Regent University

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Not to be confused with Regent College.
Regent University
Regent logo.png
Motto Christian Leadership to Change the World
Established 1977[1]
Type Private
Affiliation Interdenominational
Endowment $186 million[2]
Chancellor Pat Robertson
Academic staff
620 (187 full-time, 433 part-time)[1]
Administrative staff
Students 6,158[1]
Undergraduates 2,410[1]
Postgraduates 2,782[1]
Other students
324 (non-degree seeking)[1]
Location Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.
Campus Suburban
Colors Blue, Green
Website Official website

Regent University is a private Christian research university[3] located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States. The university was founded by Pat Robertson in 1977 as Christian Broadcasting Network University, and changed its name to Regent University in 1990.[4] A satellite campus located in Alexandria, Virginia, was sold in 2008. Regent offers distance education, in addition to its traditional on-campus programs.[5] Through its eight academic schools, Regent offers associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in over 70 courses of study.[6] The school is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools,[7] and by CHEA (School of Education), ABA (School of Law), CACREP and CoA (School of Psychology and Counseling), TEAC (School of Education), ACBSP and ASEL (School of Business and Leadership), ATS (School of Divinity) and is a member of NASPAA (Robertson School of Government).[8]


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

Plans for the university, originally named Christian Broadcasting Network University, began in 1977 by CBN founder and current Chancellor Pat Robertson. In 1990, the name was changed to Regent University.[9] 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."[10] The university's current motto is "Christian Leadership to Change the World."[5]

The first class, consisting of seventy-seven students, began in fall of 1978 when the school leased classroom space in Chesapeake, Virginia.[10] 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. In 1997, what would later become the School of Business and Leadership piloted an online Master of Arts program, an antecedent to the university's development of online education.[4]

In 1995, the university opened a secondary campus in Alexandria, Virginia, following an outreach program geared toward teachers in the Washington, D.C. area. This facility was later sold. In 2000, Regent began an undergraduate degree-completion curriculum under the auspices of a new program, the Center for Professional Studies. This would later become the School of Undergraduate Studies, before finally being renamed as the College of Arts and Sciences in 2012.[4][4]


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).[11]

Regent University Library

Graduate studies[edit]

Regent University has seven graduate schools: the School of Divinity, the School of Education, the School of Business & Leadership, the School of Communication & the Arts, the Robertson School of Government, the School of Law, and the School of Psychology & Counseling.[12]

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.[13] The School of Divinity is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS).[14]

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.[15]

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.[16][17]

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 undergraduate degress in animation, cinema-television, journalism, theatre, and communication. Master of Arts degrees are offered in journalism, theatre, and communication. Terminal degree offerings are available with a Master of Fine Arts in acting, producing, directing, script & screenwriting, and a 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.

Feature film projects[edit]

In 2014, Regent University and the School of Communication & the Arts announced a collaborative feature film project with actor, writer, and director Corbin Bernsen.[18] The film, starring Marilu Henner, Chelsey Crisp, Joe Williamson, and Bernsen, is Jesse & Naomi,[19] a romantic comedy loosely based on the biblical story of Ruth.[20][21] Students from the School of Communication & the Arts opportunities worked alongside the cast and crew on the set of the film.[18]

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.[22]

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.[23][24]

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 celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012 with keynote speakers Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and former United States Attorney General John Ashcroft.[25]

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.[26] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $206,595.[27]


In 2015 U.S. News & World Report ranked the Regent Law school as having the 10th best faculty in the nation.[28] Distinguished faculty include former United States Attorney General John Ashcroft and Dr. Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for American Center for Law and Justice.[29] John Warwick Montgomery served as distinguished professor of law from 1997 to 1999.[30]

Bar pass rates[edit]

Regent Law's first-time Virginia Bar Exam takers achieved a 100% pass rate on the February 2012 exam.[31]

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%.[31]

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%.[31]

The most recent first-time bar pass rates for all 2011 Regent Law graduates, all states, with corresponding LSAT breakdowns, are as follows:[31]

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)

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.[32] 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.[33]


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.[34] 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.[35]

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.[36]

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.[37]

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.[38]

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).[39]

Academic societies[edit]

Academic societies at Regent include the Hispanic Law Student Association, the Practitioner-Scholar Society, the Psychology Club, PILAR, the Regent Undergraduate Debate Association, the Association of Black Psychologists, the C.S. Lewis Society, the Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Society, the Federalist Society, the Business Transactions Law Society, the Christian Legal Society, the International Law Society, the National Black Law Students Association, the American Association of Christian Counselors, the Association of Christian Therapists, the Christian Association for Psychological Studies, the Regent University Conservative Union, the Trial Advocacy Board, and the Virginia Bar Association Law School Council.[40][41][42]

Oxford Study Abroad Programs[edit]

