Regent University Hosts Faculty Retreat to Commence Fall 2020 Semester
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (August 25, 2020) – Regent University faculty and administration converged for a virtual Fall 2020 Faculty Retreat to dedicate the semester to the LORD and to pray for Regent students, faculty, and staff. Fall classes began online and on campus on Monday, August 24.
Regent University founder, chancellor and CEO Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson shared a recounting of the miraculous beginnings of the university and how GOD has blessed Regent with a supernatural covering, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. “God has built Regent into one of the greatest universities in the history of the world, and we’re just getting warmed up.”
Dr. Robertson reminded faculty of Regent’s founding vision, to be the world’s most influential, transformational, Christian university. He also emphasized the biblical exhortation from 2 Timothy 2:2: “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also,” (NKJV).
Expounding on the Apostle Paul’s instruction to his disciple Titus, Dr. Robertson exhorted Regent faculty concerning the importance of sound teaching with the following words:
“I believe that Regent University has been called by God to this time…Right now, we have a mandate from God Almighty that we are to teach the truth of the Word. We hold fast to the Bible. We are not being misled by idle wives’ tales and doctrines…we want to teach that which brings forth the blessing of God. We are to teach the Word. We are to be faithful in season and out of season. We are to be careful with the doctrine we have. We are going to be true to the Word. We are not going to deviate. We are going to teach people…we will be known as a rock and bulwark of true teaching.”
Following a time of congregational worship led by Regent’s School of Divinity, Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, executive vice president for Academic Affairs, addressed faculty with a powerful message: “The chief end of Regent University, colleagues, is to make GOD known. Higher education for GOD’s glory is a serious calling.”
“Education is to lead from darkness to light; from ignorance to understanding; from conjecture to knowledge and certainty. Higher education at Regent must do that, but it must begin with making GOD known,” he continued. “We must proclaim GOD and His greatness through His works. Our knowledge alone will not transform the men and women who come to Regent – it will be an encounter with the living GOD.”
“Teaching is one of the highest callings,” said Dr. Moreno-Riaño. “It is the intersection between souls, where the LORD visits students and transforms them. We must pray for GOD’s presence in that interaction, to bring about divine transformation in the lives of our students.”
Dr. Moreno-Riaño closed with a charge for all faculty to commit themselves fully to GOD, and to making Him known. Attendees then shared communion and a time of singing and praying together.
“The faculty retreat was a powerful reminder of the high call we have at Regent to serve the Lord and our students in a way that challenges students to academic excellence and builds the character in them to function with Christian integrity in whatever field they pursue,” said Fernando Garzon, Psy.D., assistant dean in the School of Psychology and Counseling. “The retreat was an excellent reminder to keep our priorities straight in the coming year, and to do our work with genuine love for God and care for our students.”
“Dr. Moreno-Riaño’s reflections struck me as both challenging and moving, a bracing reminder that I must draw on God’s grace and power to do what He calls me to do at Regent,” said Craig A. Stern, J.D., Professor in the School of Law.
“As a new faculty member, the retreat was a confirmation of why I wanted to teach at Regent,” said Dr. Joel Iliff, Assistant Professor of History in the College of Arts & Sciences. “Beginning the academic year with a service of worship lays the right foundation for our work of glorifying God in all things.”
Founded in 1978, Regent University has 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 from a Christian perspective in 135+ areas of study including business, communication and the arts, counseling, cybersecurity, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing, healthcare and psychology. Regent University, ranked among top national universities (U.S. News & World Report, 2020), is one of only 23 universities nationally to receive an “A” rating for its comprehensive liberal arts core curriculum.