Morning classes were canceled on Wednesday, January 26, so that deans, faculty and the entire student body could gather for one of the events that makes Regent Law distinctly Christian: the annual Student Faculty Retreat.
Held just down the road from campus at the New Covenant Presbyterian Church, the Regent Law Retreat was a time for the law school community to set aside the rigors of academic study and reflect on and reorient around the mission and vision that drives them, namely what it means to serve God in their legal calling.
A time of singing followed an invocation and opening prayer from Regent Law Dean Jeffrey Brauch. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Doug Cook, emceed the event, introducing the keynote speakers: Mike Schutt, faculty member and director of the Institute for Christian Legal Studies (ICLS), a cooperative ministry of Regent Law and the Christian Legal Society, and alumnus Jonathan Feavel (’94), a private, general practitioner in Vincennes, Indiana.
From 1 Pet. 4:10-12, Schutt reminded participants that serving God and sharing in His work as recipients and stewards of His grace is a privilege. “I don’t think there is any better place in the world [than Regent] to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and to figure out the implications of that on legal calling.”
Schutt also warned against pride and spiritual sloth which reject God as the principal focus of life. One symptom of spiritual sloth can be workaholism, filling time with busyness to distract from asking the tough questions that show whether or not we are really serving the Lord. Schutt ended with a challenge to practice living generously and gladly now and to embrace drudgery as part of God’s calling.
In the same tenor, Feavel reminded the community that the chief end of man, as stated in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, is to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” He shared personal examples to illustrate how this plays out in his particular legal calling and said the key principle is to “make your practice of law worship.”
Feavel also reminded faculty and students that their personal counsel was not good enough. “We glorify God in our practice when we submit to the eternal counsel of God ourselves, so we can give that counsel to others, ” he said.
The morning ended with impromptu testimonials from students who shared how the Lord brought them to Regent Law and has worked in their lives here. Several prayed for the group.
Dean Cook closed the retreat with prayer and invited faculty and students to gather for lunch back on campus in the Regent Library atrium to discuss the implications of the morning’s messages with one another. The retreat was an opportunity for the Regent Law community to be reminded that law is not just a profession. It’s a calling.