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Summer 2002 Rapport: Seminary News: Lee steps down as dean and steps up to new role at AGTS.

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After 14 years of faithful and extraordinary service, Dr. Edgar R. Lee retired as vice president for academic affairs on July 1, 2002.

Dr. Edgar R. Lee reads his devotions before starting each long workday as academic dean.

Dr. Edgar R. Lee has served as the vice president for academic affairs at AGTS since 1988. During his tenure, he has influenced both faculty and students.

AGTS professor, Dr. Gary McGee, praised Lee at the president’s luncheon during graduation ceremonies May 4, as a major force in the advancement of AGTS and its ability to capture its potential for service in the AG and the Kingdom of God. Although AGTS had been a place where “one could find good fellowship, lots of joy and laughter,” McGee said, when Lee came “the joy and laughter grew, the party got better.”

“You enhanced the koinonia among us,” McGee said to Lee. “You have laughed with us, prayed with us, held our hands, and cried with us in difficult times. Friendship always transcended the flow chart.” McGee continues, “Your blended background of superb academic preparation, pioneer pastoring, college administration, and district responsibilities has enabled us to forge ahead in making Pentecost permeate who we are, what we are, and where we are going.”

Dr. Edgar R. Lee’s family supports him as he is honored with a framed compilation of AGTS photos and a handcrafted chair during the 2002 graduation activities.

Lee’s influence on the students has been just as powerful. Bobby Jeter, 1999 AGTS alumnus, said that intellectuality and sincerity are the trademarks of Lee’s teaching. “I’ve found him to be both a tough professor,” said Jeter, “and yet a kind, compassionate friend.” Lee was “never too busy to talk or give fatherly advice.” Impressed by Lee’s persistent prayer life, Jeter said, “He has shown me it is in the ‘secret places,’ when the microphones and cameras are nowhere to be found, that character is built, one on one with the maker of our souls.”

Since Lee’s arrival at the Seminary 14 years ago, AGTS has accomplished the mammoth task of building a new facility and has developed an approved Doctor of Ministry program. President Byron Klaus commended Lee’s role as chair of the accreditation steering committee that resulted in a 10-year reaffirmation from both the North Central Association and the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada, the highest level of accreditation available to seminaries in the U.S.

From the beginning, Lee has been committed to theological integrity, academic and spiritual excellence, Christian modeling, practical focus, and the elimination of mediocrity, which Lee believes to be a “tool of the devil and often a blight on the Church.” Lee said he was pleased to arrive at AGTS and find like-minded colleagues who supported his instincts for excellence.

Last summer Lee received the Distinguished Administrator Award, given by the Assemblies of God Commission on Higher Education to an academic administrator with outstanding qualities of administrative excellence, spiritual character, and a lifetime commitment to postsecondary education.

Prior to AGTS, Lee served as professor and vice president for academic affairs at Southeastern College in Lakeland, Fla. He was the founder and senior pastor of Calvary Assembly of God in Atlanta, Ga. Lee also served as secretary for the Georgia District.

Fortunately, the AGTS community is not saying good-bye to Edgar Lee. He will transition to teaching classes in the fall as senior professor of Spiritual Formation and Practical Theology. Lee is the first professor to earn the prestigious title of senior professor, awarded by the AGTS Board of Directors.

Remaining on faculty for a time, Lee says, will permit him to do more writing and teaching. Lee admits that while he has been called to many forms of ministry, his “special calling has been to educate men and women for service around the world.” He will also have more time to devote to other ministries, including the Commission on Doctrinal Purity, which he currently chairs, and the Assemblies of God World Missions Department, for which he serves as the dean of the School of Missions.

His presence will be missed in the administrative offices, but AGTS looks forward to years of enjoyable and beneficial interaction with him on “Faculty Row.”

Updated: Thursday, August 7, 2003 3:24 PM


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