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Welcome to the Koch Leaders Program!

The economic crises of the 21st century call for a new generation of Christian leaders with the knowledge and understanding of the principles of economic and political liberty.

To help answer this call, the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation is funding a distinct and advanced learning opportunity to a select number of undergraduate students at Regent University — the Koch Leaders Program. Students selected to participate in this program critically explore books and ideas that address the relationship between Christianity, public policy, and a market-based economy.

The ten meetings held are rigorous but informal, beginning with a meal provided by the Koch Foundation and then moving into the evening’s discussion. The meetings will be held beginning the week of February 6, 2023 through the week of April 17, 2023.

In addition, during the course of the program, a prominent speaker will be hosted to interact with the students concerning issues of faith, vocation, and economics. Previous speakers have included Dan Forest, then-Lt. Gov. of North Carolina; the Hon. Doug Bandow, former Special Assistant to President Reagan; and the Hon. Bill Wichterman, former Special Assistant to Pres. George W. Bush.

Junior and senior students who wish to be included in the program must apply for the opportunity to be selected as one in a group of 20 participants. It is also open to Honors students, and they will be awarded 10 LIFE Points for their participation. The Koch Leaders program is recognized at graduation as a distinct honor.

Participating students may receive two academic credits for completion of the academic portion of the on-campus program by enrolling in GENE 475 Special Topics: Koch Leaders. Requirements: attendance, participation in discussions, and a paper (3,000 words with appropriate sourcing) on a relevant topic.

The online section does not offer official credit hours. Dr. Baugus will run this section.

Students may participate in the on-campus Koch Program without taking the official course and receiving academic credit for it. However, we encourage them to take advantage of the program for credit.

For more information about The Koch Leaders Program, please email Professor Rob Schwarzwalder at


The Koch Leaders Program exists to develop Christian leaders who will work to preserve political and economic liberty in the 21st century.


Students in the Koch Leaders Program will get an opportunity to:

  • Study and comprehend the conditions favorable to economic prosperity and political freedom through study of books in the classical liberal tradition.
  • Explore and evaluate the legal, religious, and sociological conditions favorable to economic prosperity and political freedom.
  • Apply biblical principles to questions of political theory and economic thought through the exploration of how these principles and a biblical anthropology inform these topics.

Students will receive all books and other readings free of charge. The first meeting will be the week of February 6, 2023. The program will conclude the week of April 17, 2023.

This year, we will read and discuss the following:

Bradley, Anne R. and Art Lindsley, Counting the Cost: Christian Perspectives on Capitalism

Wehner, Peter and Arthur C. Brooks, Wealth and Justice: The Morality of Democratic Capitalism


Articles and studies will be provided to the students on the first evening of the fellowship.


Professor Schwarzwalder is focused on the intersection of theology, culture, and politics. His background in public policy has been informed by his service on Capitol Hill, the private sector, and various Christian ministries. His op-eds have been published in numerous national publications, ranging from TIME and U.S. News and World Report to Christianity Today, The Federalist, and The Public Discourse, as well as scores of newspapers and opinion journals. Currently, he is a twice-weekly columnist for The Washington Stand. He has been interviewed on National Public Radio, Fox News, CBN News, and other television and radio programs. Rob’s scholarly publications include studies of such issues as Marxism, fatherlessness, pornography, and federal economic policy.

Prior to coming to Regent, Professor Schwarzwalder was Senior Vice-President at the Family Research Council for more than seven years, and previously served as chief-of-staff to two Members of Congress. He also was a communications and media aide to a U.S. Senator and senior speechwriter for the Hon. Tommy Thompson, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For several years, he was Director of Communications at the National Association of Manufacturers. While on Capitol Hill, he served on the staffs of members of both Senate and House Armed Services Committees and the Senate committee with oversight of federal healthcare policy.

Professor Schwarzwalder is currently completing his Ph.D. in history at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland). He has done graduate work at George Washington University and holds an M.A. in theology from Western Seminary (Portland, Oregon) and an undergraduate degree from Biola University. He and his wife of 41 years, Valerie, make their home in Virginia Beach and have three adult children.

Application Deadline: JANUARY 30, 2023

Students selected to participate in this competitive program will be notified no later than one week following the application deadline.

Please apply to become a fellow of the program if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are an undergraduate student who embraces the opportunity to read, think, and talk about important ideas related to politics, economics, and Christianity;
  • You are committed to contributing to each discussion;
  • You have time to devote to a challenging set of readings;
  • You are a person who enjoys discussing ideas;
  • You are willing to put your ideas before a group for critical, sometimes passionate discussion;
  • You are available for a two-hour meeting on an evening to be determined during the semester and during other times as necessary.

Participants are chosen based upon their application materials. In addition to filling out all application materials, students may be asked to undergo an interview with Professor Schwarzwalder.

If you wish to be considered for the Koch Leaders Program, complete the application form no later than the posted deadline. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Full Name:(Required)
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For reading discussions, instead of meeting on campus, distance students will discuss books in a series of real-time video conferences.

If you are a distance student who is interested in applying to the Koch Leaders Program, simply read all relevant information about the program and then complete the application!