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Paul Spilsbury on Regent’s Christmas Appeal

December 16, 2016
"Wherever I went Regent came with me. This community continued to shape my thinking and my identity long after I left. That’s why I’m so happy to be back."

Since joining Regent’s faculty just over a year ago, Paul Spilsbury (MCS ’90) has had many opportunities to reflect on his journey with Regent and his hopes for the years ahead. Read his story below. Want to help Regent flourish? Give here.

My academic journey started at Regent. From my first semester, I was off and running: I took a seminar called “Messianic Expectations” with Markus Bockmuehl, which led to a deepening interest in the New Testament, which led to doctoral studies on Josephus at Cambridge.

Wherever I went Regent came with me. This community continued to shape my thinking and my identity long after I left. That’s why I’m so happy to be back.

I’ve been here as Academic Dean for a bit over a year now, and I’m struck by how much the College has grown. When I was a student, many of the things you’d probably recognize as distinctives of Regent were just in embryonic form. We already knew and loved Loren and Mary Ruth Wilkinson, but the boat course was just beginning. Regent has matured over time—it’s beautiful to see.

I work closely with our faculty, and I’m constantly struck by one thing: they’re all in. They are engaged, intelligent, and passionate, and they are committed to pursuing God’s calling. They love Regent’s mission, and they love doing cutting-edge intellectual work that matters for the church. It’s a joy to work with them.

And these students! They blow me away. Regent students are bright, they’re passionate—I wish I could introduce them to you in person. It’s a true privilege to meet students, hear stories of God’s call in their lives, and see how Regent becomes part of their journeys.

My hope and prayer for Regent? That it will flourish. For it to do so, we need resources to keep drawing the right faculty and students into this community.  We need to be financially stable so we can keep doing the things that are in our hearts.

Regent is doing work that is critically important to the kingdom of God—work that I don’t see happening elsewhere. But this kind of work is vulnerable. It’s vulnerable because it’s hard to do. It’s vulnerable because it’s hard to get the right people. It’s vulnerable because it’s expensive. 

Regent is a precious place. It’s a gem. It’s a unique place that nurtures people who are thinking about their faith and thinking about what it means to be a Christian in the modern world. Students come here and are genuinely impacted and changed. They come here and become inspired and equipped to make priceless contributions to the world—to live faithfully as agents of salt and light.

That’s why I’m encouraging everyone who loves Regent to help sustain it on the next leg of the journey. Donations to Regent provide essential support to me in my work as Academic Dean, to my brilliant faculty colleagues, and to the students who never cease to amaze me. 

The generosity of Regent’s donors has contributed to life-shaping experiences for the students I met this year. I’m incredibly grateful for that—and for everyone who is considering a gift that will help make sure next year’s students have the same opportunities.

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