The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Dave Bruno

President, Oral Roberts University

Founder and President, Global Servants

Former President, Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL

Former Pastor, Calvary Assembly of God in Orlando, FL

BS, University of Maryland

M.Div., Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta

Ph.D., California Graduate School of Theology

Written 13 books, including Most Likely to Succeed (Charisma House, 2008) ; Launch Out into the Deep (Bristol Books, 1987) and more.

Married(44 years), Alison

Children, 1 son, 2 daughters, 4grandsons, and 2 granddaughters.


Dr. Mark Rutland: Christian Leadership

By The 700 Club -TURNAROUND
Dr. Mark Rutland currently serves as president of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He was the first ORU president not in the Roberts family, and was the choice of the late ORU founder, Oral Roberts, for the position.   He was named to head ORU in 2009 after Richard Roberts, the son of Oral Roberts, was forced to resign amid a wrongful termination lawsuit and millions of dollars of debt at ORU.  Rutland is a nationally recognized leader in organizational turnaround.  In fact, in the past 25 years of leadership, he’s been credited for the dramatic turnaround of three organizations.  He’s led a Florida megachurch, Calvary Assembly, out from the brink of bankruptcy, and then brought Southeastern University, an Assemblies of God college in Lakeland, Florida, from a small, dying Bible college to a thriving university in one decade. And now, ORU had reaped benefits of his leadership, as well. 

Rutland’s key to management is what he calls “turnaround leadership.”  He says that some of the dynamics of this kind of leadership include: having a vision, knowing the cost--and who pays the price, convergence of leadership, restoration of trust, and personal leadership—what kind of things does the leader need to do.  Rutland has demonstrated this leadership style during his three years at ORU.  Since he came on board, the university has experienced an unprecedented turnaround. These milestones have included eliminating $55 million in long-term debt, largely through gifts from the Mart Green family (Hobby Lobby); completing $40 million in campus renovations; and securing over $10.3 million in funding for the Armand Hammer Alumni-Student Center, which is now under construction.  That will be the first building erected on campus in 30 years, and they’re paying for it outright.  In addition to these accomplishments, under Rutland’s leadership, ORU has also achieved three consecutive years of enrollment growth and two consecutive years of freshman retention over 80%; and they’ve completed the 2011 fiscal year with positive cash flow.  Rutland says that faculty morale is sky-high and he’s been working to restore confidence in the local community, as well as on campus through his transparent leadership.  Rutland needed to rebuild trust following scandal on campus. 

Before Rutland took over as president, Richard Roberts resigned as president after allegations were made that he and his wife used university money for shopping sprees, home improvements, and a stable of horses for their daughters.  Today, Rutland has helped restore trust throughout the university, its alumni and the Tulsa community.

In addition to his work at ORU, Rutland is also the founder and president of Global Servants.  He started this ministry with the desire to see lives changed by the power and truth of God’s Word. For more than a quarter of a century, the men and women of Global Servants have risen to the call and gone into the world to preach the good news and spread the love of God.  Through Global Servants, Rutland has founded ministries in Ghana and Thailand.  The House of Grace home for tribal girls in Chiang Rai, Thailand, was founded in 1988 and houses over 100 girls.  Global Servants has planted and built more than 100 churches and two Bible institutes in six countries. 

In the fall of 2011, Rutland announced he’d be stepping down from ORU within the next two years.  "After more than 30 years leading organizations, I feel it will be time in the next year or two to transition from day-to-day executive leadership into a new phase in my career," he said. 

Rutland accepted Christ as a teenager.  After college and graduate school, he climbed the corporate ladder of his church denomination (Methodist) to advance his career.  But feeding his selfish ambition, pride and ego did not bring him contentment.  Twice in one month, he tried to commit suicide.  The turnaround came when he and his wife attended a conference to learn about the Holy Spirit.   Once Rutland spiritually saw how ungodly he was, he felt tremendous conviction and thought God was going to kill him.  When the conference speaker prayed for Rutland, he received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  This was a true turning point that renewed Rutland’s faith.  He and his wife spent the next 15 years in world missions before being asked to restore Calvary Assembly in Orlando
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