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Faculty Gather to be Inspired Before Semester Start

After a busy fall semester, and a break for Christmas, Regent’s professors are getting ready for a new year with students. Before classes begin, they gathered together for a time of prayer and encouragement Friday, January 6, at an annual faculty retreat. Reminding them of Regent’s mission and vision, and what it means to mentor and shepherd students were Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson, Regent’s founder, chancellor and CEO; Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, academic affairs executive vice president; Dr. Todd Wilson, Calvary Memorial Church senior pastor; and Hon. J. Randy Forbes, former Virginia congressman.

“The goal of our faculty retreat is to feed our faculty,” said Moreno-Riaño. “They play a pivotal role as shepherds, mentors, coaches and educators fulfilling the mission of the university, so we wanted to spend time thinking deeply about what that means.”
Wilson visited Regent to share a message with faculty in August. At Friday’s retreat, he shared a message with eight theses for professors to consider as they mentor students. All involving following Christ, being present, and being actively engaged in their students’ lives.
“The most important one, I realized, was number five: intentionality of developing your inner soul and your relationship with God,” said Lynne Marie Kohm, associate dean of faculty development and external affairs. “Everything you do as a teacher, mentor, discipler, researcher, writer, publisher exudes from your relationship with God. Students will remember you more for the impact you had on them as a person rather than what you taught.”

“This strikes me as a really special place and a great community,” said Wilson. “Even finishing this morning with communion together, reaffirming unity as the Body of Christ, coming to give encouragement, I feel like I’m stepping into a ripe environment where there’s already a great spirit among the faculty. It’s a privilege for me to be able to encourage what the Lord is already doing in this place.”

Faculty members were encouraged to continue building their community by enjoying lunch with one another. Regent may be expanding its program offerings and accepting and enrolling a record number of students, but Dr. Robertson reminded faculty, between them and students, Regent is a family, and their job is to inspire.

“I realized, that’s what Regent is all about,” said Kohm. “Students come here, and the professors get to disciple them. They get the benefit of being discipled. It’s different than any other university I’ve ever been at, and it’s extremely exciting to see that connection between students and faculty, and it’s all based on everyone’s unique relationship with God.”

Moreno Riaño says the Lord has blessed Regent’s efforts, bringing hundreds and hundreds of students, bringing an incredible opportunity. He challenges everyone to keep trusting in the Lord as they prepare for classes to start Monday, January 9.