2018

  • November

    LEADING INTO THE FUTURE | The Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija to lead Seminary Partnership to Support Church Growth and Innovation

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    GTS Media Contact: Joshua Bruner
    Tel: (646) 717-9765
    Email: bruner@gts.edu

    ALEXANDRIA, VA and NEW YORK, NY – Two Episcopal seminaries: Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) and General Theological Seminary (GTS), today announced the creation of an exciting innovative joint project focused on the future of the church. Called the TryTank: An Experimental Laboratory for Church Growth and Innovation, this is the first such joint project between two major seminaries in the church in decades.

    The TryTank Experimental Lab will offer a much-needed inventive approach to the challenges facing the Episcopal Church. Working in partnership across the Episcopal Church, the TryTank will work to understand the forces threatening the church in order to identify creative ways to equip future leaders to reinvigorate the church.

    “This is an innovative moment in theological education for the Episcopal Church,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of VTS. “Along with these ‘sister seminaries’ seeking to serve the church together, the whole idea of a congregational laboratory which can ‘try’ things is exciting. We have sat around for long enough moaning about our predicaments; the time has come to try ideas and initiatives out.”

    “We are re-committing ourselves to Jesus’ call for discipleship which means, quite plainly, church growth, not decline. This takes partnership and innovation.” The Very Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle, dean and president of General Seminary continued, “We want the model and means of the TryTank to reflect its message. Sister seminaries are coming together to try something new, intending to encourage and enable a new generation of lay and ordained leaders to faithfully grow the church.”

    To lead the new effort, the Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija of Los Angeles has been appointed as its founding director. “I can’t imagine a more exciting time to try new things in the church,” Fr. Lebrija said at his appointment. “It feels as though the Holy Spirit is leading us to new frontiers while remaining loyal to our tradition. To be asked to lead part of that exploration is a distinct honor.”

    Under Lebrija’s direction, the TryTank Experimental Lab will seek to understand where new church models, business models, and technology can meet the needs of today’s church.

    “Any time we have asked ourselves, ‘what if’ as we do and are church, those are opportunities to explore and try,” he added. “We are going to be doing a lot of that. And we know we’re going to fail. A lot. But that’s how we can discover new adjacent possibilities, by trying.”

    One of the first tasks of the Try Tank Experimental Lab will be to map out current innovation in the church, including the many new church plants that have come into existence. One stated goal of the project is to disseminate information as far as possible of experiments and successes and failures. “We are really aiming to make this a church-wide effort,” said Fr. Lebrija, “we want our experiments to tell a story and that story to be shared. Because something that may not have worked in one place, may just be perfect in another.”

    Although the TryTank Experimental Lab officially launches in January 2019, those interested in its work can sign up to receive updates at www.TryTank.org.

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    ABOUT VTS
    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.

    ABOUT GTS
    General Seminary’s mission statement was adopted in 1999 and reaffirmed in 2015: Educating and forming lay and ordained leaders for the church in a changing world. As we live out this mission, we seek to be and to become a community for whom ongoing and deepening conversion to new life in Christ is a constant goal. Our purpose is to invite and call others to that life of conversion by our own understanding of the Christian faith — biblical, historical and theological — and our ability to reflect on that faith. Located in historic Chelsea Square, our students have the diversity and opportunity of experiences that New York City has to offer. Visit General Seminary online at gts.edu.

    ABOUT REV. LEBRIJA
    A Master of Divinity (M.Div.) graduate of GTS, Lebrija was most recently the chief development officer for the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. Beyond his M.Div. degree he also has an MBA and a B.A. from Florida International University, has completed the full training at the Fund Raising School at Indiana University, and is a graduate of Rice University's Executive Education Program.

    Prior to entering seminary Lebrija was president and chief executive officer of Seraphic Fire & Firebird Chamber Orchestra, Miami's professional choral and orchestral ensemble. Before that he was the Miami Program Director for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation responsible for a substantial grant portfolio and the launch of the Knight Arts Challenge. Having been General Manager for Radioactiva Hispanic Radio, as well as Editor/Director of Operations for Miami's Community Newspapers, Lebrija has vast experience in media and marketing. He has been a frequent speaker at community groups on development, community involvement, the arts, business strategy, and marketing.

    Lebrija’s appointment is effective on January 1, 2019.
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  • VTS Presents World Premiere of play LADY MISRULE: A CHRISTMAS NOIR

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Media Contact: Curtis Prather
    Tel: 703-461-1782
    Email: cprather@vts.edu

    (Alexandria, Va.) - Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) announces the world premiere performance of the new play Lady Misrule: A Christmas Noir on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1 at 7:30 p.m.

    A noir-ish exploration of faith, family and the dirty work of doing good deeds, Lady Misrule is written and directed by Paul Sapp and produced by the Tiny Engine Theatre Company of North Carolina.

    "Theater can be a powerful vehicle for stimulating theological reflection on the fundamentals of living and life," said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of VTS. "Virginia Seminary is pleased to model the use of theater in religious reflection; we are excited about this initiative and grateful to those who made it possible."

    "A dark tale from the jolliest place on earth," Lady Misrule tells the story of Stephen Wurth, a disgraced ad man who becomes embroiled in a battle for the meaning of Christmas following the death of his daughter at the North Pole. Featuring a host of merry eccentrics, including Santa Claus, Santa’s estranged daughter, a one-time bully, and an enigmatic elf, Lady Misrule is intended for an adult audience.

