Psalm 13:22 tells us, “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children” (NIV). That’s not the only sound financial principle found in Scripture. The Bible is filled with instructions about how to handle economic resources.
Regent believes in these principles so strongly that the university is launching a master’s degree program in wealth management and financial planning through the School of Law. “Financial planning is a big deal,” says Regent founder, chancellor and CEO Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson. “Students who know real estate and understand finance, tort and contract law — while training them in the principles of financial management — that will be a very valuable degree.”
Regent Law Dean Michael Hernandez agrees: “As life-expectancy rates rise and our society ages, there is an increasing need for quality financial management, including assistance in transferring wealth from one generation to the next. It is, therefore, not surprising that the financial-specialist field has been identified as a top career choice.”
Hernandez adds: “[The university’s] wealth management and financial planning concentration emphasizes academic excellence and ethical, Christ-centered planning and advice to prepare students to thrive in this vital profession. Offering a Master of Arts degree in this field of study is so crucial because of the turbulent social and financial times in which we live.”
“We believe that it’s critical that we have financial planners trained from a Christian perspective who will be ethical in all that they do as they assist others in this wealth transfer.”
Classes devoted to this curriculum begin in January. Janis Kirkland, the director of Regent Law’s wealth management & financial planning concentration, says, “Its development began with Dr. Robertson’s insight that, societally, Americans have a tremendous need for competent and ethical advice about financial planning and wealth transfer.”
Kirkland explains that, as she and others investigated educational programs in this arena, they found that Regent Law’s Master of Arts program would be the best fit: “It offers individuals an opportunity to obtain graduate-level education in preparation for careers that benefit from understanding of certain areas of law, even though a Juris Doctor and law license is not needed.”
Regent University launched its M.A. in Law in the fall of 2014, and the program has greatly exceeded expectations in its first full year. “Law is so pervasive in our lives that many professionals, and not just lawyers, need to be knowledgeable about it,” insists James Murphy, director of Regent Law’s Master of Arts degree. “We initially budgeted for 15 students to start and ended up starting with 66. Now, in the second year of the program, enrollment is 154.”
“We took a look at other programs around the country and observed that many wealth management and financial planning programs were simply certificate programs or undergraduate programs,” Murphy continues. “We didn’t find any law schools that were offering anything like our proposed wealth management & financial planning concentration.”
Regent is committed to ensuring that this law-school-based program is unique and rigorous, while providing an attractive and valuable academic degree for students by offering courses that no other similar program does.
“Many reports in the media have talked about the greatest wealth transfer in human history that will soon be passing from one generation to the next,” Murphy says. “We believe that it’s critical that we have financial planners trained from a Christian perspective who will be ethical in all that they do as they assist others in this wealth transfer.”
Kirkland agrees: “In this economy, wealth management and financial planning is especially important. The baby-boomer generation is reaching retirement age. We need competent and ethical advice about how to best prepare for retirement and manage our resources so they will sustain us throughout our old age. Younger individuals and families need financial guidance as well. They need to be prepared to survive economic downturns, to educate their children, and to prepare for their own retirement.”
For more information about Regent Law’s wealth management & financial planning degree or any of the school’s new Master of Arts concentrations, call 877.267.5072 or visit regent.edu/law.