Korstad (Biology) and I have often
shared with colleagues from other schools that we have more academic freedom here
than any other school we know of. You could do this because you trusted us to honor
and live by the Bible, be constantly seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and be
people of integrity. We did not have to line our views up with a denominational standard
or line. I’ve often quoted a statement I heard you say once in a faculty meeting. “We of
all people should be the most free to handle controversy, because we have the Holy
Spirit to guide us.” Our academic freedom is a great strength, one I pray we always will
use to enhance the Kingdom of God.

III. Diversity. I believe that ORU is the most diverse campus on earth, racially,
culturally, denominationally. To me that is a great virtue. We are forced to work in
harmony with students and colleagues from a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs.
This is possible only because we are centered, at your insistence and guidance, on the
one perfect man, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. This truth became very real to me through a
conversation God reminded me of with a fellow graduate student years earlier. I shared
that the one thing hammered into us as Pentecostals was the four cardinal doctrines
(the Foursquare gospel): Jesus is Savior, Healer, Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, and
soon coming King. I had heard Pastor L. D. Thomas of First Methodist share
essentially the same truth in his last sermon series: “Jesus is the dividing line of history;
the Holy Spirit is sent to unify the church; and the world has it all backwards.”

Because these cardinal doctrines are the core of our shared values at ORU we can
tolerate a wide diversity of views on other issues. To me this provides a healthy
academic setting, requiring us to think about and respect the views of others, and to
hone our own world view more finely. This opens the door to racial tolerance, even
love, and respect for all the cultures and peoples of the world. That fact makes me very
proud to have given my life to ORU.

IV. My personal ministry. I never wanted or sought to have a personal ministry, but
God used my brother-in-law, an Assembly of God Revivalist-Pastor, to speak a word to
me about pastoring. One year later (1988), while walking across the ORU soccer field,
God gave me a clear word that resonates in my spirit to this day. “Many can do what
you want to do; few can do what I have called you to do. Care for My precious little
lambs.” I knew instantly that God was speaking to me about pastoring my students.
For this, Dr. Harold Paul was my model.

We struggled to develop an organization we named Petra (after rock) Field Camps.

Eventually we were led to incorporate, seek IRS 501(c)(3) status, and to purchase
property in the Ozarks. As we experienced the miracles of God’s provision, I was often
reminded of lessons and testimonies you had learned through your fund raising and
building activities (e.g., pay attention to your mail). In a very small way, I felt I was
following in your footsteps, and appreciated even more what God allowed you to
accomplish through faith in Him. We now have a beautiful log cabin and 15 acres of
land in which to host ORU students for retreats and academic activities. The Oral
Roberts Evangelistic Association has given us $17,500 toward our building, for which
we are eternally grateful.

V. Seed Faith. I continue to be in awe of God’s blessing as we have tried to put Seed
Faith in action. By God’s grace I will build more houses for use by faculty, staff, and
administration desperately in need of spending time with family and God in the
quietness and beauty of His creation, here the Ozark Forest. We are challenged by a
prophetic word to “Enlarge your coast, strengthen your tent, for many of My servants will
rest and wait in this place says the Lord.” You once told me that I had the gift of
encouragement. Because of my encouragement, many would not quit their work at
ORU. Now with retirement from ORU rapidly approaching, I expect to devote the rest of
my life to this work. My prayer is that I may continue to encourage faculty and students
to “run the race with endurance, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our

I love to share key quotations by you that have impacted my life. My favorite is, “Give
God your best; ask God for His best.” Every semester in earth science, when I teach
about artesian wells, I share your analogy of the Holy Spirit within as being like water
under pressure. We control the valve, praying with the Spirit, and praying with the
understanding, so different from what both of us learned in our Pentecostal churches.

I rejoice in the message of Seed Faith. God spoke to me one day that He would not be
mocked. What He emphasized to me was the assurance that if we “sow to the Spirit,
we will of the Spirit reap life everlasting,” and that we are not to grow weary in well-
doing, for in God’s due season we shall reap if we don’t faint. God will not be mocked.
That truth, rooted in the Seed Faith message (God is your source, Give and it shall be
given to you, Expect a Miracle), has profoundly impacted my life and my ministry to

Words fail to convey my deep and abiding appreciation for your impact on my life. I am
truly blessed of the Lord. In heaven we will have the joy of sharing about our triumphs
here and God’s faithfulness through the years. I honor you, I respect you, I love you.
Working with you has been the greatest and richest experience of my life. For that I will
be eternally grateful.

Your partner always,

Nathan Meleen, PH.D.

Dr. Verbal Snook, Professor of Mathematics

Presented at the Annual Conference on Faculty Excellence and Effective Teaching,

Camp Loughridge, August 19, 1985.

My assignment is to give a five-minute review of our first 20 years. I will not go into
detail. Just enough to address my conviction of the importance of integrity of
relationships between us.

The first three years were more confusing than the last three. Even though we were a
heterogeneous bunch, there were three well-defined groups. There was a group of
retired professors. They were in control. A second group was populated by those who
had just finished, or were finishing, their Ph.D. programs. This group wanted control.
Then there was a group of ex-high school teachers. Our high-school experience had
taught us not to expect control.

Each of us had a story to tell about bur calling to ORU. We shared the challenge.
Perhaps as many as 80% held widely varying views of how to build a university. I was
among the 20% that had no idea what to do. Regardless, control passed from the old
professors, who established a solid liberal arts base, to the younger group within three
years, and we were on our way.

Individual ambitions had to be subjected to the greater task of building a university.

While this sounds elementary, it created a lot of frustration, since a composite of
individual plans had to evolve. Now, the frustration was not bad. It created opportunity
to learn. We learned as we resolved our frustrations. This learning took place in endless
committee meetings. Those unable to resolve their frustration began to leave. It was as
if many' were called by the vision, but few were chosen by the learning process.

My involvement was first with financial aid, and then tenure. At first, I was intimidated by
big words and smooth phrases. Slowly, I learned I could dialogue with others in their
disciplines better than they could with me in mine. I became aware of political
structures, observed political activities, and most importantly, developed an awareness
of the importance of relationships.

As we worked together on committees, we developed respect for each other. We

accepted what others were doing even when we failed to understand their methodology.
This mutual respect, coupled with competence in our disciplines, made us effective.

By the early 70s, we had excellence within our grasp. Not because of scholarly activity,
but because a nucleus of adequate scholars with adequate funding developed
compatibility, and congealed solidly behind the challenge to build a university worthy to
be called God’s university.

Then we entered an era of rapid growth as we prepared for graduate programs. An
early project was a Cross-Pollination Task Force to study ways to preserve existing
esprit de corps and extend it to the graduate programs and the larger university. But
individual domains had evolved. We protected ourselves by criticizing others.

I came away from that experience convinced that what we were discussing was
noticeably missing. (Surely the essential ingredient of cross-pollination is respect,
mutual respect for others, their disciplines, their thoughts, and even the way they think.
Before I reject your idea, I am obligated to you to think it over with you. It is necessary,
but not sufficient, for me to listen to you express it). By the time of the cross-pollination
meetings, we had lost our ability to even listen. While one was talking, the rest were
thinking about what to say when it was their turn. In retrospect, I think we failed because
we tried to work our way through the problems in three weeks of concentrated
meetings. More time would have been necessary for working relationships to develop.

My concern is for the present, since relationships are still deteriorating. We spend little
time with people outside our department, because we are consumed by the immediate
task of teaching; and we take pot shots at various aspects of the curriculum under
control of others. We do this even as we teach our classes and advise students. We will
never regain what we have lost if we continue our critical ways. As a matter of fact, it is
necessary that I defend you when I hear someone criticize you.

Collectively, we are weak. Anyone of us could be replaced, almost immediately. On the

other hand, relationships are not readily replaced, since they take so long to develop.
They may be weak or strong, good or bad, but they are uniquely ours. Good, strong
relationships are the key to our success. Whenever we come together with a group
spirit, establish mutual respect for each other and each other's work, and unify about a
single purpose; then we will alter our destiny and again accept the challenge of building
a university worthy of the title, "God's University."

"Possessing the Land: The Quest for Excellence,"
by Dr. Nate Meleen.

Presented at the Annual Conference on Faculty Excellence and Effective Teaching,

Camp Loughridge, August 19, 1985.

In planning this conference, the Committee on Faculty Excellence focused on the

questions: "Where have we come from? Where are we going? What does all this mean
for us in the classroom?" We recognized the transitional character of our present
situation, with 20 years of history behind us and an uncertain future ahead. As the
suggestion was made to have someone consider the next 20 years, I leaped at the
chance, then cowered under the magnitude of the task I had accepted. I hoped to
produce a thoroughly prepared, carefully written, much critiqued, position paper on our
needs for the next 20 years. Those desires lie in the ashes of a long, hot summer, spent
in too many hours pursuing extra income.

Nonetheless, four key areas of need have emerged which I feel are highly worthy of
consideration. I see these as a triangle (or circle) of "leadership," "vision," and
"resources," surrounding the bonding force of "unity."


Dr. Carl Hamilton spoke prophetically as he told the tenured faculty in the fall of 1983
that they were the only enduring element at ORU. Students come and go;
administrators can be replaced on 30-days notice. Only the faculty have contracts.

I am convinced that ORU will never be the university God envisioned when He
burdened Oral Roberts to build it until the faculty have an active, vital role in all aspects
of university life. This is an enormous responsibility. We, more than any others, should
be the ones most committed to the superordinate goals of ORU.

As a young faculty member, I experienced the pain of feeling unwanted in nonacademic

areas of campus life. I came with much higher hopes. I survived by the typical ostrich
approach. My work with Faculty Senate has been pivotal in changing my attitude. I have
seen what can be done when people care enough to try. I have seen what faculty can
do if given a chance. I am convinced that the faculty represent the greatest untapped
resource on this campus. Students want our leadership, want to spend time with us,
value our friendship and counsel.

