Friday, June 20, 2014


Have you thanked a member of the VTS staff today? This seminary simply could not function without its amazing staff. The ongoing activities and special events at VTS require contribution by many hands in many departments. This month alone is a great example. VTS has hosted graduation for St. Stephen & St. Agnes Episcopal High School, the annual E-Formation Conference, a parish picnic for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the annual gathering of the Anglican Association of Musicians, and the Summer Leadership Lecture Series. Immediately preceding Summer Session, VTS provided a rich week of continuing education for over 70 recent graduates in the Second Three Years program, and launched its summer immersion program in Tanzania.

Staff members in academic, business, facilities, hospitality, library, and advancement departments together manage to keep the many balls in the air, directing the logistics and operations of all of these activities while also attending to the standard operations of this place. Without them, we would not be able to function as such a strong and vibrant center for theological education and religious leadership. Our exceptional staff makes it possible for VTS to have the impact it has in the church and the world.

Today, VTS is delighted to host the board of the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust. Grounds manager Steve Slominski and I have the opportunity to talk with this group, learn more about their mission, and introduce them to the VTS initiatives and efforts toward energy conservation, sustainability, and management and preservation of our land. VTS has begun a self-study of its energy use and waste production, as part of a process of being certified and ranked by the STARS rating system of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. We hope to decrease our waste and energy use annually, and in time to become an exemplar campus for practices of sustainability. This, too, will involve the input of staff as well as faculty and students in all parts of our campus life.

The Rev. David T. Gortner, Ph.D.
Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program