World Changer Stories
You can make a positive and lasting difference by supporting academically excellent, Christian-based education that prepares Regent students with the highest level of affordable education available. Read the stories—and inspiring dreams—of some Regent's emerging World Changers, provided below:
Greatness for God's Glory
College of Arts & Sciences
Brandon Vera faces unique challenges as a Regent University student. He has a physical limitation called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, a condition that results in stiffness of the muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, or skin and restricts normal movement. The financial aid Vera receives from Regent means his educational expenses don't have to compete with his medical costs.
"Due to my disability and the multiple medical finances associated with it," he explains, "it has always been financially tight for my family and me. Without my scholarship, I would have needed to take out a loan and increase my already overwhelming debt."
But Vera doesn't see his physical challenges as a burden. Instead, he calls them a "gift in disguise." The Regent undergrad believes that God has called him to seek a degree in Communications, then pursue a master's degree in Strategic Communications, and ultimately earn his Ph.D.
"In terms of my long-term goal," he explains, "I really want to integrate my education with my life experience to solve problems from unique standpoints. I want to be able to visually communicate messages that will empower, provoke thought, and create positive change."
But Vera realizes he will need ongoing support from generous donors to make his education and career goals a reality. "With their support and investment, donors will allow me to further my education," he says. "Donors will allow students like me, especially students with a disability, to be more confident and hopeful in my ability to achieve greatness for the glory of God."
Equipped for Ministry
College of Arts & Sciences
Sarah Dimovski grew up in a Michigan family that she describes as not very wealthy: "There were many times my dad would get laid off and bring home a bag of potatoes to eat. Thankfully, God always provided for our family. We never went hungry."
While her family always had enough to eat, Dimovski says there wasn't money to put in a college fund for her and her three siblings. She knew attending college would require even more of God's provision. It came in the form of a scholarship financed by generous Regent donors.
"Their investment in me and in my education has changed my life forever," Dimovski insists. "This scholarship has meant the world to me. I would never have been able to attend a Christian university and receive a Christian education without their generosity."
A Christian Ministry major in the College of Arts & Sciences, Dimovski hopes to use the training and skills she develops at Regent to mentor and minister to women: "I want to teach them how to love God with all their hearts and how to love people well, as these are the two greatest commandments."
She also has a special message to Regent donors who are helping equip her and her fellow students to become Christian leaders to change the world: "Thank you so much for your donations, because I would not have the knowledge or skills to minister to these women without the amazing education that your generosity has provided."
An Incredible Journey
College of Arts & Sciences
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. But what about a journey of 7,000 miles? That's how far Ebenezer Murengezi traveled from his birth nation of Rwanda to study at Regent University.
Murengezi's family fled the 1994 Rwandan genocide when he was just seven years old. The now married father of three came to America as a refugee from Kenya two years ago, knowing that earning a college degree would be almost impossible without significant financial help.
"[There's] no way I could afford this amount of money," he insists. "I see my scholarship as God's provision and answer to prayers. It has been freedom from worries and stress."
Through the faithfulness and generosity of Regent donors, this son of Africa says he has been sustained and equipped to answer the Lord's call to ministry: "I believe the changing of the world doesn't begin in the future but every single day, when we respond to God-given opportunities."
Murengezi hopes to continue his education with a master's degree in leadership or divinity and use it to touch an entire continent. "This is again when a scholarship would be very useful to help me get equipped, even more, to meet the challenges of the world," he explains. "My heart is to serve God in any direction. I have a heavy burden for my country, and, Lord willing, I will return to Africa and institute leadership that will change the horizons of its people."
Storyteller at Heart
Jonatas da Silva
College of Arts & Sciences
Jonatas da Silva is a senior in the Cinema-TV program at Regent's College of Arts & Sciences. Born and raised in Senegal, West Africa by parents who are missionaries from Brazil, Jonatas describes himself as "a storyteller at heart."
"I am a filmmaker," he says. "I can't imagine doing anything else. Regent has given me the opportunity to grow in the areas of filmmaking I love and has taught me to be a servant on set."
Jonatas came to Regent by way of Youth With A Mission (YWAM): "After high school, I spent a year with YWAM doing missions. The dean of communication there was a Regent alum. While I was applying to another university, he told me about Regent University, and the rest is history."
