Raised in a traditional Baptist home, Timothy Berry thought his path in life was to become an engineer. That all changed at age 19, when a calling from God radically altered his course.
Berry began to intensely pursue a deeper experience and understanding of God’s love, presence and power. He moved to California to study under Minister Randy Clark — known for his gift of healing and miracles.
Clark became Berry’s mentor, and together they traveled to conferences, renewal meetings and crusades throughout the United States and the world. A humble, spiritually hungry Berry says he began to “see miracles happening in my life on a regular basis.”
Clark recommended Berry pursue a religious studies degree at Regent University, due to the school’s “renewal” perspective that embraced the renewing work of the Holy Spirit.
“My undergrad experience was great!” Berry recalls. “I loved the feel of Regent and the professors.”
During that season of his life, he adds, “The Lord spoke to me to get serious about my personal ministry — to ‘ignite hearts for Christ in every nation’ — which would become my ministry’s slogan.”
“To realize you have a voice, and have a chance to become like [your professors] — it changes the whole dynamic of the program. It’s so uplifting.”
A solid foundation for spiritual, professional growth
Shortly after marrying in 2010, Berry and his wife, Elizabeth, founded Hearts Ignited Ministries International.
He then worked as an itinerant pastor, traveling up to 180 days of the year.
While fulfilling this call, he pursued his Master of Divinity degree at Regent. The program’s flexibility enabled him to learn from anywhere — whether Berry was at his home in California or on the streets of Mozambique. This approach meant he could accomplish varying goals, together with Regent faculty.
“The professors understand people who are multiministry and have families,” he explains. “I would email a professor about a pastoral emergency, and [that professor] would give me grace and grant an extension.”
Berry says he was especially impressed that the professors — who have decades of experience — treated their students as peers; as people whom they wanted to raise up to their same level.
“To realize you have a voice, and have a chance to become like them — it changes the whole dynamic of the program,” Berry shares. “It’s so uplifting. Regent is cutting-edge on the best ways to empower and equip future leaders.”
Today, Berry says, about 50 percent of what he does in pastoral ministry comes directly from Regent’s divinity program — from preparing sermon notes, to creating personal boundaries that protect his family from being constantly driven by his work.
“At a different seminary, I would not have had the same partnerships and freedom to express my charismatic background,” he points out. “Regent really placed me at a higher level, and I am different because of it.”
About the education
Regent’s School of Divinity is a multidenominational seminary located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The school offers a spectrum of course-delivery options — completely on-campus, completely online, online with minimal residency, and blended structures — to put students in the driver’s seat as they earn their degree.
Recently, their Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Practical Theology was approved by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) to be offered completely online, with no residency.
Other Regent programs include the Master of Theological Studies, M.A. in Christian Spirituality & Formation; Master of Theology; Doctor of Ministry; and Ph.D. in Theological Studies.
“At Regent, no matter which format you choose, you will receive an affordable, streamlined, high-quality education,” says the school’s dean, Dr. Corné Bekker. “More than that, you’ll receive a biblically based education that emphasizes the vital role of the Holy Spirit in transforming lives.
“The Regent University School of Divinity will prepare you for a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multigenerational ministry,” Bekker adds. “You will experience academic excellence that reflects the mind of Christ and empowers you to serve with the heart of the Father.”
This article is provided by Regent University’s School of Divinity in Virginia Beach, VA. Explore your program options by contacting an advisor at 800.723.6162.