January Term

January Term Intensives at Virginia Theological Seminary

Intensive courses taught by VTS faculty, adjuncts and visiting professors are offered during the January Term. These courses are Masters and Doctor of Ministry level degree courses open to anyone seeking continuing education. Lifetime Theological Education (LTE) students have the opportunity to be fully immersed in a given subject matter for professional or personal growth, for exploring a new subject or for being refreshed in a field of knowledge.

Fees, application deadlines, and instructor approval are indicated with course descriptions. More details about taking a Doctor of Ministry course as a LTE student is described below.

Digital Media for Ministry (LTE 325 20)
The Rev. Kyle Oliver
Fee $200.00
January 11 - 15, 2016 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Do you want to help churches communicate at least as effectively as marketers and entertainment companies? Do you want to meet and mobilize co-workers in the struggle for peace and justice? Do you enjoy writing and artistic expressions and want to share faith stories in service of the gospel? Do you feel overwhelmed by the demands of digital communication and want help managing it more effectively in your own life and ministry? If so, Digital Media for Ministry is the course for you! This course will give you the resources necesary to navigate between the world of faith and the "new public square." November 30 application deadline.

Original Stories for Proclamation (LTE 325 21)
Mr. Donald Davis
Fee $200.00
January 19 - 22, 2016
Tues - Thur 9:30 am - 11:30 am; 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm;
Thur 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm & Fri 9:00 am - 11:00 am

We are filled with more stories than we are aware of. How do we find these stories, build our repertoire, and make use of our personal and original stories in preaching, teaching, and other communication events? We will address both content and form in using personal stories. November 30 application deadline.

Ministry with Older Adults (LTE 325 22)
Ms. Dorothy Linthicum
Fee $200.00
January 25 - 29, 2016
Mon - Fri 6:15 PM - 9:15 PM

Many churches often have one category for everyone over 30 year old adults; one that does not recognize the subtle or substantial differences among the developmental, generational, or spiritual stages of life. This course will look at these aspects of older adults from a variety of research studies and analysis and explore practices and approaches that lead to richer, fuller ministry with older people in churches and communities. January 4 application deadline.

Doctor of Ministry courses open for Lifetime Theological Students

These courses are opened on a very limited basis for continuing education (LTE) students who want to participate in a doctoral level course. An LTE student will be expected to follow the schedule and demands of such a course including actively participating in the two month online lead-up and the preparation of all reading prior to the residency intensive. Deadline for applying to one of the following DMIN courses is November 2. Applications will be reviewed by the instructor prior to acceptance into a course.

Building Evangelizing Communities
The Rev. David T. Gortner, Ph.D.
Fee $200.00
January 4 - 8, 2016
Mon - Fri 8:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.
This course introduces students to best practices in strengthening evangelism as a fundamental practice of Christian leaders and faith communities.  Students are expected to develop a plan for fostering evangelistic practice in their congregations and faith communities. Application deadline November 2. Instructor approval required.

Biblical Foundations of Christian Spirituality (LTE 325 23)
Dr. Stephen Cook

Fee $300.00
January 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 2016
Mon - Fri 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
An exploration and immersion in Old Testament biblical texts, and the foundations they have set for different expressions of Christian spirituality. The course emphasizes close exegetical and hermeneutical work, including intensive engagement with specific texts (such as the Psalms and Song of Songs), as determined by the instructor. Knowledge of Hebrew is helpful but not required. November 2 deadline. Instructor approval required.

Christian Spiritual Traditions I
Dr. Hannah Matis Perrett
Fee $300.00
January 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 2016
Mon - Fri 8:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.
This course provides a rigorous introduction to Christian spirituality. The focus is on key individuals who contributed to the contemplative tradition at its earliest stages – the desert mystics - and those who were central to its medieval development – Ignatius Loyola, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. Most of the course takes a theological approach and uses primary historical texts. November 2 deadline. Instructor approval required.

Foundations of Mission and Community
Dr. Timothy Sedgwick
Fee $200.00
January 11 - 15, 2016
Mon - Fri 8:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.
An exploration and immersion in perspectives and practices in mission and community formation that have helped shape Christian foundations of what it means to be the ecclesia that participates in the missio Dei. Through study of specific scripture, specific historic periods, and/or specific theological texts (depending on instructor interests), students will come to understand how people of faith in settings other than contemporary society formed communities within their cultural contexts, formed bridges with their surrounding culture, and understood and pursued the work of mission. November 2 deadline. Instructor approval required.

Looking Ahead -- Summer 2016 : June 20 - July 8

Sacred Texts in Education
An ongoing challenge in secondary and college education is the role of sacred texts in the curriculum.  Where do sacred texts belong and what approaches should be used?  What constitutes a sacred text and which ones should be taught?  Using the story of Joseph, this course will use a dialogic approach and experiential educational model to explore a variety of ways that scripture can be engaged, providing a platform upon which teachers can design new courses and redesign existing courses that use scripture. We will engage exegetical approaches, art, popular culture, feminist criticism, music, poetry, current events, storytelling and dream analysis.

Theologies and Psychology of Human Development
An in-depth interdisciplinary course exploring the interface between psychological theories of development and various systems of theology. Through examination of humans across the lifespan (with particular foci on childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood) and consideration of some key theological systems and constructs, participants map the relationships between human development and religious belief, faith, and practice. The course moves through developmental literature and theological readings toward an understanding of “developmental theology” -- a dynamic understanding that concepts of God, humanity, and the nature of being and purpose change over the life course. Application of this integrative work is expected in relation to participants' contexts of pastoral, educational, liturgical, and organizational leadership.

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January 21, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
An Evening of Storytelling featuring Donald Davis
Immanuel Chapel

Learn More about Donald Davis

How to Register

Enroll 1-2-3
To enroll in one of the Spring 2016 courses follow these instructions:
1. Apply Online - For traditional courses choose "Evening School" as you application and for enriched courses choose "Enriched Evening School" as your application. If you applied for the fall term 2015 then you do not need to complete this first step.
2. Register - New students will be sent information on how to access myVTS to register for courses. Current students may log-in to myVTS and register for the spring courses.
3. Pay - The finance office will invoice students once they have registered. The invoice will be available from your myVTS account.
In our programming we strive to
  • encourage a lifetime of learning
  • feed the people of God through exciting programs
  • provide intensive theological learning environments
  • utilize contemporary teaching methods
  • offer continuing education to refresh lay and ordained leadership
  • empower lay leadership through challenging biblical and theological courses

Questions? Email
For campus guest housing, contact Jeffri Harre at