    A Q&A with the director and cast will follow the Saturday performance.
    ******
    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 us online at www.vts.edu.
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  • VTS Awards Honorary Degree to Archbishop Jackelén of Sweden

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
     
    Media Contact: Curtis Prather
    Tel: 703-461-1782
    Email: cprather@vts.edu
     
    (Alexandria, Va.) - Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) announces that an honorary doctorate was conferred upon the Most Rev. Antje Jackelén, Primate of the Church of Sweden, last evening during a special Thursday Eucharist.  

    "We are in the presence of a leader with an international reputation," said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. "The Seminary is pleased to honor the achievements of Bishop Jackelén."

    Currently the Lutheran Archbishop of Uppsala and Primate of the Church of Sweden, Jackelén was ordained a priest in the Church of Sweden in 1980 and earned a Doctor of Theology degree at Lund University in 1999. Previously, she was Bishop of Lund from 2007 to 2014. In October 2013, she was elected the 70th Archbishop of Uppsala and formally received through at a service in Uppsala Cathedral on June 15, 2014, making her Sweden's first foreign-born archbishop since the 12th century, and the first female archbishop. Jackelén, who preached at the evening service, was awarded in the Lambeth Cross for Ecumenism by the Archbishop of Canterbury  in June 2017, "[f]or her services to ecumenism - especially her leadership in addressing human, theological and social issues in partnership and dialogue."

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    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.
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  • 2018 Bowers Preaching Fellow Lecture

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    Alexandria, Va. - Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is proud to announce that the Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D., the Arthur Carl Lichtenberger Professor Emeritus in Pastoral Theology and Continuing Education and Co-Director, Bicentennial Campaign, is the 2018 Bowers Preaching Fellow. 

    “I was really honored when I was approached," said Hawkins. "In years past, I have so enjoyed Tom Bowers, Barbara Brown Taylor, Sam Lloyd, and others who have been part of this lectureship.”

    On Monday, November 5, the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., hosted in his home an opportunity to reflect on preaching in the Episcopal Church with Hawkins and members of the VTS community on the theme of “Poetry and Literature and Preaching that Connects.” 

    "It was a rich and interesting evening," said Markham. "Dr. Hawkins really does have a philosophy of preaching; and in the discussion, he shaped and framed the role and nature of preaching quite brilliantly." 

    On Wednesday, November 7, Hawkins will present his lecture "Preaching as Pastoral Presence" to the community and the public. The program is free of charge, thanks to the generous support of the Thomas Dix Bowers Fund, but registration is requested. This event will be live streamed and archived through the VTS website.

    "My lecture, 'Preaching as Pastoral Presence,' is a reflective retrospective of sorts," said Hawkins. "The Bible, Church History and current events have always ‘fed’ my homilies or sermons. Only in recent years have I realized how much my sermons come out of my ministry’s pastoral relationships.”

    Dr. Hawkins is an experienced preacher who has served two major parishes and developed a reputation for thoughtful preaching. He has served at VTS since 2000, first as Director of the Doctor of Ministry program, then Director of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies, and for over ten years as Vice President for Institutional Advancement along with his faculty position as Arthur Carl Lichtenberger Professor in Pastoral Theology and Continuing Education. In December 2017 he assumed the role of Co-Director of the Bicentennial Campaign. Known throughout the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as a noted author, preacher, and teacher, Virginia Seminary is honored that Dr. Hawkins is this year’s Bowers Preaching Fellow.

    The Thomas Dix Bowers Preaching Fellowship Fund was established at Virginia Theological Seminary in 2008 by family and friends of the Rev. Dr. Thomas Dix Bowers ‘56, in celebration of his eightieth birthday, and in recognition of the impact his inspirational preaching of the Gospel and the love of Jesus Christ has had on the lives of many over fifty years of devoted ministry to the Church. Through the Bowers Fund the Seminary is able to host noted preachers of the Church to campus to lift up and honor the art and ministry of preaching at the Seminary and throughout the Church. For further information or to contribute to the Fund, please contact Linda Dienno, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, at (703) 461-1717.

     
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    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 us online at www.vts.edu.
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  • Grace and Gardens | VTS Announces England Pilgrimage for Summer 2019

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    ALEXANDRIA, VA – "Grace and Gardens in England's ‘green and pleasant land'" is an opportunity to join the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. and the Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D. on a pilgrimage to the heart of Anglicanism. Beginning in London, the tour will include visits to Canterbury, Cambridge, Oxford, and the Cotswolds. It is an opportunity to encounter the best of Anglican worship; the best of Anglican scholarship; and the best of English gardens. This is a behind-the-scenes pilgrimage from St. Paul’s to Little Gidding to Christ Church, Oxford to the Highgrove Royal Gardens. 

    The tour is May 29, 2019 to June 11, 2019. The itinerary will be available on November 1, 2018 and a deposit for each person will be due by December 20, 2018 to guarantee a space. Enrollment is limited. 

    The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. was appointed as dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) in August 2007. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom where he focused on Christian Ethics. He previously earned an M.Litt. in Philosophy and Ethics from the University of Cambridge and a B.D. in Theology from the University of London. Markham is a priest associate at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia.

    The Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D., is an Episcopal priest who serves as the co-director of VTS’ Bicentennial Campaign and the Arthur Carl Lichtenberger Professor Emeritus in Pastoral Theology. He came to VTS in 2000 after twenty years in parish ministry. He is an honorary associate at Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill, Alexandria, Virginia.

