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News from the Hill V I R G I N I A





LOOKING AHEAD: Charting a Course for the 21st Century > Page 6-7

CACS: Supporting Women in the Anglican Communion

Lettie Pate Evans Award Goes to South Carolina Doctor

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Page 9 News From the Hill

Barney Hawkins on “Learning in a Time of Crisis”


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he start of 2009 has been difficult for the Seminary community. The dramatic fall in the endowment was 50 million dollars (as of December 31, 2008). The Finance Committee of the Board instructed the administration to save a million dollars in salaries. Savings were made by not filling vacancies as they arose; the early and good retirement programs meant that some staff had already decided that they wanted to retire. But even with all this, the restructuring meant that others were asked to leave the community.

This has been deeply painful. The community is hurting. Friends and colleagues over many years had tearful goodbyes. As we come to terms with this moment, we celebrate and give thanks for the years of service of the five most affected by the restructuring. My distinguished colleague, the Rev. Dr. Marge McNaughton, is taking early retirement after a year’s sabbatical. She has served the Seminary with energy and compassion for almost 15 years. Many students and alums have, over the last few weeks, sent me notes and emails which have given me a sense of the impact and depth of her ministry of leadership formation, spiritual guidance, crisis intervention and pastoral care. Marge’s ministry has been shaped by a deep commitment to Social Justice, culminating in the emergence of a program at the Seminary in racial and ethnic ministry. As we outsource Information Technology, Mr. Mark Rivenburg

Virginia Theological Seminary OFFICERS


The Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee Chairman of the Board Mrs. Sissy Poland Vice Chairman of the Board The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham Dean and President Dr. Timothy F. Sedgwick Vice President The Rev. Dr. J. Barney Hawkins IV Vice President Ms. Heather Zdancewicz Vice President, Assistant Treasurer & Assistant Secretary Dr. David H. Charlton Secretary/Treasurer

The Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee Mr. A. Marshall Acuff, Jr. (2009) Mr. Mark G. Anderson (2010) Mrs. Auguste J. Bannard (2011) Mr. David Booth Beers (2010) Ms. Ana-Mita Betancourt (2010) Mr. Julian M. Bivins, Jr. (2012) The Rt. Rev. John Bryson Chane Dr. David H. Charlton (2011) The Rev. Canon Thomas G. Clarke (2012) The Rev. Dr. Harold J. Cobb, Jr. (2013) The Rev. Carlotta A. Cochran (2009) The Rev. Dr. Robert S. Dannals (2010) Dr. Lynwood D. I. Day (2013) The Rt. Rev. Jane Holmes Dixon (2009) Mr. W. Carter Doswell (2013) Mr. A. Hugh Ewing III (2013) The Rev. Dr. M. Douglas Girardeau (2010) Mrs. Martha W. High (2009) The Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston The Rev. R. Kevin Kelly (2013) The Rt. Rev. W. Michie Klusmeyer The Rev. Thomas M. Kryder-Reid (2012) Ms. Angelica D. Light (2012)

On the Cover: Middlers Meredith Holt, Drew Foisie, and Jessica Knowles (seated) on the Sea of Galilee this past January. Photo by Krista DeVaul.


News From the Hill


Spring 2009

also leaves us. In a time when keeping any IT system operational is difficult, Mark has led a team that has kept the Seminary connected over the last eight years. Mr. Joe Pinder has been responsible for the mail room for the last 22 years and has become a much-loved institution. In the Butterfly House, we say goodbye and thank Robin Brokmeyer, who had served as Director for almost a year. And finally, in Housekeeping, Victoria Cuenca is moving on after a year’s service at the Seminary. The Seminary has attempted to be as generous as possible as people make these transitions. If the endowment were still at $144 million, then these important members of our family would still be with us. It is with deep sadness and with our prayers that we say our goodbyes. Ian Markham Dean and President

