On November 2, 2021, Regent University alumna Winsome Sears (SBL ’03) inspired young women across the state by becoming the first woman to be inaugurated as lieutenant governor in the commonwealth of Virginia.
Considering her historic victory, Sears credits God for all her accomplishments. In an interview with Regent Marketing, she said: “I don’t know how people do it who don’t have the Lord. I don’t know about anybody else, but I need help.” Her words echo with truth from Scriptures, such as Hebrews 11 and Malachi 3, which discuss the meaning of faith and the healing we have through faith. Sears believes her life, including her time at Regent, prepared her for “such a time as this (Esther 4:14).”
According to Sears, her faith in God is everything: “Faith has always been a part of my life, even in times when I didn’t believe.”
In her interview, Sears quoted Hebrews 11:1, which says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Having faith in God is knowing that in all things, He is big enough to come through for you.
Sears believes that faith is both believing in what you have prayed for and trusting the promises of what God has said he will do. In a political climate full of tension and combatant worldviews, Sears holds true to her convictions and looks toward God as her source of trust and confidence.
Sears also spoke on several lessons she learned throughout her life, including servant leadership. The first is, to lead, you must first serve. She referenced Regent’s motto Christian Leadership to Change the World. She revealed that her time at Regent, coupled with her service in the Marine Corps, truly taught her the meaning of servant leadership. Along those same lines, Sears also learned not to “sit in the big chair,” unless you are willing to be held accountable and take charge of the responsibility that comes with leadership.
Finally, Sears discovered that you don’t always have to experience things for yourself but can observe and learn from others’ experiences—including people in the Bible: “There is nothing that you are facing that someone else in the Bible hasn’t faced.”
Advice for Young Christians
Sears gave two specific words of advice for young Christians in their college years. First: “You cannot live this life by yourself.” She encourages Christians to live in a community and seek help from one another. She explained that we often don’t recognize that we were not meant to be alone, and even Adam didn’t know he was alone until the Lord created Eve. She urged young Christians not to fear asking for help from people and God and seek help in daily life.
Her second piece of advice was specifically for current students of Regent, who she said should remember that they are at a school of world-changers. “When I walked into that classroom, I looked at my fellow classmates, and I thought, wow, I’m going to be among the people that are going to change the world.” That is something she didn’t take lightly while she was a student, and it’s something she encourages current students also to ponder.
Sears admitted that initially, she did not want to come to Regent—she never wanted to further her education past her bachelor’s. “But the Lord had other plans.”
Sears graduated in 2003 from Regent’s School of Leadership with an M.A. in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Government and is now the 42nd lieutenant governor of Virginia. Her journey is truly a testimony to what God can do and an encouragement to Regent students and alumni.