Regent University has undergraduate and graduate programs allowing students to study abroad at Oxford University during the summer term as part of a small cohort.[43] One recurring trip focuses on the life and works of C.S. Lewis.[44] The classes are conducted as a hybrid of lectures from Regent and Oxford professors.[45]


Architecture and setting[edit]

The campus of Regent University comprises 70 acres (280,000 m2) of historicist neo-Georgian architecture, and is situated in the coastal city of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The university was named in 2015 among the thirty most beautiful college campuses in the South,[46]

Academic and communal facilities[edit]

The University Library Building houses the university's libraries while Robertson Hall is home to the Schools of 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 theatres, a production studio, sound stage, screening theatres, 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 Business & Leadership and Psychology & Counseling.[47] The adjoined Chapel and Divinity Building are the most recent additions to the campus, completed in 2013.[4]

The Founders Inn & Spa[edit]

Completed in 1990, The Founders Inn & Spa luxury hotel was originally part of the Christian Broadcasting Network before Regent University assumed ownership. The hotel features neo-Georgian architecture in keeping with the rest of the university campus.[48] The name of the hotel refers to the Founding Fathers and the drafting of the United States Constitution in 1787.[49]

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) serves a similar function for the balance of the graduate student population, and the Regent Undergraduate Council (RUC) served as the student government for the College of Arts and Sciences until it was forcibly dissolved by school administration in the spring of 2013. The groups, in addition to their organizational responsibilities, held social and religious events.[50][51]

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,[52] 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.[51]

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.[53]



Regent University was ranked in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report as the 11th best online undergraduate program in the nation,[28] and as the 2nd best by OEDb in 2009.[4] In 2012, Regent was one of only twenty-two universities awarded an 'A' grade by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni 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 the university in recognition of its core curriculum.[54] In 2009, the Princeton Review ranked the Regent University Law School seventh in the country for quality of life,[55] and in 2015 U.S. News & World Report ranked the school as having the 10th best faculty in the nation, and the 2nd most conservative students.[56] Regent is ranked 184th nationally overall by high school counselors, and is ranked 21st, 46th, and 78th, respectively, for its online graduate education programs, online graduate business programs, and online MBA.[28] Regent's online MBA faculty were ranked 1st nationally in 2013 by U.S. News and World Report.[57]

ABA national competition wins and moot court program[edit]

Moot court teams from the Regent University School of Law have placed as quarter-finalists or better in over 100 moot court competitions, winning more than 40 national and regional events.[58] In 2006 and 2007, Regent Law won several national ABA moot court and negotiation competitions succeeding teams from Harvard and Yale.[59][60][61][62] Regent's moot court program was ranked 6th in the nation in 2015.[63]

Education and film awards[edit]

Alumni of the School of Education have been awarded Hampton Roads Teacher of the Year more than 630 times.[64] Other notable awards won by School of Education alumni include National Outstanding Principal of the Year (2012), Milken Educator Award Winner (2012), History Teacher of the Year for Virginia (2006), National Principal of the Year (2006), and National School Board Association Black Caucus's Educational Leadership Award (2005).[65] The School of Communication & the Arts and its alumni have been the recipients of more than 360 national and international film and television awards, including wins at the Emmys, the Telly Awards, the Aurora Awards, Indie Fest, Accolade Global Film Competition, and the Virginia Independent Film Festival.[1][64][66]


In 1995, Harvey Cox, the liberal Harvard theologian, wrote that Regent has been called "the Harvard of the Christian Right" but 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".[10]

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 considered themselves affiliated with renewal theology, there existed a wider range of political attitudes than he first imagined.[10]

With the goal of expanding its mission beyond 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.[67]

Freedom of expression controversy[edit]

In September 2007, Adam Key, a second-year law student at Regent, posted a lifted still from a video to the social networking website Facebook showing the school's chancellor, Pat Robertson, scratching his forehead with his middle finger.[68] The still gave the appearance that Robertson was 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.[69][70][71] 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.[72][73] However, Key's attorney countered with examples of racist images posted on Facebook by other Regent students about which the school took no action.[74]

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".[75]

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.[71][76]

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[59] including dozens in Bush's administration.[77] 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.[59] 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.[59] In addition to Savage, several other commentators made similar assertions.[60][78][79][80] 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.[77]

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.[59][81] 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."[59]


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; five of whom are Fulbright Scholars.[5] 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.[82] Also named Distinguished Professor was former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vern Clark who teaches courses in leadership and government.[83] In 2006, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was a visiting faculty member for the School of Undergraduate Studies.[84] 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".[85] Titus was fired in 1993 for being "too extreme".[86]

The School of Divinity includes both biblical scholars and religious practitioners,[87] notably the theologian Graham Twelftree,[88] Dean Emeritus H. Vinson Synan, Pentecostal theologian Amos Yong and church historian Stanley M. Burgess.[89] The late J. Rodman Williams was Professor Emeritus.[90]

Notable alumni[edit]

Regent University alumni include:

  • 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.[102]
  • 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.[103]


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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