Mr. James R. Lowe, Jr. (2013) The Rev. Dr. Andrew J. MacBeth (2012) Mr. M. Lee Marston (2009) Mrs. Sissy Poland (2012) The Rt. Rev. F. Neff Powell The Rev. Canon Saundra D. Richardson (2011) The Rev. Dr. Allen F. Robinson (2010) The Rt. Rev. James J. “Bud” Shand The Rev. Dr. William R. Shiflet, Jr. (2013) The Rt. Rev. Eugene T. Sutton The Rev. Janet E. Tarbox (2009) Dr. William G. Thomas III (2010) The Rev. Christine R. Whittaker (2013) The Rev. J. Douglas Wigner, Jr. (2009)

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS The Rev. Thomas A. “Lonnie” Lacy II The Rev. Robin K. Gulick

FACULTY REPRESENTATIVES Dr. Mitzi J. Budde The Rev. Dr. A. Katherine Grieb

STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE Mr. Charles L. Fischer III (‘09), Student Body President


Barbara Harris to Present Commencement Address

Morehouse Publishing Picks Prayers of Two from VTS for Book on Women’s Prayer Morehouse Publishing has accepted the prayers written by Jenny O’Rourke (VTS Welcome Center, pictured left) and Sandra Seaborn (VTS ’09) for a new book, LiftingWomen’s Voices: Prayers to Change the World, due out in May. This stunning collection of prayers from women throughout the Anglican Communion is organized according to themes of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals. Members of the editorial board include Jane Williams, Phoebe Griswold, plus women from Asia, South America, and the Middle East.

Lamentations and Obadiah Added to VTS’ Bible Briefs Collection VTS has added the books of Lamentations and Obadiah to its online Bible Briefs collection, a series of readable pamphlets introducing the books of Scripture. Offered in collaboration with Forward Movement, Bible Briefs is a longterm project that aims to produce texts to all 66 books of the Bible. Lamentations is written by the Rev. Dr. Christian M.M. Brady, dean of the Schreyer Honors College at the Pennsylvania State University; Obadiah is written by Dr. Jim West, adjunct professor of Biblical Studies at the Quartz Hill School of Theology in Petros, Tennessee.

The Class of 2009 announces with joy that Bishop Barbara Harris will give the Commencement Address on May 21, 2009. When she was consecrated as bishop in 1988, Barbara Harris became the first African American woman to be ordained bishop in the Anglican Communion. Harris previously served as Bishop Suffragan in the Diocese of Massachusetts before retiring in 2002, and she served as an Assisting Bishop in the Diocese of Washington following retirement. (Photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, with permission.)

On the Holy Hill Students Complete Learning Course at Local Homeless Shelter The Carpenter’s Shelter for the homeless in Alexandria partnered with VTS recently to provide a service learning course for students. For two weeks, Blake Woods (‘11), James Livington (‘11), Linda Lanam (MTS), and Lois Cecsarini (PT special student) cleaned, assembled mailings, manned the front desk, helped administratively, and played with the children. In their most recent newsletter, The Cornerstone, the Shelter wrote, “We are so grateful for [the student’s] service and to the Seminary for prioritizing community service in their curriculum.”

Symposium on Mission Will Honor Rich Jones On May 8, 2009 a Symposium on Mission that will honor the Rev. Richard J. Jones, professor of Mission and World Religion, will be held at the Seminary. Stay tuned for more details in the April alumni eNews.

Professor Rich Jones.

Weight Watchers a Hit! The Seminary’s Weight Watchers “At Work” program is going very well! Members of the group--which include faculty, staff and students-have already seen the results from their efforts. Weight Watcher’s is one of the ways in which the Seminary is helping the community to get/stay in shape and increase energy levels.

News From the Hill


Spring 2009



CACS: Supporting Women in Theological Education The common thread among the women was the intense commitment to theological education. When the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams addressed the group, he said that “theology is owning the Christian story as [one’s own] story.” It is not a luxury for the Church, it is an essential.