    For further details, please email Elizabeth Osborn at eosborn@vts.edu.
     
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    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 us online at www.vts.edu.
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  • VTS Artifact Featured Offering at Christie’s Antiquities Sale Proceeds to Create New Scholarship Fund

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

    ALEXANDRIA, VA – A 3,000-year-old carving from Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) sold at Christie’s Antiquities Sale in New York October 31 for $27,250,000. The buyer’s premium, which charges expenses and fees to the purchaser, brought the advertised sale price to $30,968,750. Proceeds from the sale will underwrite Bicentennial initiatives such as the Vocations Scholarship Fund, making residential seminary education more accessible to candidates who reflect the changing face of the Episcopal Church. Funds will also be used for conservation and display of a remaining pair of carvings which will be the subject of a scholarly symposium at VTS next spring.

    “We are beginning to look toward our bicentennial in 2023,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president. “This sale and the resulting scholarship fund illustrate just two of the ways VTS is changing as we look to the next century of service to the Episcopal Church.”

    The carving in question is a seven-foot stone panel from the Northwest palace of the Assyrian ruler Ashurnasirpal II. Known as the Bearded Winged Apkallu, it is one of three low-relief carvings sent to VTS in 1859 by Dr. Henri B. Haskell from an excavation begun by Austen Henry Layard. Carvings from the same excavation are on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the British Museum in London, among others. In 2017 a routine insurance audit revealed the value of the three tablets had more than quadrupled, raising concerns about their unsecured location in the Seminary’s Bishop Payne Library. Insurance premiums for the three tablets jumped to $70,000 per year. After months of study and consultation with students, faculty, and staff, the Board of Trustees determined to sell the largest of the three tablets.

    “It was a difficult decision,” says Markham. “These are world-class treasures that have been part of Virginia Seminary’s history for over 150 years. But in the end, the Trustees felt that the cost of maintaining the entire collection would pull resources from our primary mission to educate lay or ordained leaders for the Episcopal Church.”

    The Vocations Scholarship Fund, which the sale will underwrite, will support Seminary education for international students, students of color, and second-career students. VTS has a long commitment to graduating students without the burden of educational debt.

    VTS will retain a laser reproduction of the auctioned carving for teaching purposes. Two slightly smaller tablets from the excavation will remain at the Seminary and will be the focus of a symposium tentatively titled “The Reliefs of Ashurnasirpal II: Architecture, Iconography, and Text,” planned for the summer of 2019. The Rev. Melody Knowles, Ph.D., academic dean and Old Testament professor, says invitations will go out this fall to a slate of international scholars. “We at Virginia Seminary are part of a tradition that values artifacts from the past and continues to interrogate them with new and emerging questions. Our students and faculty flourish in a context where ancient texts and contemporary perspectives continue to spark new analysis.”

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    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 us online at www.vts.edu.
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  • October

    Countdown to 200 Officially Begins With the Bicentennial Opening Service and Dinner

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

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

    ALEXANDRIA, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) officially begins the countdown to our bicentennial anniversary tomorrow, Thursday, October 18, with a special event, two-hundred years in the making.
     
    “To mark the journey to our bicentennial we are holding a special Holy Eucharist and Community ‘period’ dinner 1,823 days before our anniversary in 2023,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president. “This very special evening is open to all friends of the Seminary.”

    The candlelight “Holy Communion” service, with readings from the King James Bible, will follow the 1789 Prayer Book and include a reading of a 1772 sermon from the VTS archives delivered and reflected by Markham, the Seminary’s 14th dean and president. The Rev. Ginny Wilder ‘12, AAEC president, will be the celebrant.

    After a celebratory drink in the Chapel Parlor, all are invited to the Refectory for dinner with an early nineteenth-century theme.

    While this event is free, registration is required.

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    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 us online at www.vts.edu.
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  • VTS Press Announces Publication of RECTOR TRANSITIONS

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  • The Rev. Pauli Murray Building dedicated at Virginia Theological Seminary

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

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

    ALEXANDRIA, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is proud to announce the naming of The Rev. Pauli Murray Building in memory of the Rev. Pauli Murray, an early and committed civil rights activist and the first African American woman priest ordained in the Episcopal Church. The ceremony took place yesterday as part of Alumni Convocation.

    “Our historic past is very present at Virginia Theological Seminary - in portraits and building names,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president. “The time has come to recognize the changing nature of the Seminary. The Pauli Murray Building is an historic moment. It is recognition that the reign of God is a reign of justice.”

    Born in Baltimore in 1910 and raised in Durham, North Carolina, Murray graduated from Hunter College in 1933. In 1938 she was denied entry to graduate school at the University of North Carolina because of her race. She went on to graduate from Howard University Law School in 1944. While there, she challenged racial segregation in part by participating in sit-in demonstrations in drugstores and cafeterias in Washington DC. Denied admission to Harvard University for an advanced law degree because of her gender, Murray received her Masters of Law from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1945. Information Murray compiled in 1948 about segregation laws in the South led to a 1951 book, States’ Laws on Race and Color. That book became a foundational document for Thurgood Marshall in his work on the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education.

    Committed to dismantling barriers of race, Murray saw the civil rights and women’s movements as intertwined and believed that black women had a vested interest in the women’s movement. In later life, she discerned a call to ordained ministry and began studies at General Theological Seminary in 1973. She completed her last year of study by attending classes at VTS in 1975. On January 8, 1977, she was ordained as a priest at Washington National Cathedral. In 1980, VTS conferred an honorary doctorate on her.

