So often the Dean’s Commentary is properly filled with words of thanks to various members of the VTS community such as Librarians, members of Institutional Advancement, the team in Maintenance, faculty, Board of Trustees — the list (thankfully!) goes on and on.
But there are so many others for whom VTS is properly grateful who never set foot on this campus. Recently, I was reading the admissions essays of our entering class of Masters-level students. This document forms the first artifact of their portfolios which will fill up over the years with additional papers and projects from courses and experiences at VTS. The admissions essay is something of a “baseline” by which we can see growth during the next several years of life at seminary.
Again and again, the essays tell of significant experiences with those who have pointed our current students towards the pursuit of their present call. Parents who prayed with them from an early age, Sunday school teachers who taught them to memorize Psalm 23, Altar Guilds who tended to the fabric of buildings from Pakistan to Pittsburgh in which they palpably felt the presence of God, fellow pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela, teachers who engaged their intellectual and spiritual curiosity, and priests and chaplains and friends and Bishops who asked the kinds of deep questions that couldn’t be ignored.
So to all those whom we never see but whose thoughtful engagement with others results in a transformative decision to apply to VTS and pursue the calling of God upon their lives, thank you.
The Rev. Melody D. Knowles, Ph.D. Vice President of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Old Testament