Summer 2023 Anglican Commentary

Welcoming New International Students to VTS

One of the most important ways that Virginia Theological Seminary and the Center for Anglican Communion Studies demonstrates our commitment to participating in and learning from the Anglican Communion is our welcome of international students to Alexandria. International students come from many of the various autonomous and interdependent churches of our Communion and of our ecumenical partners, and their presence immeasurably enriches the central elements of campus life. 

At chapel they bring their church’s liturgies, music, and language; in class they bring their particular contexts to bear on the catholicity of Christian witness; at lunch they bring a tangible reminder of the fellowship that exists beyond the geographic and cultural boundaries of the United States. I count the friendships I share with international students in my class to be one of the most treasured gifts that seminary life has given me, and I know I am not alone! 

VTS and CACS welcomes four international students this year to the Seminary. They are from across the Anglican Communion; they are lay and ordained ministers and leaders; they have worked for dioceses, parishes, ecumenical organizations, and non-profits. In sum, they are an impressive bunch! 

 Christian Bempah Owusu is from the Anglican Diocese of Asante Mampong in Ghana where he has served in various roles, including Head Seminarian at St. Nicholas Seminary, Cape Coast and Curate at Augustine Anglican Church in Bonkrong-Ashanti. 

Javanie Byfield is from Clarendon, Jamaica and comes to us from the University of the West Indies with a degree in Ministerial Studies. He recently served as the Director of Education for the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. 

Osumba Beatrice Atieno is from Sega, Kenya, and the Diocese of Maseno West. She has a background in social work with youth and orphans and skills in community mobilization and management. 

Nonhlanhla Guglethu Precious Shezi is from KwaZulu Natal in South Africa and has a background in communications leadership in both the private and non-profit sectors.  She has served in leadership roles in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and in Kairos Southern Africa. 

Please join us in welcoming these students to Virginia! 

Maxine King ’24, CACS Student Assistant

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