A scholarship recipient, Jonatas believes that his Regent education has shaped his potential to become an exceptional filmmaker: "Because of my parents' status as missionaries, Regent's scholarship has been a tremendous blessing to my family. It has allowed them to focus on their calling, while I am being trained to enter my own mission field."
"I'm praying about attending graduate school," he explains. "I've also had an offer to produce a narrative about the street children in Senegal. If neither of these works out, I am considering returning to Brazil where I will apply to work for the biggest television station in the nation. Hopefully, because of my experience as a media producer for the Christian Broadcasting Network, it can be a smooth transition."
A Change of Plans
College of Arts & Sciences
A senior in Regent's College of Arts & Sciences majoring in Christian Ministry, Medina Elaasar's first visit to the university was in 2012 to see a friend. "A simple spring-break trip, a campus tour, and 'UnChapel' (a weekly, student-led, prayer-and-worship service) completely changed my future plans 360 degrees in the right direction," she says.
After initially enrolling as a Psychology major who "simply wanted to help and counsel others," a Campus Ministries' mission trip to New York City last year led her to change course. "The Lord pressed it upon my heart to change my major to Christian Ministry," Medina explains. "I wanted to gain a firm foundation about my faith and how I could efficiently use it to benefit the Kingdom of God. It's not every day that you can go to a University where you get to learn and live out the Word!"
But Medina says she wouldn't be where she is now without the "amazing investments" of Regent donors: "I am a firm believer in seeding into others' lives and educations. You never know … a simple donation can give somebody a chance at changing the world!"
Blessed and empowered by her Regent scholarship, Medina says the Lord's call on her life is very clear: "I simply want to be used by God as an instrument in His plans for my life, whether that's leading a congregation in worship or raising up a family who knows Him in spirit and in truth. I want to change the world by being an example of what happens when you say 'Yes' to the call of God; no matter what background, circumstances, or place you've come from!"
Realizing a Dream
College of Arts & Sciences
Regent University's new Biophysical Sciences program was launched this fall with a select group of students. Jessica Torres-Cedillo is one of them. "I'm in the Science Lab every single day," she says. "It's a blessing because I not only learn more about the world we live in through lectures, but I get to apply scientific concepts on a weekly basis through exciting lab experiments. The Science Lab has awakened my curiosity for God's world. It reminds me daily, as a Christian scientist and future doctor, that this is indeed my Father's world."
Jessica says she has dreamed about attending Regent since she was a little girl: "I'm originally from Puebla, Mexico, but I have lived in the United States more than half my life. As a nine-year-old living in Virginia Beach, Regent University immediately struck me with awe. From then on, I knew Regent was the place I wanted to attend when I grew up."
Years later, the Lord was faithful to her childhood dream, even providing the major course of study she desired. "Regent University has played a huge role in my walk of faith with the Lord, even before attending," Jessica explains. "Now that I'm here, Regent University is cultivating a strong foundation for my faith, with which I will be equipped to impact the world for Christ."
But without her current scholarship, Jessica says she wouldn't be able to attend Regent. Calling it "one of the most incredible blessings the Lord has given me," she adds, "The scholarship the Lord provided did not appear out of nowhere! It came from generous donors who desire to honor the Lord and change the world by investing in the next generation. These men and women embody the very grace that has touched my life. I pray that the Lord continues to plant this seed of love in the hearts of many more donors."
Because of that donor support, Jessica plans to attend medical school in four years: "My education at Regent University is equipping me to be a well-rounded individual who can think critically yet feel deeply for the sick and broken. I do not yet know what path I will take in the medical field; but wherever God leads me, I desire to be His hands and feet."
Committed to Justice
College of Arts & Sciences
"I love Regent because it's about a Christian education," says Regent undergrad Ariel Heinsius. "I want my entire life to be about Christ, and this university turns out individuals who put Christ as the highest calling in their life."
Once she stepped foot on the Regent campus, Ariel says she knew that the Lord meant for her to be here: "God put unexplainable peace in my spirit about my future at Regent, and I still have that peace each and every day here. My journey to Regent was less about the finite details of applications and deadlines and more about the fact that I knew God meant for me to be here."
A government major in Regent's College of Arts & Sciences, Ariel says God made her to fight for justice: "My life is centered on Proverbs 31:8-9, 'Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy' (NIV). As a future attorney, I intend to defend those who might otherwise be trampled by society. A little bit of justice here and there can truly change the world."
