Regent University Looks Back at the Amazing Achievements of 2019
Leading with Excellence
Regent University was ranked among Top National Universities by U.S. News & World Report for the second time in the school’s history. For the seventh consecutive year, the multiplatform news publisher also ranked Regent #1 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Virginia.
For the seventh year in a row, Regent’s College of Arts & Sciences maintained its “A” rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for its comprehensive liberal arts curriculum. Regent is currently one of only 22 universities nationally recognized with this prestigious rating.
Military Times ranked Regent in their Top 10 Best for Vets Colleges: Online & Nontraditional category. Military Friendly® ranked Regent #5 among private schools offering doctoral programs. In the latest Council for Christian Colleges & Universities Tuition Survey, Regent was listed in the top 5% of most affordable private Christian universities. More than 85% of Regent students receive some form of financial aid, with the university providing nearly $24 million in institutional scholarships and aid.
Outpacing the Higher Ed Market
Regent is in its sixth straight year of strong enrollment growth, despite the broader higher education market experiencing its eighth straight year of decline.
The university’s Fall 2019 enrollment includes close to 10,500 students from every state in the union and 88 countries, taking more than 85,000 credit hours. Enrollment in the College of Arts & Sciences for the on-campus population is at an all-time high for Fall 2019 with 1,340 new and returning students, representing a 7% increase over the past four years.
The College of Arts & Sciences welcomed an excellent incoming freshman class in Fall 2019. The class includes Honors students that rival, if not exceed, the academic qualifications of students in honors programs at other prestigious schools. Their average SAT score is 1330 and their average high school GPA is 3.97.
Regent’s total military-affiliated student population this year is more than 3,000 strong representing nearly 30% of the university’s total student body. Military student enrollment has grown 85% over the past five years.
Alumni World Changers
Regent has prepared over 27,000 alumni to succeed in their careers — graduates come from all 50 states and 135 countries. Over 60% of Fortune 100 companies employ Regent alumni, who work in leadership positions at Apple, Amazon, Boeing, Disney and Lockheed Martin, to name a few. School of Communication & the Arts alumni and students have now won more than 500 national and international film awards, while 850-plus Teachers of the Year have been honored among School of Education alumni.
Fifty-six Regent alumni have or currently serve as judges, and 12 alumni currently serve as university presidents in the U.S., Canada and Australia. Nearly 900 alumni are employed as faculty at 438 colleges and universities. Nine alumni and two students serve in their state legislature, and another 1,064 graduates are pastors and missionaries around the world.
Below are just a few examples of alumni making an impact in 2019:
Bobby Dyer (SBL ’01 | Ph.D.) was sworn in as mayor of Virginia Beach on November 20, 2018. But Dyer had no idea he would be called to guide the city through its darkest days just six months later, after a mass shooting at a municipal building claimed the lives of 12 people.
Jennifer Bennett (CAS ’07 & SBL ’11 | B.S. & M.A.) miraculously survived the Washington Navy Yard shooting in 2013. Recently, she released a book, Standing Still in a Culture of Mass Shootings, describing how God is using her painful experience for His good.
Caleb Kinchlow (SCA ’12 | M.A.), a two-time Emmy Award-winning multimedia producer, also published a book this year. Parents, Kids and Technology: A Parents Guide to Raising Kids in the World of Technology is a resource to help raise tech-obsessed teens and tweens (see Page 10).
Robert Bryant (SOE ’17 | Ed.D.) was named director of educational technology at the United States Air Force Academy. His position is part of the Center for Educational Innovation and requires him to facilitate the implementation of advanced technology practices for faculty and staff.
Timothy J. Downing (LAW ’10 | J.D.) was nominated by President Trump to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. A former state legislator and assistant attorney general for the Sooner State, he took the oath of office in June.
Chris Holdorf (SBL ’19 | DSL) is the CEO of the National Christian Foundation, one of the largest Christian, nonprofit organizations in the world.
Joe Johnson (SBL ‘16 | Ph.D.) founded Welfont, a national commercial and residential real estate company. It is the only company in America to make the Top 50 lists of Inc. 5000 and Entrepreneur 360 two years in a row (2018 & 2019).
Kelly James (SPC ’11 | Ph.D.) was selected as the 2019 Top Mental Health Care Professional of the Year by the prestigious organization International Association of Top Professionals.
Notable Events & Celebrations
On February 2, popular worship and recording artist Kim Walker-Smith performed at Regent’s first Night of Worship (NOW) event of 2019. It was one of the most highly attended NOW events with more than 1,700 in attendance. Many more followed the event online with a record-breaking 15,000 views of the live stream.
The Grammy-nominated and Dove Award-winning artist returned to Regent on March 29. Walker-Smith’s NOW “encore” marked the first time an artist has performed twice in the same academic year.
On March 1, Mark Martin, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, became the dean of the Regent University School of Law. At a special installation service, hundreds gathered inside Robertson Hall’s Moot Courtroom to celebrate Martin, a highly respected jurist who brings more than 26 years of judicial and leadership experience to Regent.
Also on March 1, Regent Law installed Judge Marion Warren as the new senior associate dean for the School of Law. He previously worked alongside Martin, serving as the director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts.
Regent’s 39th Commencement Weekend began on May 10 with nine schools of study holding commissioning services across campus. Faculty and staff prayed over graduates, presented awards and special recognitions, and started the bittersweet process of saying goodbye.
