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History


A steady stream of leaders have knelt at the Immanuel Chapel altar rail, preached from the great pulpit, and gazed out the mission window with the iconic words, imagining how they themselves would "go ye into the world and preach the gospel."

As the name “Immanuel” implies, God is with us. The company of saints known and unknown who are part of the VTS family have, for generations, dedicated themselves to the Seminary’s well-being and service in Christ’s long and faithful procession. With your help we will build a Chapel for the Ages.

In 1823, the vestry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Old Town Alexandria established the Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) to form leaders for the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. Since then, we have educated and shaped generations of church leaders who have faithfully proclaimed the Gospel throughout the world. The work that God called us to do is as important today as it was 189 years ago.

The tradition at VTS has been to form leaders primarily in chapel worship. The Chapel is the Holy Hill’s heart and morning star. Members of our community whose lives have been touched by a VTS graduate—in joy and sadness—have each benefited from a leader who was formed in our Chapel. We cannot shape authentic leaders, lay or ordained, unless we have a worship space at the center of the Seminary’s common life. No building is as important to our mission.

The tragic fire of October 22, 2010 has given us an opportunity to create the worship space that will form the ministries, hopes and dreams of new generations of seminarians and leaders. Its location on the Holy Hill will connect it forever those who came before. To us falls the exceptional honor and responsibility of shaping the space where future servant-leaders will seek the truth, discover their own voices, and prepare themselves for what lies ahead.
Watch the Chapel Video
“I can vividly recall the inscription over the chapel altar, ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel”. These words have deeply shaped my own ministry near and far."

The Rev. Jim Cooper, VTS ’70
Rector of Trinity Wall Street