As a recipient of a World Changer scholarship, Ariel understands that donations to Regent University are not just about the money. "If I were not a scholarship recipient, I would be that much farther away from being able to accomplish my dreams and God's calling on my life," she explains. "Being a scholarship recipient has been yet another blessing in my life and yet another confirmation that I am on the right track to God's destiny."
Empowering like-minded students to also get "on the right track" is why Regent's scholarship programs need crucial donor support: "Further donations to the 'World Changer' scholarship fund would empower more young people like myself to achieve the goals that God has placed on their heart. It's not merely about the money. It's about empowering future generations to use their gifts for Christ."
Giving Thousands Just One Opportunity
School of Business & Leadership
When Roger Orozco was nine years old in his home country of Nicaragua, he traveled two-and-a-half hours every day to attend school. Part of that grueling journey included crossing a river while holding his books out of the water with one hand and swimming with the other.
"The Lord made me cross a river to teach me a lesson," Orozco says, "that the difficulties we face today will prepare us for the future."
But that trek to school wasn't the only difficulty he faced growing up. Orozco's childhood also included working 16-hour shifts at coffee plantations earning just two dollars per day. Still, those challenges didn't suppress his hunger for learning. At the age of 13, Roger left his family to work in an orphanage in exchange for an education. Years later, in 2001, when Orozco was looking to attend college, he met a Regent alum who would literally change his life.
"Congressman Scott Rigell '90 (School of Business & Leadership) plays a big role in my life," Orozco explains, "because he brought me from an orphanage in Nicaragua to receive an education in the United States. I lived with his family for three years while I was attending undergraduate school. He invested so much time teaching me about family values and business."
Today, Roger is still learning. With the help of a World Changer scholarship, he's pursuing an MBA at Regent University's School of Business & Leadership: "I chose Regent to advance my education because of the biblical principles, high-quality education, teachers who really care for their students, and for a great community where I can feel connected. The scholarship assistance was an incredible gift from God. I will be able to graduate on time and free from debt."
God is already using Roger's Regent education to help him run an international nonprofit organization in his home country. "Just One Opportunity was founded to transform poor, remote villages in Nicaragua into thriving self-sufficient ones by presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ and providing the necessary tools to break the cycle of poverty," Orozco says. "It is deeply committed to helping people realize their God-given potential through the gospel, training and education."
Through Just One Opportunity, Roger and his wife Mary-Blake serve 12 different remote villages in Nicaragua by training pastors, teachers and business owners: "When we started Just One Opportunity in January 2012, it was only my wife and I giving $50 a month to support a teacher. Now our reach has increased significantly. We are working with 12 pastors, supporting two full-time teachers and three college students. Fifteen small businesses have started through Just One Opportunity's loans and business training. We have trained more than 2,000 people, equipping them with the skills necessary to become self-sustainable."
Orozco understands the need for Regent donors to equip Christian leaders, like him, to change the world: "I strongly believe that people should donate to the World Changer scholarships because there are thousands of students like me who desperately need financial assistance to get an advanced education."
College of Arts & Sciences
College of Arts & Sciences student Grant Reynolds says his journey to Regent University was an easy one: "God simply told me this is where I was meant to be, and who am I to question the God of the universe and His plan?" He adds, "The moment that I stepped on campus, God just spoke to my heart and spoke to my spirit and said this is where I have you. This is where my plan is for you. … It was a no-brainer after that."
In fact, Grant believes there's no other university like Regent in the entire world: "Regent University is simply unique in the fact that everywhere you go, you feel Jesus' love. You feel His compassion." He continues, "Every single encounter has just been a God-ordained encounter. From the conversations that I've had with professors, to staff, they teach you to not just grow emotionally, but they teach you to grow academically."
A freshman currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in communication, Grant plans to eventually earn his doctorate in theology. He explains, "I chose that major because I want to be able to strategically communicate the Gospel to a culture, but in an innovative and creative way." Another goal of Grant's is to finish his Regent education "completely debt-free," something his World Changer scholarship is helping make possible: "It's important to me to complete my undergraduate degree debt-free, because I want to be able to go wherever God calls me without the noose of debt around my throat."
But Grant knows that donating to the university won't just benefit him. He says creating and funding scholarships will help change a culture and, eventually, the world: "The importance of giving to Regent is simple: It changes students' lives. Through your giving, it helps enable that mission of Christian leadership to change the world. Without giving, we can't do that. We can't impact a culture. We need that financial support in order to change student lives so they can go out and become Christian leaders who change the world."
