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Virginia Seminary receiving support across the Episcopal Church

Virginia Seminary receiving support across the Episcopal Church

As Virginia Theological Seminary prepares for its opening liturgy in the new Immanuel Chapel on February 12, the Seminary also reports a strong year for annual giving in the 2013-2014 fiscal year with a number of new gifts and stories focusing on the stewardship of theological education and the future of lay and ordained leadership in the Episcopal Church:

“VTS is blessed to have dedicated, knowledgeable, and caring stewards of its resources,” said Mr. David Charlton, treasurer of the Virginia Seminary Board of Trustees. “That care combined with the flow of gifts from many faithful and generous VTS donors helps ensure the health of our finances.”

In this report, VTS has not only listed the gifts for the 2013-14 fiscal year, but there is also recognition of milestone giving (those whom over the years have given more than $100,000) and giving by class. Growth of the Seminary’s endowment and the Statement of Financial Position are also shared.

“Why give to an institution which clearly has so many resources already?” asked the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary, in today’s Dean’s Commentary. “The answer is simple: every gift we receive is used for mission now and into the future. VTS isn’t going to disappear. There is no risk that hard earned money will ultimately be disbursed in a bankruptcy court or spent to finance the closure of the MDiv in severance packages to faculty.  Instead everyone who gives can be confident that that gift will go to support the students, staff, and faculty of the Seminary. The gift will make a difference to the future of the Church.”

And today VTS announced that it is the recipient of a $500,000 grant for a program , funded by the Lilly Endowment, entitled “Deep Calls to Deep: A Program to Strengthen Episcopal Preaching.” The Rev. Ruthanna Hooke, Ph.D., associate professor of homiletics, will oversee the program as executive director. Donyelle McCray, Ph.D., instructor of homiletics and director of the Office of Multicultural Ministries, will serve as associate director:

“‘Deep Calls to Deep’ seeks to help working preachers and seminarians to renew their preaching practices by deepening their connection to the Holy Spirit,” said Dr. Hooke. “At the core of our program is the opportunity for peer learning in community, as we believe that through this collegiality preaching is best developed and supported. We want to reach out to those who undertake the crucial and yet taxing work of preaching in our churches, to provide them with the nurture and challenge that will support them in this ministry for the long haul.”

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Ian Markham

I appreciate the attention that Episcopal Cafe is giving Virginia Theological Seminary. However, please may I correct one impression. My comment about the fragility of institutions in theological education should not be taken as a commentary on our sister seminaries. Compared to the majority of Association of Theological Schools, all the Episcopal seminaries are strong. As the recent communique of the Council of Deans stressed, they are all offering imaginative and thoughtful programs that are supporting the Episcopal Church.

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