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Bishop Payne

FULL TUITION FOR MASTER’S PROGRAMS AND POST-GRADUATE DIPLOMAS
The Bishop Payne Scholarship covers the full cost of tuition for any eligible full- or part-time Black Episcopalian student from a province within The Episcopal Church entering a master's level degree/diploma program at VTS. An additional need-based grant of up to $5,000 is also available to cover housing and other program-related costs.

VIRGINIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY OFFERS:
  • A renowned and dedicated faculty
  • A stimulating academic environment
  • A strong community life built through daily worship, study, and fellowship
  • An emphasis on learning in a diverse, multicultural setting
  • Opportunities for domestic and international cross-cultural engagements
  • Community celebrations of Black heritage:
    • A day of remembrance in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • Special forums and worship throughout the academic year, including observance of Black History Month
  • An active Seminarians of Color Union, which “exists to support, strengthen, and empower students of color as they prepare for lay and ordained leadership”
  • Proximity to predominantly Black churches in the Washington, D.C. metro area
FUNDING BLACK EPISCOPALIANS SINCE 1988
Bishop Payne Divinity School (BPDS) was established in 1878 in Petersburg, Virginia, to prepare Black men for ministry in the Episcopal Church. The School was named for the Rt. Rev. John Payne (1815–1874), who graduated from VTS in 1836 and was the first missionary bishop to Liberia.

In 1953, Virginia Theological Seminary and Bishop Payne Divinity School merged, and the assets of BPDS became the principal for the Bishop Payne Scholarship Fund. The Fund has provided financial assistance to Black Episcopalian men and women at Virginia Theological Seminary since 1988.

PREPARATION FOR MANY VOCATIONS
The master’s level programs at Virginia Theological Seminary are grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and prepare men and women for leadership and service in the Church and in the world. Some who study at VTS will be ordained and serve as clergy in the church, while others will carry the knowledge and skills they learn into other professions. In the last few years, VTS graduates have chosen some of the following vocations:
  • Congregational ministry
  • Chaplaincy in schools or colleges
  • Teaching and administration in educational settings
  • Mission field work
  • Professions in faith-based and non-governmental organizations working on issues of social justice and global economic concerns
  • Scholarly research, writing, and teaching

Apply for the Bishop Payne Scholarship

To apply for the Bishop Payne Scholarship, please contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at admissions@vts.edu.
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