Regent University

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Not to be confused with Regent College or the former Regents College.
Regent University
Regent logo.png
Former names
Christian Broadcasting Network University
Motto Christian Leadership to Change the World
Established 1978[1]
Type Private
Endowment $ 186 million[2]
Chancellor Pat Robertson
Academic staff
511 (175 full-time, 336 part-time)[3]
Administrative staff
Students 5,915 (2,516 full-time, 3,399 part-time)[1]
Undergraduates 2,333[3]
Postgraduates 2,554[3]
Other students
295 [non-degree seeking][3]
Location Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.
Campus Suburban
Colors Blue, Green & Gold
Website Official website

Regent University is a private coeducational interdenominational Christian university located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States. The university was founded by Pat Robertson in 1978 as Christian Broadcasting Network University, and changed its name to Regent University in 1989.[1] A satellite campus located in Alexandria, Virginia, was sold in 2008. Regent offers an extensive distance education program in addition to its traditional on-campus programs.[3] Through its eight academic schools, Regent offers associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in over 30 courses of study.[4] Regent University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools[5] and The Association of Theological Schools.[6]


Regent University - Robertson Hall, home to the School of Law and Robertson School of Government

Plans for the university (originally named CBN University) began in 1978 by Christian Broadcasting Network founder and current Chancellor Pat Robertson. In 1990, the name was changed to Regent University.[7] The university's name is designed to reference a regent, a person who exercises power in a monarchical country during the absence or incapacity of the sovereign; according to the school's catalog, "a regent is one who represents Christ, our Sovereign, in whatever sphere of life he or she may be called to serve Him."[8] The university's current motto is "Christian Leadership to Change the World".[3]

The first class, consisting of seventy-seven students, began in fall of 1978 when the school leased classroom space in Chesapeake, Virginia.[8] The first students were all enrolled in what is now the School of Communication & the Arts. In May 1980, the first graduating class held its commencement, while the School of Education opened the following October. Simultaneously, the university took residence for the first time on its current campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The school proceeded to open its Schools of Business, Divinity, Government, and Law by the mid-1980s. In 1984, Regent University received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; later in the decade; it started a distance education program.[citation needed]

Five years later, Regent began outreach programs geared to teachers in the Washington, D.C. area, which eventually led to the opening of its Alexandria campus. In 2000, Regent began an undergraduate degree-completion curriculum under the auspices of a new program, the Center for Professional Studies, which became Regent School of Undergraduate Studies in the fall of 2004.[citation needed]


Undergraduate Studies[edit]

The College of Arts & Sciences houses many undergraduate majors designed for traditional and distance students. Regent's College of Arts & Sciences (formerly the School of Undergraduate Studies) offers associates and bachelor's degrees in Accounting, Biblical and Theological Studies, Business, Christian Studies, Christian Ministry, Communication, Criminal Justice, English, General Studies, Government, History, Human Resource Management, International Business, Marketing, Mathematics, Organizational Leadership and Management, Psychology, and Religious Studies. Furthermore, five bachelor's programs are offered exclusively on-campus: Animation, Cinema-Television, Mathematics, Theatre and Interdisciplinary Studies (Elementary Education).[9]

The Regent University Library

Graduate Studies[edit]

Robertson's original vision for Regent University was that of a graduate institution. In 2006, an undergraduate degree completion program was started, and has grown into a full-fledged undergraduate program for full-time traditional age students. Regent is now working toward developing Undergraduate Studies more fully, and it has plans to expand and extend the amount of majors it offers, as well as facilities for more students. Regent hopes to one day have about 2,000 on-campus students.

School of Divinity[edit]

The School of Divinity offers Master's degrees in Biblical Studies, Missiology, Church Doctrine and History and the traditional seminary degree, the Master of Divinity. The School also offers the Doctor of Ministry degree along with a Ph.D in Renewal Studies with concentrations in Biblical Studies, Theology and Church History.[10] The School of Divinity is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS).[11]

School of Education[edit]

The School of Education offers an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in addition to its Master and Ed.D. degrees in Education along with teaching certificate programs.[12]

School of Business & Leadership[edit]

The School of Business & Leadership provides a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership. Additionally available is a Doctor of Strategic Leadership offering three concentrations: Strategic Leadership, Leadership Coaching, and Strategic Foresight. The school also provides Masters in Organizational Leadership, Strategic Foresight and a Master of Business Administration.[13][14]

School of Communication & the Arts[edit]

Regent University fountain with the Communications and Arts building in the background

The School of Communication & the Arts offers degrees for undergraduate students in:

  • Animation
  • Cinema-Television
  • Journalism
  • Theatre
  • Communication

Additionally, they offer a Master of Arts degree in:

  • Communication
  • Theatre
  • Journalism

And terminal degree offerings are available with a Master of Fine Arts degree in:

  • Acting
  • Producing
  • Directing
  • Script & Screenwriting
  • Ph.D. in Communication

The School of Communications and the Arts also offers students opportunities through the year with seasonal plays, Reel Dreams Film Festival and the OTIS Film Festival.

