Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson Hosts Exclusive Chancellor’s Forum for Regent University School of Education
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (March 14, 2022) – Regent University Founder, Chancellor and CEO Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson hosted the first School of Education Chancellor’s Forum on March 8, 2022. The live-audience event, held in Regent’s Studio Theatre, provided education students a unique opportunity to engage with their chancellor in an interactive setting.
Robertson spoke in person to 45 students, while an additional 35 students participated virtually. During the roundtable discussion, he shared his perspectives and wisdom on key topics, including Education & Society, Christian Worldview and Leadership. He also explained how Regent was founded, offering spiritual highlights of its inception and mission.
Kurt Kreassig, Ed.D., MBA, dean of the School of Education, moderated the forum and introduced Robertson—the chancellor was met with a standing ovation. Also representing the school, Don Finn, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Curriculum & Instruction and Adult Education programs, facilitated the Q&A portion of the program.
“I took joy in witnessing our students engage with our chancellor during our School of Education Chancellor’s Forum,” said Kreassig. “Our students listened, laughed, and learned—simply put, they had fun!”
“Dr. Robertson has a wealth of experience as a Christian leader, business and political entrepreneur, and educator,” said Finn. “Hearing his wisdom on various topics was a blessing and inspiration to the entire School of Education.”
OPENING REMARKS & REGENT’S INCEPTION
Robertson opened the event with prayer and shared how Regent University—formally CBN University—was founded. He explained how in 1975, “over prayer and a simple lunch of cantaloupe and cottage cheese,” he received a profound mandate from God to “buy some land, build a headquarters and build a school for His glory.”
Robertson said, in faith, he purchased 104 acres in Virginia Beach for $2.3 million with “nothing down.” He laughed at the irony of God’s instruction to buy a television station: “I didn’t even own a TV!” Today, CBN is one of the world’s largest television ministries and has helped lead hundreds of millions of people around the world to a faith in Jesus Christ.
Robertson credited his wife, Dede, for confirming God’s plans to build a university. He explained how she received a God-given verse that activated his vision: And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2). That very verse is “inscribed on the Administrative Building as a reminder to all who enter” that Regent is equipping Christian Leaders to Change the World.
A year after CBN was launched, the School of Communication & the Arts opened for enrollment. “We started with just 77 students supported by seven professors, scholars who shared the same vision to build a school that would be the preeminent source of Christian thought, rivaling that of Oxford or the Sorbonne,” said Robertson.
Now with over 31,000 alumni impacting communities all over the world, Robertson exclaimed: “We are just warming up.”
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS WITH THE CHANCELLOR
An interactive question and answer time followed Robertson’s opening comments. He addressed various hot-topic issues in education and society and advised on how to serve as a leader through a Christian worldview. Key issues included:
- School boards and parent engagement
- Humanism and its influence on modern education
- Political agendas impacting young learners
- Governmental overreach in public schools
- Practical ways Christian educators can share their faith
Robertson said parents need to be active in their local school boards and how they and educators can make a big difference during school board elections.
Robertson then referenced atheist John Dewey (1859-1952)—a philosopher whose humanistic influence impacted modern American education.
After that, Finn chimed in, highlighting statements from A Humanist Manifesto. Robertson went on to say that humanism’s impact on the current state of education, and the push for Marxist ideas are hurting our children and our communities.
“We’ve taken the Bible out of the classroom,” Robertson said. He encouraged the audience the best way to share their faith in the public school system is to “share your testimony.” He challenged his listeners to “go back to the roots” and “study what the Bible says.”
Robertson also spoke about the importance of early education and how students need to know their purpose lest they lose hope for the future. “We need educators to have a positive attitude. How do you promote optimism? You show it.”
In short, Robertson concluded the forum, he expressed his hope for the future and encouraged the audience to impact the world. “Let’s be excellent. Let’s show the world we are better by being excellent,” said Robertson. He explained that if you want to lead, you must serve. He encouraged attendees to be servant leaders and to operate in “excellence, innovation and integrity.”
CHANCELLOR’S FORUM FEEDBACK
Katherine Goldman, Ed.D., assistant dean and adjunct professor for the School of Education, helped produce today’s forum. She said the student feedback she received was extraordinary.
“The students were impressed with the Chancellor’s servant leadership, vision, experience, and wisdom—they sent thank-you notes to him the very same day,” shared Goldman. “One teacher could barely hold back her tears of gratefulness as this event touched her heart and encouraged her spirit.”
The chancellor’s words inspired Allison Taylor, an assistant principal with Chesapeake Public Schools earning her Ph.D. in Education – Advanced Educational Leadership at Regent. “As servant leaders, we as educators are charged with instilling hope in the future. We have a sense of responsibility to be stewards of God’s Word and love.”
SOE student Wayne James, a retired schoolteacher, currently working on his Ed.S. in Educational Leadership – Higher Education Leadership & Management, shared how this event wasn’t the first time Robertson influenced him: “As a young child watching CBN’s The 700 Club, seeds were planted back then that prepared me years in advance to attend Regent University.”
James explained that the biblical truths he learned from watching the show differed from his upbringing, but he knew they were true because they aligned with the Bible. “That impacted my life, and it’s why I’m here today.”
“The opportunity to meet with Chancellor Robertson was life-changing and unforgettable. It will forever hold a special place in my heart, said Keisha Thomas, a licensed, private practice NILD educational therapist, among other education roles, and current doctoral student and Selig Fellowship recipient in the SOE. From beginning to end, you knew God was imparting wisdom through such an incredibly anointed leader in the faith.”
Master of Education student Michell Ferebee who has served Chesapeake Public Schools for 30 years as a teacher, mentor, assistant principal, and more, also raved about the forum. “There are many things that I am taking away from the Chancellor’s Forum; however, one thing that resonated with me was Dr. Robertson’s charge for Christian leaders to get involved. A few people can make a world of difference.”
“It was an honor to participate in this forum with Chancellor Robertson,” said Michelle Grace, a biology, anatomy and environmental science teacher earning her Ph.D. in Education – Advanced Educational Leadership at Regent. “As an educator, I found his words of wisdom and heart for education to be encouraging during this stressful time in public education.”
“Regent has provided me with an advanced education filled with excellence so that I am able to have a positive impact on others and change others,” said Aretha Livingston, a reading interventionist for Hampton City Schools who is earning her M.Ed. – Reading Specialist at Regent. Shannon Riggs, an academic advisor for Regent’s Office of Advising working on her M.Ed. – Individualized Studies degree, agreed with Livingston, adding: “To have the opportunity to listen to Dr. Robertson provide his experience and wisdom is inspiring to continue his vision from the Lord.”
EXPECT MORE CHANCELLOR’S FORUMS TO COME
When Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), stepped down as the host of The 700 Club program on October 1, 2021, he expressed enthusiasm to devote his energy and experience to helping train and equip Regent University students. This Chancellor’s Forum demonstrates his commitment to investing in the lives of the 11,000-strong student body of Regent as they become “Christian leaders to change the world.”
About Regent University
Founded in 1977, Regent University is America’s premier Christian university with more than 11,000 students studying on its 70-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and online around the world. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 150 areas of study, including business, communication and the arts, counseling, cybersecurity, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing, healthcare, and psychology. Regent University is ranked the #1 Best Accredited Online College in the United States (Study.com, 2020), the #1 Safest College Campus in Virginia (YourLocalSecurity, 2021), and the #1 Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Virginia for 10 years in a row (U.S. News & World Report, 2022).