VTS Announces new Pathway to Ministry academic program


Media Contact: Curtis Prather 
Tel: (703) 461-1782 
Email: cprather@vts.edu

(Alexandria, VA) - Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is proud to announce the launch of Pathway to Ministry, a new academic program offering one tuition-free year of study to students who have not yet engaged a discernment process but wish to pursue formal theological education in an academically rigorous and spiritually nurturing environment. 
“This is a way of 'putting your toes’ into the waters of academic training," said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of VTS. "We want to provide a space to enable people to discern about God’s plans for their lives. This is the Seminary’s gift to the hard work of discernment.”
During this year at VTS, students will: enroll in a selection of courses that provides a well rounded foundation of theological knowledge; participate in a structured program of discernment; are eligible to receive the Diploma in Theology at the end of one year, with the option to continue for a second year (earning a Master of Arts degree), or stay for a third year (earning the Master in Divinity). 
During their tenure at VTS, Pathway to Ministry students have the option of engaging a diocesan ordination process. If, through this work, a student and diocese determine a call to ordained ministry, the student can move through the rest of the ordination process and complete the Master in Divinity degree in three years. If a student and diocese conclude that ministry will be as a lay person, the student may then choose how best to move forward with formation (i.e., M.Div., M.A., or Diploma). Any of these three degree/ diploma options is open to any student in the program regardless of canonical status.
Pathway to Ministry is tuition-free for the first year and includes an additional $5,000 stipend. If a student wishes to continue for a second or third year, he/she may apply for VTS financial aid following the standard guidelines for all other Master’s level programs. The program is limited to a maximum of eight students per year. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis; however, discerns are asked to apply no later than April 1. 
For more information or to apply, please contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at admissions@vts.edu.



Founded in 1823 as a beacon of hope in a country new and finding its way, Virginia Theological Seminary 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 Virginia Seminary online at www.vts.edu.
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