Robertson School of Government[edit]

The Robertson School of Government offers a Masters of Arts in Government with specializations in Public Administration, Political Management, and Law and Public Policy among others.[15]

School of Law[edit]

Regent University School of Law, located in Virginia Beach, Va., was established in 1988 and was accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) in 1989, allowing students to sit for the bar examination in any jurisdiction in the nation.[16][17]

Its mission is to provide an excellent legal education from a Christian perspective, to nurture and encourage its students toward spiritual maturity, and to engage the world through Christian legal thought and practice.

Regent Law recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with keynote speakers Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and former United States Attorney General John Ashcroft.[18]

The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Regent Law for the 2014-2015 academic year is $53,310 for full-time students living on campus.[19] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $206,595.[20]


Notable alumni include Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell ‘89 who was convicted of public corruption on September 4, 2014.[21]


Distinguished faculty include former United States Attorney General John Ashcroft and Dr. Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for American Center for Law and Justice.[22] John Warwick Montgomery served as distinguished professor of law from 1997 to 1999.[23]

Bar Pass Rates[edit]

Regent Law's first-time Virginia Bar Exam takers achieved a 100% pass rate on the February 2012 exam.[24]

2011 Regent Law graduates who took the Virginia Bar Exam had a first-time taker pass rate of 79.6%. The Virginia state average for all first-timer takers was 79.1%.[24]

Regent's 2011 nationwide first-time Bar takers (all states) passed at an average rate of 82.3%. The national average for all testers, all schools, was 79%.[24]

The most recent first-time bar pass rates for all 2011 Regent Law graduates, all states, with corresponding LSAT breakdowns, are as follows:[24]

LSAT 150 or above 86.9%
LSAT 155 or above 95.0%
LSAT 160 or above 100%
(the average LSAT score for the 2011 entering class was 154)


According to Regent Law's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 58% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[25] Regent's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 23.2%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[26]

Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law[edit]

Regent 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 Center provides classroom and experiential courses, funded internships, and sponsored events while networking with human rights organizations nationwide.[27]

American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ)[edit]

With offices on campus 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.[28]

Center for Advocacy[edit]

Award-winning legal skills programs, which emphasize writing, negotiation, and trial and appellate advocacy skills, develop law students who regularly earn top honors at regional and national competitions.[29]

School of Psychology & Counseling[edit]

The School of Psychology Counseling offers five graduate degrees and a Certificate of Advanced Counseling Studies. The Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association. The School of Psychology and Counseling holds the distinction of being the only institution in the US to house a Master’s Program in Counseling (Community/Clinical or School Emphases) delivered both on-campus and online, and an online Doctoral Program in Counselor Education & Supervision, all of which are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).[30]


Main campus (Virginia Beach, Virginia)[edit]

Regent University's Virginia Beach campus is 70 acres (280,000 m2) with historicist neo-Georgian architecture. The University Library Building houses the school's libraries while Robertson Hall is home to the Schools of Divinity, Government, Law and Undergraduate Studies. The Communication & Performing Arts Center, home for the School of Communication & the Arts, is a 135,000-square-foot (12,500 m2) building with two theaters, a production studio, sound stage, screening theaters, and a backlot. The Student Center is a 31,000-square-foot (2,900 m2) facility includes a bookstore, student organization offices, dining hall, computer lab, and student lounge. The Administration Building, along with administrative offices, includes the School of Education. The Classroom Building accommodates the schools of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship and Psychology & Counseling.[31]

Student life[edit]

Student government and councils[edit]

The Regent University Student Center

The Student Bar Association (SBA) is the student society for the School of Law which is governed and represented by the Student Senate. The SBA Student Senate represents the law school’s student body to the school’s administration and the University. The Council of Graduate Students (COGS) and Regent Undergraduate Council (RUC) serve a similar function for the balance of the student population. The groups, in addition to their organizational responsibilities, hold social and religious events. The Student Advisory Leadership Team supports the Washington D.C. satellite campus.[32][33]

