Bicentennial Events

VIRGINIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

BICENTENARY EVENTS

This is the season for VTS to pause, as we examine our complicated journey so far. There is an exciting and evocative series of events throughout the next year that will help us commemorate the complete story of the past. Our journey as a seminary has been both flawed and faithful.

The past is always present. Our goal is a complete history—one that is full and textured.

Worship Events

200th Sermon by the Rev. Mark Jefferson, Ph.D.

Jerusalem

June 2022

On Sunday, October 21, 2018, at Macedonia AME Church in Accomack, Virginia, the Rev. Mark Jefferson, Ph.D., assistant professor of homiletics, began a series of 200 sermons in honor of our Bicentenary. In the culmination of this journey across the United States and around the world, the 200th sermon was preached in Jerusalem this past summer.

200 Sermons

The Rev. Dr. William Roberts Mass

October 27, 2022

The Rev. Dr. William Roberts has been commissioned to write a mass setting. Building on Appalachian folk tunes, this recognizes our roots in Virginia and the music which was present in the early nineteenth century.

Awarding of the Dean’s Cross

Jon Meacham

December 11, 2022

Jon Ellis Meacham is an American writer, commentator, reviewer, historian and presidential biographer. He currently serves as the Canon Historian of the Washington National Cathedral. His many bestsellers include books which lead him to the Dean’s Cross, such as The Hope of Glory, The Soul of America and American Gospel.

The Anniversary of the Merger between VTS and the Bishop Payne Divinity School

Summer 2023

It has been 70 years since the Seminary’s merger with the Bishop Payne Divinity School. This historic connection is celebration in this occasion.

Lectures and Presentations

Malcolm Guite Poetry

March 21-23, 2022

Malcolm Guite is an English poet, Anglican priest, and academic. Until recently, he served at Cambridge University. This modern-day George Herbert is writing five “Virginia Sonnets” to mark our Bicentenary.

“Marking the Moment” at General Convention

Center Club, Baltimore, MD

July 7, 2022

We invite the national Church to be part of this moment.

“Marking the Moment” at Lambeth

London, UK

July 27 – 31, 2022

We invite the Anglican Communion to be part of this moment.

Terry Lynn visits VTS

Scott Lounge

October 3, 2022

Terry Lynn is an African American artist who lives and paints in Memphis. His stunning painting of a river baptism graces our Scott Lounge. Please meet Terry Lynn during this reception.

Malcolm Guite Sonnets

Convocation 2022

October 12, 2022

Malcolm Guite is an English poet, Anglican priest, and academic. Until recently, he served at Cambridge University. This modern-day George Herbert is writing five “Virginia Sonnets” to mark our Bicentenary, which he will present during the 2022 Convocation lectures, which will begin our Bicentenary Year.

Dust—World Premiere

October 13-16, 2022

The drama of two hundred years at VTS is captured in this play written by Non-Vaughan O’Hagan. Starting with the celebration of the centenary, the play moves both back and forward in time to bring the past to life in all its richness. Buy ticket now!  vts.edu/dust

Immanuel Chapel Concert Series

Organized by Marty Wheeler Burnett, D.Min.

March 31, 2022, Concert – New York Polyphony

November 10, 2022, Recital – Janet Yieh, organ

March 3, 2023, Concert – The Thirteen | Matthew Robertson, Artistic Director

More information: www.vts.edu/concerts.

Jon Meacham Lectures

December 11, 2022

In these lectures, Jon Meacham will focus on God’s Providence. His public life of service is enriched by his deep and abiding faith.

Women at VTS—a Day-Long Conference

March 2-3, 2023

In 1966, Phyllis Ingram became the first woman to complete all of her divinity degree work at VTS (cum laude). Ordination to the priesthood and episcopate was officially opened to women in 1976. In 1983 the Very Rev. Martha J. Horne ’83, graduated from VTS. In 1994 she became the Seminary’s thirteenth Dean & President. This day-long conference will reflect on the long road to ordination for women in our Church.

