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One of the great benefits of residential theological education is the opportunity to worship together daily, and thus to regularly bring oneself back to the living God whom we study and seek to serve.  This rhythm between classroom and chapel allows for a relationship with God to become the core of studies and ministry.
- The Rev. Ruthanna Hooke, Ph.D.,
Associate Dean of Chapel
Professor of Homiletics

A Vision for Worship

Worship is the wellspring of life in community.  In daily corporate worship we unite with others to glorify God and to receive God’s grace, which flows from our worship to guide us in everything we do.  Daily corporate worship grows out of and contributes to the whole of life together as we seek to know the truth as it is in Jesus Christ.  Or, as the informal VTS Rule of Life puts it, “Go to class, go to chapel, go to lunch.”

Worship is at the center of life at VTS, which is why each student and faculty member is expected to attend one service of corporate worship daily. One of the great benefits of residential theological education is the opportunity to worship together daily, and thus to regularly bring oneself back to the living God whom we study and seek to serve.  This rhythm between classroom and chapel allows for relationship with God to become the core of studies and ministry.

VTS celebrates the richness of the orthodox Christian tradition. The Scriptures, the historic creeds, and the Prayer Book are central to learning and living together. VTS recognizes that Christians disagree about much and encourage the conversation as we seek to discern God’s will for our age. Christians across the spectrum are welcome at VTS.

Worship on Campus

Join us for worship! 

You are invited to join us for Community Worship at Virginia Theological Seminary. The Seminary community gathers to worship regularly, usually in Immanuel Chapel. All visitors to the campus are invited to join us in the Chapel. A detailed schedule of worship services can be found here.

The campus also offers many quiet, beautiful spaces for private worship, reflection, or meditation.

The Octagon Room
The octagon-shaped room extended out off of The Oratory, with its tall windows and ceilings, is an excellent place to bask in the sunlight or watch the snowfall. 

The Chapel Oratory
The small room off of the northwest corner of Immanuel Chapel seats 25 and is used for small services.  It is home to the surviving and restored stained glass windows and pews from the 1881 chapel.

St. Cyprian's Labyrinth 
Nestled down among the twisted tree is a beautiful simple labyrinth. Composed out of stone dust, surrounded by bricks from both the old 1881 Chapel and unused bricks from the new Immanuel Chapel, it invites pilgrims to take their anxieties into the center of the Labyrinth and leave them there for God to handle.  The labyrinth is named to honor an African American chapel that was resident on the Seminary's campus, constructed in the early 1880s.

Chapel Garden
The garden sits on the site of the Seminary’s 1881 chapel that was destroyed by fire in 2010 and is enclosed by the remains of the chapel’s walls. The brick cap along the ground of the garden is to indicate the walls of the old chapel. The garden has become a favorite site for students, faculty, staff, and neighborhood friends allowing gathering and reflection.  The Chapel Garden is also used for worship, baptisms, weddings, funerals, and other gatherings. A few of the remaining artifacts of the 1881 Chapel were incorporated into the Immanuel Chapel, including several stained glass windows on display in the Chapel Oratory. The Chapel Garden also serves as a columbarium for those who lived or served this community.

The Seminary Cemetery was established in 1876. It is a small, quiet cemetery, serving as a final resting place for many faculty and family members of faculty who served this community. It is a lovely place to find peace and bear witness to some of the saints of VTS. 

Formation in Worship

Worship as Formation
Formation for ministry, whether lay or ordained, involves the integration of knowledge and experience on many levels: intellectual, emotional, familial, and spiritual. At Virginia Seminary, we believe that formation occurs as students and faculty go about the daily rounds of prayer, worship, study, and participation in the life of the community. Chapel, classroom, and refectory: these arenas have long been known as places where formation occurs, as students and faculty seek to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the Christian life. 

For many people, these traditional means of formation are supplemented and enhanced by personal disciplines. Small groups are formed for Bible study, prayer, and personal sharing. In addition, many students seek the guidance of a spiritual director, with whom they meet periodically to reflect on their relationship with God and to discern the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

List of 1 items.

  • Worship Settings

    Inspiring spaces on the VTS campus.
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List of 1 items.

  • Worship Services

    Learn more about the variety of services on campus.
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Styles and Settings of Worship

The VTS Community gathers to worship in a variety of styles and settings.  Below is a sampling of styles of worship which are available to the community.  The schedule is a guideline, please check the chapel calendar each week for updates.

Morning Prayer
   8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m. M, T, W the community hosts morning prayer in the Chapel Oratory. 

Morning Eucharist
   8:30 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. M, T, W, & F in Immanuel Chapel

   5:00 p.m. Tuesdays in the Chapel

Evening Prayer
   5:00-5:15 p.m. W & F in the Octagon Room

Prayer & Praise
   5:15 p.m. Mondays in the Chapel
   8:30 a.m. One Friday each Month

Intergenerational Worship "TNL"
   5:15-6:00 p.m. in Immanuel Chapel. 
This worship service is designed with all ages in mind. Not just for adults, and not just for kids. 

Innovative / Ordo Worship
   8:00 a.m. Fridays student-led worship is the creative innovative "ordo worship" which encourages students to explore a variety of expressions of faith and worship together as a community.

Bilingual Worship
   Morning Eucharist on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays will be a bilingual service in Spanish and English. 

Ecumenical Services
   Some chapel teams are committed to designing and leading community worship services according to the traditions of other denominations. In the past, these have included Baptist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian traditions.

Small Group Worship
   Thursday mornings students attend small group worship hosted in professors' homes on campus. 

Special Services
   The academic year begins and ends with an academic convocation. The Seminary also holds special services in commemoration of MLK Jr., Service for the Mission of God. Students are encouraged to use the worship spaces to design services for their community. Students have organized services based on their practices of centering prayer, rosary prayer, memorial services, and compline prayer in the Flamingo. 

A Note About Chapel Teams:
These services are planned by chapel teams consisting of students from each class and a faculty member. Students serve on chapel teams every semester. Assignments are made at the beginning of each year.
Chapel teams typically meet on Friday afternoons.
Contact Shawn Strout for more information about chapel teams.

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