ORU Reaches Out to Hispanic Pentecostals

by | Jul 22, 2009 | Charisma Archive




Oral Roberts University (ORU) today formed a strategic partnership with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) that both groups hope will make ORU the school of choice for Hispanic Pentecostal students.

During a press conference today, ORU President Mark Rutland and NHCLC President Samuel Rodriguez ceremonially signed copies of the agreement that both men described as “historic.”

“The Hispanic community is a vital piece of the fabric of this country and the world,” said Rutland, who occasionally spoke in Spanish during the media event held at the Tulsa, Okla., university. “This agreement shows ORU’s commitment to this community and will give the NHCLC churches a sensitive and energetic place to point Hispanic high school graduates.”

Rodriguez said the NHCLC, possibly the nation’s largest Hispanic Christian group, recognizes ORU as “the school of choice for the Hispanic Spirit-filled community” and endorses the university as “the premier learning institution for the over 20 million Hispanics that, according to Pew Research, embrace the charismatic, Spirit-filled Christian experience.”

Rodriguez said more than 80 percent of the NHCLC’s 25,000-plus affiliated churches are Pentecostal.

The exclusive partnership includes the formation of the Jesse Miranda Center at ORU. An Assemblies of God executive presbyter, Miranda is CEO of the NHCLC and founder of the Alianza de Ministerios Evangélicos Nacionales (AMEN), a multidenominational association of Hispanic Protestant lay and clergy leaders in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico.

Rodriguez said the center eventually will serve as the NHCLC’s research and development arm. But initially it will focus on recruitment and developing culturally contextualized programs and curriculum.

“The Jesse Miranda Center will also afford us the opportunity to make a statement in that Hispanic students are not just being sought out in terms of the numbers, but in terms of affirmation,” Rutland said. “That there may be unique ways that they need encouragement, and we want to supply that.”

The Jesse Miranda Center for Latino Leadership will remain at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, Calif., Rodriguez added, noting that the NHCLC hopes to one day establish Jesse Miranda Centers at every major evangelical university.

The agreement also makes ORU a strategic partner for the NHCLC’s overall educational program. Rodriguez said the university currently is providing resources to help the NHCLC train Pentecostal pastors to develop after-school and mentoring programs in their churches.

He noted that though the Hispanic Pentecostals are one of the fastest-growing religious demographics in the U.S., the high school dropout rate among Latinos is at 50 percent in some U.S. cities.

“We have this great emerging demographic of Hispanic Americans who are primarily charismatics [and] Pentecostals-even the Catholics are charismatics,” said Rodriguez, who is an Assemblies of God minister. “But then there is this educational disconnect.”

Describing ORU as “the flagship for Spirit-filled, charismatic Christian higher learning,” Rodriguez said the university was uniquely poised to lead in preparing the next generation of Hispanic Spirit-filled leaders.

He said Rutland’s appointment as president of ORU created the tipping point for forming the alliance. “What he did at Southeastern was just incredible,” Rodriguez said, pointing to Rutland’s role in tripling enrollment at the Lakeland, Fla., institution and helping it transition to become a university during his 10-year tenure.

“He is the MVP, the leading university president in the evangelical, Spirit-filled, Pentecostal-charismatic world,” Rodriguez said, describing himself and Jesse Miranda as “co-presidents of the Mark Rutland fan club.”

But he said Rutland also has a passion to empower the Hispanic American community. “His heart for the Hispanic-American people, his commitment really drew us along and hence the relationship,” Rodriguez said.

Rutland said the agreement is another step in the university’s “aggressive” growth plan. After a high-profile financial scandal in 2007 that led the resignation of former President Richard Roberts, ORU has almost eliminated more than $55 million of debt and is focused on increasing its enrollment.

Minorities make up roughly 22 percent of ORU’s student body, and Rutland said he wants to see Hispanic student population rise to 25 percent in the next several years. But he stressed that the university is not focused on developing a multicultural campus, but on building “a multiethnic environment where a culture of faith is encouraged.”

Rodriguez added that the partnership was “not some tokenistic exercise in political correctness” but an effort to engage young people with a biblical worldview so they could turn the nation and the world “upside down” for Christ.

Founded in 1963 by healing evangelist Oral Roberts, ORU currently has more than 3,000 students from 60 nations.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

God says that during this season, He is turning up the heat, finding the gold and bringing His refining fire. Job makes a powerful statement of faith as he says of the Lord, "When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold." God knew Job's heart and Job knew the heart...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophecy: A Window of Time Has Opened for Believers to Preach the Truth

I was rejoicing and praising God on Friday, June 24, 2022, for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, knowing that an ungodly decree was overturned and one national curse was broken. I heard by the Holy...
The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

In 1998, God gave me a life-changing vision of hell. I receive many questions about my experience from people all over the world, but one question I'm often asked is, "Who did you see in hell?" There are others who say they've had an experience like mine, and they...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Pin It on Pinterest