Exclusive Interview with RCE Founder Dr. John Mulford

Originally Posted: December 2014

1)Can you describe what the Center for Entrepreneurship does?

Regent University’s Center for Entrepreneurship seeks to transform people and nations through kingdom business. Specifically, we…

Research theoretical and practical foundations for kingdom business.

Disseminate information about best practices and business opportunities to those who will join and advance the kingdom business movement.

Equip leaders in the theory and practice of kingdom business through degree programs, certificates, seminars, workshops, and online tutorials.

Facilitate business start-ups and expansions through training, consulting, mentoring, and networking.

RCE is currently focusing on two major initiatives:

  • Business Development Centers (BDC’s). We opened our first BDC in Rwanda in 2010. We have trained 250+entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses. We support the graduates with mentoring, coaching, and consulting. We licensed the concept so that we could expand without building a large organization ourselves. Three licensed BDCs operate in Bangalore, India; Stellenbosch, S. Africa; and Kampala, Uganda.
  • Franchising. Through SBL, we are launching the nation’s first MBA with a major in franchising. We will also offer the courses in professional development format. You can sample a free online Introduction to Franchising at www.regent.edu/franchising.
2)What do you enjoy most about partnering with people through entrepreneurship?

I enjoy seeing people excited about the innovative business ideas God has given them and then being a catalyst to help them realize their dreams. My sweet spot is working with entrepreneurs to refine their strategies and then connecting them with the people who can help them successfully implement those strategies.

3)What’s your favorite book?

My favorite business book is the Bible. When I arrived at Regent University (then CBN University) in 1982, our charge was to teach Christian principles of business. All of my training had been at secular universities and predated my salvation experience, so I didn’t know business from a Christian worldview. I dug into Scripture to learn for myself what it said about business and how business should be conducted. It has been a thrilling 30+ year journey.

My favorite secular business books are The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen, Good to Great by Jim Collins, and Execution by Lawrence Bossidy. The first two are practical, researched-based books about the ingredients of business success. The third is a very insightful account of a successful CEO’s experience.

4)What’s your favorite verse or quote?

Matt 5:16 – Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.

5)What’s your favorite aspect of being a professor?

Being part of my students’ lives—helping them determine how God wants to develop their gifts and use them to glorify Him; helping them learn what they need to know to pursue their calling; serving as a sounding board for ideas and dreams; and partnering with them in prayer through their life journey. My biggest joy is seeing graduates fulfilling God’s calling on their lives.

6)What’s your preferred news source?

Fox News.

7)Do you have any words of wisdom for Regent alumni?

Ask God to reveal a goal that will ignite your passion and which is bigger than anything you could possibly accomplish without His supernatural guidance and intervention. Keep your eyes on that goal, especially when you are going through mundane daily tasks, long dry spells and setbacks. Expect to learn the most from your biggest failures and disappointments. Look back on your path every year so you can see God’s hand in everything that happened and see how it is leading you toward your life goals. Be grateful for every day with the Lord and all the good things He has given to you.

8)What is the most prudent piece of wisdom that a teacher has ever given to you?

Embrace learning as a lifelong activity.

9) What are your hobbies?

a) I love cycling—riding my road bike. I took up the hobby in 2001 when my knees couldn’t take any more pounding from running. Since then I have ridden more than 25,000 miles, including several 100 mile races through mountains. The last few years I have tapered back in both distance and pace, but riding is still a wonderful time to get alone with nature, ponder whatever the Lord puts on my mind, and enjoy the physical exercise.

b) International Traveling. I have always loved traveling the U.S., hiking and camping. But my children introduced me to international travel when Michael went to Zambia as a missionary and then made a career of relief and development work in Africa, and Sara spent two semesters in Tanzania and then spent her YWAM outreach in India and Nepal. Since visiting Michael in Zambia in 1998, I have traveled to more than 25 nations for both business and pleasure. Many of the trips were organized and hosted by our graduates—e.g., multiple conferences in Guatemala, educational partnership in Bolivia, kingdom business seminars in Spain and Morocco, starting a business center in Ukraine, consulting with our students working in Indonesia, and presenting a workshop in Rwanda with Regent graduates from Kenya and Nigeria. I have traveled to Rwanda more than 15 times in the last six years.

10) Who’s in your family?

My wife Leigh Ann and I have 8 children and five grandchildren.


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