The Rev. Dr. Judith McDaniel and Ms. Leslie Steffensen of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies represented VTS at the first “Anglican Women in Theological Education Network” conference this past February in Canterbury, England. Forty-five women from all over the world were invited to participate in this committee developed by the office of Theological Education in the Anglican Communion (TEAC.)

Yet, the call for women to fully live into their life in Christ is currently not being heard in most parts of the Anglican Communion. In some regions, women do hold leadership roles in secular offices and in other protestant churches, but are not valued in the Anglican Church. The Gospel that is supposed to transform society and culture is used to limit and marginalize. During the conference, each participant was asked to make a ten-minute presentation about their context and experiences as a woman involved with theological education. The presentations were heartbreaking and inspiring. Women around the world face many obstacles just making it from one day to the next. They risk everything to follow their call to teach, build the Church, and to minister in cultures that demand submissiveness from women. This

new network is essential for them: they must know that their efforts are valued and that they are loved and prayed for by a larger community. The participants were charged with coming up with some central issues and a plan for addressing them. The groups focused this year’s work on:

• Raising and publicizing the underrepresentation of African, Asian, Latin American, and Oceanian Anglican women as leaders in theological education roles.

• Affirming and supporting women currently in theological education by providing a networking opportunity for sharing concerns and interests.

• Gathering together women with theological leadership potential for mentoring.

• Working together as a group as an ongoing resource for the Anglican Communion.

• Launching an informal network of institutions/colleges which are committed to the development of women theological educators. Please contact Leslie Steffensen at if you would like to learn more about Anglican women in theological education. Pictured upper left corner: The Archbishop of Canterbury with Leslie Steffensen, administrative coordinator for the Center for Anglican Communion Studies.

Liberian Episcopal Clergy in the USA


n organization dedicated to coordinating support for the Church in Liberia met on the VTS campus April 17-19 to celebrate their fourth annual gathering. The members of LECUSA are expatriate clergy, many of whom fled their homeland during the Liberian civil wars (1989-2003.)


News From the Hill


VTS has a long history with Liberia. The Liberian Episcopal Church was founded by VTS graduates. The Rt. Rev. John Payne, for whom our library was named, was the first bishop of the Liberian church in 1851. It will be a great honor to receive these guests in our midst.

Spring 2009


Doctor of Ministry:

Innovative Leadership for the future of the Church by the Rev. Dr. David Gortner


he Doctor of Ministry programs at Virginia Seminary are unlike any other in the United States. Over the years, VTS has created a unique environment for mutual learning, deeply integrated reflection on ministry and leadership, and the testing and application of concepts and skills in the contexts of ministry. We seek to foster habits of wise action and reflection through an integrated three-pronged focus: - Actual lived experiences, events, and concerns in our various contexts of ministry - Best insights and practices from organizational, developmental, educational, and behavioral sciences - Biblical, theological, and ethical reflection on our actions, purposes, and desired ends. The power of this deep reflection – a practice in leadership development

Getting a Getting a DMIN DMIN

used across many fields including business, non-profit leadership, nursing, education, and collegiate service-learning – is that it changes people’s practices of ministry and leadership. You enter situations differently. You have more frameworks and insights from which to

At the heart of the DMIN programs is the case study method.

At the heart of the VTS DMIN programs is the case study method. Our students bring situations that have taken them to the borders of their own competency and understanding, and present them to their peers and faculty leaders. In caring, honest, and direct conversation, we bring the situation into conversation with our collective wisdom and the insights we can draw from the organizational and behavioral sciences, education and human development, theology, scripture, and ethics.

draw. You make different choices in interactions and planning. In short, you develop a kind of habitus (a habitual spiritual practice) of leadership. You become clearer, more focused and reflective, more proactive and less reactive, more intentionally instructive, and more consistently devoted to the development of people and the institutions and communities they inhabit.

Our greatest aim at VTS is to provide excellent DMIN programs for the development of wise leaders, which in turn, contribute to the renewal, strengthening, and new awakening of Christian communities nationwide.

