To Ernie Walton '11 (School of Law), the dedication to justice is the same as committing to Christ. During the fall 2013 semester, Walton began serving as the administrative director for the Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law.
As a Law school alumnus, and one of the Center's first summer interns, Walton spent his summer as a 2L in Strasburg, France, at the European Center for Law and Justice; and worked largely on cases involving intervention for religious freedom.
"That began the training, equipping and fulfilling that I believe was God's calling on my life to do this type of work," said Walton.
As he takes on his new leadership role, Walton hopes that Regent Law students involved in the Center for Global Justice will experience a combination of academic and on-the-ground work that will train them to be legal justice advocates—just as Jeffrey Brauch, dean of the School of Law, witnessed in Walton's life as a student.
"As long as I have known him, Ernie has been devoted to protecting the poor, oppressed and enslaved and to promoting the rule of law. He is a young man of tremendous skill, energy and passion," said Brauch. "He stands poised to lead the Center's efforts to equip the next generation of justice advocates, and I am excited to see how God will use him in the lives of our students and those they go to serve."
But becoming a lawyer, or even attending law school, was not always the career track Walton had in mind. Through his undergraduate years, Walton pursued international sports ministry, connecting with churches and evangelizing in countries like Romania, the Czech Republic, Japan and Mexico.
"Sports really connect people," said Walton. "You drop a ball in a foreign country and, all of a sudden, 200 kids show up."
It was an injury and a three-year calling on his heart to seek justice on behalf of others that made Walton decide to attend Regent. He has discovered through the years that assisting in legal and human rights matters is similar, in a way, to sports ministry, because it allows him to "meet people where they are."
"The law will be our bridge and the similar passion for the law will help us reach and influence them—and influence them for the gospel as well, just like sports did," said Walton.
Without the rule of law, explained Walton, those who are the most oppressed are the ones who suffer the most. He explained that once law is "king," the most marginalized and oppressed people in society are protected—and even loved.
"My heart and my vision for the center is to make sure that, from a Biblical perspective, we have a dialogue about what human rights are and why they're important," said Walton. "Human rights have to have a foundation; they can't change with the wind."
Learn more about Regent University School of Law and the Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law.
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