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July 13, 2017

Founder and Senior Pastor of RiverRock Church Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

The 2017 Northeastern Seminary Distinguished Alumni Award was given to Rev. Dr. Robert Tice, on Tuesday, June 20. Now in its ninth year, this award was presented at the Seminary’s Conference on Ministry, in the presence of Seminary students, alumni, and local and regional ministry leaders.

Tice has been working in pastoral ministry for over 30 years planting three different churches. His most recent endeavor, RiverRock Church, began its journey in 2001 and has been growing ever since its founding. What began as a handful of believers meeting in Tice’s home has developed into a congregation of almost 200 people, recently acquiring their own building in the Black Rock/Riverside neighborhood of Buffalo, N.Y. Represented within the congregation, there are 18 different first generation immigrant nations. Additionally, RiverRock Church has provided housing for 40 immunity seekers.

Tice is exemplary of Northeastern Seminary’s dedication to diversity through his church’s culturally varied worship services. RiverRock offers a pan-African service in Swahili on Saturday nights, a Burmese service on Sunday afternoons, and a service on Saturdays in the Kirundi language, led by congregants from Burundi. He also leads a mature discipleship support group for newer immigrant pastors and aspiring leaders in the Buffalo area.

Under Tice’s leadership, RiverRock has partnered with humanitarian relief organizations, Jericho Road and World Relief, in a collaborative ministry in Goma of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their efforts focus on cross-tribal reconciliation and providing essential healthcare to the most vulnerable.

Tice graduated from Northeastern Seminary in 2012 with a Doctor of Ministry degree. He continues to be involved with Northeastern Seminary as an alumnus by serving on the Seminary’s Buffalo Advisory Council and also by working as an adjunct professor, teaching a Theology of the City course. Reflecting back on his time at Northeastern Seminary Tice recalls “the warmth of heart and spirit of authentic Christian love by the faculty and entire staff.”

Dean Doug Cullum presented the award to Tice saying, “On behalf of Northeastern Seminary we consider it a privilege to count you among our graduates. Your commitment to the people of Buffalo and beyond shines through in the passion you have for your ministry. You exhibit the spirit of diversity and inclusiveness that we pride ourselves on at Northeastern Seminary and fulfill the commission of our Lord to ‘go and make disciples of all nations.’”


The Northeastern Seminary Distinguished Alumni Award was established in 2009 to recognize graduates of Northeastern Seminary who exemplify faithful service in ministry. Recipients demonstrate such characteristics as innovative approaches to ministry, engagement of their cultural context, perseverance in the face of challenges, excellence in biblical preaching and worship, equipping others to serve, and transformation of self and others through spiritual formation.