VTS understands the demands that occupy your time and energy. Rather than add to your burdens, the DMIN programs are designed to re-energize you and your community of faith by providing some time-out to reflect, review, read, and rest.

your future. Tel: 703. 461.1758 or email

Contact The Rev. Dr. David Gortner, to discuss how a DMIN might fit into

Right: Dr. David Gortner

The DMIN yearly schedule involves: Year 1, Mid-January: two-weeks Year 2, Mid-January: four days Year 3, Summer: three weeks Year 4, Summer: three weeks

News From the Hill


Spring 2009



LOOKING AHEAD: A Seminary for THE 21st CENTURY by the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham

From time to time, organizations need to think afresh about their structure. Over the last eighteen months, the Seminary has changed as a result of my appointment as Dean and President, the adoption of a Strategic Plan, and, of course, the more recent economic challenges. At the heart of VTS is formation in community for 21st century church leaders. The community shapes our lives through “class, chapel, and lunch” with thoughtful attention to the life of the mind and the life of faith. Maintaining formation in community is expensive: it is important that we provide residential accommodation (so the Maintenance department continues) and meals in the Refectory (so we continue to work with Meriwether Godsey, our food service contractor). To make education accessible to students with young children, we provide the Butterfly House with its excellent day care for young children. Although the staff in these departments has been reduced, we have made sure that we have sufficient personnel to deliver a service that provides for the very best residential experience. The work of pastoral care remains a high priority. The Rev. Joseph Constant is the


News From the Hill


Above: Middlers Meredith Holt, Drew Foisie, and Jessica Knowles (seated) on the Sea of Galilee this past January. Photo by Krista DeVaul. Director of Ethnic Ministries and Student Life and will provide comprehensive care to their advisees. The faculty will continue to make themselves available to those who need a listening ear and wise counsel. Given that we believe in “formation in community,” it is appropriate that many members of the community-both lay and ordained-- step forward in the ministry of pastoral care.

Spring 2009

The faculty continues to have responsibility for the academic programs. Under a new Office of Academic Administration and Student Life, a team is emerging that takes care of the students from inquiry to commencement. Under the leadership of two Associate Deans (Dr. Tim Sedgwick and Dr. Amy Dyer), the Directors of Admissions, Ethnic Ministries and Student Life, and Financial Aid team up with the Registrar, the Educational Technology Specialist/ Departmental Staff Officer and a Department Assistant to ensure that the full range of formation and academic issues are effectively integrated and supported. The Institute for Christian Formation and Leadership is home to several major programs, including the new Second Three Years project that supports continuing priestly development for our most recent graduates. In the Institute we make clear that we are committed to lifelong theological education for clergy and lay people of all ages, including an expanded Evening School of Theology. The Directors of the Doctor of Ministry Program and the Center

VIRGINIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY for the Ministry of Teaching will, in the new structure, be joined by the Director of Field Education and the Second Three Years. Under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Roger Ferlo, the Institute can build links across these programs and others, thereby ensuring that quality Institute offerings will foster continuing theological and spiritual growth for all the baptized who minister in our church. Our growing service to the Anglican Communion continues with the Center for Anglican Communion Studies. Bishop Mark Dyer is now serving as Senior Consultant to the Center. The Interreligious Officer, funded by a Luce grant, will help us continue our conversation with others; and the Administrative Coodinator for the Center will support our international students by coordinating this as well as other important programs that continue our engagement with the larger Anglican Church. The willingness of colleagues to be flexible in this time has enabled us to maintain our important programs. The Rev. Dr. Barney Hawkins serves not only as the Associate Dean for the Center for Anglican Communion Studies but also as Vice President for Institutional Advancement, having been recently elected by the Board of Trustees. The team in Institutional Advancement remains responsible for all our development efforts and for our public relations and identity profile. This is a vitally important area for the future. The dramatic drop in our endowment has made us realize that we need the Annual Fund

