Happy New Year from the Center for Anglican Communion Studies!
The month of January always starts off with a great sense of anticipation of what is to come. For the seniors at Virginia Theological Seminary and other seminaries across the country, this comes in the form of the General Ordination Exams and facing the realization that they are almost done with seminary and will need to prepare for the next adventure into which God is calling them.
For 25 other students, the start of the new year brings with it a different sort of adventure in the form of Cross-Cultural Educational Programs (CCEPs) that will send VTS seminarians and faculty to many corners of the globe to experience in a new way what God is up to in the world. Fourteen members of our community will take part in a Study Tour to the Holy Land hosted by St. George’s College, Jerusalem. Four students will embark on a CCEP that explores theologies and practices of reconciliation in the United Kingdom. They will visit Coventry Cathedral, the Corrymeela Center in Northern Ireland, the Anglican Communion Office and Lambeth Palace, and other sites. One student and one faculty member are traveling to the Dominican Republic, and nine students are immersing themselves in urban ministry in Washington, DC.
These cross-cultural education programs are an important part of seminary formation and are meaningful far beyond the adventure of traveling or simply being in an unfamiliar context. These programs are important because they exemplify the type of experiential learning that cannot happen in a classroom alone, because we believe that through such experiences students can gain a deeper sense of what it means to discern the presence and mission of God in the world.
So, this month, please join the Center for Anglican Communion Studies in praying for all members of the VTS community who are participating in Cross-Cultural Education Programs, whether they are across the Potomac River in Washington, DC, or across the ocean in the United Kingdom, the Middle East, and Latin America. May they be enriched by the experience and energized for future adventures in ministry.