    The Rev. Pauli Murray Building is one of four buildings built and dedicated in 2016 to meet the growing needs of student housing for seminarians and their families. The gift to name the building came from anonymous donors who join the Seminary in exploring ways to display tangible signs that reflect the full diversity of our Church.

    “We are proud to honor this remarkable life and grateful to those who made it possible,” Markham added.
     
    During the 79th General Convention in Austin, TX, 33 years after her death, Murray was made a permanent part of the Episcopal Church’s calendar of saints.

    The citation on the plaque outside of The Rev. Pauli Murray Building includes the following: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3:28)

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    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 us online at www.vts.edu.
     
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  • VTS Awards Five with Honorary Degrees

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  • Senator George Mitchell to speak at VTS Mollegen Forum

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  • September

    VTS Theologians appointed by Archbishop of Canterbury to serve on pre-Lambeth seminar

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    Alexandria, Va – Virginia Theological Seminary professors the Rev. Katherine Sonderegger Ph.D and the Rev. Robert Heaney Ph.D, D.Phil have been appointed by the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, to be part of the St. Augustine’s Seminar.
     
    The seminar is designed to resource the teaching of the Lambeth 2020 conference and will involve leading academics in Bible and theology. Sonderegger and Heaney will join an ecumenical and inter-cultural group with scholars from Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Egypt, India, Kenya, Nigeria, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, and the U.K. The biblical foundation for the 2020 conference is the text of I Peter and the seminar, meeting at Lambeth Palace in November, will produce resources for the bishop participants and those addressing the conference.  
     
    In an Anglican Communion press release of September 11, Welby spoke of his hopes: “The expertise and insight of the theologians who gather will be vital in informing . . . thinking in areas such as the daily Bible expositions, group Bible studies and homilies [for Lambeth 2020]. I pray it will be a stimulating and exciting time together.”
     
    “Virginia Theological Seminary has deep and abiding relationships throughout the Anglican Communion” said the Rev. Very Ian Markham Ph.D., dean and president of VTS. “For almost two centuries this community has sought to serve the mission of God through World Anglicanism. It is a joy that two of our faculty can continue that tradition by serving the St. Augustine’s seminar. This is important work. We pray that it produces fresh vision for Anglicans as we seek a deeper vision of the risen Christ amidst the diversity and difference of the Communion.”
     
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    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.
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  • VTS Announces Publication of THE PENUMBRA OF ETHICS: THE GIFFORD LECTURES OF V.A. DEMANT WITH CRITICAL COMMENTARY AND ASSESSMENT

    Media Contact: Curtis Prather  
    Tel: 703-461-1782  
    Email: cprather@vts.edu  
     
    ALEXANDRIA, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is proud to announce the publication of The Penumbra of Ethics: The Gifford Lectures of V. A. Demant with Critical Commentary and Assessment (Cascade Books, 2018), co-edited by the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of VTS, and Christine Faulstich, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Houston, Texas.
     
    The Rev. Vigo Auguste Demant (1893-1983) was a significant theologian and social commentator of the first half of the twentieth century. This book contains his up-until-now unpublished Gifford Lectures, in which Demant provides cultural analysis as he attempts to address why humanity struggles so much with modernity and living in the contemporary world. The lectures have additional notes and commentary to make them comprehensible, since not all of them are complete. The first chapters set Demant in his context and the final section provides assessment of both his ideas and his impact. Although Demant died in 1983, his ideas continue to prove influential to thinkers and theologians today.

    "This is a truly remarkable book, exploring and examining the work of Vigo Auguste Demant, one of the great Christian ethicists of the twentieth century," said Martyn Percy, dean of Christ Church, Oxford. "
    Markham and Faulstich have produced a scintillating text--the Gifford Lectures of V. A. Demant, that leads us into the heart of and mind of a thinker who gave us a genuinely original Christian Sociology. Markham and Faulstich deserve enormous credit for this outstanding critical introduction to one of the most original thinkers in the field of theology and ethics."
     
    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 Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, An Introduction to Ministry: A Primer for Renewed Life and Leadership in Mainline Protestant Congregations, Lectionary Levity: The Use of Humor in Preaching, and  Why Suffering?: A Little Book of Guidance.
     
     
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    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 us online at www.vts.edu.
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  • VTS Welcomes New and Returning Students for the Beginning of the 2018/19 Academic School Year

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

    ALEXANDRIA, VA – Yesterday Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) welcomes returning and new students as we ushered in our 2018/19 academic year. In addition to the forty-one new students who arrived in August, seven also arrived in January, making the total number of entering students forty-eight. Of them, four are international students coming from three different countries: Haiti, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.

    "It is the privilege of service at Virginia Theological Seminary to receive 48 human lives that are ready for the work of formation for the Gospel," said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president. "Once again we have the country and the communion represented. We welcome them; and we look forward to working with them."

    Twenty-four domestic dioceses are represented and include dioceses from all domestic provinces except one (Province 2). Twenty-eight of the students are enrolled in the Master in Divinity program; six are in the Master of Arts program; and six in the Anglican Studies program. The recruitment of students of color continues to be a priority for VTS; this year the percentage of students of color entering VTS is 13.5% of our domestic degree-seeing class. 68% percent of the incoming students are married or partnered, and, 49% percent are in their 30s.