to be the major income stream to support all our activities. Given the financial difficulties, plans to build an addition to the Welcome Center will be placed on hold. However, we are living into the Welcome Center in its current form. Signs direct guests to this space, where we seek to model the gift and obligation of hospitality, an important flagship theme in the Strategic Plan. As a result, the Hospitality Team will be under the supervision of the Dean’s Office, where Katie Lasseron will oversee this department including the details around guest housing. Another area of change is in Information Technology. Educational technologies are increasingly complicated. Currently, the Seminary has a range of external contracts to support the different IT elements of the school. Over the next few months, we will finalize an external set of consultants to provide comprehensive support for this important area. Every part of the Seminary has felt the restructuring. So, the leadership team, or the Dean’s Cabinet, is now smaller. Just as Barney Hawkins now oversees two areas, Amy Dyer is also overseeing two areas in the newly formed Office of Academic Administration and Student Life. So from a high of seven, we are reduced to a team of five. One cannot reduce the size of a leadership team without running some risks. So underpinning each member of the leadership team will be a staff officer. This is an ‘operations’ person – a person who ensures that the vision or program is realized. With Katie Lasseron, assistant to the Dean, as Chair of this group, they will meet regularly to ensure cross-department

communication, cooperation and effective delivery of the various program commitments. Let me also address my own role in this new structure for the 21st century. As Dean and President, I wear two “hats” and have overall responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the Seminary, along with the Board of Trustees. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who is the Chief Academic Officer of the Seminary, has the responsibility for the leadership of the Faculty. Thus I am freed up to live much more into the presidential role and the challenge of finding and cultivating alternative streams of income for the Seminary. The Seminary has been forced to change. However, it is important not to overstate the degree of change. We are still a community committed to Christ: we are still in the business of ‘formation in community’; we are still seeking to serve a range of constituencies so that congregations may thrive; and we are still changing lives so that they can serve God and the Church effectively.

Pictured from far left clockwise: the Rev. Joseph Constant, director of Ethnic Ministries and Student Life; the Rev. Dr. Roger Ferlo, associate dean and director for the Institute for Christian Formation and Leadership; the Rev. Dr. Barney Hawkins, vice president for Institutional Advancement and the associate dean for the Center for Anglican Communion Studies; Dr. Timothy Sedgwick, associate dean for Academic Affairs; Dr. Amy Dyer, associate dean of Students; and Ms. Heather Zdancewicz, vice president for Administration and Finance.

News From the Hill


Spring 2009



2009 John Hines Preaching Award Goes to VTS Alum Gary Manning

Rev. Gary Manning (VTS ’02), rector T heof Trinity Church in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin was named as the 2009 recipient of Virginia Theological Seminary’s John Hines Preaching Award. The John Hines Preaching Award is given annually by Virginia Seminary to the outstanding preaching entry “where prophetic voice is central within the sermon.” Named in honor of the former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, John Hines (VTS ’33), the award celebrates the ministry of preaching and its importance in our Church by recognizing outstanding sermons that are deeply grounded in scripture and focused on the seen and unseen needs of the worshipping community, the nation and the world.

Left: The Rt. Rev. John Hines

Preaching on the 6th chapter of Romans, Manning focuses his remarks on sin’s power at work in the world and on God’s grace which frees humankind from sin’s stronghold and enables us to pursue God’s mission. “Grace breaks the shackles of sin and secures us in the shackles of God’s righteousness,” says Manning, “and in bondage to God, we are engaged in the mission of God in the world.” Continues Manning, “God’s grace is not a grace that merely assuages our guilt or enables us to feel better about ourselves. It is a grace that pursues us with God’s love, a grace that parts the flood-waters of sin and opens for us the way that leads to a new way of being – the way of God’s life… and God’s mission begins now! God’s mission is here!” Manning’s awardwinning sermon can be found at on the VTS Web site at Prior to his arrival at Trinity Church Wauwatosa in 2004, Manning served as Associate to the Rector at Christ and St. Luke’s Church in Norfolk, Virginia. Manning received his M.Div. degree (cum laude) from Virginia Theological Seminary in May, 2002. For the past three years, he has been a trainer for the Church Development Institute (CDI) in the Diocese of Milwaukee. He recently completed additional training through the Institute for Personal Empowerment Coaching and frequently serves as a consultant to parishes, working with clergy and vestries to foster synergistic relationships and clarify congregational mission strategies. VTS invites all preachers – bishops, priests, deacons and laity of the Episcopal Church in America – to submit sermons for the John Hines Preaching Award. The deadline for submission is December 15. Visit the Seminary’s Web site for more information.