I believe Dr. Jernigan when he says there is a fresh wind blowing. As the attention given
to the School of Arts and Sciences has waned, the need for faculty to move into the
leadership gap has grown. Please understand, I am not talking about a rebellion against
the administration. Ralph Fagin is a faculty member who came up through the ranks. I
see the need for collaborative leadership where faculty work with administration and
students, alumni and regents toward common goals.

How can we lead? Broadly the three areas of need are: academics, campus life, and
spiritual life. In the classroom we can lead by example. What role model do we project?
How does our performance fulfill the goals of ORU? Do we provoke students to anger,
or do we admonish them in the Lord, sharing the scriptural tools essential to a life of
integrity, of character, of Christlikeness?

We can lead by active involvement in campus and spiritual-life activities, wedging open
the door whenever opportunity strikes. We are needed. For whatever reasons, we are
not being used.

My dream is to see faculty used especially in policy formulation and planning, through
committees, with followup through hands-on involvement at the grass roots level.
Committees are much maligned, yet they are the only viable substitute to the town
meeting (or assembly of the whole) within a body trying to function in covenant
relationship. Committee failures can be traced to lack of or inadequate vision,
leadership, resources, and unity. Successful committees demand a strong leadership, a
clear agenda (vision), and committed participants.

I dream of active faculty participation in the planning and doing of chapel services, dorm
life, student government, alumni relations, student admission and retention, etc., etc.,
etc. I dream of the day when regents, administration, faculty, students, and alumni will
work in concert toward making ORU a truly great university for God.

I must not close this section without addressing the issue of leadership style. The finger
pointing, voice command technique will not do. I like the Israeli Army model of
leadership. You get promoted by leading the pack into battle, out front where the action
is. And we must never forget the words of our Lord that "he who would be the greatest
among you must be your servant" (Matt. 13:12). As we demonstrate our faithfulness,
integrity, effectiveness, and unity, we, as faculty, have every right to expect to be
rewarded with more responsibility, the very thing I see as essential to the future
prosperity of ORU.


This seems almost an overworked theme. We have often heard the verse, "without a
vision, the people perish." I have prided myself on my enthusiasm for George Bernard
Shaw's words, "Some see things as they are and ask 'why'? I dream of things that never
were and say 'why not'!" Yet I have succumbed to the fading of vision under the stress
of too many hours laboring in Tulsa's high summer heat and humidity. I have felt the
rising anger over why this is necessary, and have been personally admonished by the
Lord for voicing the desire to just quit. Such a mood saps our spiritual energy, and
makes us hostile to students and administration alike. Through this experience I
recognize more than ever the vital necessity of vision, of hope, of esprit de corps.

We need a fresh and continuing understanding of our founder's vision. Statements in

early publications are instructive and worthy of our attention today. Perhaps we need to

reassemble some of these. ORU was born out of the fires of evangelism, a healing
ministry raised up to address the hurts and needs of the masses. The call upon Oral
Roberts' life, which we share, is to take God's healing power to our generation.

We have distinctives we must not ignore. We are the only major charismatic university
in the world. If we fail, God has no backup.

We have responsibilities to the partners of the Oral Roberts ministries, millions of "little
fish" (in the words of one elderly black lady I helped at a partner's seminar) who have
contributed generously to make ORU possible.

For the present and the future we must believe that we will overcome. I have been
challenged by President Roberts "faith-talk" message precisely because I am at a place
where fear is a real enemy. We must keep the faith; we must persevere (Hebrews
10:36). We need a strong dose of Hebrews 11 faith.


In Proverbs 30:8-9, Agur prayed: "Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the
food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you, or lest I be poor and steal, and
profane the name of my God." For me (and I suspect most of us), my two scarcest
resources are time and money; they are related. For me, all academic work and much
family life has ground to a halt in the face of 60-hour weeks at an exhausting summer
job, trying to stay ahead of creditors. This has become a painful annual ritual for me.
There is no way we can exercise real leadership under the pressure of outside

Last May, I believe the Lord showed me that much of the successful ministry found in
many large churches today can be traced to the abundant, even lavish remuneration
given to pastors. They are essentially free from personal financial concerns, with the
result that they can give their full energies to their ministry. By contrast, their pioneering
predecessors often had to work at secular employment, with consequent stress,
reduced effectiveness, and numerous church splits. I cannot help but wonder how much
our effectiveness is reduced by inadequate resources. If this issue is as fundamental
as I suspect, then it can no longer be considered an economic issue: it is a
spiritual one.

As I pondered these points, I remember clearly how the Lord impressed on me that the
answer was not in pointing fingers at the administration. For years I have heard such
criticisms, and I have not seen it have any impact at all. The Lord clearly revealed to me
that the answer is to be found in 2 Chronicles 7:1415: "If my people, who are called by
my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their
wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their
land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and my ears attend to the prayer of this place."

I don't like to think I need to humble myself and to repent, but the hostility resulting from
my summer job has shattered my complacency. It is painful for me to admit this, but I do
so under divine directive. Our great need should be a catalyst for deep self-examination
and repentance. It was such self-examination and prayer that saved Christian Chapel in
1980. It is now a healthy, vibrant fellowship, literally raised out of the ashes of hopeless
debt and pastoral need. For me the issue is clear: the solution to our vital need for
resources lies in our concerted commitment as a body to prayer and repentance.


As the Holy Spirit gave me the four categories for this paper--leadership, vision,
resources, and unity--I grappled with the problem of how they fit together, and the
appropriate order of presentation, especially unity. I ultimately came to believe that unity
was central to all. This biblical principle is found in John 17:11: "That they may be one
as we are one," and Ephesians 4:13.

I see three areas of need for unity:

1) Unity in faithfulness to our founding purpose, including the founding vision and
present ministry of Oral Roberts, the honor code, and God's call on our lives here. I
believe God is using our current troubles to shake out and refine those who do not
share this fundamental call.

2) Brotherly love, especially in the words of Verbal Snook, "faculty congealing."

This takes time and effort, so difficult when stress is high. Respect is a key ingredient
of love, as is understanding. If we try to pull down another discipline, part of the rubble
falls on us. And the Bible tells us that God calls "not many noble, but chooses the
"foolish things to confound the wise" (1 Cor. 1:27-29). So let us be careful to honor and
appreciate those whom God has called, fellow workers in His harvest field. Ralph Fagin
has said, "If you want respect, give respect."

3) The third area of unity may surprise you, but I believe the Holy Spirit showed
me a relationship between personal integrity and unity. The tie-in comes from the
mathematical designation for whole numbers: "integer." Both come from the Latin word
"integer," meaning untouched, intact, entire. We need unity within ourselves, where we
say, do, and believe the same thing. It is another way of describing wholeness--
integration of calling, performance, and character. As a part of that, I believe personal
integrity at ORU includes commitment to the code of honor.


The task before us then is to truly become one people, to keep the faith, to lead, to
identify needs and formulate strategies to meet those needs, and to pray and covenant
with God in order to bring it to pass. We are on the precipice, the same as Christian
Chapel was in 1980. As a church board we had vision, we prayed, we formulated a

strategy, and we stayed open to God. Concerning our search for a pastor, Greg Davis,
one of our deacons, said:

"At that time we could have decided to move in a lateral fashion and get
somebody who would come in and bring about a kind of return to some
kind of normalcy and smooth everything over--just kind of abide and move
on. But the Spirit of God would not let us do that either. It was a time to
step forward. And of all times, out of probably the darkest hour of Christian
Chapel, the Spirit of God was telling us it was time to take a large step
upward toward Him. It was such a critical turning point, and God would not
let us fall back or slide laterally. He said we had to move forward, and we
had to take a significant step upward."

For ORU to be excellent, faculty must lead. To lead, we must have vision. Both must be
supported by adequate resources to do the job. To obtain resources we must humble
ourselves, repent, and pray as we have never prayed before. To please God and get
the job done, we must be unified: unified within ourselves, unified with each other, and
unified as a ministry raised up by God for this hour.


April 28, 1987


Dear Colleagues,

Would you take the time to prayerfully read the attached position paper? It represents
the culmination of what the Holy Spirit has been birthing in me through 20 years of
service here, including three terms as Faculty Senate president. Your response will be
appreciated and considered in the final paper. We pray it will become a permanent
document; any suggestions and revisions you have are welcome and needed.

In writing like this I sense a flow in the Spirit. Embarrassed by Verbal Snook's incredulity
at how I could find the time to do it (I really did do most of my other work) I jestingly
wrote him: "I'm not an Oral nor a Verbal; I'm a pencil." I owe a great debt to Verbal and
to Hugh Morken. Next to my dissertation this is the most challenging assignment I have
ever undertaken. Like dissertation advisors, they have challenged, corrected, advised,
and encouraged me, giving the hope and support needed to keep plugging away
through the tiring revisions. They share any success; the errors are mine.

I am also deeply grateful for Ralph Fagin's support. We started together in 1982 when
he became Associate Dean and I began my first term as president. He has been pivotal
in my success. His leadership has inspired and emboldened me to think on a grand
scale, to believe we really can make a difference.

I strongly recommend President Roberts' message to the Regents (Addendum No.2).

All who have seen it have been blessed.

These are exciting days; God is moving. I pray this paper will stimulate and bless you,
and that we will all be open to the voice of the Spirit. Thanks for sharing my burden and
for all your kind support through the years.

Respectfully yours,

Nate Meleen, PH.D

Faculty Senate President

Philippians 1:9-11 (NIV)

A Position Paper by
Nathan H. Meleen, Ph.D., Faculty Senate President
Academic Affairs Area, Oral Roberts University
Tulsa, Oklahoma, 74171
April 1987

Summary of Key Ideas (Abstract written by Dr. Verbal Snook)

God's command to Oral Roberts to "turn the Medical School around" is also a pointed
challenge for self-examination by the entire ORU community, in order to make certain
our goals are being realized. This paper addresses the continual need for faculty to
evaluate progress toward ORU's goals by participating in a self-examination process.
This need is great, since the faculty have the awesome responsibility of guarding ORU's
fundamental reason for being.

