The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Dave Bruno



Autthor, Relaunch (2013)

Other books include: Most Likely to Succeed, Launch Out into the Deep, God of the Valleys, and Character Matters

President, Oral Roberts University until Summer 2013

Director of the National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL), a year-long program designed to help you take your ministry to the next level

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

Married, Alison

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


Relaunch Your Organization with a New Vision

Dr. Mark Rutland has successfully turned around two universities and a mega-church. Giving real-life examples, he guides others through the hard, sometimes dangerous work of turning failure into success.  From founding a bush ministry in Africa, Dr. Rutland signed on to work on staff in a 9K member church in Atlanta, learning the basics of leadership.  His first real test began when he took leadership at Calvary Church in Florida which had gone from 9,000 members down to 1,200 with a debt of $21 million.  Believing this was the call for him and his family, when he left after five years the church had turned around with membership at 3,700. 

Southeastern University was a run-down collection of buildings with no vision and a student body of 1,200.  Believing his most important job was to cast vision for what could be, in ten years he led the university to 13 major building projects totaling almost $60 million, and a student body of 3, 000.  His success led to his being called to enact a turnaround at ORU in 2007 when Richard Roberts resigned and the school was $55 million in debt.   Dr. Rutland says he had to think seriously about taking on such a major challenge at this point in his life.  His wife Alison felt this was the right move for them; an important factor for Dr. Rutland was his respect for Oral Roberts. 

Thankfully, the David Green family generously donated $70 million dollars with the change in leadership, which made Dr. Rutland’s job a bit easier.  Focusing on vision, teamwork and joy, he’s seen a dramatic difference in attitude and achievement during his tenure.   

Since the new Board of Trustees of ORU was established in 2008, and during Dr. Rutland’s two years at ORU, the university experienced an unprecedented turnaround. These milestones have included eliminating $55 million in long-term debt; completing $40 million in campus renovations; securing over $10.3 million in funding for the Armand Hammer Alumni-Student Center, which will broke ground in January 2012; achieving three consecutive years of enrollment growth and two consecutive years of freshman retention over 80 percent; and completing the 2011 fiscal year with positive cash flow.

The long-term succession plan for the office of president of ORU suggested by Dr. Rutland to the board's leadership committee was designed for him to step down in the summer of 2013—after only four years on the job.  Dr Rutland says when he leaves; he would like to do a variety of things.   He has always done a lot of evangelism, preaching, international work and leadership.   Dr. Rutland says ORU’s Board of Trustees is hoping he will take some kind of role at the university.   He knows from his experience that nearly 25 years of high octane, high velocity chief executive leadership in turnaround situations is pretty intense.   Dr. Rutland is at a place where he would like to teach, write, and do something creative.


There are several elements that Dr. Rutland says are necessary for an effective organizational turnaround. Each organizational situation has different needs, but most situations have one thing in common:  they need a leader who can restore hope, vision, and viability.  Dr. Rutland faced these in the three organizations he helped turnaround. He learned the art of leadership.  Dr. Rutland says that leadership and management exist together only in the spirit of servanthood. It is important to understand the condition of the organization, how it is moving, and how to manage that movement.  Creativity and flexibility combined with a servant’s sensitivity make a powerful alloy for meaningful change. 

Dr. 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 Dr. 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 Dr. Rutland, he received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  This was a true turning point that renewed Dr. Rutland’s faith.  He and his wife spent the next 15 years in world missions before being asked to restore Calvary Assembly in Orlando.

  • Translate
  • Print Page

Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?

A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.