Photo by Tony Cece

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Regent Continues South African Expansion

A Regent student facilitates group discussion at the Empowerment Academy Conf.
A Regent student facilitates group discussion at the Empowerment Academy Conference for Future Business Leaders of South Africa.
Photo courtesy of Julianne Cenac
By Amanda Morad
April 17, 2012

Ten years of relationship-building and partnership between Regent University and South African businesses, churches and organizations are reaping extensive dividends across the board today.
"I cannot overemphasize the significance of Regent's success in South Africa," said Julianne Cenac, assistant vice president for professional and continuing education at Regent.

The success she's referring to includes partnership with one of the nation's largest churches, Grace Bible in Soweto, South Africa (pastored by esteemed evangelical leader, Pastor Mosa Sono), and training programs for South Africa's current and future business leaders.

"As a result of dedicated Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship faculty over many years and the recent program leadership of John Jones '10 (Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship), Regent's Professional & Continuing Education (PCE) division in South Africa is poised to grow at levels we could not have predicted," Cenac said.

John Jones , PCE's program manager on the ground in South Africa, has been busy facilitating strategic connections, as well as marketing PCE programs in leadership development for government agencies, churches and other organizations there.

On a recent trip to South Africa, Cenac joined Dr. Antipas Harris, assistant professor in the School of Divinity, and Dr. Corné Bekker, professor in the School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship (GLE), at Grace Bible Church for the second annual Christian Leadership Conference. This year, the two-day event drew more than 5,000 people each day for leadership training and teaching.

Bekker also had the opportunity to preach at Grace Bible for their Sunday service before a congregation of 17,000 people across 12 church campuses.

Partnership with Grace Bible means that Regent is establishing more programs like the Christian Leadership Conference and helping to train South African entrepreneurs and business leaders from a holistic, Christian perspective. It also means that Regent will attract some of South Africa's best and brightest to its academic degree programs—including several prominent CEOs as potential MBA students. Regent has similar partnerships with Hatfield Christian Church in Pretoria, and Lewende Woord (Living Word), in Brummeria, two other influential congregations in South Africa.

Also during the trip, Cenac, Bekker and Harris held a two-day training conference called the Empowerment Academy Conference for Future Business Leaders, in partnership with the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) initiative—an organization purposed to close the economic equality gap between Caucasian and black South Africans.

They trained 85 emerging business leaders from some of the most prominent companies in South Africa. A number of Regent GLE students worked as facilitators for the event.

Regent's work with the BEE initiative culminated in a visit by Regent president, Dr. Carlos Campo, who spent several days in March meeting with Pastor Mosa Sono and also with leaders of the BEE.

"Because [South African] businesses are required to spend a certain amount each year on BEE initiatives, including training and further education, Regent can become a trusted provider of transformative education in the days ahead," wrote President Campo on his trip blog.

In addition to the conferences and leadership training programs being implemented with church and non-government organization entities, Regent is also fostering relationships with major corporate bodies in South Africa to provide values-based leadership training. From international food franchises and rugby teams to one of the world's biggest diamond distributors, PCE is making strides toward training and mentorship.

"What excites me most," Cenac said, "is that this is only the beginning."

Read more about Regent's programs in South Africa.
Mindy Hughes, Public Relations

Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888

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