There are two basic needs. First, the faculty needs to identify once again ORU's
fundamental purposes, examine them in detail, and use them to formulate a coherent
vision, an integrated philosophy, by which to assess everything done. Even a superficial
examination of this challenge suggests a further need for a faculty that is empowered by
the Holy Spirit, obedient to spiritual authority, united by a common vision, and anxious
for opportunity to participate in a team approach to problem solving.

Second, the faculty needs to accept a pastoral calling to raise up students to hear God's
voice. Just as the pastor of a congregation must teach and defend the Christian faith, so
the faculty must teach and defend the fundamental purposes for which God raised up
ORU. Understanding of the pastor-teacher calling is crucial to our mission. It balances
Christian compassion and academic discipline, and generates and directs classroom
activities designed to produce graduates that are both intellectually and spiritually alive.

Firm leadership and teamwork is the constructive combination that launched ORU. This
same combination is needed both for preparation and operation of healing teams. What
an opportunity to teach by example! Let us model leadership and a team approach as
our modus operandi here at ORU.

Two essential components of an effective model are obedience and authority. In its
ideal form, obedience to spiritual authority is an incredibly powerful tool for the
accomplishment of mission. Unfortunately, the potential for abuse is great. Let us
search the scriptures for perspective, exhibit proper submission to authority, and
demonstrate subsequent benefits to our students.

This paper is a call for dialogue, even a task force to study strategies. It seems clear
that the Holy Spirit is calling us to action--the kind of action involving careful evaluation,
thought, and prayer about where we are now as a University, and where we need to go
to fulfill God’s commands.

I believe a direct outgrowth of God's initiatives in President Roberts' life this past year is
a call upon us to integrate our vision, focus, and activities. As Faculty Senate president,
I have written numerous memos, and undertaken a number of initiatives toward that
end. This has allowed only a piecemeal approach to problems. Under the Holy Spirit's
leading, I have recognized a need for a more systematic approach. That is the focus of
this paper.

I have a deep concern for faculty effectiveness and morale, coupled with a strong sense
of responsibility with President Roberts for building God a university. My year as Faculty
Senate-president is culminating in two dominant themes: the delineation of our enduring
values, and a recognition of the pastoral calling of ORU faculty. In essence then, this
paper is my end-of-year report. I pray it will stimulate much thought and discussion,
personal self-studies, concerning our goals and purposes.

This, my third year as Faculty Senate president, will likely be my last. As such, I sense
an urgency in the Spirit to write what I understand to be the keys to a strong Senate.
Toward that end, allow some reminiscing as I briefly describe my spiritual-intellectual
pilgrimage. When I read again my 1985 paper, "Possessing the Land: the Quest for
Excellence" (Addendum No.5), I was moved and blessed to see the consistency of the
vision the Holy Spirit has birthed in me. That vision is offered here in the hope that it will
contribute toward an edification of faculty, and a strengthened, spiritually-alive Senate.

Goals for Faculty Senate

When I first ran for Faculty Senate president in 1982, there were only seven candidates
for six Senate offices. There was talk of disbanding Senate because of its apparent
meaninglessness and low morale. I vowed not to be the last president. In that climate
we could afford no major mistakes. For that reason we adopted an operating principle
which has proven its value many times: start small and build from success, principles
vital to long-term stability.

In the course of my three terms as president, four goals have evolved: morale,
relationships, involvement, and guardianship. They are discussed below, followed by a
listing of personal ideals, concerns, and influences relevant to the writing of this paper.

1) Morale. Of paramount importance was the need to build faculty morale

through a strengthened Senate. We gave primary attention to the structure of meetings
and the effectiveness of committees, needs vital to any organization. I see a strong,
positive, well-run Senate as a key ingredient in faculty unity and morale, both of which
are essential to the ministry goals of ORU.

Low morale is deadly to an organization. It manifests itself in vicious cycles of apathy,

disengagement, and outright rebellion. Thus, I consider the efforts to strengthen Faculty
Senate to be a holy calling, essential to our mission; the same applies to all activities

which edify faculty. That is why I have fought so hard for protected meeting times, and
for programs which foster unity within the ORU family.
2) Relationships. I have long desired for faculty to be able to minister to one
another in the spirit of Hebrews 10:24-25. The Annual Conference on Effective
Teaching and Faculty Excellence, and subsequently the Faculty Excellence Committee,
were direct outgrowths of this goal. This year the Thanksgiving Communion Dinner and
the Dr. Harold Paul Faculty Lecture Series were products of that same desire. The
recent faculty-led, Good Friday Eucharist service, was a direct outgrowth of that
Thanksgiving dinner, as David Ford caught the vision of faculty serving students in a
ministry role.

At our August 1985 retreat at Camp Loughridge, Verbal Snook emphasized the
importance of relationships. In response to this need I have often wished that faculty
had a larger role in faculty chapels. These were established so that President Roberts,
and now Larry Lea, could have a set time to share with us. They meet a vital need and
are one of our strengths. Still, there are times when faculty need to minister to one
another. That kind of interaction is a prerequisite to our trust, respect, and responsibility
for each other (i.e. brotherly love). A key symptom of this lack of trust is our
unwillingness (including myself) to share openly one of our most common and deepest
needs--finances. Another problem is that even well-meaning efforts to educate faculty
may be ineffective if presentations are given by persons who lack classroom experience
(the trenches so to speak). We need to strengthen and expand our efforts to have
faculty needs addressed by faculty.

3) Involvement. A third goal was to seek an active role for faculty in the fulfillment
of God's call upon ORU. Perhaps because of my obscure discipline (geography), the
absence of advisees, and the many years of dissertation labor, I often felt more like a
student than a faculty member. (In fact I was a student under the tutelage of President
Roberts, and I have thought long and hard about the implications of his teachings).
Through my pilgrimage, it has become clear that for ORU to be the university God
ordained, it must have faculty who understand and model its enduring values, and who
then, with that understanding, pastor students and are involved in university leadership.
Carl Hamilton's admonition that tenured faculty represent the only enduring element
here only heightened my sense of concern. I continue to believe that the faculty
represent ORU's greatest untapped resource, but we must earn the right to be heard
and utilized. Support for President Roberts and the enduring values of ORU are
essential. But if we do the job well, and are given the encouragement and organizational
structures necessary, we can be prime movers in bringing students, administration,
faculty, and staff together.

The only viable way for us to have an enhanced involvement in university leadership is
through committee work. Here our diversity is a strength, for a well-structured
committee will reflect an accurate sampling of the whole. I have found good committees
to be highly useful. Furthermore, such committees are golden opportunities for cross-
pollination. Concerning the early years Verbal Snook wrote: “As we worked together on
committees, we developed respect for each other. We accepted what others were doing

even when we failed to understand their methodology. This mutual respect, coupled
with competence in our disciplines, made us effective." To be effective committees
must have a clear agenda, leadership, committed participants, and unity.
Willingness to labor on committees is essential if we are ever to have a key role on the
leadership team here.

4) Guardianship. The fourth goal, an outgrowth of the third, has only recently
become clear: the defense and proclamation of our enduring values. That in turn has
led to resolution of a long-standing internal conflict: the pastoral nature of the call to
teach. My own calling to teach has long been clear, but I have wrestled for years with
whether it involved pastoring a congregation. I now believe that the Holy Spirit has
always intended a faculty position at ORU to be that of a pastor-teacher to those
students under one's sphere of influence. Just as the pastor of a congregation must
teach and defend the Christian faith, so we are called to teach and defend the
fundamental purposes for which God raised up ORU.

The ramifications of our pastor-teacher calling are revolutionary, but that calling is
essential to an understanding of this paper. I cannot expect faculty to immediately
accept what has taken me years to resolve. However, I do hope that we can open our
hearts to this calling and grow in our understanding. There is strength in our diversity,
as we model our understanding of God's nature and demands through our varied
personalities. I expect modest changes in classroom activities, but substantial changes
outside the classroom. This whole concept is so new, we will likely have to evolve
workable strategies and models.

I want to emphasize the value of diversity here. There is no desire to squeeze faculty
into a preconceived mold. If men and women who love God and love students, and are
called to teach here, will just let their light shine and be obedient to the Spirit, we will be
well on the road to success. Many are doing that now; we just sense the Lord wants to
greatly expand our vision and effectiveness.

One new strategy, and an area where my mind is exploding with possibilities, involves
giving and fund raising for specialized faculty programs, such as Ralph Fagin's
restricted account and Faculty Senate. We have not heretofore considered such giving
to be a spiritual option, yet activities like our retreat and the Good Friday service are
highly worthy of support. Funding of awards (including cash prizes) and refreshments at
meetings contribute in subtle, yet powerful ways to faculty morale. We need to gear up
our specialized faculty funds to handle the resources I fully expect God to be sending
our way. As ministers of the gospel in the office of pastor-teacher, we have every
reason to hope for increasing kingdom resources. We may be shocked at what God will
do for us here, as we develop strong relationships and covenant together in unity.

Ideals, Concerns, and Influences

Last September, I was able to articulate my goals for the year: "light candles;" "break
down walls;" "enhance leadership." I believe they are keys to our mission as faculty.

I have given inadequate attention to the fact that, as President Roberts stated in his
address to the Regents last November (Addendum No.2), we are raising up leaders for
the charismatic movement. The Holy Spirit has been dealing with me about how I view
students. It troubles me sometimes to observe the leadership models we are projecting
for them. We need to seriously evaluate the impact that we, as faculty, administration,
and staff are having on these future leaders.

In the 1968 commencement address, Senator Jennings Randolph from West Virginia
spoke on the subject: "ORU: Our Responsibility Understood." What is our
responsibility? In this paper I share my conviction that God's call on our lives as ORU
faculty is far larger than any of us dreamed. As the Holy Spirit tries to implant in us a
new vision for world missions, we need 'to reexamine our prime directive: "Raise up
your students to hear my voice. . .." For me, that includes helping them find their calling
in God and their place in His service. That effort is truly a ministry of lighting candles
and enhancing leadership.

Disagreements over the role of faculty concern me. A commonly held view is that faculty
should be involved mostly in the classroom. Universities seem to be caught in a
dynamic tension between a teaching role for faculty on one hand, versus an
involvement in everything on the other. I believe our role here includes a responsibility
to guard our enduring values, essentially a pastoral function. But our efforts in the
classroom alone can easily be undermined by those who deal with students in
nonacademic areas. For that reason, we need opportunity to speak out if we see those
fundamental purposes being threatened. It seems clear that President Roberts has
placed this guardianship responsibility on us.

Many of us share a deep desire for President Oral Roberts to see and enjoy the fruits of
his labor. For ORU that means producing graduates who are effectively prepared for
ministry. I believe the founding vision is sound and worth giving my life for. (I say that
after careful soul-searching). That could include risking my job in order to call the
President back to that founding vision, should he waver in response to the
overwhelming pressures of the ministry. Lee Braxton, in defense of the Prayer Tower
(Addendum No.2), could do that because he had earned the President's trust through
his faithful service and support. No less is required of us if we expect our voices to be
heard. I dream of the day when President Roberts and faculty come into such a unity of
the faith that he can securely rest his confidence in us. The best hope for achieving that
is through our commitment to the fundamental purposes he has laid down through the
years. I have a growing burden to see them identified and solidified while he is still with
us. The solidification I seek is in the form of the printed page, and in organizational
structures that demand accountability to these enduring values.

The ideas expressed in this paper have been heavily influenced by four key spiritual
leaders. President Roberts' teaching and ministry are the whole basis for my
understanding of our fundamental purposes. My thoughts about pastoring are steeped
in Jack Hayford's rich teaching on leadership and pastoring (leading people into God's

presence). My brother-in-law, Evangelist Phil Lindvall, has shared, prodded, and
encouraged me in the growing understanding of my calling as a pastor-teacher.

Larry Lea has had a remarkable impact on me, given his short time here. I have been
especially influenced by his optimistic, joyous, forgiving spirit, all rooted in the
fundamental discipline of early-morning prayer. I am personally challenged by his four
prayer goals for us (chapel sermon on 2/23/87).
1) That the spirit of a warrior would rule our lives (Ephesians 6:12).
2) That the Lord would impart to us the spirit of wisdom (James 1:5).
3) That a spirit of intercession, a praying spirit, would begin to rule our spirit
(Matthew 6:33).
4) That the spirit of success would be on our lives (running to win) (1
Corinthians 9:24, Psalm 1:1-3).
I want to own and to transmit these values to my students. The Holy Spirit is stirring me
to see our students through His eyes as the future leaders they are. This is opening a
whole new chapter for me.

Lastly, I am committed to the importance of the printed page. What a treasure we have
in our archives, where every recorded message or presentation by President Roberts is
transcribed, as well as all the chapel sermons. Frank Wilbur, as President-elect of
Faculty Senate, gets copies of everything I write related to Senate. He has been
terrorized by the thickness of the file. But I have found that I soon forget what I hear.
Ideas are mankind's scarcest resource, worthy of protection. When we put them on
paper, we tend to organize, clarify, and economize the content. Ralph Fagin keeps an
idea file. Good ideas in such files may get buried for awhile, but like the stones in New
England soil, they have a way of coming backup to the surface. In reexamining Verbal
Snook's paper from our 1985 conference, I was surprised to learn that ORU was
launched through a team effort by President Roberts and faculty. I had not recognized
that, even though I was affected as a beginning faculty member in 1967. That discovery
just rekindled my desire to recover what we have lost. We have excellent foundational
material and victories. We must not lose them.


I sense a great need for a return to basics: in coaching parlance, to fundamentals. For
us that starts with faith, hope, and love (I Cor. 13:13). The relationship needs stressed
by Verbal Snook, crucial to our success with students, must be rooted in love. Faith,
without which we cannot please God, must be infused with joy, the source of which for
me is prayer that hallows the names of God--faith declarations about who He is in me.
Joy and hope are vital to our success. "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink,
but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17):

Righteousness to cover us,

Peace to surround us,
Joy to infuse us.

Many of us fall prey at times to despair at ever seeing "God's university" established
here. But then that still small voice within reminds us that the battle is the Lord's, and
"except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it." And so I take comfort
and instruction from Proverbs 16: 3 (Amplified): "Roll your works upon the Lord- -
commit and trust them wholly to Him; [He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable
to His will] and so shall your plans be established and succeed." Thank God for the
promise of success.


The Need

God's command to Oral Roberts to "turn the Medical School around" is also a pointed
challenge to the entire ORU community to get with God's program NOW! Our prime
directive as a "ministry-with-a-university" is to take God's medical presence into the poor
and needy regions of the world as a tool for evangelism. To accomplish this will require
a battlefield approach. Front-line troops need to be trained, equipped, transported,
supported, and rotated. The home base must provide strong and effective support
through prayer and oversight. Vast resources need to be garnered for the operation. We
pray for the day when those students, alumni, and ministry employees who remain at
home will be as much a part of the world-outreach team as those who are on the front

Of necessity, the development of ORU has been piecemeal. Now it is time, however, to
formally identify our fundamental purposes and to use them to formulate a coherent
vision as an integrated philosophy by which to assess everything we do. To accomplish
this we need:
1) A unified vision
2) An empowered faculty
3) A team approach
4) Obedience and spiritual authority.
Although obedience is discussed last in this paper, it is an essential discipline without
which the other three are meaningless. The battlefield approach cited above
emphasizes the need for obedience and discipline.

A Unified Vision

Several years ago God ordered President Roberts to bring ORU into unity. The diversity
of individual ambitions and dreams, so common among pioneers, is well described by
Verbal Snook in Addendum No.1. His paper is a call for unity in relationships, rooted in
respect for one another.

“Collectively we are weak. Anyone of us could be replaced, almost

immediately. On the other hand, relationships are not readily replaced,
since they take so long to develop. They may be weak or strong, good or

bad, but they are uniquely ours. Good, strong relationships are the key to
our success. Whenever we come together with a group spirit, establish
mutual respect for each other and each other's work, and unify about a
single purpose; then we will alter our destiny and again accept the
challenge of building a university worthy of the title, "God's university."

The more a group shares common values, the easier the task of unity becomes. If we
can identify our common values, we can make them work for us in directing our policy-
making, job descriptions, and relationships. The vital task before us then is to
identify our enduring values, state them as fundamental purposes, and use them
as guidelines for everything we do.

The enduring values we seek have already been articulated by President Roberts
through his lifetime of ministry. Our task is to assemble them into a coherent system
where all involved can agree on and subscribe to them. The key to our list of enduring
values lies in two areas: 1) the abundant life concept, and 2) key orders from God
concerning ORU. The concept of abundant living (3 John 2, John 10:10) has been
central to Oral Roberts' preaching and teaching since early in his ministry. To become
operational, it requires a right relationship with God, including fellowship and obedience:

"And this is life eternal: to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ
whom Thou has sent" (John 17:3); "Thou wilt show me the path of life; in
thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures
forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).

When we truly sense the heartbeat of God, and sellout to His kingdom authority in our
lives, it becomes easy and natural to commit our destiny to the fundamental purposes
for which God raised up ORU.

It is important here to establish that our fundamental purposes have not changed. What
has happened is that in our busyness and heavy financial pressure we have forgotten
critical parts of them. This has allowed structures and attitudes to develop which are
contradictory to our enduring values. That is why we feel so keenly the need to follow
Isaac's example of restoration. ["And Isaac dug again the wells of water which had been
dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them after the
death of Abraham; and he gave them the names by which his father had called them"
(Genesis 26:18)]. We need to seek out and put into print those key messages by
President Roberts which best elucidate the fundamental purposes God gave to him.

Our list of fundamental purposes is offered in an attempt to get dialogue started. It

begins with the two primary orders concerning ORU, is followed by three key disciplines
required for abundant living, and concludes with two applications of the Great

1. Evangelism: "Raise up your students to hear My voice, to go where My light is dim,

Where My voice is heard small, My healing power is not known. To go. even to the

uttermost bounds of the earth. Their work will exceed yours, and in this I am well

2. Excellence: "Build Me a university; build it on My authority and on the Holy Spirit."

3. Prayer: The energizing, stabilizing force of the gospel.

4. Wholeness: Spiritual, mental, and physical health.

5. Abundance: Seed-Faith as a positive expression of the eternal law of sowing and


6. Healing teams: Merging prayer and medicine, teaching abundant living, with signs

7. Vocational Penetration: Going into every man's world.

It is imperative that we come into agreement on our fundamental purposes so that we

can systematize our efforts to inculcate these values into our students. To be
successful, and obedient to God, we need graduates who share our personal
commitment to these ideals. How this value-transfer should occur is a key unresolved
issue. We believe all aspects of university life should be involved. It seems obvious that
a key need is for a task force to identify, publish, and rally support for our fundamental
purposes, and to implementing them through our diverse activities. Our efforts
heretofore have been largely fragmented. This paper is a call for deliberate integration
of effort.

Some remarks by President Roberts at the November, 1986 Regents meeting are
highly relevant to this paper; they comprise Addendum No.2. Here he cogently balances
the spiritual with the academic, calling for a marriage of a Bible school heart with
academic excellence. An expanded discussion of our fundamental purposes is included
as Addenda 3A and 3B.

An Empowered Faculty

As noted above, a primary need is to inculcate our students with our enduring values. A
critical element in this task is the understanding and commitment of faculty. Our role is
crucial because of the day to day influence we have on students. Furthermore, senior
faculty provide a memory resource for the university. (I could not have written this paper
without my 20 years of experience at ORU). Faculty should both act and be viewed as
guardians of our enduring values. That awesome responsibility involves 1) a pastoral
calling, 2) a shepherd's heart, and 3) an integrated approach.

1) A Pastoral Calling. The guardianship of enduring values is essentially a

pastoral function: protection and nurture of the flock (2 Timothy 3:14-4:5). Our
ascended Lord gave gifts to the Church in the form of apostles, prophets, evangelists,

pastors and teachers--or as many prefer, pastor-teachers. These gifts, as recorded in
Ephesians 4:11-16, are for the specific Church needs of:
1) Training for service (v. 12)
2) Maturity and perfection in Christ (v. 13)
3) Protection from false doctrine (v. 14)
4) Edification in truth and love (v. 15-16)

President Roberts has spoken of the need for leadership training in the charismatic
movement as a primary reason why ORU was raised up. Faculty are among the most
important workers in this task, yet here a major weakness exists, primarily through a
deficiency in church teaching. It is clear that we as faculty generally do not comprehend
our pastoral calling. The church has essentially ignored it, especially in comparison to
the professional ministry. But the understanding of a pastor-teacher calling is crucial to
our mission; it will have vast impact on our approach to the classroom and toward
students. We need major teaching on how to function as pastor-teachers, from such
knowledgeable colleagues as Harold Paul, Howard Ervin, Robert Voight, Larry Hart,
and Hubert Morken, among others.

The urgent need then is to inspire faculty with an understanding of their pastoral role,
stimulating and involving them in ways that help them recognize their importance to the
team. If faculty are to assume such a role, they will need to be convinced of, trained in,
and committed to that concept. This may require substantial time for building the
necessary theological foundations and framework. (Some ideas are included as
Addendum No.4).

A pastoral calling is both a great privilege AND a great responsibility. As pastor-

teachers, the Holy Spirit has given us the major responsibility for inculcating our
students with our fundamental purposes, and, in the context of this paper, challenging
them to make a lifelong commitment to world missions generally, and to ORU healing
teams specifically. President Roberts has clearly given faculty this same mandate. I
pray we can agree on the need for faculty to be pastor-teachers; and for hiring, training,
promotion, and tenure policies which reflect that primary need. We, of all people, need
to be skilled in BOTH our academic disciplines and the Bible.

As pastor-teachers we will be judged by a higher standard. Hebrews 13:17 admonishes

followers (students) to "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority, for they watch
for your souls, AS THEY WHO MUST GIVE AN ACCOUNT" (mix of NIV & KJV). James
3: 1 declares: "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because
you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly". Faculty need to be
especially sensitive to the dangers of intellectual arrogance and narrow vision (mind
over spirit, pride in human wisdom, and discipline-dominated thinking).

The pastoral calling of ORU faculty differs from pastoring a congregation. It is not our
purpose here to delineate those differences, but it is important to clarify our role at ORU.
We do not preach, at least not in the classroom. We have a set group of mostly young
adults for a limited period of time. We have a specific curriculum based on human

knowledge, to which we have the privilege of applying biblical principles where
appropriate. But our primary academic task, as defined by those accrediting agencies to
which we are accountable, is to pursue knowledge, add to it, and pass it on. We are not
the only pastor-teacher for our group; our ministry is shared among faculty with highly
diverse interests, policies, and ministry skills. That just makes the need all the more
pressing to come into unity on our enduring values and on spiritual truth.

Discipline is required to avoid preaching in the classroom (the wrong time and place). It
violates the academic process and reduces our effectiveness when we do have
opportunity to share a spiritual truth, or speak outside of class. Nonetheless, there are
many opportunities in most courses for mini-sermons, 1-minute applications of biblical
truth that students devour. Also, there is much need for pastoral work outside of the
classroom. Solid, biblically based counseling on marriage, family, and career decisions
is greatly needed, especially in view of the confusion within contemporary society.

2) A Shepherd's Heart. "Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who
will lead you with knowledge and understanding" (Jeremiah 3:15). One mark of true
shepherds is a desire to impart to others what God has imparted to them. Real
leadership involves making disciples. We need to see our students as God sees
them: not as flaky, immature 19-year-olds, but as future leaders, ripe with
potential. As we grow in our understanding of a shepherd's heart, we will give
increasing attention to leadership training, a task dear to the heart of God.

The pastor-teacher calling gives legitimacy to our concern for fundamental purposes.
This calling requires careful attention both inside and outside the classroom to
guidance, correction, nurturing, and guardianship of students. Indeed, as with the
responsibility of a father, this task involves protection from both the enemies within
(attitudes and behavior) and without (thieves and deceivers). Jack Hayford compares
pastors to shepherds, noting how often God used the experience of shepherding as
training for Israel's leaders (David’s killing of the lion and the bear pointedly illustrates
the need for pastoral protection against external enemies. Paul voiced the same
concern in his final exhortation to the elders at Ephesus (Acts 20:28): "Guard yourselves
and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the
church of God, which he bought with his own blood" (NIV).

How does this apply to pastor-teachers at ORU? Many of us have counseled students
who have had tragic experiences with dorm life, student services, or other faculty. As
secular teachers in the classroom alone, it would be easy to wring our hands and do
nothing. But the professor with a true shepherd's heart will fight to protect his students.
How much better it would be, however, to utilize the experience and wisdom of pastor-
teachers to anticipate and head off potential problems before they happen, or to review
and correct policies which are currently hurting our mission. Unless we can be
guardians of our fundamental purposes outside the classroom, it is highly unlikely we
will be able to provide the pastoral care our students’ need.

Furthermore, there is a clear danger in the kind of thinking (whether by faculty or
administration) that faculty leadership and responsibilities involve only academic
matters. It is a multiheaded monster, where one head breeds apathy and laziness, and
another head, excessive involvement outside the University. Spiritually sensitive faculty
are easy prey to the internal pressure Jeremiah felt--the "fire within his bones" - - if he
did not speak out (Jeremiah 20:9). Even Sunday School teaching can divert us from our
primary responsibility, raising up ORU students. Many faculty need that outlet, and it
does benefit the community; but if it diminishes our fire and our effectiveness here, can
the Holy Spirit be pleased?

3) An Integrated-Approach. Faculty have been told that it is our job to teach our
fundamental purposes, yet those purposes have not been clearly delineated.
Furthermore, in this confused state, it is quite probable that students are hearing a wide
dichotomy of viewpoints whenever fundamental purposes are discussed. This is why an
integrated approach is so greatly needed, in which at least some chapels are
extensions of the classroom in the sense of transmitting our fundamental purposes. We
have enjoyed a wide array of chapel speakers who have broadened our vision. But time
devoted to teaching our fundamental purposes has been limited, except as President
Roberts has responded to his burden and expressed his vision for the university.

Is there any hope? There is obviously little time in chapel, and other assemblies of the
entire student body are rare. Still, there is no better forum for teaching our enduring
values than all-school assemblies. A partial solution might be to publish an occasional
magazine for students by the leadership team (including faculty). What a place for all to
share the fire of the Spirit within, especially topics and questions that relate to our
fundamental purposes. What a place for dialogue, for students to ask questions and get

In summary then, if we assume a pastor-teaching role, we cannot ignore nonacademic

aspects of campus life. We can no longer just teach our classes and draw a paycheck.
We must be involved in ensuring that a unified vision dominates university life.
Nothing could be more vital to faculty morale, for that task gives high purpose and
meaning to our calling and labor. It also clarifies the crucial role of faculty, and the need
to compensate them well (Hebrews 6:10, 1 Timothy 5:17-18; Galatians 6:6).

A Team Approach

Leadership styles have a profound influence upon the effectiveness of an organization.

Models range from the highly centralized, strong-ruler type, to the widely dispersed
authority of the town meeting. The former accomplishes tasks quickly, but tends to
abuse people and to make major mistakes because of inadequate counsel. The latter
offers widespread input, but has a terrible time getting anything done. The ideal, and
what works well, is the combination of a strong leader with involvement of and support
from those within the organization.

We have been blessed by strong leadership from President Roberts, one of the
strengths of ORU. Our course has been clearly set, with firm directives. However, as
any sailor knows, keeping a ship on course demands constant attention to the helm.
Without strong oversight from the top, policies at ORU tend to be modified by whoever
is in a position to exercise authority, including faculty. This is not good, for it breeds a
fragmented approach, in which the quality of decisions rests completely upon the
integrity, competence, and wisdom of the ones making those decisions. This has the
potential to destroy us, where "everyone does what is right in his own eyes" (Judges

We started well! It was enlightening to read Verbal Snook's description of the early
leadership process at ORU. Under the Holy Spirit's guidance, a team effort evolved
under the strong leadership of President Roberts. ORU was established under the ideal
combination of 1) a firm leadership structure, and 2) team spirit in the form of numerous

Such is the model needed by healing teams. However, if we are to achieve a team
concept on the mission field, we will need to model it in our training and modus operandi
here at ORU. Students learn by example. Such campus teams need to model godly
authority in the very best sense of the concept.

It is unrealistic to expect the same intense level of involvement by President Roberts

that he gave in the founding years. Consequently, it is even more urgent that we
delineate our fundamental purposes, and implement them in our policies and practices.
We greatly need the establishment of teams whose focus is an ongoing review of how
well our policies and procedures mesh with our fundamental purposes. With respect to
academics, we do this now for accrediting agencies. What is needed is a periodic
spiritual review (self study) as an act of accountability to God. North Central Bible
College in Minneapolis now requires this of individual faculty on a yearly basis.

There are some powerful benefits to ongoing team review. Clearly, one is accountability
by those in the leadership structure to those under leadership (e.g. pastor to
congregation). Another is a healthy input of ideas by outsiders. A third is an early
warning system for potential or real problems ("In many counselors there is safety,"
Proverbs 24:6). A fourth, and perhaps most important benefit, is the building of esprit de
corps. Full commitment demands at least partial ownership, an ownership based on the
knowledge that one's wisdom, experience, ideas, and concerns are heard and
considered. What better way to achieve a sense of partnership in the venture?

All areas of campus life need ongoing review. As teams are established, their first task
should be to generate, in writing, an operating philosophy consistent with our
fundamental purposes and unified vision. These philosophical statements then need to
be reviewed and revised up and down the chain of command until all are in harmony
with their content. President Roberts should be able to give his stamp of approval to
every philosophical statement.

A second task for teams should be a periodic review of existing policies and practices
for their coherence with our fundamental purposes and unified vision. Frequency of
review is a key issue to resolve. What may be most effective is a combination of lower-
priority, ongoing review on a semester by semester basis, with a high-priority, spiritual
self-study on something like a 3-year cycle.

Given the enormous problems we face and will face in the future, we need all the
resources we can tap. There is tremendous strength in unity, especially under godly
authority. As we prove our stewardship, we have every reason to expect God to reward
us in the form of greater responsibility and resources.

Obedience and Spiritual Authority

God told Oral Roberts to "build Me a university; build it on My authority and on the Holy
Spirit." In a recent sermon, Larry Lea cited ways to NOT grieve the Holy Spirit. One was
to gladly obey spiritual authority. There is an essential, yet misunderstood relationship
between obedience and authority, a misunderstanding amplified by the natural
rebelliousness of man and by the diversity of church and national government
structures. In its ideal form, obedience and spiritual authority are incredibly powerful
tools for the accomplishment of mission, but they can also be readily abused. We see 4
needs here:
1) A sound theological foundation
2) Enlistment/commitment of faculty to sell the concept
3) A balanced view between submission and accountability
4) Godly models

1) Theological Foundation. Dennis Bennett said that if you don't have a good
theology you will surely have a bad one. Few people give internal commitment blindly;
indeed it is one of our protections (1 Thessalonians 5:21). A strong case can and must
be made for the protection that authority provides. It is a covering, like the animal skins
God gave to Adam and Eve, and Ruth's appeal to Boaz. Elizabeth Elliott entitled one of
her books, The Liberty of Obedience; many testify to the freedom such a disciplined
lifestyle affords. Furthermore, we are engaged in warfare. Mankind has long recognized
the need to sacrifice personal rights in order to win battles. A sound theological
foundation can be a powerful tool through which to influence our students in the cause
of effective teamwork.

2) Salesmanship. Faculty are a key because of our strong influence on students.

They will more readily accept doctrine on obedience from someone they admire and
trust. This can be used to advantage for the kingdom of God, an opportunity which only
amplifies the pastoral nature of godly teaching.

3) Balance. Great effort is needed to balance obedience, authority, and

accountability. The writer of Hebrews (13:17) combines submission to authority with the
fact that leaders will give an account to God. In Ephesians 6:1-9, Paul combines
submission of children to parents, with nonprovocation by parents; service by slaves as

unto Jesus, with a nonthreatening atmosphere by masters, who are themselves subject
to God, who is no respecter of persons. Ungodly fear must have no place at ORU.
The Holy Spirit must be grieved when graduates leave with cynicism and
bitterness over inconsistencies and unchristlike examples.

4) Godly Models. Some of our regent-pastors are especially gifted in modeling

godly authority. Men like Billy Jo Daugherty, Jack Hayford, and Larry Lea have much to
teach us. Jack Hayford also has an excellent understanding of the role and
responsibilities of leaders. Faculty clearly need to understand the impact of our example

These four areas are especially important in the training of our students as future
leaders. Godly examples are crucial. By God's grace, may we all be able to say with
Paul, "Follow me as I follow Christ."


In summary, this paper is a call to the Oral Roberts University family to seriously weigh
what God is saying to us through His current mandate to President Roberts. We believe
that God is telling him to turn the entire ministry around, not just the medical school. We
need to ask ourselves, what is OUR responsibility? Could God intend far more than we
imagine here?

This paper is a call for solidifying our enduring values by identifying, examining, and
then implementing our fundamental purposes. Key personnel in this effort are faculty.
We need to recognize them as pastor-teachers, with the responsibility under God to
inculcate our students with these enduring values, to model Godly authority, and to lead
our students in finding their place of service in His Kingdom.
This paper is a call for a team approach to assure our present and longterm success,
and the effectiveness of healing teams. Toward that end we need a clear understanding
of how we are to function within kingdom principles.

Consider this paper a call for dialogue. It seems clear that the Holy Spirit is calling us to
action--the kind of action involving careful evaluation, thought, and prayer about where
we are now as a university, and where we need to go to fulfill God's commands. Our
prayer is that by God's grace we can come into unity, and we pledge our full efforts
toward that worthy end. May we all be listening for what the Spirit is saying.

Remarks by President Oral Roberts to the Regents, November 21, 1986.
Bible-based, God-centered, Holy-Spirit-anointed, academic excellence.

When God called me at 17 to take His healing power to my generation, I did not know
the greatest movement of the Holy Spirit in the history of America was to be in the vein
of the Charismatic Bible Ministries. Anyone who reads history knows the strength and
longevity of any movement revolves around its ability to reproduce leadership. Now I
know why God ordered me to establish ORU with its seminary, medical school, and City
of Faith. All the toil, sweat, and tears we endured by faith will become our great joy, if a
university can be a vehicle to reproduce the leaders of the future. Without new
leadership in the church, this great flow of the Holy Spirit will subside. For that I submit
to you my life's work. When you and I are in heaven and we have the advantage of
looking back with clear vision and to understand what we tried to do, we will see that we
are now forming the leaders of the future in a different way than is ordinary.

Now I mean by that--I believe that the Bible school in itself is the purest form of training-
-training people in the Bible, particularly bringing young people together in a Bible
college. Two reasons. One is, that without a relationship with God and knowing the
Bible, we cannot get to heaven; we cannot live for God on this earth; we cannot be the
salt of the earth, the light of the world. But now in addition, if we can take the Bible-
school concept and put it into the very heart of the university, and build upon it and
around it an academic program from which springs the different skills by which the world
is operated, we have the absolute best of what we as humans and as Christians can do,
(as we seek to be) the salt of the earth and light of the world, and to release our own
personal calling.

Let me take you back to the beginnings of the university when we were dealing with the
North Central Accrediting Association, which accredits hundreds of universities and
colleges all the way north and south of us in maybe a ten-state area. So you're dealing
with the highest accrediting agency in this part of America. Now there's been a basic
fear of that group by what we call either the Pentecostal church or the Charismatic
church. Those two are not very different. But also some non-Pentecostal/Charismatic
groups who are Bible-centered have a fear of what the government can do and what
such an (accrediting agency) can do which operates under the federal government.

I was in the midst of a healing ministry, a ministry of signs and wonders. I was furthering
my own education all the time, but I was in the midst of a people primarily sponsored by
Pentecostals. Then later, I was part of the founding of the charismatic movement by
those groups. We were trying to build our lives around the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and the
workings of God supernaturally through us. Now we up and announce we're going to
build a major university. Not a college, though there would be an undergraduate school,
but a university consisting of many colleges on the undergraduate and graduate levels.
That's why we called it a university, even when we were just a college, because we
founded it to be a university.

When the accrediting people came down they assigned to me, the president and
founder of the university, a small group to help educate me in what would be required to
have an accredited university. Then it came down to one person and myself. The dean
of a prestigious university in the state of Michigan was assigned to us, and we had to
pay for his travel and his time. So he took me by the hand, in effect, and led me step by
step in what accreditation would entail. As you well imagine, his drift was what
academics are, and he went out of his way to explain (them) to me because it was
natural for him to think that I was not acquainted with academics on a higher scale. It
was good that he felt that way. He didn't know at the time that I was a good learner and
a good listener.

As he led me on and I began to see the picture of what higher education is all about, it
confirmed in my mind that it did not have a Bible-school base. It was not God-related. It
was humanistically related, and they without apology advanced that to me because they
purely believed that it's man's own highest ability that makes life move forward and
improves human society. There wasn't any duplicity in the man. He believed this, and
he explained the whole American system of higher education to me. At that point I
began to introduce to him (that) I had no problem with that, providing they allowed us to
supply the heart: a Bible-based, God-centered, Holy-Spirit-anointed university. So he
was nice enough to ask me to explain that, which gave me a great opportunity. When I
heard myself explaining it, it made me feel better to hear what I was saying, because
when you hear yourself talk, you find sometimes you're stronger than you thought you
were, or you're weaker than you thought you were. So as I explained, he drew me out
just exactly like I drew him out on his academic explanations. So he said, "What are you
trying to say?" "I'm trying to say, I'm buying what you are advancing if you buy what I'm
advancing." We want a marriage, but we want to be the heart." He said, "I have no
problem with that."

Now members of the Board of Regents, that was the highlight. I'm going to enlarge on
that because I think it’s basic to our being here and what's going to happen through us
in the world. "I have no problem with that." I said, "Would you explain that?" He said, "If
you can prove to us by what you do that you will be truly academic, you will have
emphasis upon excellence in academics, you will take care of the training of the mind;
of taking the knowledge that has been brought forward this far, adding to it and passing
it on; in those three stages, knowledge that has been developed, (then) you as a
university add to that knowledge, and then you pass it on to other generations; if you will
deal with knowledge and advance in it, it is none of our business what your religion or
philosophy is. That is your business. The North Central (Accrediting Association) has no
problem with what you believe in your heart, in your religion, in your philosophy. Our
sole concern is that you do not lower the standards of the development of the mind, of
taking knowledge which is represented in your library in those thousands and thousands
of books--which is why we will require you to have a major library that represents the
accumulated knowledge through the centuries. Secondly, if you add to that by the
knowledge that's in the minds of your professors, and in the meetings that you have
them attend and which we will require them to attend from time to time; you take the

knowledge base in your library--which is the knowledge of the past, and you take the
knowledge that is resident in the minds of your doctor and masters degree people, and
you add to that base of knowledge; and then you pass that on into the stream for the
future; and (if) we are given the confidence by your actions that you are truly an
excellent group of people in the pursuit of knowledge, adding to it and passing it on, you
can believe what you want to believe about God or against God. You can leave Him out;
you can put Him in. You can believe God created the world, or you can believe He
evolved from something else. You can do anything you want to do."

Now I said right here, "Doctor, if you really represent the North Central Accrediting
Association in what you said, we've got a deal, because we are people of excellence to
begin with. I, Oral Roberts, represent a segment of the most spiritual people in the
world, who are not dummies. We may not have all the education academically we'd like
to have, but we are scholars from the standpoint that we're students.* We are
searchers. We read thousands of books. We’re listening all the time. We're advancing
ourselves. And the ones I'm gathering around me believe the mind is an integral part of
our existence. We’re not just a soul walking around on two legs. We have a brain and
we want to develop that brain, and we want to go into every man's world. We interpret
the Great Commission to take the gospel into all the world and to every creature, to
mean also that we go into every man's world."

Some of you early ones will remember that term, "go into every man's world." If we're
going to go into the world of medicine, we have to produce medical doctors, in law, and
all the way down the row. Let's say the public education system; we have to produce
teachers to go into that world as a witness of Jesus Christ.

Now a second thing happened. Our first academic leaders really believed what I said,
but when it came down to the nitty gritty they unconsciously fell back upon what they
had learned where they earned their undergraduate and graduate education. They fell
back to those universities that were not based upon the Bible and God. And when we
announced that we were going to build a Prayer Tower and make it the center of the
university, we had a flap. For these Ph.D.'s and the founding dean, who is glad for me to
share this, rose up and said, "The North Central (Accrediting Association) will not
accredit us if we put a Prayer Tower in the center that says the most important thing
about the university is prayer or our relationship with God, because they believe
academics is the most important thing in a university."

I want to tell you that I began to waver. I don't know if I would have backed out or not. I
didn't, so I don't know. But Lee Braxton, who was our founding chairman, saw me
wavering. He knew I had a call to build the university, and now I came to where the
*In a meeting in President Roberts' home, during the spring of 1968 at the height of the
controversy over his joining the Methodist church, he gave personal prophecies to each
of us which he received from the Lord Jesus in a vision. The word to me and my wife,
Judy was: "Scholarship and students." I have struggled for years to understand what
scholarship truly meant. This discussion here is the clearest explanation I have found.

rubber met the road. I was with the accrediting people, and without their stamp I couldn't
have a university. I'm called to build a university. Now what am I going to do?

Lee Braxton stood and fought like a tiger. He said, "Oral Roberts, you said that God told
you to build Him a university, on His authority and on the Holy Spirit. You said that. And
you published it and you've sold it to the partners. You sold it to us. You sold it to a
bunch of people who could care less about higher education. All they want from you is
your sermons and your prayers. Now you went and sold the most unlikely group of
people to give you money and support to build a university. You told them you were
going to put a Prayer Tower in the center. I'm telling you, Oral Roberts, if I have to walk
away it will destroy me." He went on to say how I was his hero and all the nice things
that people say to you. "But let me tell you, this is what you said, this is your stance."

And then we got a letter from Erby Shaw. Erby was a founding member of the Board of
Regents back in 1962. And Erby said, "Lee, you tell Oral that he can count me out. If he
doesn't build that Prayer Tower, he has compromised everything he's told us, and I will
not serve on that board." So here comes Lee with that letter. I don't know if I would have
backed out or not. I don't know. I don't think I would, but I don't know. But let me tell you,
when those guys got through working me over, I want to tell you that I recognized I
needed to be worked over.

We made that decision to build it. Now it's all the more pertinent because that building
cost two million dollars, and we were trying to get the money to build classroom
buildings and dormitories. People on the other side were saying, "You're not going to
put two million dollars in a Prayer Tower, two million dollars you don't even have?" We
decided to put it right in the center where on one side was the Learning Resources
Center. On the other side were the dormitories and the cafeteria, and all the (students),
all the faculty, had to walk by it many times a day.

And then we didn't have a place to put it. We needed a sunken garden; all of that. One
of the other original (regents) was Eleanor Foster. She had such deep feelings that she
put up the money for that four acres of sunken garden, in the center of which is the
Prayer Tower.

To illustrate this further and how serious it is, the year it was (finished) in the (1960's), I
went up alone with thousands of letters (from) my partners. I told them I was going to
stay in the Prayer Tower as many days and nights as it took for me to be satisfied that I
had prayed for them by letter and by name. I would fast. It ended up three days and
nights that I didn't eat, and I was up there alone. That was my first time to do this. We
had a member of the faculty to escort me up there with the students' knowledge. The
students were told that I would be up there in prayer, and we hoped they would be in
prayer as they went about their duties, and the faculty would pray; to remember I was
up there and represented not only thousands of letters, but each letter represented a
partner who helped build this. I was to send down word when I was through. They sent

three of the leaders of the faculty up in the Prayer Tower to end the prayer and the fast
with me and to bring me down. They were going to assemble the student body.

In the faculty was a Ph.D. who had been converted to God as a young man under the
tent in my ministry. He went off and got his Ph.D., and came here and had turned sour
after he got here, because he reflected what he had learned in that university that was
not based upon God. So he said, referring to the faculty member that took me up there
and the three that came to bring me down three days later, "one ass took him up there
and three brought him down." Now you can appreciate the fact that his contract was not
renewed for the coming year. Two years later, after he had returned to his alma mater
and they had given him a good position, he contacted me. "Can I come back?" You will
appreciate the fact that I said no, because I didn't trust him. He has made contact with
me not less than six times over the years. He has my love and my prayers. But while I'm
alive he will never get back here. That's not necessarily a spiritual statement; it’s just
purely a fact.

I carne into this building where the chapel was assembled, and I presume we had 500
students by that time. I stood before that group of students--in the midst of an academic
university of which the Ford Foundation had already published that the brightest star on
the academic horizon is the new university in Tulsa--I walked into the midst of an
academic university where there was no compromise on academic excellence, but
where we had the heart of a Bible college--and I testified to what God had done in my
spirit up in that Prayer Tower. We validated the Prayer Tower in the lives of our people.
Today I get the feeling that people are as proud of that Prayer Tower as they know how
to be.

I think it's important that we pause and put into the record what we're just saying. And
finally on that thought, there's a whole new Christian school movement going on. Those
that we deal with are frightened because of the accrediting agencies. They do not
believe they can have God and go by the accrediting agencies such as ours. I tell them
they are wrong. I tell them if they will pay the price academically, (the accrediting
associations) will let them alone. They can believe what they want to believe. But you
can't substitute your religious beliefs for academic excellence.

For clarity and amplification, here are some thoughts about our 7 fundamental
purposes. (Nate Meleen)

1. Missionary evangelism. I see three major weaknesses in our current approach.

1) Our students need to be challenged to discipleship: a lifetime commitment to
following God's will, no matter what the sacrifice.
"Must Jesus bear the cross alone, and all the world go free?
No, there's a cross for everyone, and there's a cross for me."
2) We need to inculcate a truly world vision. As Americans, the majority of our
students share a woefully inadequate knowledge base concerning world conditions.
3) We also need to stress the opportunity for participation in missionary
evangelism by all members of the ORU family through the home base efforts in prayer,
training, and resources.

2. Academic Excellence. God's command to "Build Me a university; build it on My

authority and on the Holy Spirit," is a clear mandate for a military academy approach,
rooted in Biblical authority and understanding, fleshed out by the pervasive influence of
the indwelling Holy Spirit (including a large dose of love), and combining the very best of
academic discipline and Bible-school style training (Proverbs 2:6-13; 3:13-26). What
does it mean to "build God a university," which by its nature is supposed to be a place
of unity amidst diversity? We have a great need and opportunity to build a strong team
through crosspollination, and to manifest the very best of the liberal arts tradition ["You
shall know the truth (Jesus), and the truth shall set you free;" and "Whom the Son sets
free is free indeed."] Modern science grew out of the concept of an orderly, dependable
universe reflecting the faithful, unchanging character of God; so must our science. In the
social sciences, our studies of the human condition need to be founded on Biblical
principles of Godly wisdom and truth; especially pertinent, in my view, are the
Pentateuch, Proverbs, the teachings of Jesus (a "greater than Solomon") and the
Apostle Paul. The Arts can be powerful tools in themselves for Christian witness, as
they reflect the beauty, creativity, and vitality of the Holy Spirit within.

3. Prayer. I thank God for what Larry Lea has brought. This paper is likely a direct
outgrowth of the emphasis on prayer, in which John Korstad has played a key role.
Ralph Fagin expressed our need well: "Maybe if we prayed more and worked less, our
problems would be easier to solve." A prayer base also seems a vital part of effective
teamwork, especially in the areas of priorities, relationships, and armor; it is also a
tremendously stabilizing force.

4. Wholeness. I see Larry Lea's teaching on joy as an essential element in spiritual and
mental health. Joy comes through prayer that hallows the names of God, which in turn
are faith declarations essential to pleasing the Father. Thus, wholeness must be rooted
in the disciplines of prayer, Bible study, assembly, and physical exercise and bodily

5. Abundance. President Roberts' testimony regarding III John 2 is foundational here.
Prosperity and Seed Faith are logical extensions of the concept of wholeness and the
abundant life promised by Jesus. I believe our students would more readily accept Seed
Faith if they were taught it as an integral part of the Eternal Law of Sowing and Reaping
(Galatians 6:7-10). We readily accept the idea that bad seeds result in trouble, so
likewise good seeds should produce increase and blessing. An easily understood model
involves marriage, along with other human relationships. Kenneth Copeland, an ORU
alumnus, has given excellent balanced teaching on the laws of prosperity. God blesses
us not so we can hoard the blessing, but to let that blessing be used to promote the
gospel. Hugh Morken has written some useful thoughts here, especially as Seed-Faith
relates to the poor. Marilyn Hickey's recent sermon on "reversing the curse" is also

6. Healing teams. As others have well said, our practice of ministry must start at home.
Activities of (and similar to) the Christian Service Council should be strengthened. The
team approach needs to become a way of life here at ORU. Cooperation is a learned
behavior, antagonistic to the natural rebellious spirit of man.

7. Vocational penetration. This is the real test of our success. Do our graduates
comprehend, and are they committed to executing our fundamental purposes in their
personal lifestyle and vocation? Carl Hamilton noted that we had done a good job of
formulating our honor code, but a poor job of selling it to students. Philosophical bases
are essential to our success with students.

It helped me to see President Roberts' reemphasis of the idea about going into every
man's world (Addendum No.2). With respect to the Great Commission, this gives
everybody a place to fit in. I am troubled, however, by a clear danger here. "Going into
every man's world" can easily become an excuse for doing anything a person wants to
(nightclub singing?). Guidelines for appropriate activities and responses are needed.
Equally troubling is the fear that this emphasis could divert attention and resources from
our prime directive: missionary evangelism. All need to be involved in praying and


Parts of a memo on fundamental principles dated 2/25/87 (Nate Meleen).

The challenge by President Roberts to the faculty yesterday only reinforced a growing
conviction I have: the need for an increasing involvement of highly committed faculty in
the vital functions of the University. I fear our noninvolvement--by choice, default, or
administrative policy--has bred a lethargy among faculty and/or a misunderstanding of
our responsibility. As I heard it, President Roberts yesterday reinforced a mandate to
faculty to teach our fundamental purposes as a part of our function here. Verbal Snook
tells me the President has always expected that, but I sense that few faculty

As I have studied and reflected on our history I see five fundamental purposes of ORU. I
believe our students need to learn about, understand, and hopefully make a lifetime
commitment to these purposes. Because of turnover, forgetfulness, and graduation, this
need is continuous. These purposes, as I see them, are:
1. "Raise up your students to hear My voice, to go where My light is dim, where
My voice is heard small, My healing power is not known. To go even to the uttermost
bounds of the earth. Their work will exceed yours, and in this I am well pleased."
2. "Build Me a university; build it on My authority and on the Holy Spirit."
3. To teach the principles of Seed Faith as a positive expression of the eternal
law of sowing and reaping (Make God your source; give and it shall be given to you;
expect a miracle.)
4. To teach the principle of merging prayer and medicine, with emphasis on
medical missions, and with an expectation of God honoring His word through signs and
5. To teach the principle of prayer as the energizing agent (the gasoline) needed
to get the job done.

These relatively simple statements embody a huge array of behavioral objectives.

"Hearing God's voice" implies a learning process and a lifetime commitment to following
God's will. A "university" implies scholarly excellence--in Larry Lea's words, "sentenced
to success." "God's authority" implies an emphasis on biblical knowledge, and
submission to divine authority. The emphasis on the Holy Spirit implies an
understanding of His purpose, presence, and power, as shared so well recently by Larry
Hart. The Bible proclaims the Seed-Faith principle from cover to cover. I believe our
students also need teaching on the impact of sowing bad seeds, i.e. sowing to the flesh
(e.g. AIDS).

There is apparently much confusion among students concerning #4, medical missions.
They do not see the need for their involvement. But the West Point model shared by
Billy Jo Daugherty answers that. We are all part of an army. To support one soldier at
the front requires nine behind the lines, to say nothing of the industrial workers and
farmers at home. And the concept of "going into every man's world" is still valid. I pray
that our graduates would see themselves as part of a team, even if their contribution is
only a Godly work ethic and witness, combined with solid financial support for the army.
Paul's admonitions to Timothy about warfare and being a good soldier are pertinent

The greatest need I see is a sense of coherence, of how it all fits together and can be
operational in our lives. The business and engineering students need to feel as much a
part of the team as the theologians and premeds. Carl Strader's comment about the
financial support from his businessman son was so needed.

I was reminded that the prayer emphasis has always been with us, as evidenced by the
Prayer Tower in the center of the campus. But Larry Lea has taught us the essential
need to make prayer operational, a prerequisite to experiencing the joy of the Lord, our
strength, and to doing God's will.

These fundamentals provide a basis for assessing where we have been strong or weak
in chapels (as well as other aspects of university life). I thought Larry Lea's sermon on
Monday, February 23, was especially pertinent (impartation of the spirit of a warrior, of
wisdom, of intercession, of success).

The role of faculty here is crucial. Anything involving faculty in chapel needs careful
screening, but under strong administrative oversight I believe we as faculty can reach
students effectively. Furthermore such involvement should stimulate faculty to more
effectively use the classroom as a means to achieving our fundamental purposes.

To summarize, I hope for 1) identification of and agreement on our fundamental

purposes; 2) faculty involvement in the inculcation of these purposes in the lives of our
students; and 3) effective use of both classroom and chapel in the fulfillment of our


Parts of a memo about pastoring students, inspired by Carl Strader's chapel sermon on
February 25, 1987 (Nate Meleen).

All my life as a Pentecostal, I have been exposed to preachers who have created guilt in
me about not being a soul winner. Yet if I responded to what I was told I would never
teach in a "'Christian" university. Somehow I was able to sense the importance of
helping those who are young and/or weak in the faith, and that has always been my
burden. Even so, I have struggled to accept the concept of "pastoring" my students, of
thinking of myself as a pastor.

As I left chapel Wednesday I said to the Holy Spirit, "I have got to have an answer; what
is my responsibility for "souls?" His response was immediate and firm. Just as
childbearing involves both giving birth and nurturing the young, so "souls" involve both
soul winning and soul nurturing. I heard the Spirit say, "Your understanding is correct;
pastor your students." I have since found some relevant scriptures. "My brothers, if one
of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember
this: Whoever turns a sinner away from his error will save him from death and cover
many sins" James 5:19,20. Paul wrote: "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere
in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers" I Timothy 4:16.

I dare not minimize the importance of winning the lost, but I know a key part of our job
here is to strengthen the faith of our students to where they become strong warriors for
the kingdom of God. No one has modeled this better than Dr. Paul. Called to be a
pastor, he simply carried his pastoral work into the classroom.

I believe that the Holy Spirit wants to plant a seed now about the pastoral role of faculty,
in contrast to the intellectual arrogance so historically dominant in academics.

Visions By David Ford, Ph.D. on God’s Shaking of ORU

Vision No. 1. On Thursday, January 18, 1990, in the context of the Faculty early
morning prayer meeting, I had a "vision", a picture analogy, which I then shared at the
end of the meeting. As I was praying, I saw bare ground seemingly in the middle of the
ORU campus; I could see tall buildings around - dorms, etc. I saw a trickle of clear, pure
water coming up out of the ground. I then saw some people around the trickle trying to
cover it over with their hands. It was as if they were trying to hide it or to stop the water.
I saw a different group of people around the flow pulling back the dirt as if to allow the
flow to expand. At the time I saw this in the midst of the meeting, I felt like sharing that
part and acting it out, but I restrained myself.

A little later in the meeting, I saw another part of the vision. I saw all kinds of garbage
and filth (and worse than garbage) on the ground around the trickle of water. The trickle
became a small fountain, and then burst forth as a geyser of water. There was a sense
before the bursting forth of immense power under the earth - hidden, restrained - but
now bursting forth. I saw the geyser going higher and higher, as tall as the buildings.
Then I envisioned the campus filling up with water, as if it were a contained area that
was being flooded. The water rose higher and higher around the buildings. The water
was filled with all kinds of refuse and debris -- filth, excrement, rubbish -- that swirled
around and around. Gradually, however, the swirling flood waters became clearer and
clearer, washing away the garbage.

The last part of the vision was seeing the flood go down, and the campus cleansed. The
geyser came down to the size of a fountain - about the height of a tall person. People
then came to drink of the pure, clean, cold water. I shared this at the end of the meeting
when Nate Meleen asked if I had something to share. I did feel led at that time to act out
the part of the person pulling back dirt from the trickle of water.

David Ford, Ph.D., Assistant Professor February 16, 1990

NOTE: The previous Sunday at the communion rail at First Methodist, Hugh Morken
had received a word from the Lord: "Hugh, a flood is coming." When David Ford gave
his vision he was puzzled by the excitement among those with whom Hugh had shared
this word, since David had heard nothing about it (and actually did not learn about it
until February 16th).

Vision No. 2. On February 8, 1990, Thursday morning, in the faculty prayer meeting, I
had a vision, a picture analogy, which did not fully develop until the end of the meeting.
It was not until the very end when Henry Evans from History referred to a scripture
(John 7:37-38) and an earlier vision (January 18, 1990) that all the pieces seemed to fall
into place, and I had a confirmation about sharing.

At first I saw a tower made of brick, like a ziggurat with a broad base spiraling to a
pinnacle, and a giant (bearded and in what seemed to be Old Testament type clothing,
neither demonic nor angelic) standing next to the tower saying: "Who built this
tower?" Over the next several minutes during the prayer meeting, that question
seemed to be asked several times in a stronger and stronger voice. Then I saw the
tower being crushed by the giant; he reached around and crushed it with his arms and
against his chest; it fell down into a rubble of bricks. For awhile that was all I received.

Then I saw people going to the brick rubble and picking up bricks that were still intact.
Each person seemed to be holding the bricks close, almost cherishing them (holding
them in their arms, holding them close to themselves).

A bit later in the meeting, another part came to me. I saw a stone altar, surrounded by a
glow that I took to be the Lord's glory. The altar was compose of gray, irregular,
common stones comprising a rectangular structure large enough for a person to lay on,
with a flat, smooth surface on top. Each person would come and lay his/her brick on the
altar. Different things would happen to the bricks. Some seemed to disintegrate; some
were weighed in a scale on the altar. Others turned to gold and glowed.

Then the vision changed and I saw persons lying on the altar. The same kinds of things
happened to them as happened to the bricks. Some seemed to disappear or fade;
others began to glow like gold. At this time I did not feel an urgency or completeness to
the vision, so I was going to keep it to myself and not share it.

When Henry Evans mentioned "living water," I saw the last part of my vision. The
people who had become "golden" began to take their golden bricks and set them in a
circular pattern to make a well. It was very clearly a well. As the people were taking the
bricks to build the well, they were moving behind and beyond the altar, so that the altar
was receding into the background as they moved beyond the altar toward the well.

It seemed to me that the Lord was drawing a contrast between a tower, reminiscent of
Babel, that was going to be destroyed, and the building of a well with "redeemed" bricks
by the hands of redeemed people.

David Ford, Ph.D., Assistant Professor February 8, 1990

Note the correlation among Dr. Ford's first vision on January 18th, the word of the Lord
to Hugh (above), and the vision David had on February 8th concerning the destruction
of a tower - and the building of a well. On Thursday morning, February 15th, Henry
Evans shared a comforting, encouraging, written statement about these visions:
redeemed bricks “used for construction of the well which preserves the water flowing
from the artesian spring... where the healing waters flow."

Prepared on February 16, 1990 by Dr. Nathan Meleen.