Regent University is a privateChristianuniversity in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The university was founded by Pat Robertson in 1977 as Christian Broadcasting Network University, and changed its name to Regent University in 1990. Regent offers traditional on-campus programs as well as distance education. Through its eight academic schools, Regent offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in over 70 courses of study. The university is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools with specific programs accredited by other professional or national accreditors.
Plans for the university, originally named Christian Broadcasting Network University, began in 1977 by CBN founder and current ChancellorPat Robertson. In 1990, the name was changed to Regent University. The university’s name is designed to reference a regent, a person who exercises power in a monarchical country during the absence or incapacity of the sovereign; according to the school’s catalog, “a regent is one who represents Christ, our Sovereign, in whatever sphere of life he or she may be called to serve Him.” The university’s current motto is “Christian Leadership to Change the World.”
The first class, consisting of seventy-seven students, began in fall of 1978 when the school leased classroom space in Chesapeake, Virginia. The first students were all enrolled in what is now the School of Communication & the Arts. In May 1980, the first graduating class held its commencement, while the School of Education opened the following October. Simultaneously, the university took residence for the first time on its current campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The school proceeded to open its schools of business, divinity, government, and law by the mid-1980s. In 1984, Regent University received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In 1997, what would later become the School of Business and Leadership piloted an online Master of Arts program, an antecedent to the university’s development of online education.
In 1995, the university opened a secondary campus in Alexandria, Virginia, following an outreach program geared toward teachers in the Washington, D.C. area. This facility was later sold. In 2000, Regent began an undergraduate degree-completion curriculum under the auspices of a new program, the Center for Professional Studies. This would later become the School of Undergraduate Studies, before finally being renamed as the College of Arts and Sciences in 2012.