Lifelong Learning Online Through ORU

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Categories: Education

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ORU Business Student Wesley Ahrens.

Everyone is aware of the rapid rate in which the world is changing, but all may not be cognizant of how the changes are affecting higher education.  Dr. Jay Gary is Assistant Dean of Online and Lifelong Learning at Oral Roberts University.  He is responsible for online adjunct faculty and online degree program development.  When speaking with Dr. Gary, he provided an eye-opening view about the 6,000,000+ students now enrolled in higher education distance courses through U.S. degree-granting higher education institutions that provide online degree opportunities.  Dr. Gary says, “We live in a time of accelerating change and there is no better place to be than ORU.  Our faculty perpetually commits to the Whole Person Education, which means discovering your true purpose and carrying it out to the uttermost bounds.  To be effective, you need excellent preparation—spiritually, intellectually, physically and socially—preparing to change the world for the better.”
The Distance Education Enrollment Report 2017 from Digital Learning Compass took a detailed look at the trends and patterns of distance education enrollments among U.S. Degree-granting higher education institutions. In the study, which can be found online at, it was reported that 30% of all students in higher education are now taking at least one distance course.  Distance learners are split almost evenly between students who are exclusively “distance” and those who take some courses in person.  The majority of “exclusively-distance” students live in the same state as their institution, but a surprising 42% are studying at out-of-state institutions.  Graduate students are twice as likely to take all courses at a distance and more than one-third of graduate students study at least in part via distance vs. 29% for undergraduates.
Why are students taking so many of their studies online?  When you think about it, it makes perfect sense.  The average student age is 30-49.  The average student is spending 80% of his or her time online and by taking online courses there is no commute, there is more time available to spend with family or friends, and online studies are both accessible and affordable. Learning is increasing in quality and in quantity and most students see the competitive advantages in our digitally transformed world. Students work on their own time and at their own pace, and find that online studies help them become self-directed and able to contribute with others through technology and web conferencing.  It’s a fact that correspondence study is now ancient.

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ORU Education Student Janet George.


Dr. Samuel Thorpe, Interim Dean, College of Theology and Ministry, came to ORU in 1977 for his graduate degree in theology.  “I knew my calling from the Lord was teaching, so I earned my academic teaching degree.”  He has worked at ORU since 1979 and fulfilled his calling when he began teaching in the Theology Department.  He has been the Department of Theology Chairman since 2015.
ORU offers an online BA Degree in Ministry & Leadership.  It is a solid, ministry/theology-related degree that will help you grow as you work in a church or ministry context.  Those currently serving in pastoral ministry, but needing academic credentials, may find ORU’s Ministry & Leadership program to be a solid choice upon which to build.  This major presents a broad spectrum of areas that help grow Biblical understanding, knowledge of theological, cultural and historical studies, and practical ministry skills that include Christian caregiving and ministerial leadership.  It is an excellent bachelor’s-level foundation for those wanting to pursue graduate school studies in divinity, Biblical literature or theological/historical studies.
Your online degree in Theology enables you to apply what you are learning directly to your church or ministry content while you are learning.  You’ll be able to study year-round to finish your degree faster and the affordable online tuition enables you to stretch financing further.  Earn your degree from ORU with its distinct Spirit-empowered focus.

"My time at ORU has been fruitful and joyful.  Going to ORU has always been a dream and the online option was a tremendous blessing.  Oral Roberts University will always be home to me (and) I am grateful for the deposit God made in me through the university!"
-Seth Whitaker
Christian Counseling and Caregiving
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ORU Nursing Student Jamie Jeemon.

Dr. Kenda Jezek, Professor and Dean of the College of Nursing, attended Oklahoma Baptist University and has been a professor at ORU since 1985.   “I am truly blessed,” says Dr. Jezek, “to be doing a job I love so dearly.”  As Dean of the Nursing Program, she praises the compatibility of her team.  “We all feel called to be here and have built life-lasting bonds with each other.”
If you are a registered nurse planning to earn your BSN online, check out ORU’s RN-to-BSN degree program.  It’s for those who either now have an associate degree in nursing (ADN) from an accredited program or currently hold an RN license.  An online bachelor’s degree in Nursing from ORU requires 60 credit hours and can be attained in as little as 18 months.  Add nursing leadership, health informatics and community health to what you already know through ORU’s BSN degree which requires another 60 credit hours.  
An online degree in Nursing prepares students for careers in hospitals, convalescent centers, clinics, home care and physicians’ offices.  The program focuses on knowledge, techniques and procedures for promoting health, providing care for the sick, disabled, infirmed or other individuals or groups.  
Online courses include: administration of medication and treatments, assisting physician during treatments and examinations, referring patients to physicians and other healthcare specialists, and planning education for health maintenance.


