Multiplying the Impact

May 3, 2022

Ernie Walton ’08 arrived on Houghton’s campus in 2004 with a heart for sports ministry and a love of soccer. His Business major, along with minors in Spanish, Bible and Economics, would set him up to follow in his father’s footsteps: working in and supporting missions work around the world. At the time, Ernie did not realize the impact his professors and experiences at Houghton would have on his life or that he would go on to a career where he would similarly challenge and support others even as he stayed true to his original vision of devoting his life to changing the world for Christ.

Prior to and throughout his Houghton journey, Ernie had been told by his father and others that he was well suited for careers outside his initial plans. “My dad told me the world needed more Christian lawyers and encouraged me to go to law school…. My roommate and others at Houghton also encouraged me to go to law school, but to me, it still didn’t make sense.”

Walton’s perspective changed when he learned about International Justice Mission (IJM), an organization whose mission is to “protect people in poverty from violence by rescuing victims, bringing criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts.” Learning of IJM planted the seed for a different perspective on the practice of law, and, after an introspective study-abroad experience in Costa Rica, he returned to campus ready to pursue a law school education.

After Houghton, Ernie attended Regent University School of Law. He graduated first in his class, married Regent classmate Lindsay, and began his law career in Southern California. After practicing law for two years, Ernie and Lindsay felt a call to return to Regent, where today he serves as Assistant Dean of Admissions and Assistant Professor. He teaches a variety of courses, including International Law, National Security Law, Sales and International Business Transactions.

While these two positions are life-giving for Ernie, it is the third role he plays at Regent that motivated his return to the school. Ernie serves as director of Regent Law’s Center for Global Justice, promoting the center’s mission to equip Christian advocates who will promote the rule of law and seek justice for the world’s downtrodden – the poor, the oppressed and the enslaved – and to serve and support those already engaged in such advocacy.

Reflecting on his journey and where God has led him thus far, Ernie expresses gratitude for the opportunity to impact the lives of students through the admission process and in the classroom. He is particularly grateful to have the chance to inspire others to use their gifts to help those with the most need, a role that allows him to continue to inspire scholar-servants as his Houghton professors did with him.

“I love all the different aspects of my current work, and I am deeply grateful for my job. I am engaged on the practical side through the Center, speaking up for those who don’t have a voice and fighting for trafficking victims, thereby fulfilling my original call. Furthermore, I am in the classroom teaching, discipling and mentoring students. I love to help people realize that God has called them to become lawyers, and I enjoy doing the academic work, writing and publishing.”

He goes on to connect all of this to his experience at Houghton:

I received such a great education at Houghton. I benefitted from formative Christian worldview training and from professors who helped me think critically, analyze information and logically pick apart arguments. Houghton set me on a road to success and imparted to me things that I am now sharing with my students, multiplying the impact of a transformative Christian liberal arts education.

By Daniel Noyes ’93