FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Curtis Prather
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ALEXANDRIA, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the St. Nicholas Center, a uniquely curated source of information and resources that tell the story of St. Nicholas and his relationship to Christian tradition.
“I am so delighted that this St. Nicholas resource for families, churches, and schools will have a long-term future,” said Carol P. Myers, executive director for the St. Nicholas Center. “It is such an honor to partner with VTS, the very best source for digital formation.”
The partnership outlines a plan for VTS to assume responsibility within five years for the website and the wealth of information there about the saint—customs from around the world, stories and activities for children, and much more—all designed to help families, churches and schools learn about and celebrate St. Nicholas. The website is currently under Myers’ supervision and responsibility for it will ultimately transfer to Lifelong Learning at VTS. The David and Carol Myers Foundation made a significant gift to endow transfer of the website that coincides with VTS’ Bicentennial Campaign priority to endow Lifelong Learning in its mission and ministry.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of VTS, noted that it has been 17 years since the Center’s website started in 2002, and said, “We are delighted to give it a new home as part of our Bicentennial celebration. Online education is key as we approach our third century of service to the Church; adding the St. Nicholas Center’s website to our offerings makes good sense. When we think of St. Nicholas, his deep love for Jesus, and his ministry to help all who were less fortunate we are ever grateful for this new relationship. I look forward to a long partnership.”
The website is an enormous resource in content and has voluminous activity. There are a million visits annually from people in at least 155 countries. Lisa Kimball, Ph.D., associate dean of Lifelong Learning at VTS, is very excited about the partnership saying: “We, in the Department of Lifelong Learning, are in the business of activating baptism and equipping church leaders. We welcome the committed and the curious. Our new partnership with the St. Nicholas Center is an outward and visible sign of our mission – connecting the world’s premier collection of St. Nicholas resources and practices with lay and clergy leaders across the church. St. Nicholas, lover of the poor and patron saint of children, is an inspiration for all Christians today.”
The Center’s traveling exhibition on St. Nicholas was recently installed by Myers in the VTS Welcome Center, where it will be on display through Epiphany.
“Do bring your family, friends, and parish members for a visit,” invited Markham. “It’s extraordinary to see the artifacts, ranging from a simple cornhusk doll to an exquisite icon. Many countries and customs are represented, and there’s a rather fun interactive display with activities for children young and old.”
Owned and curated by Myers, the display will be available for viewing in the Welcome Center on the campus of VTS from now through December 20, 2019 (with the exception of the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving), and then again from January 2—6, 2020. The Welcome Center is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
VTS offers this exhibit free to the public in thanksgiving for the new partnership with the St. Nicholas Center and the joint plan for the Center to entrust its legacy to VTS, a recognized curator and resource of Christian formation. To bring a large group or to arrange a tour outside of normal hours, please email VisitVTS@vts.edu and specify St. Nicholas in the subject line. For more information, visit www.StNicholasCenter.org.
Founded in 1823 as a beacon of hope in a country new and finding its way, Virginia Theological Seminary is the flagship Seminary of the Episcopal Church. One of our first benefactors was Francis Scott Key whose poem provides the text for our national anthem. In the 191 years since being established, VTS 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 us online at www.vts.edu.