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    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 us online at www.vts.edu.
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  • August

    VTS Announces Publication of DARING TO SHARE: MULTI-DENOMINATIONAL CONGREGATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA

    Media Contact: Curtis Prather  
    Tel: 703-461-1782  
    Email: cprather@vts.edu  
     
    ALEXANDRIA, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is proud to announce the publication of  Daring to Share: Multi-Denominational Congregations in the United States and Canada (Pickwick Publications, 2018), co-authored by Mitzi J. Budde, Ph.D., head librarian and professor at VTS' Bishop Payne Library, along with Sandra Beardsall. professor of Church History and Ecumenics at St. Andrew's College in Saskatoon, Canada and a member of the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches and William P. McDonald, professor of Religion and Department Chair at Tennessee Wesleyan University in Athens, Tennessee, and  is the author of Christian Catechetical Texts (2011).
     
    Multi-denominational congregations offer rich soil for new interpretations of what it means to be a church. These parishes have chosen to covenant together for worship, service, ministry, mission, and nurturing of faith across two or more denominational traditions. Daring to Sharetells their stories, investigates their practices, and proposes a fresh vision of church for the twenty-first century. This book equips ordained and lay leaders for the formation and flourishing of such ministries. It describes five models of partnership, analyzes the parish life cycle, interprets how worship works, addresses constitutional and governance issues, and reflects theologically on the intersection of diversity and unity.

    What can we learn from these congregations? Studying their particular witness, struggles, and promise for the future fills a gap in both congregational studies and contemporary ecclesiology. Multi-denominational parishes are more than a convenient way to revitalize congregational ministry. They present new opportunities and approaches for sharing the gospel. Ecumenical convergence meets demographic realities to suggest a mission strategy that will transform local practice and, perhaps, the church itself. By daring to share, these churches challenge a fractured world.
     
    Dr. Budde joined the VTS faculty in 1991. Before joining the faculty at VTS, she served as library director at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. She is a deacon of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, serving under call of the ELCA to ecumenical ministry at VTS. She completed her D.Min. in Ecumenism and Reconciliation at Wesley Theological Seminary where she focused on ecumenical formation in denominational theological seminaries. She previously earned a Master of Librarianship from the University of South Carolina, an M.A. in Religion from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina and a B.A.from Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina.
     
    Budde was one of the writers for the National Council of Churches publication, United Against Racism: Churches for Change (2018), and she co-edited and contributed an essay to the National Council of Churches publication Thinking Theologically about Mass Incarceration (Paulist Press, 2017). She also co-edited and contributed two essays to the book, Unity in Mission: Theological Reflections on the Pilgrimage of Mission (2013) published by Paulist Press in the National Council of Churches Faith & Order Commission Theological Series (co-edited with Don Thorsen).
     
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    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 us online at www.vts.edu.
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  • VTS partners to promote new economic justice effort to support a living wage

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    Alexandria, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is proud to announce our partnership with the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy to launch a new economic justice effort to certify employers in the city of Alexandria to pay workers about twice the hourly wage required by federal law, using window stickers and publicity to apply social pressure.

    The Rev. David Gortner, Ph.D., the associate dean of Church and Community Engagement at VTS, and co-chair Kim Bobo, the Richmond based executive director of the Virginia Interfaith Center, said their effort was based on a successful program in North Carolina.

    “Over time, we can help raise the floor in Richmond, Alexandria, and hopefully other communities across the state,” Bobo said Monday morning at a kickoff event where three organizations in Alexandria — Fibre Space, Business Management Associates and VTS — were certified.

    “People matter," said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. dean and president of VTS. "It is a part of our Gospel witness that we our salary packages are fair and appropriate. We are grateful for this recognition."

    The cost of living in the Washington, D.C. region is such that it is nearly impossible for individuals making the federal minimum wage that is required in Virginia ($7.25 per hour) to make a living wage.

    "I am delighted that VTS is both supporting this initiative and is leading the way in offering a living wage to our employees," said Kathryn Glover, MPA, SHRM-SCP, vice president for Administration and Institutional Effectiveness.

    Alexandria’s program uses a three-tier system (gold $15.70/hr.; silver $14.13/hr.; aspirational $11.23/hr.). Employers are encouraged to submit applications for certification in order to qualify. organizers are already considering increasing levels of certification because several business owners in Alexandria are already paying the $15.70 per hour required top-level certification.

    Gortner and Bobo hope to launch additional initiatives across the state, including Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Blacksburg, and perhaps Arlington County.

    Photo: Local Alexandria employers LuJuanna Russell, Danielle Romanetti, and David Gortner were the first area businesses given the “Living Wage Certification” by program co-founder Kim Bobo. (Photo courtesy of Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy).

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    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 www.vts.edu.
    Read More
  • June

    VTS Professors Contribute to "The Hebrew Bible: Feminist and Intersectional Perspectives"

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    Alexandria, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is proud to announce the publication of The Hebrew Bible: Feminist and Intersectional Perspectives (Fortress Pressm 2018), which includes pieces from two VTS professors: the Rev. Melody Knowles, Ph.D., vice president of Academic Affairs, and the Rev. Judy Fentress-Williams, Ph.D., professor of Old Testament.

    This volume highlights key issues in the Hebrew Scriptures from the perspective of top feminist biblical scholars. This includes historical critical and literary textual analysis and exegesis, particularly as viewed through feminist and intersectional interpretive lenses. Intersectional lenses include the racial/ethnic, class, Global South, postcolonial, and so forth, and their interconnections with gender.