Maximizing Opportunities on Every Front
College of Arts & Sciences
Caroline Leal is one of 10 children from a homeschooling family in Georgetown, Texas. When her two older sisters were close to graduation from high school, they were praying about where to go to college. While watching The 700 Club one evening, the family saw a commercial for Regent University.
"My mother said, 'Anything associated with CBN is bound to be good. You should check it out,'" Caroline recalls. "Both of my sisters took some dual-enrollment classes online while still in high school and had a fantastic experience. They both decided to complete their undergraduate education on campus at Regent. Because of their satisfaction at Regent, I thought it was worth a further look.
I have always loved writing, and the English major at Regent looked very appealing. They had different emphases that fit what I was looking for, so I had a lot of options. When I turned 16, I immediately signed up for my first online class as a dual-enrollment student at Regent University.
I was surprised when taking distance classes how caring the professors were and how they took the time and effort to reach out to their online students. This really made me feel like I was part of the school. When they did a live stream where students could log on and ask questions, that meant a lot to me."
By completing several dual-enrollment classes during high school, Caroline graduated from high school with enough credits to officially enroll in Regent as a junior. She moved to campus to complete her final year of college.
"I wanted to spend my senior year on campus," she explains. "I've been so blown away by the experiences that I have had since coming here. The sense of community here is just fantastic. My goal was to get plugged in as fully and as quickly as possible—and Regent provided me every opportunity to do that."
As soon as she arrived on campus, Caroline became a part of a Life Group and joined multiple student organizations. "I had the chance to start an English Honors Society chapter here at Regent. Being able to invest in the school and give back by being part of student organizations, volunteering and being a part of campus ministries has been a real highlight of my time here."
Caroline plans to use her English degree to make an impact in the field of freelance writing and journalism.
You can make a difference in the life of a student like Caroline by supporting the Regent University World Changer fund. Your gift today can put tools in the hands of Regent graduates who are taking the message of the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Against All Odds
College of Arts & Sciences
"My mother was a single parent with two children, and my father was never in my life," Da'qwone Hill explains. His mother's heavy work schedule limited her involvement in Da'qwone's life as well. Yet, in high school he became student president, graduated with honors, and served in his church and community.
From the moment he set foot on campus, Da'qwone fell in love with Regent University. He broke down in tears during a meeting with a financial aid counselor when he realized he didn't have enough funds to attend.
After hearing his story, the counselor determined to help Da'qwone explore new financial aid options. Da'qwone immediately called his family, friends and pastors, asking them to pray.
The next day he received the call telling him that he received a 50-percent scholarship. This assistance, along with the financial aid that he had already received, not only covered his tuition, but also his room and board. Da'qwone is the first person in his family to attend college.
Inspired by Faith and Leadership
College of Arts & Sciences
As Rebecca Clark approached her senior year, she wondered if college would be in her future. Because of her family's financial situation, Rebecca knew that her only hope was to qualify for scholarships. She applied for assistance through a special program at her school, and when asked where she wanted to attend school, she answered Regent University. "I love the Christian aspect at Regent, and that was a huge reason why I wanted to attend," she shares.
Much to her surprise, Rebecca was notified by her school program director that she would receive a scholarship covering her full tuition to Regent. "I could hardly believe it! Not only was I going to attend the college of my choice, but I was going to attend on a full scholarship!" she says.
Rebecca is majoring in business, with a minor in leadership. "The people I've met at Regent have been awesome," she says. "I love being surrounded by Christians who inspire me each day to continue growing in my faith and to live a life of purpose."
Investing in Future Leaders Through Christian Education
School of Education
As the daughter of committed believers, Keri Ingraham attended a vibrant Christian school where she learned biblical principles that set the course of her life. In college her faith deepened. "My faith became a lens through which I view life," Keri explains. "This impacted my decisions, my goals and my dreams."
Upon completing her undergraduate studies in Christian education, Keri took a job with a Christian school as a teacher and coach. After teaching at the school for eight years she took a short-term mission trip to Uganda where she taught English and Bible. She shares, "Through this experience, my passion for education continued to grow, along with an interest in Christian school administration. When I returned from this outreach the Lord clearly led me to Regent University to obtain a master's degree in education."
