Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson Hosts Chancellor’s Forum for the Robertson School of Government
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (April 14, 2022) – Regent University Founder, Chancellor and CEO Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson hosted an exclusive Chancellor’s Forum for the Robertson School of Government on April 12, 2022. He examined key campaign, government, and leadership topics from a Christian perspective during this premier roundtable discussion at Regent’s Studio Theatre. Robertson spoke to a live audience of students and graduates who attended the conference in-person and virtually.
“This is a historic, unique opportunity” said the Hon. Michele Bachmann, J.D., LL.M., dean of the Robertson School of Government. Bachmann, who served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 to 2015, introduced Robertson and moderated the forum. She traced his political heritage, mentioning his father, who served for 34 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Robertson’s ancestry includes Benjamin Harrison, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and governor of Virginia, and two United States presidents. He also shares ancestry with Winston Churchill.
“He has a family associated with politics but also the chancellor himself ran for President of the United States,” said Bachmann. In addition, he organized the evangelical Christian vote around a set of biblical principles. Bachmann noted the groundbreaking and practical nature of the endeavor. Robertson organized the vote “state by state and precinct by precinct.” As a result, today “the Evangelical vote is one of the most powerful votes in the United States of America.”
Greeted with a standing ovation, Robertson set the tone of the forum by emphasizing servant leadership. “I’m going to treat you as if you were a candidate and I want to give you some pointers,” he said.
Serve the People
“We govern by the consent of the governed. If we’re going to be leaders in government, we have to recognize that we are public servants. And we are to serve the people.”
The Mission of Regent
“Our nation is crying out for leadership, and Regent is training Christian leaders to change the world.”
The Importance of Prayer
“Whatever you do needs to be in prayer. You need to surround yourself with people who are prayer warriors who pray for you constantly.”
Empowered through Anointing
“If I started an engine without any oil, I’ll strip the gears and I’ll burn the engine up. There has to be an anointing.”
Robertson highlighted the importance of staying in control of the narrative, the message, and the budget while running for office. He also urged the audience to find out what their constituents wanted. “The one thing we don’t do as a candidate is to tell people what they want. What we do is listen to them. What do they want?” he said. Focus testing was a practical tool for gaining an insight into constituent demands.
He underscored the idea of public service and reiterated the need for future leaders to accept the role of being a servant. “How may I serve you? What may I do to bring you a better life?” were some important questions to ask. If members of the audience did this while running for office, they would be able to “make an enormous difference in people’s lives.”
“When you go into government, go as a servant,” said Robertson. “You need to know what the Constitution says, you need to know what the rights of the people are, and you need to understand what your duties are as a public servant.” He spoke about the importance of knowledge in the field. “We want intelligent leaders, who are servant leaders but who are knowledgeable about what to do.”
Questions & Answers with the Chancellor
During an interactive question-and-answer session, students gleaned insights from Robertson’s wealth of experience as a religious broadcaster, educator, religious leader, and businessman. The questions included his faith, political involvement, Regent University, and current political issues.
In discussing the defining moments of his life, Robertson said “I started with $70…I came down here with nothing.” He noted the irony of not owning a television set while being led to buy a television station. Over a simple lunch of cantaloupe and cottage cheese, he received the commission to establish a university for God’s glory. “It’s been an unfolding of God’s revelation.”
A God-centric attitude was a recurrent theme in Robertson’s message. “I put God first,” he said when asked about his work-family balance. While answering another question, he quoted from Zephaniah 2:3: “Seek righteousness, seek humility.” “You are always safer with your face on the floor before the Lord,” he added. While commenting on the importance of an anointing, he noted that “everything just flows” when the Lord goes before you and makes the way.
Students were also advised to incorporate love and understanding into their stance. “Our stand should always be love.”
“You are servants of God,” said Robertson, encouraging students to aim for excellence. He advised them to maximize their learning experience at Regent University and graduate with a positive outlook that they are Christian leaders to change the world.
“Every one of you has a destiny in God’s hands. He has a plan for every single one of you. And if you just ask God to show you what plan He has for your life, He’s going to work out something absolutely wonderful – beyond anything you can ask or think,” said Robertson. “His plan for you is enormous, so don’t settle for mediocrity, go higher, because God wants to give you the absolute best.”
Chancellor’s Forum Feedback
“The Chancellor’s life is one that is poured out in front of the Lord. He has said ‘yes’ to the Lord and the testament is the Robertson School of Government,” said Bachmann. “He comes here with a unique heritage. He shared biblical principles from his own life, and he has organized the Evangelical vote, one of the most powerful votes in the nation. It is an honor to hear form him. The students were very grateful.”
Among the live audience was Julianne Condrey, Chief of Staff of the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Winsome Earle-Sears. “It’s a reminder of servant leadership,” she said. “Leadership is lonely and challenging, and it’s good to get a reminder of the big picture.” Condrey graduated with a B.A. in Government with a pre-law concentration from Regent University. In May ’22, she will be graduating with an M.A. in Government with a concentration in law and public policy.
Asher Peck, a graduate student who attended the forum virtually, was grateful to receive advice from “an influential Christian leader” like Robertson. “Dr. Robertson taking the time to pray over my colleagues and me at the closing of the forum meant the most to me. He prayed words of blessing over us and asked God to direct our steps as we navigate the future,” added Peck, who will be graduating with an M.A. in Government with a concentration in international relations and aspires to serve in the government.
Avery Walsh, an alumna of the Robertson School of Government and Senior Director of Admissions at Regent University, appreciated the opportunity to listen to Robertson. “I am so thankful that Dr. Robertson is taking the time to connect with current students and alumni. He has a wealth of experience and political insight,” she said. Walsh graduated with an M.A. in Government.
“This event gives students a chance to hear from and ask questions from Dr. Robertson as he explains the process, challenges, and obstacles he experienced while following God’s plan for his life. As a result, in order to accomplish Regent’s motto of Christian Leadership to Change the World, students will need the same obedience, confidence, and perseverance to follow through on the plans God has for their lives,” said Jeffrey Redd, who graduated with an M.A. in Government with a concentration in American Government and a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Terrorism & Homeland Defense. Redd, who attended the forum virtually, currently serves as a political science professor at Valencia College in Central Florida.
“It is incredibly meaningful to be able to engage with such a godly, self-sacrificing gentleman,” said Cameron Ainsworth, who is pursuing an M.A. in Government with a concentration in law and public policy. “Chancellor Robertson has accomplished so much that it is humbling in a very deep way.”
About Regent University
Founded in 1978, Regent University is America’s premier Christian university with more than 11,000 students studying on its 70-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and online around the world. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 150 areas of study including business, communication and the arts, counseling, cybersecurity, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing, healthcare, and psychology. Regent University is ranked the #1 Best Accredited Online College in the United States (Study.com, 2020), the #1 Safest College Campus in Virginia (YourLocalSecurity, 2021), and the #1 Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Virginia for 10 years in a row (U.S. News & World Report, 2022).