Dr. James Flanagan Delivers First State of the Seminary Address on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary Year in 2012

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Luther Rice has a student body of over 1300 students and 7000 graduates. Degrees can be achieved through 100% online studies. In 2012 the institution will celebrate its fiftieth year in operation and will also be completely debt free.

Luther Rice Seminary & University

The institutions founding slogan was "Making the impossible, possible." We have done this for over fifty years.

President James Flanagan delivered the First State of the Seminary Address before the Luther Rice faculty and staff. The theme focused on a celebration of the seminary's remarkable fifty year history as well as a call for recommitment to academic excellence and people-oriented ministry.

In the backdrop of the Trantham Chapel in the oldest building on the campus at Evans Mill Road in Lithonia, Georgia, Dr. Flanagan reminisced over the humorous details of the first campus in Jacksonville, Florida, where Luther Rice Seminary was founded in 1962.

In a more contemplative moment, the President read from an advertisement published in the Florida Baptist Witness and written by Dr. Robert Gee Witty, the institution's founder and first president, in which the seminary's mission to train pastors and missionaries through the pioneering method of distance education was emphasized. The President reminded his listeners of the institution's founding slogan "Making the impossible, possible" and reaffirmed the seminary's commitment to its founding mission. "We are a distance education program, and forever will be. Now we provide theological training 100% online or campus-based." Dr. Flanagan said.

After spending some time lauding Luther Rice's recent accomplishments, including a student body numbering 1300, over 7000 alumni, and strong financial position, the President gave glory to God for His faithfulness and grace. Dr. Flanagan iterated that since its founding, the seminary has been about people. "In all our growth and success, we must not forget that Luther Rice is about people, and we must love one another and love our students," he exhorted.

In a series of challenges, the President recognized many in the audience and their years of service and encouraged all to "finish well." He called for a recommitment to educational excellence by utilizing the best tools and seeking the best people. He announced the opening of an administrative office in Woodstock, Georgia that will be utilized for outreach and student recruitment as well as future classes. He also reported the full retirement of the existing debt later this year. In the midst of these challenges, he beseeched his listeners to continue loving one another.

The first State of the Seminary was delivered on the heels of the institution's fiftieth anniversary that will be celebrated May 17, 2012.

Luther Rice Seminary & University is a private Christian university and seminary in Lithonia, Georgia, part of Metro Atlanta. The institution was founded in 1962 by Robert Gee Witty in Jacksonville, Florida. Through the university and seminary the institution offers bachelor, masters, and doctoral degrees. Luther Rice is widely known for its online course delivery and online degree programs. Dr. Flanagan joined the institution in 1982, serving as a faculty member and later as Vice President for Academic Affairs. His academic credentials include an earned doctorate (Ph.D.) from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In May 1994, Dr. Flanagan became the fourth president of the seminary.

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