top of page

T h e  M o m e n t . . .

 B i r t h  o f  a  V i s i o n

The Rice Institute was established for this appointed time (a Kairos moment)!


In Bishop Rice's own words: "[It is a] vision that has come to fruition right before our very eyes, thanks to the hard work of two people, one of whom I have put this in the hands of Reverend Dr. Figueroa and secondly to the hands of Reverend Sondra Browne. I think the initial conversation with Dr. Figueroa...was about 10 to 12 years ago. And everything that I said to her then she presented to me on a paper, 'Transformed on the Mountain,' and it was exploding with ideas, with innovation, and with all kinds of possibilities. Now those possibilities have come into fruition and reality."

"This vision I received in about 1968 when I went to high school at Simms High School. I was in the 9th grade, and I went to an all-segregated school; it was an all-black school, but guess what, the all-black school was segregated. There were the haves, and the have-nots. There was the city student and the country student, and I was in the latter, I was from the country. The city folk got the best of everything, and the country folk got what was left over. The city folk got into the best classes, and the city folk got the best teachers that's just the way it was. One day we were standing in the hallway, and my friend said 'there go the big shots', and one of our teachers heard him say it. She pulled me and my two friends into the office and said 'let me ask you a question- what is a big shot?' We technically tried to explain what we thought it was. She finally explained to us what she thought it was. She said 'a big shot (these words I have lived by since that day) is a little shot that kept on shooting.' Did you hear what I said? A big shot is a little shot that keeps on shooting. And she said that 'you ought not see anyone higher than you see yourself. The things that you need to do (talking to me and my two friends) is to keep shooting, and when you hit where you are trying to go... when you hit your target, you have to help someone else shoot.' That's what she said to me, and that's what I have been doing; that's what I've been doing in the last 38 years in ministry and what I have been trying to do my best, even outside of ministry, trying to help someone else hit the target."

"I thank God that I have realized that I can't help everyone in every area. There are some people that you need to look for and find in order to help your vision, not only to help your vision to come true, but find people to help your vision to come to fruition. For me, this part of the vision for the New Jerusalem Worship Center is that we will become a Christian education epicenter, a place where people know that they will get Christian education on Sunday mornings, Monday mornings, Monday afternoons, Wednesday Bible study [and] on Fridays, and now in The Rice Institute and The Rochdale Early Advantage Charter School. That is my contribution, that is my giveback, that is my 'keep shooting' in order to help someone else to keep shooting. I ask you to pray to God to continue to send resources and send accomplished people, and people who are qualified to do the work to fill the vision in the vineyard." 

The Rice Institute inaugural year commenced in January 2020, comprising of a rigorous program with the key principal objectives: 

   ~ Equip the saints for ministry; seek the welfare of the city; empower and transform

   ~ Participants embrace action informed by research as they embark upon an educational journey 

       to personal and professional enrichment

   ~ Participants enter this program to refine their understandings; to empower their actions and to 

       shape faithful discernment of their call to purpose driven service 

     ~The certification is formal preparation for an enriched practice in ministry

Participants will establish a solid theoretical foundation firmly rooted in theological reflection and methodologies that draw upon action informed by research. 


More About  Us...

The Rice Institute School of Theological Education is an accredited theology school based in Jamaica, New York. Partnered with the New York Divinity School (NYDS), we are committed to providing exceptional theological education services to all our students.

Additionally, our school is located at the New Jerusalem Worship Center. 


The New York Divinity School (N Y DS)

Partnering to Bring You Something New

Participants will embrace action informed by research as they embark upon an educational journey to personal and vocational enrichment. The certification program is intensive preparation for effective service in the area of each participant's giftedness and calling, ultimately receiving a double accreditation from the Rice Institute and the New York Divinity School (NYDS).

Up to 45 credits may be transferred towards advanced degrees at New York Theological Seminary (NYTS).                                                                                                


President of the New York Divinity School

Paul de Vries, PhD is President of New York Divinity School, with 25 years of leadership in Christian higher education administration, including at Wheaton College, Northern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Seminary of the East. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. at the University of Virginia, specializing in applied ethics, critical thinking, and hermeneutics. He is the lead author of three books: The Taming of the Shrewd (1992, Thomas Nelson Publishing); Ethics Applied (1999, Simon and Schuster); and Business Ethics Applied, (2001, Pearson), and a contributing author to a dozen other books, especially in the areas of hermeneutics and applied ethics. He is founder of the Office of Community Service at the University of Virginia and founder of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics at Wheaton College, Illinois-the first ethics center of any Christian college.

Paul de Vries, PhD,

President of 

New York Divinity School


Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education

 Martin Luther King, Jr.

bottom of page