Rochester Institute of Christian Education (RICE)


  • Two tracks of study at RICE include courses on the Bible and other subjects to ensure that graduates are proficient in providing accurate Scriptural analysis of the texts
  • 30-credit program helps students become more effective Sunday school teachers and leaders in their churches
  • 60-credit program is designed for those who will go on to formal ministry—a valuable option for pastors who lack a formal college degree and/or who had insufficient funds to attend post-high school instruction
  • For more information on RICE or directions on how to enroll contact:


  • Roberts Wesleyan College accepts up to thirty credits toward bachelor’s degree
  • Evangelical Training Association (ETA) affiliate
  • Members of RICE’s faculty are all approved by the ETA


The Rochester Institute of Christian Education (RICE) began as an answer to the prayers of the leadership of several churches located throughout the city of Rochester. God answered those prayers through faithful leaders within the community. RICE’s founder, Rev. Richard C. Cowley, the superintendent of what was then the Gospel Tabernacle (currently Rochester Family Mission), sought the input of several pastors and then consulted with his board of directors. Out of these discussions, RICE was established in 1979. Students were provided with the tools and understanding needed to “rightly divide the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The first graduation was held in 1983.

Since its beginning, RICE has faithfully provided sound biblical training and education. It has grown from its initial class of four people to a program that has benefitted several hundred students. In 2002, Rev. Barbara JP Thomas, RICE executive director, formed a relationship with Roberts Wesleyan College  and Roberts agreed to accept as transfer up to 30 credits. Many students have taken advantage of this transfer relationship and have gone on to graduate from Roberts. In 2007, RICE formed a partnership with Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College. The first graduation ceremony with Northeastern was held May 2009. In November 2014, the Rochester Institute of Christian Education board of directors was established represented by: the Rev. Dr. Dana L. Goodnough as the president, the Rev. James Murray as vice-president, as well as the Rev. Barbara JP Thomas as executive director.

RICE is entering its 37th year of operation with plans to continue the school as long as the Lord directs.

RICE Website