    "In a world where patriarchy continues to damage so many lives of women, this book is a refreshing critique and journey into the ways in which the Biblical witness sees women," said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of VTS. "I finished reading this essay with a sense of gratitude. I am grateful that this essay has been written; I am also grateful that this Seminary has two dynamic and important scholars asking and exploring these questions. Thank you Judy and Melody."

    Knowles and Fentress-Williams contributed a substantial essay to the book called "Affirming and Contradicting Gender Stereotypes". The chapter starts with female protagonists - Ruth and Esther, then we move to women and sexuality, with particular focus on Song of Songs and Ben Sira, then we have the wisdom books - Proverbs, Job, Wisdom of Solomon, this is followed by the Psalms, and then the chapter concludes with Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1-2 Maccabees. It is an impressive chapter: touching on so much of the Hebrew Bible.

    Dr. Knowles joined the VTS staff in 2013 as vice president of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Old Testament. Prior to joining Virginia Seminary, she was a member of the faculty at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago since 1999, serving as Associate Professor of Hebrew Scriptures. Her published works include Centrality Practiced: Jerusalem in the Religious Practice of Yehud and the Diaspora in the Persian Period (SBL Press, 2006), and Contesting Texts: Jews and Christians in Conversation About the Bible (editor and co-author along with John Pawlikowski, Esther Menn and Timothy Sandoval; Fortress Press, 2007). 

    Dr. Fentress-Williams is Professor of Old Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary. She joined the faculty in 2002. Prior to her appointment at Virginia Seminary, Judy was a member of the faculty of Hartford Seminary from 1994-2002 as Professor of Hebrew Bible. She was also the director of the Black Ministries Program, a certificate program designed to meet the needs of African-American clergy and laity in the greater Hartford area. In 2012 she published a commentary on the book of Ruth for the Abingdon Old Testament Commentary Series. 

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    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 www.vts.edu.
    Read More
  • May

    195th Commencement Celebrated at VTS

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    Alexandria, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) celebrated its 195th Commencement today, awarding 60 students with degrees of Master in Divinity, Master of Arts, Doctor of Ministry, Diploma in Theology, and Diploma in Anglican Studies, representing over 25 dioceses and 8 different countries.

    “Commencement is a day of great hope for the Church and for the Episcopal Church,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of VTS. “Lay and ordained leadership set forth from the campus to serve the people, to preach the Gospel, and to be there in human lives at the hardest and happiest times. Let us pray for this group of graduates from Virginia Theological Seminary.”

    The commencement address was given by the Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor ‘DD 01, New York Times best-selling author, teacher, and Episcopal priest.

    "Like all Christians I have a hard time with conflict," Taylor told the Class of 2018, in her sermon which tackled the politics, divisions, and confllict. "Even Jesus' teachings take conflict for granted. You can't love an enemy who is not there; turnng the other cheek requires someone to slap you first.... The very existence of these teachings of these teachings tell is that Jesus knew conflict would be a regular part of his followers' lives and that they needed to know they had choices about how to handle those occasions, otherwise they would only be able to find two gears: idle and attack." 

    During the ceremony, the Anglican Communion Prize, which recognizes a graduating student who has shown an outstanding commitment to discerning the mission of God through World Anglicanism, goes to Pearson Yoram Nhayo, of the Diocese of Ruaha.

    The Thomas Underwood Dudley Award for Reading and Scripture Liturgy, awarded to graduating students who, in the opinion of the faculty, have demonstrated excellence in the public reading and interpretation of the Scriptures and the Liturgy, is given to Marlene Forrest, of the Diocese of Virginia.

    Tthe recipient of the 2018 Susan Ford Chair, a gift of Susan Ford to a member of the graduating class who has exhibited a strong commitment to the community life and mission of the Seminary, was awarded to Kathleen Denise Walker, of the Diocese of Southeast Florida.

    The recipients of the Charles and Janet Harris Award, given each year to candidates for Holy Orders who have demonstrated academic excellence and leadership ability, are Joseph Downing Thompson, Jr., Ph.D., from the Diocese of Missouri, and to Richard Christian Bauer, of the Diocese of Southeast Florida.

    The Doctoral Thesis Award is given to one graduating doctoral student who has written an exceptional thesis with clarity, depth, and boundedness that addresses a higher aim of Christian life, service, and leadership. During this ceremony, the Rev. James Larkin Pahl, Jr. was awarded the Doctoral Thesis Award for his thesis, “Community Backyard Relationship-Building: A Partnership between the Church, Government, and Local Stakeholders.”

    This year, VTS conferred The Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, to Canon Rosalie Simmonds Ballentine, Esq., the Episcopal Church lay representative on the Anglican Consultative Council.

    Virginia Seminary also conferred the Degree of Doctor in Divinity, honoris causa, to the Rev. John Nelson Wall, Jr., Ph.D., professor of English Literature, North Carolina State University.

    For the eleventh year, the service was streamed live over the Internet through the VTS website.

    You can click here to watch the full service (begins at 12:30).

    ###

    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 www.vts.edu.
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  • VTS Launches Building Dialogue

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

    ALEXANDRIA, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) launches an international grant funded project, "Building Dialogue," with partners in West Africa, East Africa, and the Middle East.

    Dean and President of VTS, the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham Ph.D, said of the project, "Peace-building and reconciliation is a Gospel imperative. It is a priority for our Presiding Bishop and it is a priority for the Anglican Communion. Yet, it remains elusive. I am pleased, therefore, that our Center for Anglican Communion Studies has just launched this program. I am particularly delighted that the three international project managers are VTS alumni."