"The greatest thing I have learned in my time at Regent is the need for love in education," she adds. "By having love-based relationships with students you are able to impact them in the greatest way. That wasn't something I had anticipated learning, but it helped to soften my heart for all the people in my life, not just the students."
Keri received a Dean's Scholarship along with a matching grant from her local church. "As a result of the generosity of those donors I was able to transition immediately after graduating from my master's work into the Doctor of Education program in Christian Education Leadership," she says.
During her first year in the doctoral program Keri received a full scholarship through the George Selig Fellowship. Through this scholarship she not only receives full tuition, but also an annual stipend. "I've been working for the doctoral faculty in the School of Education," Keri explains, "helping with writing master's curriculum, writing articles, and doing research for upcoming books."
Keri recently received the job of her dreams—the job she has been pursuing through her education at Regent. "They recognized the extraordinary preparation that Regent has provided to me," she says. "This has allowed me to become the head of a Christian school while I'm still completing my doctoral program.
"I want to wholeheartedly thank those who have given toward Regent scholarships. I recognize that their sacrificial giving is building the kingdom of God. These donors chose to invest in my education, and as an educator in turn, I will be better equipped to invest in the future leaders of our world."
The impact of your gift to the Regent World Changer fund is truly exponential. By supporting students like Keri, your investment will affect more people than you can imagine. Just as Keri is using her education to assume the leadership of a Christian school, the Regent student you support may be used by God to raise up the next generation in biblical truth.
Creating Economic Change in Uganda
School of Business & Leadership
Master of Business Administration
Ben Kibumba was born in the eastern part of Uganda into a family of 15 children—he was the only boy among 14 girls. His father was a soldier who fought to bring the current leader of Uganda into power. His mother was a housewife and a farmer. Ben's father died when he was only in the 8th grade.
"After my Dad died, I was appointed to be his heir and manage his estate," Ben explains. "However, being a polygamous man, he had many wives who didn't feel happy about me being the heir. They threatened to kill me so that they would not miss out on their share of my father's wealth."
"My mum took me out of my village for our safety, and we travelled two hours away from home, to a town called Jinja. There I met a pastor who told me about Jesus. Later, when I entered high school, I had an encounter with God, and I have served Him ever since."
"I first heard about Regent University from a longtime friend, Shana Gilbert, who is also my mentor. Later I met Lauri Bradt, who was a student at Regent, and she immediately paid for my application. I was led to join Regent because it is a Christian university, and I wanted to learn more about the biblical approach in the global business world. I felt God confirming this when I visited the Regent Campus."
Ben received a scholarship from Regent to help him pay for tuition. "Without this scholarship, I would not be able to study at Regent. I appreciate the people who gave their generous support to make this possible. Thank you for making me who I am today—and what I am about to become in Africa."
Ben is pursuing his Master's of Business Administration, and he hopes that the knowledge and skills he acquires from Regent will lead to prosperity and success for his community in Uganda.
"Currently, I manage three business-related ministries in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. These businesses have helped hundreds of individuals to be empowered out of poverty. After graduation I hope to increase my own scope, professionalism and knowledge of managing various businesses as I reach out to my community."
Ben is the Director of Come Lets Dance, a not-for-profit community development organization. He also serves as an administrative pastor at Light the World church in Kampala.
"In the long term, I hope to run several successful businesses in my country that will lift individuals, as well as entire communities out of poverty," Ben declares. "I also hope to use the knowledge from Regent to serve as a consultant to other start-up businesses in my community."
"I desire to create a community of job creators, not just job seekers, and that's why I chose the MBA program at Regent University. I consider it a privilege for me to be part of what God is doing through Regent to change the world."
Serving Our Soldiers
School of Psychology & Counseling
Ph.D. in Psychology
Justin is from a family of believers and came to know the Lord when he was 14. "A church volunteer asked me if I wanted to go to Sunday school. I went to check it out, and I said, 'Oh wow, I love this stuff! We get to talk about the universe, and the world, and all kinds of different things that I enjoy learning about.' I actually became a youth pastor while I was in college, so pursuing psychology is just a continuation of ministry for me."
This will be Justin's third degree from Regent University, having already earned a master's in cinema-television, and a second master's in psychology.
"I'm finishing up my doctorate, and the very last thing I need to do to earn my degree is to complete my internship. I joined the Army, so after I complete my internship at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, I will spend three or four years working for the Army."
