Wednesday, July 10, 2013


In graduate school, I was taught that the quality of research data collected has everything to do with the quality of the findings. What happens to data between collection and interpretation is at least as important. Here at Virginia Theological Seminary, like any institution of higher learning, we are responsible for collecting, maintaining, and safeguarding a great quantity of data. We use databases to store contact information, track events, manage student account balances, employee compensation, and program budgets. Courses and programs offered, the academic credit they award, and student’s academic records are also stored in databases.

The seminary utilizes a variety of databases; each specialized to a different task. Each must be maintained as software is updated and user permissions are changed, and support must be offered to the users of each. Many of these databases do not exchange information directly with one another. This challenge is not unique to VTS.

As the seminary enters a new fiscal year, Mr. Marshall Finch has agreed to become the seminary’s database administrator. His duties will include coordinating data entry standards between various databases; day to day oversight of maintenance, security, and user support; modifying database structures and promoting use of existing features; and coordinating data flow processes between databases. Marshall will also be supporting the seminary’s learning management system, “myVTS.”

Marshall came to VTS in 2009 as the Administrative Assistant for the ICFL, and since 2012 he has been the Administrative Coordinator for the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) Program. As Marshall begins a period of training for these new duties, his previous responsibilities are being divided among Dr. Kathy Brown, who is now working full-time as Associate Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program, and student workers.

Any individual, organization, or business that interacts with VTS on a regular basis will benefit from Marshall’s new appointment. Thank you Marshall for agreeing to apply your keen mind and attention to detail to this important work.

Dr. Lisa Kimball, Ph.D.
Interim Associate Dean of Students
Director of the Center for the Ministry of Teaching