VTS Announces Publication of “Varieties of Personal Theology” by the Rev. David Gortner


Media Contact: Curtis Prather
Tel: 703-461-1782
Email: cprather@vts.edu

Alexandria, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) announced today the release of Varieties of Personal Theology: Charting the Beliefs and Values of American Young Adults (Ashgate Publishing, 2013) by the Rev. David T. Gortner, Ph.D., Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program and Professor of Evangelism and Congregational Leadership.

“It is a major and substantial study into the folk theologies of emerging adults (ages 18-25),” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary. “It is an extraordinary achievement that will be a major agenda setting book for the discipline of practical theology.”

A masterful combination of interviews with young adults about a range of metaphysical questions combined with the best in social science analysis, Gortner’s book starts from the premise that all human beings are folk theologians, active not only in constructing selves but also in constructing worlds and guiding philosophies of life. Crossing boundaries between religious and social science fields, Varieties of Personal Theology intentionally combines perspectives from both to demonstrate how theological diversity persists in America despite some clear culturally dominant trends.

“Gortner brings not only his expertise as a social scientist to his research, but his compassion and sensitivity as a priest and theologian,” reviewed Stephen Bevans, S.V.D., Catholic Theological Union. “By the end of the book the young adults interviewed have come alive in your imagination. This is a must read for youth ministers and others who work with young adults, especially in this time of ‘new evangelization’.”

Gortner joined the Virginia Seminary faculty in 2008 as Director of the Doctor of Ministry programs and Professor of Evangelism and Congregational Leadership. Prior to VTS he served as professor of pastoral theology at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and Church Divinity School of the Pacific. He is the author of Transforming Evangelism (Church Publishing 2007), Around One Table (CREDO Institute, 2009: web publication), and a series of articles on clergy leadership development.

Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women for service in the Church worldwide, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas. Currently, the Seminary represents more than 42 different dioceses and 5 different countries, in service of the Church.
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