August 8, 2012

This month we welcome our new and returning international students to Virginia Seminary. The new students are the Rev. Emmanuel Madinda from Tanzania, the Rev. Jacob Panchol Majok from South Sudan, Mr. Fares Naoum from Israel, and Mr. Reginald Valliere from Haiti. They join our returning students Ms. Fanny Sohet Belanger from France, the Rev. Mary Jane Dogue-Is from the Philippines, Mr. Christopher Easthill from Germany, Ms. Guilene Fiefie from Haiti, and the Rev. Michael Sie from Liberia.

Their native languages range from Arabic to Creole, Swahili and Tagalog. The new students are in the United States for the first time.

Virginia Theological Seminary has a long history of welcoming students from around the world, educating and forming future leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion. In the past 15 years, VTS has provided graduate level theological education to 75 students from more than 25 different countries.

The first goal of the Seminary’s Center for Anglican Communion Studies is international theological education. Our international and American students have much to offer each other in terms of understanding the global ministry of the Church and the different cultural contexts in which that ministry is carried out.

We extend the warmest of welcomes to our international students. We look forward to sharing American culture and the ways of the Episcopal Church with them, and to learning about their churches and cultures. We anticipate finding commonalities, learning to accept differences, and identifying ways we can all work together in the service of divine love and justice.

Katherine Wood
Associate Director
Center for Anglican Communion Studies