News From the Hill


Spring 2009

From left to right: The Very Rev. Ian Lewis, Mrs. Octavia Wood Cooper

Dean’s Cro

15, 2009 the very firs O ninFebruary Church and Society award was

Cooper, a lifelong servant leader in ch Canon Harold T. Lewis, Ph.D., D.D., Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Established in November 2008, the outstanding leaders who embody th justice and peace among all people human being.” Selected annually b consultation with the Chair of the B handmade silver cross, modeled aft and a certificate.

Cooper, was recognized for her tire theological education through The Knowledge (SPCK) which provides seminaries in the Anglican Commu the Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper, recto New York City, recognized early on education and the attendant desper worldwide.

Dr. Lewis was honored for his Gos to the genius of Anglicanism with and openness. Author of A Church Crucible for Anglicanism in a New C South African Church from its role to the present day.

Markham, the Rev. Canon Harold T. r, and the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee.

oss Award

st Dean’ s Cross for Servant Leadership s given to Mrs. Octavia “Tay” Wood hurch and society, and to the Rev. D.C.L, rector of Calvary Episcopal

Dean’s Cross award recognizes heir baptismal vows to “strive for and respect the dignity of every y the Seminary Dean in Board, the Honorees receive a ter the Seminary Chapel cross,

eless and critical work promoting Society for Promoting Christian s books and other resources to union. Cooper, whose husband is r of Trinity Church Wall Street in n the importance of theological rate needs in Anglican Seminaries

spel values and powerful witness its respect for learning, tolerance, for the Future: South Africa as the entury, Lewis tells the story of the e in the first Lambeth conference


Lettie Pate Evans Award Goes to South Carolina Doctor irginia Seminary has awarded the V 2009 Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans (LPWE) Award to Dr. Harold G. Morse, a South Carolina physician and active member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. The award is given each year by the Seminary to honor an Episcopal layperson who, over a significant period of time, has given leadership and unique witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ within his or her congregation, community, diocese and in the world. Dr. Morse, who was nominated by his rector, the Rev. John S. Nieman, was selected by the LPWE Committee because of his lifelong dedication to providing medical care to the underprivileged, locally, nationally, and internationally. Early in his career, Morse led the effort to establish the Anderson Free Clinic which, after 25 years, continues to serve thousands of underprivileged patients. Later, Morse established the Clemson Free Clinic, which provides free essential healthcare services to the indigent and uninsured of Anderson and Pickens Counties. Both clinics continue to be led by Dr. Morse and are run with a staff of dedicated volunteer doctors, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists.

including water security and long-term development issues. Morse has been instrumental in helping Cange and other communities in Haiti improve sanitation, farming, and in starting income-producing manufacturing plants, a school, an Episcopal Church, and other projects. Is there someone in your community who should be nominated for the Lettie Pate Evans Award? Candidates for the award must be active laypersons in an Episcopal congregation and must live in Alabama, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia or West Virginia. Nominees for the 2010 award must be submitted by December 15, 2009. Application forms can be found at or by calling calling 703-461-1736.

For more than 20 years Dr. Morse has also led a broad project to improve the lives of residents of the small Haitian village of Cange by helping to fund and build a health clinic. Now, Cange has a full-service hospital, whose services include primary care, women’s health, surgery, dentistry, ophthalmology, and a treatment center for HIV and TB. After helping to train Haitian medical personnel to run the hospital, Morse focused on broader community efforts

Right: Dr. Morse was instumental in creating a school for the children in Cange, Haiti.