If you’re looking for Dr. Marshal Wright (Chair of the Graduate School of Business) outside of class, you may find him on the basketball or tennis court.  He frequently gathers in the gym with friends for a pick-up basketball game.  He was also part of the ORU tennis team that ranked tenth in the nation years ago and tennis is still his passion.
“Our online Master of Business Administration in Leadership (Online MBA-L) provides a course of study emphasizing the two critical components of outstanding business leadership—technical business knowledge and expertise across all of the core components of a highly-valued and traditional MBA degree and effective leadership training, comprehensively integrated into one program,” stated Dr. Wright.  “Being a great business leader is about both the technical side of business—gaining and applying knowledge and expertise across the fully integrated range of business concepts and disciplines; and, it is about great leadership—creating and casting a strategic vision and inspiring and empowering others to the fulfillment of higher and better performance and outcomes, both professionally and personally.  The MBA-L program has been designed to deliver both of these areas of emphasis through a fully online cohort program.”
Although fully online, the MBA-L degree is strongly interactive and relationship oriented designed to help students with retention and graduation.  It is a fulltime course, defined as six credit hours for three sessions a year.  The study is adult-learner oriented, manageable in light of life’s responsibilities, qualifies for financial aid and can be finished in two years.  It emphasizes integrated business and leadership, the ORU whole person distinctive, and is very doable with regard to time and expense.  Acceptance requirements include a Bachelor’s Degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0, plus other applicable requirements.  Contact Dr. Marshal Wright, eat0@eau0eav0eaw0, or call (918) 495-6988 for more information.


Dr. Kim Boyd is Dean of the College of Education
and an Associate Professor.  The lively and familial interaction occurring around Dr. Boyd’s desk is said to parallel her character and passions in life.  She came to ORU from Pennsylvania, found her perfect match and best friend, got married and has been in Tulsa ever since.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, America’s schools will need at least two million additional teachers in the next ten years.  As a student in ORU’s online Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction program or their Master’s Degree in School Administration program, you will graduate prepared to help meet this challenge.  The program is committed to helping you become not only an exceptional teacher, but also a professional with a highly developed Christian worldview.
“Our Education degree holders get job placements,” says Dr. Boyd, “and eagerly accept hands-on opportunities where they can utilize the knowledge they have gained to implement practical teaching solutions in the classroom and at specialized schools.  They are equipped for one-on-one mentoring with students and educators. We are sending forth transformed educators ready to make a difference.”

"In the midst of life’s competing demands, on line classes have suited me well while making the attainment of my degree possible and rewarding!  Engaging on line discussions with fellow students and professors helps me feel connected and challenges me to develop my thinking as a Christian professional."
Trevor Ellis
Candidate, Master of Education-Public Administration

The ORU education program has earned the highest level of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and is held in high regard.  “It is no surprise that nearly 100 percent of our graduates find employment in public, private or Christian schools immediately after graduation,” adds Dr. Boyd.

ORU offers students their signature Whole Person Education with the convenience of online learning that culminates with a fully accredited online degree. “Our family of instructors is motivated to teach students important career skills while also benefiting the spirit, mind and body,” said Dr. Kim Nugent, Associate Vice President of Online & Lifelong Learning. Earning your degree at ORU can make a difference in your life. If you are self-motivated and passionate to make a difference, visit today for express registration and more information to start your online degree.

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ORU Theology Student Ben Santiago.

ORU's Online Awards

• Best Online Bachelor’s Business Degree • Ranked in top 50 programs in the country • • Best Online Colleges/Ranked 3rd Best in Oklahoma • Best Online Colleges/Ranked in 100 Best Online Colleges • • Best Online Theology Degrees/Recognized as #17 • Best Online Communications Degrees/Recognized as #20 • • Best Online Political Science Degrees/Recognized as #12 • Best Online Christian Counseling Degrees/Recognized as #2 • • Best Military-Friendly Online Colleges/Recognized as One of the Best • Best Online Christian Colleges/Ranked as one of the Best • • Top Colleges in Oklahoma/Ranked 6th • Best Online Bachelor’s in Counseling/Ranked 8th •

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