Student organizations[edit]

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, To Write Love On Her Arms UChapter, Business Transactions Law Society, Christian Legal Society, College Republicans, Young America's Foundation (Young Americans for Freedom), Regent Democrats,[34] 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.[33]

Student housing[edit]

Regent Village houses graduate students and graduate student families with children. Regent Village consists of roughly 200 apartments located within a mile of campus. All undergraduate students are housed in the Regent Commons.[35]

University reputation[edit]


In the U.S. News & World Report 2011 Best Colleges listing, Regent University's ranking is "National Universities, Tier 2".[36] In October 2012, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni gave Regent University an "A" grade in its What Will They Learn? ranking system, which grades universities on how many core subjects it requires of all graduates. After the rankings were announced, the Beazley Foundation awarded $400,000 to Regent University in recognition of its core curriculum.[37] U.S. News & World Report did not rank Regent University School of Law in the top 145 schools with a numerical ranking, but ranked the School of Law as a Tier 4 school,[38] The Princeton Review ranked Regent University Law School seventh in the country for quality of life,[39] and the most conservative school.[40]

ABA national competition wins[edit]

In 2006 and 2007, Regent Law won several national ABA moot court and negotiation competitions succeeding teams from Harvard and Yale.[41][42][43][44] Previous wins took place in 1995 and 2002.[44] In 2008, two students won honors at a national moot court competition hosted by The College of William & Mary.[45]

Bar passage rates[edit]

The 2010 bar passage rate for students taking the Virginia State Bar Exam was 85.7 percent, the highest Bar pass rate in the school's history.[46] The passage rate has improved every year from at least 2001, when the Regent University pass rate was 43.9 percent, compared to the state average of 73 percent.[47]

Identification with the Christian right[edit]

In 1995, Harvey Cox, the liberal Harvard theologian, wrote that Regent has been called "the Harvard of the Christian Right" and noted that "Regent, it appears, is not so much a boot camp for rightist cadres as a microcosm of the theological and intellectual turbulence within what is often mistakenly seen as a monolithic 'religious right' in America".[8]

While expressing concerns about Robertson's alleged past expressions of antisemitism (faculty blamed this on poorly chosen ghost writers) and associations with dominion theology promoting Christian control of secular institutions that some critics believe inspired the school's name, Cox said the faculty insisted that Regent did not support Dominionism, pointing to the firing of Herbert Titus, the founding dean of the Law School, who was inclined to such a philosophy. Cox pointed to historian Bruce Barron's suggestion that the Regent faculty serve as a "moderating influence": "They are pragmatists who accept religious pluralism and do not insist on the universal applicability of Old Testament law" while preferring to focus on constitutional issues. Cox 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. He found that academic freedom was promoted and that although half of the student body were either Pentecostals or charismatics, there existed a wider range of political attitudes than he first imagined.[8]

With the goal of expanding its mission from a solely conservative base and to “posture itself as a broadly evangelical institution”, the Regent School of Divinity convened a scholarly colloquium with the more liberal National Council of Churches and the Virginia Council of Churches, associations of mainline Protestant churches in 2008. The conference discussed their common approaches to evangelizing.[48]

Freedom of expression controversy[edit]

In September 2007, Adam Key, a second-year law student at Regent, posted a photograph on the social networking website Facebook of the school's chancellor, Pat Robertson, making an obscene gesture. Key also criticized Robertson for urging the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. School officials asked Key to remove the still, publicly apologize and withhold public comment or, alternatively, defend the posting. While Key did remove the photograph, he refused to apologize and submitted his defense on the grounds it was protected speech. Regent rejected his argument and Key was subsequently suspended and later removed.[49][50][51] In November 2007, Key filed a lawsuit against Regent claiming fraud, violation of his right to free expression as governed by rules tied to Federal funding, and defamation. Robertson said that, in general, freedom of speech does not encompass the use of these kinds of images. The university stated that Key violated the school's standards of conduct.[52][53] However, Key's attorney countered with examples of racist images posted on Facebook by other Regent students about which the school took no action.[54]

The school later claimed its actions were unrelated to the photograph and that he was a "security risk"; Key's attorney countered with an internal memo sent the day before the suspension indicating that Robertson was concerned with Key's "complaints".[55]

