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The Conversation About Race Continues

The VTS community has been blessed to welcome the Rev. Eric H. F. Law from the Kaleidoscope Institute. Law has been a partner on the Seminary’s journey to address matters related to diversity in the classroom, in worship, and in the larger church. VTS is continuing our commitment to honor the gifts our diverse cultures and ethnicities bring to the Church, as we proclaim the Gospel to all people.

These are lessons not only important to every member of the faculty, staff and student body of VTS, but also our alumni and friends in parishes across the country. Taking a logical "next step" from the publication this year of No Turning Back: The Black Presence at Virginia Theological Seminary, the Alumni and Parish E-News will frequently focus on continuing the conversations about race, racism and multiculturalism in a 21st Century Church.

With the conclusion of an initial set of trainings with members of the faculty by the Rev. Law, the Dean’s Cabinet in conjunction with the Office of Ethnic Ministries and Student life, began to develop proposals for developing an informed community at the seminary. Please click the read more to read the six initiatives:

1.  Student and Curriculum Development


• A commitment to have every student do an intercultural self-study upon entering the Seminary.  The self-study would measure where students are in their cultural awareness of themselves and others as they enter Seminary. 
• Foster small support groups


2.  Faculty Development


• The faculty has taken the Intercultural Development Inventory, an instrument to assess where one is on the six major stages of the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity.  The outcome of this initiative was discussed at the next faculty consultation with Rev. Eric Law on November 30 and December 1, 2009.
• Faculty Conference in January – One of the focuses of this conference is to offer the faculty an opportunity to share their syllabi and reflect on how to best address cultural diversity.
 
3.  Staff Development


• Diversity Training will be offered as part of Employee development on May 24-25, 2010
• Review hiring practice to increase the diversity of the staff as we have worked to increase the diversity of the student body. 


4.  Board of Trustees Development


The Board received an invitation to participate in anti-Racism training and to hold a discussion around Joseph Constant’s book No Turning Back – The Black Presence at Virginia Theological Seminary.


5.  Community Life


Review the Seminary’s annual observances of Native American, African American, Asian American and Latino/Hispanic Heritage months


6.  Alumni Development


• Creation of an Alumni and Seminarians Mentoring Network
• Develop taskforce of ethnic alumni groups
• Use Alumni E-News to convey information pertaining to race and multiculturalism

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