    The three-year collaboration between VTS and Cuttington University (Liberia); St. George’s College, Jerusalem; and Msalato Theological College (Tanzania) aims:

    1. To equip people for theologically informed leadership in contexts of conflict;
    2. To develop culturally diverse resources and strategies for peacemaking;
    3. To strengthen the capacity of partner institutions and their impact in the Communion.

    The work has received funding from Trinity Church Wall St (New York) and the project managers are all VTS alumni. Representing Msalato is the Rev. Ernest Ndahani (VTS '16), representing Cuttington is the Rev. Dr. Anne Fredericks Cooper (DMin ‘10) and from St. George's is the Rev. Dr. Susan Lukens (DMin ‘11). Ms. Hartley Wensing (CACS Director of Special Projects) is the project manager for VTS and the Rev. Dr. Robert Heaney (CACS Director) is the overall project manager.

    The leadership team met at VTS Tuesday May 8 and Wednesday May 9 to further their joint work and vision.





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    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 www.vts.edu.
    Read More
  • VTS to Host Second Evangelism Boot Camp May 31 - June 2

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

    ALEXANDRIA, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS), in partnership with 
    the Episcopal Church’s Offices of Evangelism and Reconciliation, is offering its second Evangelism Boot Camp, 

    This intensive training conference runs from May 31 through June 2. We welcome individuals and teams from congregations and dioceses who want to develop skills and practices of evangelism that is natural, rooted in relationship and person-to-person interest, and profoundly spiritual.

    Professor Gortner, Canon Spellers, and other leaders team up to focus on building strong habits for “Episcopal evangelism: Seeking, naming, and celebrating God’s goodness in stories from our lives and others’ lives, and inviting people to MORE.” The team will lead groups into neighborhoods in DC and northern Virginia to meet and interact with people. And the team will take participants even further by building basic skills for church planting, community engagement, faith and witness in the Public Square, and evangelism through social media.


    Let evangelism become part of your natural life. Find more information, registration details, and pricing here. Questions? Contact the Rev. Jon Musser.

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    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 www.vts.edu.
    Read More
  • April

    Markham and Hawkins co-author two-volume literary companion to the Lectionary, "Words That Listen"


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

    ALEXANDRIA, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is proud to announce the publication of Words That Listen: A Literary Companion to the Lectionary, Volumes 1 and 2 (Church Publishing, 2018), written by the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. dean and president, and the Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D., co-chair of the Bicentennial Campaign.

    The great themes of faith are also the great themes of literature and the arts. As we come to terms with God, hope, faith, tragedy, guilt, fear, and love, so the poets, writers, musicians, and artists pick up the same themes, and their understanding can enrich and deepen our own. Words That Listen brings these two worlds together. For each gospel, Markham and Hawkins offer four connecting resource suggestion (e.g., a poem, extract from a novel, a film/television/sporting illustration), and/or a humorous story to illuminate, make connections, and spark new ways of looking at familiar stories. The suggestions for each Sunday include a brief summary and explanation of the extracts. A two-volume set. Volume 1 covers Advent to Ascension, Volume 2 Pentecost to end of Church Year.

    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, An Introduction to Ministry: A Primer for Renewed Life and Leadership in Mainline Protestant Congregations, Lectionary Levity: The Use of Humor in Preaching and Reasonable Radical? Reading the Writings of Martyn Percy.

    Hawkins joined VTS in 2000. Before his appointment in 2017 as the co-chair of the Bicentennial Campaign, he was vice president for Institutional Advancement and the Arthur Carl Lichtenberger Professor in Pastoral Theology. He has degrees from Furman University, Duke Divinity School, and Duke University. His publications include Staying One, Remaining Open: Education Leaders for a 21st Century Church; The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Anglican Communion; and From Ashes to Action: A Chapel Burns and a Seminary Rebuilds.

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    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 www.vts.edu.
    Read More
  • Global Mission Conference on April 11-13

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  • February

    Honoring Practical Theologians; Markham and Daniel co-edit a book on the writings of Martyn Percy

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    ALEXANDRIA, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is proud to announce the publication of Reasonable Radical? Reading the Writings of Martyn Percy (Pickwick Publications, 2018), edited by the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of VTS, and Joshua Daniel, Ph.D. ('18) from the Diocese of Arkansas.
     
    One of the most interesting voices in the Academy and the Church today is the Very Rev. Martyn William Percy, B.A., M.Ed, Ph.D. Percy, the 45th Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, and a leading voice in the Anglican Communion, is both theologically orthodox, yet deeply unconventional. While remaining engaged in the scholarly community, Percy writes with clarity and passion on topics that range from ecclesiology to music, from sexuality to the Trinity, from advertising to ministerial training—he is a polymath.

    “For those of us in theological education, the theologians focused on the practice of the church are vitally important," Markham explains. "Yet in the ruthless hierarchy of the academy, the pure theologians get all the attention and the practical theologians are too easily neglected.”

    Martyn Percy is a leading practical theologian; he is interested in the church as it is rather than the theoretical church. He brings social sciences together with ministry to create insights that can help congregational leadership. This is exactly what theological education needs; we need to train our seminarians so they understand congregations. Martyn Percy can help us train great seminarians.
     