News From the Hill


Spring 2009



Director’s Note I have traveled throughout the United States and even to England last summer in an effort to enhance these connections. Class Stewards are also a tremendous resource in encouraging connections between classmates and the Seminary. Blake Rider (’04) and Lauren Kuratko (’05) now serve as co-chairs of the Class Stewards. One of my goals has been to recruit at least one alumnus to represent every Seminary class. Now, every class from 1959 through 2008 has a Class Steward. I hope you will frequently be hearing from your steward throughout the year.

Since October of 2006, I have encouraged our wonderful alumni to keep connected with each other and with our beloved Seminary.

on May 21. Please pray for all of them as they begin their ministries.

By now, you should have received a ballot to elect four alumni to represent you on the Alumni Alumnae Executive Committee (AAEC.) Please prayerfully consider who should represent our constituency and return your ballots as soon as possible. Your AAEC is currently blessed with the capable leadership of Lonnie Lacey (’06), AAEC president, Neal Goldsborough (’81), vice president, and Ted Edwards (’77), secretary.

Thank you for the honor of representing you as Director of Alumni Affairs and Church Relations. On May 1, I will begin a new ministry as Interim Rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Wilkesboro, North Carolina in the Diocese of Western North Carolina. I look forward to staying connected with all of the alumni I have met, and look forward to seeing you again on the “Holy Hill.”

Next month, we will welcome the newest group of alumni, the Class of 2009. This is an incredibly dynamic group of future leaders in the Church, who will be serving around the globe after Commencement

Faithfully, Pam Webb +

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: The Rev. Anne O. Weatherholt ccording to some national studies, one of every four persons in our pews has been abused or will be abused while in a relationship with an intimate partner. Last year, more women died at the hands of their abusers than were killed in the war in Iraq. Yet, many clergy assume that everyone in their church is, generally speaking, not a victim of abuse. We couldn’t be more wrong.



News From the Hill

Myths abound about domestic abuse, and although most clergy are aware that abuse is much more than physical, we often discount the spiritual and social toll, as well as the historical complicity of the church. Anne Weatherholt (VTS ‘78) has released her book, Breaking the Silence: The Church Responds to Domestic Violence (Morehouse, 2008), a guide for clergy and church leaders to help them teach the cycle of abuse, uncover the myths and provide a host of resources for their members that can easily be adapted for use in any ministry setting. A Bible study is included,


Spring 2009

providing four scriptures to ground the subject in our holy history, as well as teach a method-odology that may help prevent the misuse of scripture. Sections on how to assist victims and how to teach youth to recognize abusive behaviors may be used in Christian formation. The final chapter includes a list of suggestions that can be used immediately to break the silence and address this topic in worship and action. The Episcopal Church has been addressing the issue of domestic abuse in their convention legislation for over 30 years. At the last General Convention, a resolution that would bring

training for clergy on this issue was put “on hold” due to other issues facing the Anglican Communion. Due to come back to the floor this summer, the new resolution strengthens the existing resolutions that are noted in the book. This short, concise book presents a message of hope: the church can act to save and change lives!

OFFICE OF INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT of the world than our own, then VTS is blessed with a number of leaders. I have always been moved by the deep loyalty to this institution that I have seen in our faculty and staff. Such loyalty has not been absent from those most obviously impacted by the required restructuring. This critical time has shown me that leadership is present at every level of the Seminary’s life. What is it that brings out the best in people in a time of crisis?