In June 2009, the lawsuit was dismissed. The judge ruled that despite federal funding, Regent's decisions were not state actions and hence not governed by the First Amendment. He also found that Robertson had not defamed Keys and that "generic recruiting correspondence" from the school could not be considered a contract and thereby dismissed the fraud complaint. In November 2007, a civil rights lawyer representing Key sent a complaint to the American Bar Association calling for them to revoke the school's accreditation. Key claimed the university suspended him for his political and religious views in violation of ABA accreditation standards.[51][56]

Bush administration hires[edit]

According to Regent University, more than 150 of its graduates had been hired by the federal government during the George W. Bush presidency[41] including dozens in Bush's administration.[57] As it was previously rare for alumni to go into government, Boston Globe journalist Charlie Savage suggested that the appointment of Office of Personnel Management director Kay Coles James, the former dean of Regent's government school, caused this sharp increase in Regent alumni employed in the government.[41] An article about a Regent graduate who interviewed for a government position and Regent's low school rankings were cited as an example of the Bush administration hiring applicants with strong conservative credentials but weaker academic qualifications and less civil rights law experience than past candidates in the Civil Rights Division.[41] In addition to Savage, several other commentators made similar assertions.[42][58][59][60] The Washington Post contrasted the employment of Regent employees by Bush to the hiring practices of his successor Barack Obama who tended to select from higher secular colleges.[57]

However, Savage noted that the school had improved since its days of "dismal numbers" and that the school has had recent wins in national moot-court and negotiation competitions.[41][61] Though a prominent critic of the school, Reverend Barry Lynn of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State advised against "underestimat[ing] the quality of a lot of the people that are there."[41]

Lawsuit against the University System of Georgia[edit]

On August 22, 2012, Regent University announced its intentions to file a lawsuit for a trademark dispute against the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia over the name of Georgia Regents University, the adopted name of the consolidation between the institutions of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University, stating that the name infringes on the Regent University trademark and would create marketplace confusion; however, the USG Board of Regents contend that the name is broad enough where Regent's lawsuit would be dismissed.[62] The Georgia Regents name is unpopular with students and alumni within the two Augusta universities as well as the Augusta community at-large; those protesting against the name hoped the lawsuit would force the University System to reconsider the name.[63] Additionally, Augusta attorneys against the Georgia Regents name attempted to contact Regent University about assisting in the lawsuit; however, the university stated that they will use their regular trademark counsel.[62]

On October 22, 2012, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens filed motions in federal court to have Regent University's lawsuit dismissed, citing sovereign immunity as well as the broadness of the "Regent" name as the basis for dismissal.[64] Regent University and the USG Board of Regents reached a settlement in late June 2013, allowing the use of the Georgia Regents name.[65]


Regent has 165 full-time and 465 part-time faculty members, who are graduates of Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, and others; two of whom are Fulbright Scholars.[3] Faculty are responsible for lecturing classes, advising both graduate and undergraduate students, and sitting on academic committees.

Several members are drawn from high levels of government. Former U.S. Attorney under the Bush administration, John Ashcroft, was named Distinguished Professor in 2005 teaching a two-week course each semester in the Robertson School of Government and lecturing on national security law.[66] Also named Distinguished Professor was former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vern Clark who teaches courses in leadership and government.[67] In 2006, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was a visiting faculty member for the School of Undergraduate Studies.[68] Herb Titus, founding dean of the Law School, was the 1996 vice-presidential candidate of the Constitution Party and a drafter of the Constitutional Restoration Act to permit government officials to acknowledge "God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government".[69] Titus was fired in 1993 for being "too extreme".[70]

The School of Divinity includes both biblical scholars and religious practitioners,[71] notably the theologian Graham Twelftree,[72] Dean Emeritus H. Vinson Synan, Pentecostal theologian Amos Yong and church historian Stanley M. Burgess.[73] The late J. Rodman Williams was Professor Emeritus.[74]

Noted alumni[edit]

  • Troy A. Titus, Regent Law graduate, son of the founding dean of the school, Herb Titus, and previously a nationally known asset protection expert, is best known for losing his law license for defrauding his clients, many of them elderly.[85]
  • Terrance Bridges, a dissertation away from earning a doctorate from the School of Education, was featured in The Star Press's Black History Month profile for his ministerial work with children and youth.[86]


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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°48′10″N 76°11′46″W / 36.80270°N 76.19619°W / 36.80270; -76.19619