Posted by: Luther Rice College & Seminary | May 13, 2013

Second State of the University Address


LITHONIA – President James Flanagan delivered the Second State of the University Address at the Trantham Chapel before the Luther Rice faculty and staff. This year’s theme centered on a “reality check” of the school’s vision and mission; a hope for the future that is based on real accomplishments and not just wishful thinking.

After brief remarks recognizing Mr. Hal Haller’s thirteen years of service as the University’s librarian, and other successes in the areas of fundraising and accreditation, Dr. Flanagan challenged the University community to take a moment and reflect on four realities: the reality of sin, of University’s existence, of its universe and of its mission.

President Flanagan reminded his listeners that individuals, churches, and institutions like Luther Rice are called “to stand in the gap and be salt and light” in a world that is riddled with sin. Quoting Luther Rice, the missionary, he once again asked the question, “How can we remain indifferent when immortal souls hang in the balance?” The urgency equated to the University’s mission is real.

In a somber moment, Dr. Flanagan reflected on the institution’s existence. “Luther Rice exists to provide biblical training that goes beyond simply obtaining a degree,” he said, “we want our students to be better servants and better persons for Jesus Christ.”

Framing the University’s existence within the reality of its universe, the President prompted his audience to realize that, “Not all students are ‘A’ students, and all students are affected by life; But in the end, when they have completed their work here, they should be different. We must offer more than just instruction, we must provide inspiration,” he remarked.

President Flanagan concluded his address by challenging the Luther Rice community to believe and embrace the mission of the school. He contrasted hope and wishful thinking, contending that hope is based on real, objective reasons that the future will be different from the past. Now that Luther Rice has the personnel and the resources to accomplish its mission with excellence, he said, “Let’s give it all we got until the necessary endings come: In a real way, not a wishful way.”

The Second State of the University Address was enthusiastically received, and on the heels of the University’s Fifty-First Commencement Exercises.


Luther Rice University is a private Christian college and seminary in Lithonia, Georgia, part of Metro Atlanta. Founded in 1962, the university offers bachelor, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Luther Rice is widely known for its 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 preparation includes an earned doctorate (Ph.D.) from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In May 1994, Dr. Flanagan became president of the University.



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