Learning in a Time of Crisis The Rev. Dr. J. Barney Hawkins IV


he Rev. Jim Wallis spoke recently at the Washington National Cathedral about the present economic crisis. This public theologian and advisor to President Obama said “a crisis is a horrible thing to waste.” Wallis said many people are saying: “When will we get back to business as usual?’ Of course, he quickly noted that it was business as usual that got us where we are today! He opined that many people are saying: “When will we get through this crisis?” He said the right question for Christians is: “How will we be changed by this crisis?” Finding an answer for such a theological and right question is not at all easy. As of late, I have been very aware that the crisis precipitated by the fall in our endowment is a “horrible thing to waste.” How VTS will be changed by this crisis is a question we should be asking. We may not have the answers now but the question must be asked. For me, the more important question to ask is: How will our students be changed by this crisis at VTS? There are those who would like to move on. There are others who recognize that the grief caused by layoffs and retirements is a stage to live in not to move through. Some are not ready to put aside anger, resentment and hurt. Others see this as a time of Seminary transition which is more about restructuring and “systems” than about people and feelings. While I am painfully aware of the human face of this crisis at VTS, I want very much for our students to take note of the “habit of priesthood” and the mantle of leadership required in such a time of difficult decision-

making and its costly consequences. Our students, in the midst of formation for leadership, could easily get bogged down in all the details of the decisions made by the Board and the Dean. They could easily--and rightly--focus on the exacting human dimension of this time. But our students must also not miss the way Dean Markham and countless others have led in this extraordinary time. As Dean and President, Ian Markham has stood between the Board of Trustees and the Seminary Community and has listened patiently to every voice. The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, in consultation with the Dean, came up with a way forward, what they believed to be the best solution possible. Their mutual discernment involved a careful reading of the data at hand; a consideration of options open to them; and much prayerful conversation with each other and God. The Dean and his counsel realized that courageous leadership was indicated—mindful of the tension between judging too quickly and deciding too late. How does a leader decide what is best?

No student presently at Virginia Seminary will escape the jagged emotions and sharp conflict that accompany a crisis in the Church. For now, I encourage our students to look at the way in which Dean Markham has worn his priesthood in a difficult season and the way in which he has led when there was no easy path to take. I encourage them to see the mantle of leadership worn graciously by those who have been most affected by this crisis, the lay and ordained leaders in our midst. Clearly, leadership is not about position; rather, it is about character and those virtues on which every community depends: humility, courage and tolerance. Reading a book is not the best way to learn the art of leadership. The best way is to see it practiced, flaws and all. To witness the leadership of women and men practiced with thoughtful reflection and deep faith is inspiring, if not transformative. Some leaders we know by name. Others we know only by their actions.

“No student at Virginia Seminary will escape the jagged emotions and sharp conflict that accompany a crisis in the Church. ”

I encourage our students to acknowledge the mantle of leadership worn by those who have lost their jobs and those who will be retiring. If leadership is about living without easy answers; if it is about making difficult decisions; if it is about a generous spirit with a larger view

The present economic crisis has presented Virginia Seminary a challenge which must be met in the days ahead. We must learn from this moment, this difficult road before us, this time of the Spirit moving in our midst.

News From the Hill


Spring 2009


Virginia Theological Seminary 3737 Seminary Road Alexandria, VA 22304

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he Summer Collegium, a Lilly Endowment project in support of small congregations, has accepted its fourth class of participants. Twenty-seven clergy, two of whom are clergy couples, and their spouses will gather from all over the U.S. and Canada at the end of June for nine days on the campus of Virginia Seminary. This year’s theme is Body, Mind, and Soul: Celebrating, Strengthening and Sustaining Clergy Wholeness in Small Congregations, and will feature workshops on spiritual, vocational, financial and physical wholeness and healthy ways of dealing with conflict. We are partnering with


News From the Hill


Spring 2009

CREDO, an Episcopal Church program of wellness sponsored through the Clergy Pension Fund, for the vocational wholeness workshop. In addition, participants will be treated to live theater in Washington, D.C., and a variety of other activities designed to build up clergy for continued ministry in small churches. The Small Church Religious Arts Festival, held each summer as part of the Collegium, and open to the public, will take place on Saturday, June 7. The generosity of the Lilly grant enables us to offer the Summer Collegium at no cost to participants. For more information or to be added to our mailing list, contact Marilyn Johns, Project Manager, at, call 703-461-1760, or visit our website,

Virginia Theological Seminary Newsletter, Spring 2009  

Newsletter for the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia.