ORU Chapel an Integral Part of Student Life

Contributing Writer

A FULL HOUSE: ORU’s chapel auditorium is equipped for a large crowd and is bursting with students and faculty as enrollment numbers have climbed consistently over the past several years. Commuters and residential students fill the chapel as speakers from various backgrounds share messages with the student body.

Courtesy photo

The Oral Roberts University campus is home to unique architecture in many of its structures, with gold tones and unorthodox shapes. One building is an echo of the large tents that held the revivals of Christian televangelist Oral Roberts. Students, faculty, staff and administrators gather twice per week in Christ’s Chapel for a 60-minute chapel service. No classes are held during this time, and campus dining closes for chapel attendance.

Chapel is required for students, and on Wednesday and Friday mornings during the semester, a stream of people can be seen heading from early classes in ’s Graduate Center to the chapel across campus grounds. Its outer walls are white, with blue glass windows along the top half of each exterior wall.

During services, students are seated in the chapel auditorium under high ceilings and the university’s mission statement on the back wall. Roberts was said to have heard God’s voice with inspiration for the university he would later build. According to ’s website, God gave this commission to Roberts: “Raise up your students to hear My voice, to go where My light is dim, and My healing power is not known, even to the uttermost bounds of the earth. Their work will exceed yours, and in this I am well pleased.”

Each service includes a praise and worship portion, which incorporates students as part of the praise team, along with members of ’s Worship Center. The Worship Center office oversees various spiritual components of campus activity, including global missionary teams focused on music ministry and an initiative known as Prayer Movement, with organized worship and prayer for students to take part in during the week.

Services often include special performances by students and faculty that are normally centered on Christian themes, and each exhibits specific talents of the people on ’s campus. Dance performances, musical pieces and snippets of plays by the theatre department have been part of past lineups.

Chapel at entails the delivery of a sermon by a Christian speaker. The message is sometimes delivered by President William M. Wilson or by another Christian speaker. Guests have included pastors of churches both large and small, as well as motivational speakers who identify with the Christian faith and faculty members, to name a few. Speakers are often those considered “giants” in the Christian faith, sometimes having ministries which reach into the U.S., along with nations across the globe. In an online virtual campus tour, Christ’s Chapel is described as a place where “the community gathers to hear life-changing messages and powerful student-led worship.”

Individuals such as Christine Caine, founder of A21, an anti-human trafficking organization, have spoken to the students of . Motivational speaker Reggie Dabbs, a voice to secondary school assemblies nationwide, has spoken from the chapel stage on multiple occasions.

Christ’s Chapel also houses the Missions and Outreach office, which sends out missionary teams to work with Christian ministries and nonprofits around America and the globe. The department’s website says the office sends out over 500 students on more than 45 trips to 29 countries. According to usnews.com, ’s total undergraduate enrollment is 3,288.

The 323-acre campus is home to a variety of events, and Christ’s Chapel is no exception in its uniqueness and wealth of activity.

Updated 01-26-2018

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