Imagery of Regent people and campus

School of Business & Leadership Hosts Fifth Annual Networking Event

By Brett Wilson | February 25, 2013

Professional Continuing Education representatives Grace Alegre and Christine Habrle speak with prospective students about their programs.

Thursday, Feb. 21, Regent University's School of Business & Leadership (SBL), hosted its fifth networking event at The Founders Inn and Spa. The yearly gathering provides a way for prospective students, current SBL students, faculty and alumni to connect with business representatives in the Hampton Roads area.

But the participants collected more than a few names and business cards of future potential employers. They received a resurgence of the "Christian leadership" definition by distinguished speakers who addressed the crowd Thursday evening.

"Ultimately, there is only one leader, and that's God," said SBL professor Dr. Cornelius Bekker. "It is our honor and privilege as Christians to serve him."

When he first came to Regent, Bekker was a self-diagnosed "Christian leadership agnostic." He struggled with reconciling the two words, claiming that there always seemed to be a "missing link." But after his time pursuing a career in the realm of higher education, he realized that effective leaders are those who are aware and obedient to God's calling.

"I have now become a Christian leadership convert," said Bekker.

If Bekker—or anyone else—still struggled with connecting "Christians" and "leaders," Rachel Johnson's story of her own faith and leadership on the frontlines would surely create an awakening of Christian leadership converts.

While pursuing her master's in Organizational Leadership, Johnson '08 (SBL) was simultaneously serving as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in Baghdad, Iraq. Johnson recalled her first Sunday on her deployment at Camp Victor.

"I had a 9mm pistol on my hip, and I didn't know a soul," said Johnson.

Despite the strangers in the room, and the odd accessory holstered by her side, Johnson felt she had an immediate connection to her brothers and sisters in camp that day.

"I wasn't a 'Beth Moore,' but I could start a Bible study…I wasn't a 'Dr. Phil,' but sometimes people just needed someone to listen to them," said Johnson.

Johnson said, "Yes" to God's calling on her life and began ministering to her colleagues. She remembers this as the most important opportunity she had while serving in Iraq.

"Changing the world happens one person at a time," said Johnson.

When she returned to the United States, Johnson was able to incorporate her faith and the leadership skills she learned while in SBL as a special representative for Military Ministry in Newport News, Va. She is a full-time missionary, offering aid and healing for those who have served in the armed forces and their loved ones.

Johnson said it was her ability to follow the Lord that enabled her to lead well and accomplish all she was designed to. She encouraged her listeners to be willing to do the same.

"I know that each of you has your own story," said Johnson. "You may never have worn a uniform, but you're still fighting a battle in a very dark world."

Learn more about the School of Business & Leadership.

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Mindy Hughes, Public Relations

Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888

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