Monday, February 11, 2013


Today we welcome back Dean and President Ian Markham from a two month sabbatical leave. While remaining “on the hill” for much of these two months, there have been few sightings of him. This is well and good as he has had time to step back to read and write. I trust the sabbatical has also provided needed rest for the journey. I know it has been productive as Dean Markham has completed a book with Chuck Robertson simply called Episcopal Questions, Episcopal Answers and made significant progress with the Rev. Oran Warder, rector at St. Paul’s Church, Alexandria, in writing an introductory textbook on Ministry in the Mainline. It has also made possible completing the significant work involved in editing articles for a reference book on the Anglican Communion.

I remember reoccurring conversations in the business world about sabbatical leaves for business leaders. The argument was that this would sustain effective leadership by getting out of immediate demands to do the “adaptive work” that is essential to creative, constructive change. This has seldom happened. On the other hand, thankfully, sabbaticals are a regular part of theological education, an investment in persons and in the future.

This concludes my contributions to the “Dean’s Commentary.” It has been a pleasure these last two months to step back and identify the many aspects of our life at VTS that sustain, deepen, and extend our mission. I am ever more keenly aware of the work of the dedicated staff and faculty that makes this possible.

Timothy F. Sedgwick, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
The Clinton S. Quin Professor of Christian Ethics