Twenty-four hours later, Regent’s 2019 Commencement Ceremony drew a crowd of 10,000 to the Library Plaza where more than 2,700 graduates received associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.
On August 28, Regent dedicated its chapel to businessman, investor and philanthropist Jack Shaw and his wife, Jane. The ceremony took place on the chapel porch and was attended by the Shaws, members of their family, students, faculty and staff, and other faithful friends and supporters of Regent University (see Page 6).
Regent University School of Law held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch the Grace Community Law Clinic in downtown Norfolk on September 12. Strategically located across the street from the City of Norfolk Courthouse, the clinic is a new branch of the School of Law’s Clinic Program.
This important initiative offers support to struggling and underserved families who have pending and ongoing cases before local juvenile and domestic courts. The assistance available through the clinic is offered free of charge and focuses primarily on family-related issues.
On September 21, the final Night of Worship (NOW) event of 2019, held on the Library Plaza, brought together approximately 1,000 students and members of the local community. United NOW featured worship leaders and praise teams from nearly 30 churches across Hampton Roads.
From October 3-6, the School of Law hosted its first-ever Legal Learning Festival & Alumni Weekend. In addition to a full calendar of social gatherings for hundreds of graduates and guests, alumni also participated in Continuing Legal Education events. Topics included writing excellence, ethics, election law, religious liberty, human trafficking, and family law (see Page 8).
On October 25, the Regent Theatre was renamed the Dede Robertson Theatre to honor and recognize her significant impact and substantial contributions to the university as a longtime board member. Wife of the school’s founder, chancellor and CEO, Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson, Dede has been a key figure at Regent since its founding over 40 years ago.
The dedication ceremony was held in the lobby of the Communication & the Arts Building, which Mrs. Robertson personally decorated when it opened in 2002. The stunning 700+ seat theatre is the centerpiece of Regent’s 135,000-square-foot Communication & Performing Arts Center, hosting plays, concerts, film premieres, and many other high-profile events.
The Royals currently field 11 teams in men’s and women’s sports that compete in the National Christian College Athletic Association. Three student-athletes competed in the NCCAA Track & Field Nationals in Spring 2019. Marelly Balentina finished as National Champion in the Women’s Javelin. She also finished third in the Women’s Discus, making her an All-American in both events.
In June, Dr. Samuel Botta, Regent’s athletic director, expanded his role to include coaching the men’s basketball team. During his 13 years as a high school head coach, Botta led his teams to nine consecutive league championships and nine consecutive 20-plus win seasons. In 1997, he was rated the #1 High School Basketball Coach in New Jersey by the Newark Star-Ledger Reporter.
The School of Education (SOE) has partnerships with 12 regional school districts, providing pathways and incentives to area educators for certifications and degree programs. As a result of these partnerships, SOE now reaches more than 66,000 area superintendents, principals and teachers.
The School of Divinity has refined two of its degree programs to better equip ministers in today’s culture while helping them to advance in leadership and impact. The D.Min. in Chaplain Ministry & Leadership is a fully online, terminal degree that prepares students to strategically expand missional ministry, while bringing enhanced skills into all functional areas of chaplaincy. The M.A. in Apologetics & Cosmogony is another fully online program that prepares students to methodically explain the origins of the world, while supporting the case for the Christian faith.
The School of Business & Leadership recently launched an Executive Mentor Program, which partners students with seasoned business professionals and integrates academic learning with real-world experience (see Page 9). Also in 2019, Regent added an Accelerated MBA degree and a Cybersecurity Management concentration, and was ranked among the Top 5 Best Online MBA Programs in Virginia by U.S. News & World Report.
The Robertson School of Government (RSG) began offering a Master of Arts degree in Campaign Strategies & Management in Fall 2019. RSG expects students in this concentration to be able to support Christian candidates in their bids for political office.
The School of Law celebrated its largest incoming first-year law class since 2012 with 107 students enrolled in Fall 2019. The incoming class also had the highest median LSAT score in Regent Law history with a median score of 155.
The School of Psychology & Counseling once again received a 100% internship match rate among fourth-year Psy.D. students. (The national average is 79%.) These students were matched to internship sites accredited by the American Psychiatric Association.
The College of Arts & Sciences’ (CAS) rigorous biophysical sciences program teaches students an integrated approach to faith and biology, chemistry and physics.
Graduates are sought after by respected institutions and have been accepted at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Penn State College of Medicine’s elite University Park, St. George’s University School of Medicine (Grenada, West Indies), Northumbria University (Newcastle, England), and the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
CAS also added six undergraduate options in 2019: B.A. in Biblical & Theological Studies, B.A. in Christian Ministry with concentrations in Church Music and Pastoral Care, B.S. in Business – Sports Management, Minor in Cyber/Digital Forensics and Minor in Cybersecurity.
In Spring 2019, the first students began the RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program since the School of Nursing received initial accreditation for a five-year period by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education — the premier accreditation for baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing.
“I praise the Lord for what He’s done. We’ve had amazing results at this school,” says Regent University founder, chancellor and CEO, Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson.
“When I think of how it started out, the Lord said, ‘Buy the land, and build a school for My glory.’ And little did I dream of where we’d be today — one of the major universities in the world.”