Imagery of Regent people and campus

Dr. David Gyertson Retires from Regent Community

By Brett Wilson | May 13, 2013

Dr. David Gyertson.

"When we planted our feet in the dirt, we had no idea what God would do," said Dr. David Gyertson as he recalled the untilled soil where Regent University now stands.

Gyertson remembers the very first moment of building the Christian university as one of his favorites throughout his 35 years of involvement within the Regent community. He and founder and chancellor Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson stood side-by-side and prayed over the land that would one day become Regent. Though the former president and distinguished professor was unaware of the success the university would see at the time, he agreed fully with Robertson's vision for a "Christ-centered" and "Biblically anchored" higher-learning institution.

"Looking back now, I can tell you that God did it," said Gyertson. "It wasn't by our might or power, but by God's Spirit."

The end of the spring 2013 semester marked the closing chapter for Gyertson, as he retired from his role as distinguished professor. Through the years, Gyertson has served in many different functions as a foundational member of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and Regent communities.

Gyertson, who served as president of Regent from 1991 to 1993, prayed to create unity between the two separate entities. He also prayed that the Lord would reveal how He would expand the reach of the university and use it for a global mission interlaced with that of the ministry of CBN.

"I remember hearing Him say, 'You're preparing Christian leaders to change the world," said Gyertson.

Though the mission of Regent was clear, Gyertson shared that during the humble beginnings of the university there were moments when he was "on his face" on the floor in nearly desperate prayer, unsure of whether the university would be able to survive, or even provide payroll for its employees. Through these challenges, the classic hymn "Little is Much When God is in It" was a constant reminder of the Biblical principle found in Zechariah to not "despise small beginnings."

"Christian leadership is always strongest when leaders are required to lead from a position of weakness rather than positions of strength," said Gyertson.

He is a living testimony to finding strength in weakness. As a survivor of a broken home, a man who battles dyslexia, and a high-school drop-out, Gyertson never expected to have a career in higher education. But, through Christ, Gyertson persevered.

In the midst of his disadvantages, he made a profound impact on the field of education throughout his service at Regent, and developed a few ideas of what it means to be a true Christian leader as well.

"If you've lost your integrity, you've lost everything," said Gyertson. "And that's particularly true for people who love Christ."

Gyertson also explained that Christians may face struggles the moment they begin to believe that they have the ability to accomplish their goals and their calling on their own. As he ends his time at Regent, Gyertson hopes that the university will continue to give God the credit for its successes grown from its small beginnings.

"My prayer is that we will never, never forget that which glorifies Christ's kingdom," said Gyertson. "And to do that effectively, we will always be stretched beyond our limits."


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