Why Regent University?

Regent University offered a unique perspective in undergraduate studies. Christ-centered leadership and biblically centered classes develop students professionally and personally. The campus is beautiful, and I soon found that my professors and my fellow students exuded enthusiasm and dedication to the Lord and their educational pursuits. Classmates prayed with me and for me; studying became a group effort towards excellence and not just another homework assignment.

Why Online Learning?

I was 21 when I started the online learning program at Regent University. I had the opportunity to dual-enroll in a local college while in high school, so my associates degree was partially complete when I graduated in 2002. I hit the ground running by working full time after graduating from high school, attending night classes to finish my associates degree. I guess I got used to the schedule, and when it came time to find a university to transfer to, I knew I'd want a flexible format that would allow me to continue in my professional endeavors.

Why A Business Degree?

My degree is in Organizational Leadership and Management. I chose this concentration because of the unique mix of business strategy and leadership development. In choosing a degree program I wanted one that would emphasize the "people" part of organizations and their strategic development. Some degree programs focus primarily on the financial and strategic side of business development, but Regent stressed the importance of the organization's people and the effectiveness of biblical leadership.

Business Degree

The Challenge

I had a wonderful opportunity to attend a dinner hosted by the C.S. Lewis Society.*  If you have not heard about this wonderful ministry, I encourage you to check out www.apologetics.org, which further explains the Society's mission:
"The mission of the C.S. Lewis Society is to empower believers and engage skeptics with Biblical truth and evidences for faith."

Originating from Princeton in 1975, the C.S. Lewis Society is currently based out of Florida's Trinity College. The Society hosts various events and outreach ministries, and maintains a blog and an extensive array of articles. 

Cameron was able to join me at the last minute. I figured she would enjoy the event and the nod to literary and scholarly discussion. The dinner was held in Clearwater, and we were able to enjoy the most beautiful, melting sunset as we crossed the bridge. I would have liked to have gone a little bit early, and perhaps stopped along the water to watch the sky for awhile, but we didn't have time... I had a clothing challenge because my biopsy sites are still unsightly. It all worked out, though, because the dining room was freezing, so my long sleeved top was a good idea after all.

Anyways, I titled this "The Challenge" because I had the opportunity to hear Dr. John Lennox share his thoughts on current academia's challenges and triumphs in the Creation vs. Darwinism teaching philosophy. Dr. Lennox is probably best known for his recent debate with the author of The God Delusion, a best-selling book by Richard Dawkins. Dr. Lennox is Irish, and has that thick,rolling accent that not only draws you into his words, but actually commands attention. He shared with us his testimony, his affiliation with the C.S. Lewis Society, and war stories from his debates with some of current society's experts on mathematics, science, and philosophy.

We were captivated. Although the catering staff was laughing through the swinging doors, and you could hear dishes and silverware clinking, the round tables in the banquet hall were silent. Dr. Lennox ended with the following statement:
"I told my wife of forty years that when I get to heaven, I will put my arm around her, look around us, and say, 'If I knew it [heaven] was going be like this, I would have spent more time investing in it.' "
Then he took a long look at all of us, paused for a moment in the silence, and exited his podium to growing, thunderous applause. In case I have not communicated through my writing, this was the challenge for all of us. 

His statement kind of puts things into perspective, doesn't it?


Dr. Lennox was kind enough to chat with me for a few minutes after the event. What a fun night!
Cameron and I decided to ponder this stuff over some coffee. On our way to dinner, we passed this huge, brightly lit building that appeared to be a coffee haven. Naturally, we decided to drive by on our way back to check it out.

"Bay Coast Coffee Market" is a jaw dropping, espresso-dessert-soup-sandwich bar, and a market for coffee stuff! There were beautiful, gleaming espresso machines, thick, colorful mugs, and bins to scoop your own coffee beans. There was free wifi, small squatty chairs, corner booths, and high-top stools around marble tables. It is 11,000 square feet.

Sounds such as "oooh, ahhhh," "shiny," and "I love this" were heard throughout. Someone, who shall remain anonymous, did indeed clap her hands and squeal when she saw the glass panel above the bar that held probably 20 feet of draped newspapers. ("Cam! News! Look! News!)

Our mocha (decaf) lattes were amazing. What a cool place! Too bad it's all the way in Clearwater! :)

John Lennox MA MA (Bioethics), Ph.D D.Phil D. Sc, is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science, and Pastoral Advisor at Green College. He is also Lecturer at Wycliffe-Hall, University of Oxford and a Senior Fellow with the Trinity Forum. He has debated Professor Richard Dawkins in the “God Delusion Debate” organized by the Fixed-Point Foundation in Birmingham Alabama in 2007. He also debated Christopher Hitchens at the Edinburgh Festival and Dr Michael Shermer of Sceptic Magazine in Sydney, both in 2008. His most recent book is God’s Undertaker—Has Science buried God? (Lion-Hudson, Kregel 2007).

(Biography credit: The Trinity Forum; http://www.ttf.org/index/about/lennox/)

In error, I originally posted that the dinner was sponsored by the C.S. Lewis Foundation. As you can see from the comment posted by the Director of Communications, the C.S. Lewis Society and the C.S. Lewis Foundation are different.

 Nevertheless, I have included the mission statement for the Foundation because I think it is so very eloquent and a worthy challenge for all of us in the academic environment:
"From its very inception until now, the C.S. Lewis Foundation has been devoted to one primary mission: namely that of enabling a genuine renaissance of Christian scholarship and artistic expression within the mainstream of the contemporary university." (Dr. J. Stanley Mattson, President)


Steven said...

Hi Chelsea,

Though I thank you for posting up our website information and mission, I wanted to inform you that www.cslewis.org is the website of the C.S. Lewis Foundation. While we have similar events relating to C.S. Lewis and his legacy (and have had the pleasure of having John Lennox speak at past events), we are not formally associated with the C.S. Lewis Society and the dinner you attended. Their website is www.apologetics.org.

Great to hear that you had such a good time at their dinner and are a fan of C.S. Lewis! And also thank you for the kind posting of our mission statement even if it was in error. Being a nonprofit, it helps that your readers know what we do.

Thank you and God bless. Steve Elmore, Director of Communications, the C.S. Lewis Foundation, www.cslewis.org

Chelsea said...

Hi Steven: Thank you for correcting my error! Readers, take note... but I've already fixed it :)
God bless!