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VTS Welcomes the Class of 2017 as August Term Kicks Off


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

Alexandria, Va
The August term at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) began today with 44 new students representing 29 domestic dioceses from all eight domestic provinces.

The class is comprised of 32 entering the Master in Divinity (M.Div.) program and 3 students entering the the Master of Arts (M.A.) program, eight are entering the Anglican Studies program program and one new student has committed to receive a post-graduate diploma of theology. There are five students coming to VTS from other countries including three from Tanzania, one from Jordan and one from Turkey.

“As we begin another academic year and welcome this class of students,” said Jan Sienkiewicz, director of admissions, ”we are again reminded of how the future of the Church is being ensured and strengthened by the dedication and commitment of those who have responded to the call to spread the Gospel.”

For the last several years, the recruitment of minority students has been a priority for VTS. In 2007, students of color represented 12.7 percent of the student body; this year the incoming 15 percent of our domestic degree seeking class is from a minority ethnic group (Hispanic, Black - Non-Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander). 

Welcoming the students at a special community eucharist last evening was the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary.

"We are a great graduate school, you will get fabulous academics by outstanding national and internationally renowned professors - but that, in the end, is not the project," said Dean Markham. "The project is bigger. It is taking lives, and enabling them to be vehicles that God can use. It is taking lives, and working on our propensity for egotism and selfishness and unkindness and turning us into vehicles that God can use. That's the work we are involved in." 

Click here to listen to complete sermon.


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.