Living University completed ten years of operations in May, celebrating a decade of “Recapturing True Values.” The University will begin its 11th year of operations in mid-August. Many exciting events occurred during the 2016–2017 academic year, with the following highlights punctuating the year’s activities.
The Fall 2016 semester began with both our largest online enrollment, and our largest on-campus class yet! More than 225 students, from 15 nations, enrolled in classes. These included 14 on-campus students in Charlotte, North Carolina, and four studying at the regional office in Adelaide, South Australia. Charlotte on-campus students inaugurated two new student residences (Sheryl Manor and Redstone Hall) with the annual Faculty Reception on August 24, 2016. More than 60 students, faculty, Living University Board of Regents members, Headquarters ministers and wives, and donors attended this memorable event. The evening featured encouraging remarks by L.U. Founder and Chancellor, Roderick Meredith and L.U. President and CEO, Michael Germano. Guests then toured the newly furnished student residences.
On February 27, 2017, roughly 50 students, faculty, staff, and invited guests celebrated the first annual “Founders Day Luncheon” to recognize the vision and efforts of Living University Chancellor Roderick Meredith and the other men whose foresight helped establish L.U. in February of 2007 (Richard Ames, Dibar Apartian, Douglas Winnail and J. Davy Crockett III). President Germano, faculty members, and Board of Regents member Richard Ames gave speeches about the history of L.U. and God’s hand in its creation. A portrait of Chancellor Meredith was unveiled and now hangs in the L.U. library in Charlotte.
In March, 2017, Living University received notification from the University of North Carolina General Administration that its application to license a proposed Associate of Arts (A.A.) program and two Bachelor of Theology minors (Business and Communications) was approved by the UNC Board of Governors. Beginning in August, 2017, L.U. students can enroll in a fully licensed A.A. degree program and in Business and Communications certificate programs. Licensure of these programs completed an in-depth, two-year application process.
On May 15, 2017, Living University held its annual commencement exercises and tenth anniversary celebration in Charlotte, North Carolina with more than 100 attending. Twenty students, representing six different nations, received their credentials either in person or in absentia. Canadian Regional Director Stuart Wachowicz delivered the commencement address, and graduating senior Richard Franz gave the student address. Dr. Franz (who began his L.U. studies in August 2007), along with graduating senior and Living Church of God employee Jacob Hall, were jointly awarded the Herbert W. Armstrong Excellence Award, L.U.’s highest honor.
Other exciting events this academic year include the ministerial hire of one of our Living University graduates studying in Adelaide, South Australia, Joseph Gonzalez (now pastoring congregations in the Philippines). Several of our part-time distance students were also ordained as elders, deacons or deaconesses. This academic year saw the marriage engagements of three of our Charlotte-based on-campus women students, each to an L.U. alumnus.
Other good news includes the expansion of our Early College Program. Early College students receive a tuition reduction (discount) so that their net tuition cost is $25 per semester credit hour for courses in which they enroll. Students admitted to the Early College Program may enroll in lower division courses numbered 100–299 provided they have met course prerequisites. Enrollment in the Early College Program is open to students enrolled in public and non-public schools (including home schools) to expand their opportunities for university-level, Bible-based instruction.
Living University’s Heritage
For ten years now, Living University has served the people of God in the 21st century, utilizing state-of-the-art online instructional delivery methods. Where Ambassador College served as a liberal arts institution with a theology program, L.U. differs in that its focus is as a theological institution with a small liberal arts program. As a result, L.U. offers certificates, diplomas, and degrees—primarily in theology.
Dr. Roderick C. Meredith, as Presiding Evangelist of the Living Church of God, founded Living University in 2007 in the spirit and tradition of Ambassador College. He had formerly served as the Deputy Chancellor at each of Ambassador’s three campuses and maintained throughout his life a firm commitment to its godly ideals and values. Dr. Meredith chaired the nine-member Board of Regents, which governs the affairs of the University and gave the charge that L.U. “exists to educate men and women in the skills, concepts, and values that lead to success in life, while helping them prepare for successful careers, leadership and worthwhile service to God and humanity.”
The University’s president and chief executive officer is Michael Germano, former Executive Vice President of Ambassador College at Pasadena, California, and Dean of Faculty at Ambassador University in Big Sandy, Texas. Other past members of the Ambassador faculty who joined Dr. Meredith and Dr. Germano include Richard Ames, Douglas Winnail, Peter Nathan, David Maas, and Howard Woodard. All L.U. faculty members teaching courses in the General Education and Biblical Foundations Core hold at least a master’s degree or the equivalent in their area of teaching. All theology faculty members are ordained ministers in the Living Church of God with at least fifteen years of ministerial experience.
Our Programs and Students
The University offers seven undergraduate certificate options for men and women—Biblical Christianity, Biblical Studies, Business Studies, Christian Leadership, Christian Family Studies, New Testament Studies and Old Testament Studies. Students may also pursue diplomas in Biblical Studies or Christian Family Studies. Degree programs consist of coursework leading to the Associate of Theology and Bachelor of Theology degrees. Through its Bachelor and Associate of Theology degree programs, the University seeks to prepare students with a solid Bible-based foundation for leadership, teaching and ministry within a local church congregation, particularly related to volunteer or career service. The new Associate of Theology program will enable students to complete a core of theology courses while also completing a traditional general education program. Our hope is that in the future, these courses will be more easily transferable to other colleges and universities. The University continues to develop its on-campus undergraduate program in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is further expanding its educational services to a rapidly growing online global student body.
The Living University student body is comprised of about 55 percent men and 45 percent women, roughly 93 percent of whom are part-time students and seven percent of whom study full time. The plan is to increase full-time, on-campus enrollment at Charlotte to about 25.
The design of the on-campus program is to serve single young adults. On-campus students take on-line courses with an additional weekly discussion session led by a Charlotte-based faculty member. In addition, on-campus students participate in monthly social gatherings, speech classes, Spokesman and Women’s Clubs, and many activities unique to the Charlotte congregation of the Living Church of God.
Living University students are overwhelmingly very happy with their learning experience. When asked to answer anonymously, “All things considered, were you satisfied with your studies with us?” 99 percent responded “yes.” And 100 percent responded “yes” to the question “Would you recommend these studies to a friend?” The overall course completion rate for the last eight years is 93.3 percent, with a course attrition rate of only 6.7 percent—far better than many universities.
As a Christian institution, Living University offers a values-based higher education wherein “The Word of God Is the Foundation of Knowledge.” Its theology courses focus on the beliefs and practices of the Bible, taught by Herbert W. Armstrong and the Living Church of God. The University is a growing educational community where our collective quest is restoring true values in an ever-changing world and applying them to lay the foundation for a godly life.
Over the last ten years God has richly blessed Living University and its students. Dozens of graduates and hundreds of brethren are now better equipped to serve in their local church areas and regional offices and at Headquarters. L.U.’s future will continue to be bright as its students and leadership continue to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.
If you have not already done so, we encourage you to consider taking a Living University course in theology. Many of our students use these courses to inform and direct their personal Bible Study. Most students report that their L.U. classes are deeply rewarding, beneficial, and well worth the time and effort. A list of Fall 2017 classes is now posted on the L.U. Web site. For single young adults, we also encourage you to consider on-campus study with Living University. This richly rewarding and life-changing opportunity will be one you will not soon forget. To learn more or to enroll in classes, visit our website at www.livinguniv.com or call us at (704) 844-1966.