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School of Divinity FAQ
In 1978, Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson saw a vision materialize as 77 students entered leased classroom space to study for graduate degrees in communication. From those humble beginnings, Regent University has grown into the preeminent educational institution of its kind in America.
Most of the foundations for Regent University were laid in the 1980s. The first class graduated in May 1980. The following October, the university opened its second graduate school, the School of Education, and dedicated the first building on the Virginia Beach Campus. Work began on the University Library and the School of Business, and then the School of Divinity opened. The Robertson School of Government and the School of Law also opened by the mid-1980s, and, in 1984, the university received full accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. By the end of the decade, as Regent expanded into Distance Education, enrollment neared 1,000 students and the school was on its way.
In January 1990, the name Regent University replaced the school's original name, CBN University. Since "regent" is defined as representing a king in his absence, it was the logical choice to advance the school's Christian mission.
On October 29, 2007 the School of Divinity celebrated its 25th anniversary. Dean Emeritus Dr. Vinson Synan wrote a history of the school entitled "A Seminary to Change the World" to commemorate the event.
The School of Divinity is accredited by both major academic governing bodies which includes the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
The core values of the School of Divinity and its doctrinal views are described in its Statement of Faith and provides the foundation for a collegial atmosphere and tolerance of diverse perspectives while maintaining a common mission.
Both institutions exist primarily to prepare men and women for Christian ministry and generally offer similar degree programs. While a school of divinity is typically affiliated with a university, a seminary is nearly always associated with a specific denomination.
Another key difference is that students in schools of divinity often have the opportunity to take elective courses from other schools in the university which may include coursework in education, business, communications, etc. Many students enrolled in divinity schools will pursue ordination with their denominations, but a large number of divinity school students will also pursue vocations in teaching, missions and a variety of other careers.
Yes. Practical experience is an important component of ministry preparation that facilitates the connection between workplace application and the learned theory. The School of Divinity facilitates these opportunities through its Field Education department.
Most traditional denominations will require a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree for ordination but students are encouraged to verify the specific requirements of their denomination. Unlike the Master of Arts degrees which are more academic in nature, the Master of Divinity is considered a professional degree that addresses the practical aspects of ministry. The Master of Divinity incorporates a broad curriculum of church history, hermeneutics, theology, biblical languages and elective courses.
The School of Divinity does not guarantee any form of job placement to its students, but we do provide our students and alumni with access to numerous job boards, employee requests and networking opportunities. Visit our Career & Alumni site to learn more.
Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associates, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404.679.4500 for questions about the accreditation of Regent University.
Regent University School of Divinity is also fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) Commission on Accrediting in the United States and Canada.
To learn more about accreditation and why it is necessary, see our accreditation page.
Because of limitations set by the accrediting agency, we do not offer any degrees that are one-hundred percent online; however, through a combination of online courses and modular courses, students are able to complete many of our degrees through a high quality, fully accredited distance education program that incorporates significant student and faculty interaction.
Online courses require no residency and are administered through Blackboard™, the distance learning platform utilized by the university. Modular courses are also completed as distance courses but do require students to spend approximately one week in Virginia Beach, Va., during the semester. By combining the online and modular courses, students are able to earn the entire degree with no requirement to relocate to Virginia Beach, Va. to attend classes.
Regent University and the School of Divinity have no denominational affiliation and students in the School of Divinity represent nearly every Christian denomination and many countries from around the world. The School's Statement of Faith outlines the core values of the School of Divinity and provides the foundation for a collegial atmosphere and tolerance of diverse perspectives, all while maintaining a common mission.
Students in the School of Divinity tend to be mature Christians, diligent students, generally active in some form of ministry, and possessing a sense of calling and mission. Our diverse student body is comprised of many nationalities, cultures and geographies as well as nearly every denomination. Because the composition of our student body will vary slightly each year, we recommend you visit the Student Profile section of our web site for the most current statistics.