Markham and Sedgwick Contribute to the Little Books of Guidance series for Church Publishing


Media Contact: Curtis Prather 
Tel: 703-461-1782 

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is proud to announce the inclusion of the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president of VTS, and Timothy F. Sedgwick, Ph.D., the Clinton S. Quin Professor of Christian Ethics, in Church Publishing Inc.’s Little Books of Guidance series.
The three chapters of Markham’s Why Suffering?: A Little Book of Guidance attempt to provide a gentle exploration of how we can respond to a complex issue that has baffled and bothered humanity throughout the ages: Why does a good, all-powerful, and loving God permit evil and suffering? The opening chapter examines the challenge in some depth, while the two additional chapters set forth a Christian response that is grounded in the disclosure of God in Christ on the cross.                                                                         

Markham became dean and president of VTS in 2007. With degrees from King's College London, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Exeter, he is also the author of several major works including Engaging with Beduizzaman Said Nursi (Ashgate, 2008), An Introduction to Ministry: A Primer for Renewed Life and Leadership in Mainline Protestant Congregations (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016), Faith Rules (Church Publishing Inc., 2016), and most recently Lectionary Levity: The Use of Humor in Preaching (Church Publishing Inc., 2017).

We think of holy people as spiritual seekers, but holiness is more than being in touch with the holy. What is holiness all about? What is wholeness of life? What are practices of love? What is spirituality all about? What is worship all about? Life, according to Sedgewick in What Does it Mean to Be Holy Whole?: A Little Book of Guidance, is not a series of experiences or a search for increasing novelty. Rather, there is a more fundamental desire to be whole which characterizes our human experience. This is what Christian faith is all about. It takes practice. It takes community. It takes time. It is a life of loss and love, lament, and joy. And, in short, this is what holiness is about: It is a way of life Christians call grace and salvation.

Sedgwick has served as academic dean of VTS, where he has taught Christian ethics for more than two decades. Previously, he taught at Seabury Western Theological Seminary. He is the author of several books including Preaching What We Practice, with David Schlafer, (Morehouse, 2007), The Christian Moral Life (Eerdmans, 1999, Seabury, 2nd ed. 2008), and Sex, Moral Teaching, and the Unity of the Church: A Study of the Episcopal Church (Morehouse, 2014). He has served on numerous boards and agencies of the Episcopal Church and earned a doctorate from Vanderbilt University.

Little Books of Guidance help the reader find answers to life's big questions. Concise, authoritative, and affordable, these books allow one to grasp the essentials in less than an hour. Aside from Markham and Sedgwick, other authors include Thomas G. Long, Keith Ward, and Rowan Williams.  There are currently eleven books in this series, with more scheduled to come this spring.

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 194 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
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