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The fountain on Regent University's campus in Virginia Beach, VA 23464.

Spring 2021 Faculty Awards for Excellence Announced by Regent’s Office of Academic Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (June 11, 2021) – Regent University’s Faculty Awards for Excellence program recognizes faculty for their extraordinary commitment and dedication to Regent’s mission as evidenced by qualities of excellence, innovation and integrity in teaching, scholarship and service. The Office of Academic Affairs is pleased to announce the following Spring 2021 award recipients: Professor Robert Schwarzwalder, Professor Louis Hensler and Dr. Mara Crabtree.

Excellence in Teaching
Professor Robert Schwarzwalder, Honors College

Known for sophisticated faith-learning integration, Professor Robert Schwarzwalder embraces the opportunity to teach foundational courses in which students wrestle with key truths and calibrate their moral compasses for ongoing academic and life pursuits.

He has taught and mentored hundreds of students through courses such as The Making of a Christian Leader, Imago Dei: The Image of God and Human Nature, and The Beauty and Majesty of God, garnering a multi-year average SET score of 4.63 and receiving resounding approbation from students, including: 

“Prof. Schwarzwalder is an amazing professor…. His wisdom, knowledge, and eloquence are profound. I admire how he loves Christ and is unwilling to compromise his values…”

“Prof. Schwarzwalder is kind, genuine, relational, and loves Jesus so much. He facilitates good class discussion,…has great depth of knowledge, and is passionate about our subject matter.”

Schwarzwalder is quoted as saying: “We can fill our students’ minds with valuable and professionally practical information and help them learn to evaluate their workplace demands with honesty and thoroughness. We can then send them out ready to be productive employees or entrepreneurs whose eventual financial success will redound to the credit of the university…. But unless we also send them out with a recognition that Christianity is true; that Christ is not interested in having a place in our lives but demands and deserves to be Lord of the full circumference of them; and that His priorities and His values should govern how we use our time, knowledge, and energy; then we will have equipped our students only to be capable materialists.” 

Excellence in Scholarship
Professor Louis Hensler, School of Law

Prof. Louis Hensler has become a national expert bringing a Christian perspective to tort law. This expertise flourished after his 2017 presentation at the prestigious Nootbaar Conference at Pepperdine University School of Law, entitled: “Natural Affection: Natural Law or Natural Selection, and Does it Matter.” 

He is the author of three key articles that explore tort topics from a Christian perspective, namely: 

  • “The Legal Significance of the Natural Affection of Charlie Gard’s Parents” (Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal)
  • “Moses’ Restatement of Torts: Modern Principles of Justice and Efficiency in the Mishpatim” (Vermont Law Review)
  • “Civil Reconciliation Tort Theory: Making Torts Private Again” (University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review)

Hensler is the author of a casebook, which addresses torts from a Christian perspective. This casebook, Torts from a Higher Law Perspective: Cases, Materials, Questions, and Comments(Vandeplas Publishing, 2015), serves as his primary text when teaching torts each year. 

He actively promotes faculty scholarly efforts in his school, thinking and dialoguing with colleagues about how to creatively enhance scholarly impact at the intersection of faith, law, and culture.

Excellence in Service
Dr. Mara Crabtree, School of Divinity

Dr. Mara Crabtree was hired in 1999 as the first full-time female faculty member in the School of Divinity, and her service over the past 22 years to her school and the university has been extraordinary. 

Crabtree has led the school’s Curriculum Committee for many years, and her knowledge of University policy, eye for detail, and understanding of ministry have been integral to the revitalization of the curriculum of her school and its degree programs. 

She has held numerous other roles over the years at both the school and university levels: She has mentored full-time, part-time and adjunct faculty; she has worked on accreditation subcommittees; she has served as a Title IX representative; she has blessed the university community by speaking in chapel; and she has chaired and participated in tenure and promotion committees and faculty search committees.

Crabtree serves tirelessly as her school’s faculty chaplain, coordinating prayer and pastoral care and leading weekly devotionals. In addition to her service in the school, Crabtree maintains holy orders as an ordained priest with the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches and is a member of the Episcopal Order of St. Luke, with a focus on healing ministry and prayer. 


About Regent University

Founded in 1977, Regent University is America’s premier Christian university with over 11,000 students online and on campus in Virginia Beach, VA. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 150 areas of study, including business, communication and the arts, cybersecurity and technology, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing and healthcare, and psychology. Regent University tops the list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Virginia and is ranked among top national universities by U.S. News & World Report. Along with a commitment to academic excellence, what sets Regent apart is its mission to prepare Christian leaders to change the world.