Each year the Deans of Episcopal seminaries gather for fellowship, mutual development, and collaboration. Oftentimes the Academic Deans are also invited to gather simultaneously. This year VTS is hosting the Council of Deans and the Academic Deans of the seminaries as well. Participants arrived on campus yesterday and are settled in the Guest House. Last night, we had dinner in our peer groups; I hosted the Deans and Presidents and Melody Knowles hosted the Academic Deans. We shared updates on our work, ministries, and lives with one another.
In the same way as Rectors appreciate a peer group, so do the deans and academic deans. There is a shared experience that brings a helpful empathy and mutual understanding. This is, therefore, a precious time. Theological Education continues to be challenging. We are all very aware of the issues facing our denomination; we all recognize our responsibility to do what we can to ameliorate those issues. So we gather, talk through the issues, and seek to learn from each other.
I admire my fellow deans. From balancing a budget to creating innovative programming, we are all in the business of finding a way forward. Virginia Theological Seminary is honored and pleased to host them. When you see them in breakfast or walking around the campus, please give them a very warm welcome.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President