The Rev. Ross Kane, Ph.D. to Join VTS Faculty as Director of Doctoral Programs

Media Contact: Curtis Prather
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Alexandria, VA — The trustees of the Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS), at their May 17 board meeting, unanimously approved the appointment of the Rev. E. Ross Kane, Ph.D. as the new Director of the Doctoral Programs at VTS. Dr. Kane, who currently serves as Senior Associate Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia, will join the VTS community on July 1.

“Ross is an exceptional appointment,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of VTS. “He has already proven himself a good colleague, having served as an adjunct for both Masters and Doctoral courses here at VTS over the last several years.”

Dr. Kane inherits strong doctoral programs from the Rev. David T. Gortner, Ph.D., who has successfully shepherded the programs since 2008. Last year Dr. Gortner was appointed Associate Dean of Church and Community Engagement.

Before receiving his M.Div. from Duke Divinity School, Dr. Kane received his B.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. He returned to the University of Virginia for his Ph.D. in Religious Studies, concentrating in Theology, Ethics, and Culture. A Virginia native, Ross was ordained in 2009 in the Diocese of Virginia.

His vocation joins a heart for parish ministry with rigorous scholarship that builds up the church.

Having earned his Ph.D. while serving full-time in the parish, his scholarship and publications explore the lived experience of faith communities, particularly the incorporation of new and unfamiliar expressions of belief and practice into the Christian tradition. Ross also brings an international perspective to his scholarship and priestly vocation, having served in the Anglican Communion in East Africa before entering parish ministry. His publications appear in academic and popular presses alike, such as Christian Century, Journal of Religion in Africa, and Anglican Theological Review.

As Senior Associate Rector of St. Paul’s, he crafted innovative adult education offerings and played a leading role in launching and sustaining new efforts to serve Alexandria’s most vulnerable citizens. In recognition of these efforts, Dr. Kane was a 2016 honoree in Alexandria’s inaugural 40 Under 40 awards.

“The Doctoral Programs at VTS have a rich legacy of building up clergy, transforming ministry, and training dynamic leaders for tomorrow’s church,” Dr. Kane said. “They offer a rare nexus of scholarship, practical ministry, and prayerful reflection. It is a great privilege to lead these exceptional programs in the years ahead.”

Dr. Kane and his wife, Liz Doughty Kane, have two sons, Stephen and Philip.


Founded in 1823 as a beacon of hope in a country new and finding its way, Virginia Theological Seminary is the flagship Seminary of the Episcopal Church. One of our first benefactors was Francis Scott Key whose poem provides the text for our national anthem. In the 193 years since being established, VTS has led the way in forming leaders of the Episcopal Church, including: the Most Rev. John E. Hines (VTS 1933, D.D. 1946), former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church; the Rt. Rev. John T. Walker (VTS 1954, D.D. 1978), the first African-American bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; and theologian, author and lay preacher Ms. Verna J. Dozier (VTS D.D. 1978). Serving the worldwide Anglican Communion, Virginia Theological Seminary educates approximately 25% of those being ordained who received residential theological education. Visit us online at
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