"I'm very excited, because I believe the Lord is calling me to work with soldiers suffering from traumatic experiences, and helping them work through post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological problems.
Justin explains that the Regent School of Psychology and Counseling is unique in that they have what they call Christian integration: "Most programs teach you about psychology, which is great, but Regent goes above and beyond that. They also teach you how to do the job of a pastor, a leader and a psychologist. So we can help someone who is dealing with religious concerns, as well as mental health issues."
Justin received an academic scholarship from Regent throughout his time in graduate school, which helped him to achieve his goal of becoming a psychologist. "I'm thankful to God and to those who gave toward my scholarship. It is an honor and privilege to be where I am today—preparing to do an internship at one of the nation's best military hospitals, helping people and doing what I love."
Defending Human Rights
School of Law
Human Rights and International Law
Sarah Drury was shocked when she read a prayer bulletin describing the brutal prison camps in North Korea. "When I learned about
the grave human rights abuse, I felt I was called to do something about it," she explains.
Now a third-year law student, Sarah is well on her way to pursuing that calling, but it hasn't been an easy road. "My family was unable to provide significant financial support for college," Sarah explains, "so I've worked my way through school and received scholarships."
When Sarah applied to Regent University School of Law, she knew that the availability of financial aid would ultimately determine whether she could attend. "Human rights and international law is not a very lucrative field, so I had to find a way to pursue my degree without incurring crushing debt," she says.
"I can honestly say I would never have been able to come to Regent without the scholarships I received. God completely worked things out."
School of Divinity
Ph.D. in Renewal Studies
Tharwat grew up in a Coptic Orthodox family in Cairo, Egypt, but when he was 4 years old, a friend took him to a Methodist church. "While I was there I heard about Jesus Christ, and I heard the plan of salvation," Tharwat explains. "That's when I asked Jesus to come into my heart."
Tharwat studied mechanical engineering in college and planned to make that his career. But one day he attended a meeting led by an excommunicated Coptic monk called Father Daniel. After hearing this Spirit-filled minister speak, Tharwat prayed and was baptized in the Holy Spirit. At that moment, he received a call to serve the Lord in full-time ministry.
"I went to the Evangelical Seminary in Cairo where I spent six years in Bible training and gained my bachelor's and master's in theology. Then I served with a charismatic outreach called The Way of Life Ministry," he shares.
One day he was online looking for a meditational book and saw a book titled The Century of the Holy Spirit by Dr. Vincent Synan. "I didn't know about Regent University at that time, but the Holy Spirit told me to buy this book," he says.
"On the back cover is Dr. Vinson Synan's photo and biography," Tharwat explains. "There for the first time I read about Regent University and God told me, 'I want you to send an email to this man. Tell him that you want to continue your study.'
"I went to the Internet and discovered that Regent is a charismatic school with a Ph.D. in Renewal Studies," he continues. "It seemed like Regent was a perfect fit for me."
Tharwat found Synan's email and wrote to him: "Dear Dr. Synan, perhaps I didn't meet you before, but I would like to continue my study for the Ph.D. at Regent University."
"I asked the Lord, 'Will this man reply to me? Oh Lord, do you want me to go to Regent?' And the Lord told me, 'Yes, I want you to go to Regent University.'
"In two days Dr. Synan replied to my email and told me that Dr. Amos Yong was now the dean of the School of Divinity. Soon Dr. Yong contacted me, and I told him about my background and my master's thesis. He encouraged me to enroll in the School of Divinity."
Tharwat serves the Lord together with his wife. "We totally live by faith. We don't have a very big income. I teach in four different seminaries in Egypt. But even with all that teaching, I don't have a regular salary. I started to look for an organization to help me pay for college, but I couldn't find anyone at that time," he shares.
"I went to my laptop to write to the School of Divinity to say that I couldn't start this year, because I didn't have money. I opened my laptop and saw an email from the dean notifying me that they can offer me a partial scholarship, which was enough to let me start my program.
"It was heavenly support," Tharwat says. "I don't exaggerate; it was a miracle!"
