RSG Newsletter

December 2016
Robertson School of Government Dean's Corner

Dean Eric Patterson, Ph.D.Dear Friends,

Merry Christmas! On behalf of all of us at the Robertson School of Government, I hope that this sacred and festive season is a time of joy and blessing for you and your family.

This has been a busy semester. An example of that hectic pace is Dr. Morrison’s busy semester of speaking engagements, reported below, lecturing across the country in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Utah, Louisiana, and elsewhere. We just welcomed to our campus former Virginia Governor, and RSG alumnus, Bob McDonnell as Distinguished Professor.

In this newsletter you will also meet alumnus Ray Casey (’97) of Hagar International, an organization determined to bring relief to those suffering from human trafficking and abuse. Casey is one of over a thousand RSG alumni who are Christian leaders working day in and day out to change the world.

For those of you who support the work of RSG financially, by hiring our interns and graduates, or by prayer, please accept my sincere gratitude for what you do for us. We look forward to even greater things in 2017!

Warm regards,

Eric Patterson, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor
Robertson School of Government

Watch the "Get to Know RSG" video.

Read more about RSG alumni.

For more details as well as our calendar of events, please see our website.

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Faculty Story: Dr. Morrison Travels with Multiple Speaking Engagements

Faculty Story Profile Image Over the past several months, Dr. Jeffry Morrison has been in high demand across the United States. In July, he traveled to the We the People conference in New Orleans, where he delivered two lectures on “Framing the Ratification of the Constitution.” Then he proceeded to the Constitution Week conference in Utah to present his paper titled, “Constitutional Interpretation and the Founders.” Following this event, Dr. Morrison went to the University of Dallas for a conference on George Washington: America’s Classical and Christian Founding and presented material on “George Washington and the Classical Republican Roots of American Order.” He then returned to Virginia to attend a teacher’s conference at the Washington, Jefferson & Madison Institute, where he delivered a lecture on “The Sacred Rights of Conscience.” The last of his ventures was to Pennsylvania to deliver three lectures discussing “The American Experiment in Religious Liberty” at the Bill of Rights Institute.


Alumni Story: Ray Casey (RSG, ’97)

Alumni Story Profile Image Dr. Ray Casey (Robertson School of Government, ’97; School of Business & Leadership, ’01; and School of Divinity, ’97 & ‘13) is the CEO of Hagar International USA, an international NGO that works with women and children who are suffering from the trauma resulting from slavery, trafficking and abuse.

Ray described that Hagar International’s vision is to see “communities free and healed from the trauma of trafficking, slavery, and abuse. We work with those who have been affected by trauma and those who support them. Hagar’s expertise is in care and recovery, and we believe that when healing happens, the cycle of trauma stops.” Founded twenty-two years ago by an Italian-Swiss couple who traveled to Cambodia as part of a Youth With A Mission (YWAM) outreach, Hagar now works in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Afghanistan, and has recently expanded into Myanmar.

The U.S. branch of Hagar International focuses on educating, advocating, and fundraising on behalf of programs on the ground. “We travel throughout the U.S. and seek to educate people on the global problem of human trafficking. We have a great partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM), and they work on the front end of the process in terms of rescuing and providing legal protection. Hagar specializes in the intensive after-care process of the healing, recovery, and re-integration. It is not uncommon for the women and children that we serve to be with us for two and a half to three years as they go through the trauma recovery process.”

Each year, Hagar works with 850-900 women and children, and each one undergoes an economic empowerment process in order to assist them with finding employment after they leave Hagar’s care. “Re-integration into safe communities is key for us,” Ray explained, “as we make it our goal for them to move from survivors to thrivers. With the right support and capabilities, people can recover and take the lead in their own journey to wholeness.”

Ray’s awareness of the pervasiveness of human trafficking came, in part, from leading several overseas mission trips with his two young daughters. Ray said that he and his wife were passionate about “sowing the seed of mission with their children,” which has been an intentional focus for all twelve of their children. “As Christ’s followers, we are called upon to see what God sees and to hear what God hears and to respond to those who, due to circumstances beyond their control, have had to flee and to take refuge from some of the most severe human rights abuses.”

Prior to joining Hagar roughly two years ago, Ray held a number of different educational leadership positions in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and South Carolina. Most recently, he served as Head of School at Westminster Catawba Christian School, during this time he was enrolled in the D.Min. program in the School of Divinity with an educational leadership focus.

Ray heard about Regent from Dr. Pat Robertson, founder of not only CBN but also major humanitarian organizations like Operation Blessing and Orphan’s Promise. “The level of inclusivity and clarity about the Kingdom and the Gospel and the importance of leadership in changing the world resonated with me and my wife. That is what inspired me to apply, and it was life changing.”

He falls into the rare category of alumni that have received four degrees from Regent from three different graduate schools. In 1997 Ray graduated with a joint degree in Public Policy and Biblical Studies from the Robertson School of Government and School of Divinity, respectively. He returned shortly after to work on an MA in Management 2001 from the School of Business & Leadership. Finally, Ray completed a Doctor of Ministry degree in 2013 from the School of Divinity.

“The investment that we put into the training that we got from Regent, and the dividends and the fruit that came out of the training that we received have just been invaluable and really shaped, in large measure, our life and worldview as we have embraced that mission of Christian leadership to change the world.”

Recent Events

Former Virginia Governor Joins Regent University as Distinguished Professor

Picture of former Virginia Governor Robert 'Bob' F. McDonnell

Robert 'Bob' F. McDonnell

Former Virginia Governor and Regent University alumnus Robert “Bob” F. McDonnell will join RSG as a Distinguished Professor in January 2017.

McDonnell, who served as the 71st governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2010-2014, will teach in the Robertson School of Government and will help establish a Governor’s Center for Federalism and Civility, an initiative that will assist the states in understanding their role in a federal society.

“We are delighted to welcome Governor McDonnell back to Regent University,” said Regent Chancellor and Founder, Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson. “As we train students to serve in government, law and other disciplines, McDonnell will bring his extensive public service experience as an Army officer, prosecutor, state legislator, attorney general and governor.”

Moving into academia is a natural next step for the former governor, a champion of high quality education.

“Teaching is something that I’ve often considered throughout my years of public service. During my painful journey through the justice system after I left the Governor’s office, I came to the realization that politics and polls are much less important than people and policies,” McDonnell explained. “I‘m eager to engage with Regent students and faculty in and out of the classroom, and I hope that my experiences can inspire others to consider careers in public service.”

McDonnell’s experience will translate well into the classroom, said Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, Regent’s Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The Governor’s bias toward service will extend to our students, as he serves them with excellence through teaching and sharing. We anticipate robust discussions around issues of leadership, governance and policy.”

After his term as governor ended, McDonnell worked as a business consultant for such local companies as Bay Mechanical and The ESG Companies in Virginia Beach. Last year, he and his sister formed The McDonnell Group, which provides business and consulting services such as business development, investor recruitment, fundraising and strategic planning. He also has volunteered with the humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing, and serves on the local boards of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and Samaritan House.

McDonnell was the first – and to date, only – Regent graduate to be elected governor of a state, defeating his opponent by a 17-point margin in November 2009. He was inaugurated in January 2010. McDonnell earned a law degree and a master’s degree in public policy from Regent in 1989, and served on the Regent Board of Trustees from 1997-2005.

McDonnell was raised in northern Virginia. He attended the University of Notre Dame on an Army ROTC scholarship and served on active duty and in the Army Reserve, retiring in 1997 as a Lieutenant Colonel. He also has a Master of Science in Business Analytics from Boston University.

Besides two decades as an Army officer, McDonnell’s professional experience also includes four years as a manager with American Hospital Supply Corp., two years prosecuting crime in the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, and 14 years as an attorney with the Virginia Beach law firm of Huff, Poole and Mahoney.

McDonnell began his political career in 1991 in the Virginia House of Delegates, where he served for 14 years, representing the 84th District in Virginia Beach. He was elected attorney general in 2005, serving in that role until his election as governor in 2009. He has been elected chairman to both the Republican Attorneys General Association and the Republican Governors Association.

Dr. Patterson attends events at the State Department and Foreign Office

Picture Dr. Patterson In 2009 Dean Patterson began what later became his book, Politics in a Religious World: Toward a Religiously Informed U.S. Foreign Policy. At the time he was critical of the U.S. government’s lack of willingness to consider the multi-dimensionality of religion in foreign affairs. Indeed, it appeared that American, and allied, diplomats did everything they possibly could to avoid considering the nexus of religion, security, and U.S. foreign policy. As Madeline Albright famously wrote about her diplomatic career, “Diplomats trained in my era were taught not to invite trouble. And no subject seemed more inherently treacherous than religion.”

Much has changed! Dean Patterson was invited to participate in two major events on the intersection of religion and foreign policy, one at the U.S. Department of State and one at the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The former, a conference on “Religion and Diplomacy” at the State Department in Washington, DC, brought together dozens of scholars and practitioners to discuss the intersection of faith, development, diplomacy, and security. The second was held in London and focused on the intersection of religious freedom and global security. The conference theme was “Preventing Violent Extremism by Building Inclusive and Plural Societies: How Freedom of Religion or Belief Can Help.

Patterson reflects, “Just a few years ago, one could simply not imagine such conferences occurring nor the amount of investment that the U.S. government has made in this area. Although it is unclear if these initiatives will continue under the Trump Administration, it really is amazing that the important work of the State Department’s new Office of Religion and Global Affairs has grown in recent years. I am hopeful that the wider interagency will continue building on this.”


Professor Emeritus Joe Kickasola leads Book Club Discussion

Professor Emeritus Joseph KickasolaProfessor Emeritus Joseph Kickasola led the University book club in a discussion of a book on Islam in Africa and its relevance for the recent democratic transition in Tunisia.

John Alembillah Azumah’s The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa was Professor Kickasola’s choice for the monthly meeting of the book club. This non-fiction history looks at the development of Islam in North and East Africa and its diffusion to sub-Saharan Africa. Of particular relevance for this discussion was the intersection of race and slavery. Azumah chronicles transport of black African slaves across the greater Arab world and the theological and cultural justifications that allowed for slavery.

Professor Kickasola raised the issue of human rights, dignity, and political equality and the difficulty of democratic transitions in Arab countries in recent years, citing the lone success in Tunisia. These observations led to a rich discussion by participants, including former School of Divinity Dean Michael Palmer, RSG Dean Eric Patterson, and a number of RSG students.

One student remarked, “I had never met retired Professor Kickasola—it was an honor and a treat!” Another said, “I was simply amazed at his depth of insight on the historical context of the book.”

Professor Kickasola held joint appointments in the Robertson School of Government and School of Law, and touched the lives of Regent students during twenty-eight years of service to the University.

Up to Us – My Two Cents Day

Last month a group of students representing Regent University participated in the Up to Us competition’s first national event of the academic year, “My Two Cents Day.” Jacob Stephens (MA, ’17) led an effort to raise awareness about the national debt on campus supported by fellow graduate student, Michael Cummo, and undergraduate student, Noah Montgomery. The trio set up tables in Robertson Hall distributing free pizza and signing up students to pledge their support to reducing the national debt. Signatories of the pledge were also entered into a raffle for a $100 Amazon Gift Card.

Up to Us is a non-partisan competition meant for students to create unique, engaging ways to impact their community and raise awareness about the dangers of the national debt. Two years ago, Regent University placed 4th in the competition, winning a $1000 cash prize and the chance to participate in two prestigious national conferences. This year Regent’s team hopes to win the grand prize and gain national prestige and recognition for the university while inspiring dialogue about the national debt.

At the end of the day, 80 pledges were signed by students and 17 pizzas eaten! Law student, Christopher DeBlank, won the $100 prize for pledge signers. More events will be coming up, so be prepared for what your Up to Us team thinks up next!

Practitioner-in-Residence visits with Regent University ICMA Student Chapter

Practitioner-in-Residence, Sam Gaston, former ICMA president, joined the ICMA Regent Student Chapter members for dinner to discuss future career options and expectations in contemporary public administration. Mr. Gaston discussed changing perspectives and expectations from the citizenry and the challenges faced by public servants. Mr. Gaston serves as city manager of Mountain Brook, Alabama.

The ICMA student chapter is looking to build a network with RSG alum and is open to participation from RSG alumni. Please feel free to connect with us at

Showcasing Faculty Books, Including Roberts and Patterson

Professor Gary Roberts and Dean Eric Patterson were among dozens of faculty honored with publishing a book in the past year. They were part of over eighty Regent University faculty members who have published thirty-three books and a plethora of articles or performances within the past two years. Tuesday, November 15, the Regent University Library showcased the books at a formal induction ceremony. All of the faculty authors were invited to sign their books before they go on display at the library entrance.

Dr. Roberts’ book, Developing Christian Servant Leadership, is one of three books he has published over the last year with Palgrave-Macmillan. It focuses on maturing as a Christian servant leader in the today’s diverse workforce. Dr. Patterson’s book is a co-edited volume, with James Turner Johnson, entitled The Ashgate Research Companion to Military Ethics. The book includes chapters on the very latest ethical challenges presented to national militaries, and includes a chapter by RSG Associate Dean Mary Manjikian.

"It's an honor to our faculty for the tremendous work that they do," said Dr. Esther Gillie, Regent University Library dean. "We want to publicly take a look at the subject areas and the issues they are addressing in their scholarship."

Stephanie Lowell, assistant to the dean, arranged the book presentation. Dr. Joseph Bucci, assistant professor in the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS), and Dr. Diane Chandler, professor in the School of Divinity (DIV) presented summaries of their books to the audience. Bucci examined redemptive leadership in the workplace, and Chandler explored an integrated approach to personal and relational wholeness.

Each book inducted into the new collection of faculty works contains a plate inside of its front cover. Faculty members received bookmarks with the call numbers of their books so they could find them in Regent's library. The works will be on display for six months before going into circulation. Gillie plans to continue to host faculty book launches each spring and fall semesters.


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