Regent University is a private coeducational interdenominational Christian university situated on a 70-acre campus in sunny Virginia Beach, Virginia. The school was originally founded by televangelist Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson in 1978 as Christian Broadcasting Network University. In 1990, the name was changed to Regent University. The name refers to a regent, someone who exercises power in a kingdom during the ruler’s absence. According to the school catalog, “a regent is one who represents Christ, our Sovereign, in whatever sphere of life he or she may be called to serve Him.”
The mission of Regent University is to provide an excellent education from a Christian perspective; and to graduate exceptional students deeply committed to Christ’s calling to cherish character, challenge culture, and serve the world. In 1995, the liberal Harvard theologian Harvey Cox called Regent “the Harvard of the Christian Right” and characterized Regent’s mission as continuing in the tradition of religiously trained professionals by various Catholic and Protestant faiths such as Jesuit universities and (originally) Harvard. At Regent, all faculty are expected to sign a statement binding them with Regent’s Christian beliefs. Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as the Association of Theological Schools.
Dr. Robertson’s original vision was that of a graduate institution offering advanced degrees to nurture and encourage its students toward spiritual maturity, and to engage the world through Christian thought and practice. For example, the School of Psychology & Counseling has five graduate degrees as well as a Certificate of Advanced Counseling Studies, all of which are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The School of Psychology & Counseling also holds the distinction of being the only institution in the U.S. to house a Master’s program in Counseling (Community/Clinical or School Emphasis) delivered both on-campus and online, and an online Doctoral Program in Counselor Education & Supervision.
Today the university offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in over thirty courses of study through its eight academic schools: the School of Education, the Robertson School of Government, the School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship, the School of Communication & the Arts, the School of Psychology & Counseling, the School of Law, the School of Divinity, and the School of Undergraduate Studies.
Since Regent’s undergraduate education program started in 2006, it has grown into a full-fledged degree completion program for traditional age students offering degrees in Accounting, Biblical and Theological Studies, Business, Christian Studies, Christian Ministry, Communication, Criminal Justice, Elementary Education, English, General Studies, Government, History, Human Resource Management, International Business, Marketing, Mathematics, Organizational Leadership and Management, Psychology, and Religious Studies.
Regent University has more than 4,000 students studying on its Virginia campus and online around the world. Freshmen intending to study on campus full-time are required to dorm there if they live outside of a 25-mile radius from campus. Regent offers traditional sixteen-week on-campus courses, but on-campus students may choose to take eight-week courses and online courses as well. The optional six eight-week sessions per academic year include two in the fall, two in the spring, and two in the summer. Students may enroll in either one or two eight-week sessions per semester. Regent’s extensive distance education program with its online degree option adheres to the same rigorous academic standards as their traditional on-campus programs.
When Dr. Robertson established the university in 1978, he envisioned a high-caliber institution that would attract a leadership team that would be superior both in professional experience and academic credentials. In just three decades, that vision is being fulfilled. Regent has 165 full-time and 465 part-time faculty members with degrees from Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, and others, two of whom are Fulbright Scholars. Regent University’s faculty and deans are nationally and internationally noted political authorities, scholars, theologians, historians, authors and business executives. Distinguished faculty and guest lecturers include John Ashcroft, former U.S. Attorney General; Vern Clark, former Chief of Naval Operations; Steve Forbes, president and CEO of Forbes, Inc.; and Dr. Gary Collins, known as the father of Christian counseling; and others.
Many of Regent University’s graduates have had success in public service and the legal community. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell obtained an M.A./J.D. there in 1989. Law students with a passion for the protection of human rights can gain valuable resource training along with other advocates around the world from Regent Law’s Center for Global Justice, founded in 2011. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is an integral part of the campus community, as is ACLJ Chief Counsel Dr. Jay Sekulow, distinguished professor. Students with the highest academic potential are invited to participate in the ACLJ Spring Semester Program in Washington, D.C. According to Regent University, more than 150 of its graduates were hired by the federal government during the George W. Bush presidency, including dozens in Bush’s administration.
Regent graduates have also been successful in the broadcasting and entertainment industry. Notable alumni from the School of Communication & the Arts include actor Tony Hale, best known as Buster Bluth on the TV show Arrested Development, diabetes spokesperson and former Miss America Nicole Johnson, screenwriter Cheryl McKay who wrote the script for The Ultimate Gift based on Jim Stovall’s novel, and Antonio Zarro who won an Academy Award for his student film Bird in a Cage. Regent’s School of Communication & the Arts offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Animation, Cinema-Television, Journalism, Theatre, and Communications, as well as a Ph.D. in Communication. Furthermore, terminal degree offerings are available with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting, Producing, Directing, and Script & Screenwriting. Regent University and the Christian Broadcasting Network jointly produced the film First Landing to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown, Virginia.
While Regent University is strongly conservative and evangelical with a charismatic accent, Regent’s students represent a spectrum of religious denominations and political beliefs. Student organizations at the school include the student divisions of the American Bar Association and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Association of Black Psychologists, Black Law Student Association, Business Transactions Law Society, Christian Legal Society, College Republicans, Regent Democrats, Intellectual Property & Entertainment Law Society, Federalist Society, International Law Society, International Student Organization, Law Wives Association, Moot Court Board, National Law Student Association, Newman Club, Public Interest Law Association, Regent Students for Life, Students in Free Enterprise, Student Alumni Ambassadors, and The King’s Knights.
Regent University has been ranked by The Princeton Review as seventh in the country for quality of life, as well as the most conservative school. The 2011 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges ranking for Regent is “National Universities, Tier 2.” Regent University is listed as a “Tier 1” homeschool-friendly school by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) for its homeschool-friendly admissions policies, rich varieties of bachelor degrees, available learning opportunities (both online and on campus), and accessible early college program for motivated homeschooled students. Regent’s reduced-tuition Early College Program provides high school students an opportunity to take college courses at a substantially discounted rate.
Regent University recently revised its current admissions policies for homeschooled graduates to allow for a more meaningful recognition of homeschool credentials. Regent accepts homeschool transcripts and only requires the submission of one standardized test score in the form of the SAT or ACT. Regent also offers HSLDA members a 25% discount on tuition for degree-seeking students. Michele Wilcher, an Admissions Counselor at Regent, is a veteran homeschool mom. View Regent’s homeschool-friendly admissions policy at http://www.regent.edu/acad/undergrad/admissions/home_school.cfm