Called to Public Service
Robertson School of Government
Bill Dudley has been involved in ministry for more than 35 years. During his time as an officer in the Navy, he completed his undergraduate degree in pastoral studies while teaching classes, leading worship and working with chaplains. When he transitioned to the role of pastor and retired Navy Warrant Officer 3 working for the Department of Defense, Bill wanted to pursue a graduate degree that would benefit both his job and his ministry. His first thought was to earn a Master's of Divinity degree, but in order for his degree to also meet his education requirements at work, Bill needed to take a different path. He found his answer in pursuing a Master's in Public Administration (MPA) from the Robertson School of Government.
"From day one, every single professor has been a godly person," Bill explains. "Every class is opened with prayer, and every lesson is built upon the concept of servant leadership. As an older student, I was accepted by my classmates—and the drive I saw in them made me wish I had started a long time ago."
"I see our freedoms shrinking quickly, because so many Christians bought into the thinking that there is separation of church and state, believing we shouldn't get involved in public policy. Well, I never believed that. I see the possibility that, as pastors, we could be facing some serious times, so I wanted to get involved in the political process. At the same time we're in the process of building a new church building, so we are dealing with government officials and processes. Within the ministry, I'm dealing with job descriptions. So the skills that I learned at Regent transfer right over into the church."
Bill will be a part of the first graduating class for the Master of Public Administration program. He is currently using his training to start a nonprofit organization to assist adoptive parents. After he and his wife went through a difficult adoption process, he realized significant problems exist in the current system that need to be fixed.
"I've already been in contact with my congressman, state assemblyman and a couple judges to see how we can advance some protective rights for adoptive parents," he shares. "Some of these people spend as much as $20,000 pursuing an adoption, then at the last minute the birth parent can pull out of the deal for no reason, and the adoptive parents lose everything. Currently they have no protection in that process. I plan to use my degree to help make adoptions safe for everyone involved."
Just as Bill is using his MPA degree to help people in both the local church and in the community, your gift to the Regent World Changer fund will help to train people of all ages and backgrounds to make a tangible difference in the lives of people in need.
Changing the World Through Film
School of Communication & the Arts
Growing up in Georgia, Danielle Thompson was inspired by movies like Facing the Giants and Fireproof that were produced by nearby Sherwood Baptist Church. She was also highly influenced by her parents who both work in media: Mom is a producer and director in both TV and radio, and Dad is a broadcasting engineer.
Since high school Danielle has dreamed of working in the film industry. In her undergraduate studies at Columbus State University in Georgia, she earned an English degree with a minor in theater. She chose this major to strengthen her writing skills before going on to graduate school for film.
While in college, Danielle participated in a study abroad program at Oxford. As she completed her studies at Columbus State, she was accepted into Oxford's master's in film aesthetics program, and spent a year studying film there.
But her plan all along was to come to Regent for hands-on, practical training in movie production. She also wanted to learn from professors who had a Christian perspective on the film industry. As a top-rated Christian school with an award-winning Cinema-Television program, Regent was the clear choice when it came time to pursue her Master's of Fine Arts in Cinema-Television Directing.
"I'm grateful to be learning at such an exceptional institution," Danielle says. "Since attending Regent I've seen that there are so many ways to communicate the message of Christianity in film. One of my favorite directors is Andrei Tarkovsky who was a Russian Orthodox Christian. His films are beautiful, but they are not as direct as a movie like Facing the Giants. Studying cinema at Regent showed me that films like those of Tarkovsky also have something very powerful to say about spirituality, but it is done in such an impressive visual style. His films expanded my idea of what a Christian film could look like."
Being a Student Alumni Ambassador has also been a highlight of Danielle's experience at Regent. This is an on-campus organization that allows students to serve at signature events, and also to help with projects that raise funds for the university.
"I see my time at Regent as the biggest step in my preparation for the career that God has called me to," she explains. "It has caused me to think about the spiritual implications of this career. I have grown tremendously as an artist and as a professional as a result of my studies at Regent. I've really enjoyed my directing classes, and getting to work with like-minded peers and professors. I have made so many contacts that I know I will stay in touch with, both as friends and as professional colleagues. I plan to work as a film writer/director, and wherever this leads me, I know that I have what it takes to make a difference, thanks in large part to my degree from Regent."
Pursuing a degree in film directing at Regent has enabled Danielle to enter the media field with practical knowledge as well as a greater awareness of the message the world needs to hear. "That message is Christ," Danielle exclaims, "and Regent has above all shown me how to represent Him to a broken world."
Your gift to the Regent University World Changer fund will enable other students like Danielle to realize their dreams—and then to go out into society, equipped to change the world for Christ.