    "This collection is therefore both timely and ambitious in its scope, insights, and humanity, and the balance is impressive and substantial," said Dr. Gareth Jones, a professor at the School of Theology at Charles Sturt University. "It takes some courage to be so liberal in today’s Anglican Communion, but Percy’s work shows how relevant that struggle remains.”
      
    This book is two books in one. The first half contains a series of articles (written both by church leaders and academics) that serve as substantial, critical introductions to Percy’s thought. In the second half, the reader gets to hear from Percy himself in a collection of wide-ranging material from his corpus. While producing a dialectical engagement of some depth (as Percy offers written responses to his interlocutors), this volume should prove useful for a variety of communities beyond academic circles, especially ones engaged with contemporary issues facing ecclesiology, churches, and the wider Anglican Communion.
     
    Ian 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 Bediuzzaman 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).

    Joshua Daniel is a candidate for Holy Orders in the Diocese of Arkansas and a seminarian at Virginia Theological Seminary. He completed his Ph.D. on Wittgenstein and Religion at the University of Arkansas in 2015.
     
     
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    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 www.vts.edu.
    Read More
  • Markham and Sedgwick Contribute to the Little Books of Guidance series for Church Publishing

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    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.
     
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    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 www.vts.edu.
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  • Three New Stained-Glass Windows dedicated by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    ALEXANDRIA, VA – Last night, Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) welcomed to campus the Most Rev. Michael Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, where he presided over the evening Eucharist service and dedication of three new stained-glass windows in Immanuel Chapel.

    "It's good to be here!" said Bishop Curry, who also presented at a special lecture in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies. later in the evening. "I had the opportunity to read Dean Markham's sermon about this Chrisoform church, shaped in the image of Jesus Christ, and these remarkable Trinitarian windows - and now, actually seeing them, I can actually see the incarnation."

    Designed by artist Brian Clarke, the three windows, feature symbols central to the Episcopal faith: a dove, oak leaves, and the parable of the sower stained-glass window in Canterbury Cathedral, the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

    "They are spectacular," said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. "The dove, almost moving at high speed, hovers over the baptismal font on the west wing; the oak leaves, representing the Father, the genesis of all that is, sits dignified in the north transept; and the parable of the sower from Canterbury Cathedral as it is refracted by the light onto the ground of the Cathedral represents the power of the Incarnation mediated to us through Canterbury to the Episcopal Church in the United States."

    London-based artist, Brian Clarke, is a leading stained-glass artist, with a practice that extends to painting, sculpture, and mosaics. Taking the art of stained-glass out of churches and putting it everywhere, in office buildings, shopping malls, and conference centers, Clarke collaborates with many of the world’s most prominent architects to create large-scale glass installations for buildings worldwide.

    “I’m thrilled that the Seminary was able to commission three of the proposed series of stained glass panels by the remarkable English artist Brian Clarke,” said Robert A.M. Stern, of Robert A.M. Stern Architects, who designed the Seminary's Chapel. "They glow with life and more than complement our Immanuel Chapel.”

    Clarke has been featured in two BBC documentaries, and his stained-glass works and paintings have been the subject of exhibitions at international museums including the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands; Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan; Munich Stadtmuseum, Germany; the Centre International de Vitrail, Chartres, France; the Pyramid of Peace in Kazakhstan; the Pfizer building in Manhattan; and now VTS.
     
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    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 www.vts.edu.
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  • January

    Bishop Curry to Visit VTS on February 1

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    ALEXANDRIA, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is proud to announce that the Most Rev. Michael Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, will visit the VTS campus for a special speech in celebration of the 20th anniversary for the Center for Anglican Communion Studies (CACS), as well as a dedication during an evening Eucharist of the new stained glass windows on Thursday, February 1, 2018.
     
    The Presiding Bishop will address the subject of “Why the Episcopal Church Needs World Anglicanism.” His talk will be followed by a conversation with a panel of VTS faculty and students. The Director of the Center, the Rev. Robert S. Heaney, Ph.D, D.Phil will moderate the conversation. Those wishing to attend are requested to register .
     
    “Virginia Theological Seminary has a deep and rich history of discerning the mission of God through the Anglican Communion” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of VTS. “We are proud of our Center for Anglican Communion Studies as it continues this tradition of discernment in inter-cultural theology; in consultations, research, and publications; and in developing practices of reconciliation across the world. As we look towards celebrating two centuries of the witness of VTS, it is right that we pause and celebrate two decades of vision and ministry through CACS.”
     
    The talk will be in the Multipurpose Room of the Addison Academic Center beginning at 7:30 p.m. This will follow a special Eucharist at 5:20 p.m. in Immanuel Chapel where Bishop Curry will preach and dedicate the three new stained glass windows from artist Brian Clarke. Both events will be live streamed on the VTS website
     
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    The Center for Anglican Communion Studies at Virginia Theological Seminary celebrates its 20th anniversary this year (2017-2018) with a full program of activities and two centerpiece events involving the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion (November 2017) and the Presiding Bishop (February 2018). The concept of a Center for Anglican Communion Studies was first explored under the leadership of Dean and President, the Very Reverend Richard Reid, Ph.D and came to fruition under Dean and President, the Very Reverend Martha Horne, Ph.D. With the appointment of the Very Reverend Ian Markham, Ph.D as Dean and President, CACS has grown from strength to strength and is now widely respected in the wider Church and Communion. The Center for Anglican Communion Studies exists to “promote and practice better community for the Communion” through consultations, research, and publications for the sake of inter-cultural and inter-religious reconciliation.
     
    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 www.vts.edu.
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