Church and Community Engagement

Church Plant Initiatives

Learn and practice planting churches

Virginia Theological Seminary has a deep heritage of planing new churches and launching missions -- here in northern Virginia and the metropolitan area of Washington DC, and across the country and world. Faculty members and seminarians alike "rode out" to start new congregations.

VTS is reclaiming and reactivating that heritage, through the Office of Church and Community Engagement. Through CCE, VTS students and faculty members can
  • Plant new churches and faith communities,
  • Launch new congregations within existing churches,
  • Relaunch churches ready for serious evangelistic work, and
  • Design and implement evangelism and public faith initiatives for their churches and networks.
Students coming to VTS can focus specfiically on evangelism, church planting, and public faith. CCE oversees the New Mission Practices track of the M.Div. program and, in partnership with surrounding Episcopal dioceses and congregations, creates field education opportunities in church planting and relaunching. CCE also works closely with the doctoral program in its focus on evangelism and public faith.

CCE also offers instructional opportunities in evangelism, public faith, and new ministry development on campus and with partnering churches and organizations. CCE supports the Episcopal Church Center's work in evangelism and church planting.

Gortner's four-phase approach to planting and relaunching churches has become a foundation for CCE's church plant initiatives: (1) evangelistic conversations, (2) intentional invitation, (3) partnership bridge-building, and (4) launch planning.

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