Reparations Event

with Rev. Joseph Thompson, Ph.D. and Ms. Ebonee Davis

The complete story of our past is being told in this Historic Bicentenary. In this event, we meet some of the descendants of persons who worked on the campus during the antebellum and Jim Crow periods.

C. S. Lewis and Anglicanism—a Day-Long Conference

led by the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.

A gathering of scholars reflects on the Lewis approach and how that may be part of the Seminary’s identity into the future – a generous, committed, dialogical Anglicanism that is faithful to the Gospel and yet ready to engage with the challenges of our age.

The Black Story at VTS

Organized by the Rev. Joseph Thompson, Ph.D.

An opportunity to gather and reflect on the journey of the African American presence on the campus from our founding to the present day.

Leo Twiggs Painting

Symposium

Leo Franklin Twiggs is an American painter who developed the Fine Art Department at South Carolina State University where he taught from 1973 to 1998. At age 88, this Painter-Prophet offers provocative works of art which can “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.”

Mark Oakley visit, Poetry and Preaching

Mark David Oakley is a gifted poet, an Anglican priest, and Dean of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and a former residentiary of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. His 2016 widely acclaimed book, The Splash of Words: Believing in Poetry (Canterbury Press), won the Michael Ramsey Prize for global theological writing in 2019.

CACS Book Launch

For the first time, Virginia Theological Seminary and the office of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies has commissioned a history of the story of VTS in the Anglican Communion. Written by William Sachs and Wanjiru Gitau, Becoming Cosmopolitan: VTS and the Unfolding of American Mission documents a complex and important story.

Employee Appreciation Day 2023

We acknowledge our debt to all those who have worked at VTS — the staff who have stayed long after the students have graduated.

Faculty Dinner – emeriti and present

with a list of all full-time VTS Faculty since 1823 and a Dinner to honor all Adjunct Faculty through the years VTS,

We acknowledge our debt to all those who have taught at VTS — the teachers who did the hard work of formation.

October 13-14, 2023 | The 200-year milestone is reached!

The culmination of our Historic Bicentenary year will be on October 13 and 14. Save the dates! From Friday into Saturday, the Seminary will remember and mark this moment with profound gratitude.

There will be a concert, an updated discussion about reparations, a special invitation “black tie” gala dinner, family games across The Holy Hill, a morning Eucharist with  the 27th and current presiding bishop and primate of The Episcopal Church, The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, and a luncheon.

More information will be shared the closer we get!

Place

Dedication of St. Martin’s Deanery

Sunday, October 9, 2022

The Deanery is now ready to be a space for both entertaining and for a family to inhabit. This important project will be opened and offered to the glory of God.

Dedication of the Welcome Center

The Home of the St. Nicholas Exhibit and
the Phillips Brooks Crèche Collection

The Seminary recognizes the centrality of the incarnation in our Welcome Center. Through an imaginative exhibit, we honor both the Holy Family, alongside St. Nicholas with his historic commitment to justice and inclusion.

Pilgrimages

In the November 2021 Strategic Plan, the Board of Trustees determined the importance of travel to places of significance. As part of “Marking this Moment,” opportunities to journey with VTS are being made available.

Gothic France

May 13-23, 2022

Grace & Gardens in England

September 8-20, 2022

Pilgrimages to the Holy Land

October 15-26, 2022
October 27-November 7, 2022

Advent in Salzburg

November 27–December 2, 2022

Epiphany Pilgrimages to the Holy Land

January 7-18, 2023
January 19-30, 2023

The Early Church: Biblical Sites in Turkey

March 13-19, 2023
March 18-April 1, 2023

“Marking the Moment” Events in the larger Church

We will be holding approximately two dozen “Marking the Moment” events in 2022-2023. These off-campus events will provide opportunities for the Dean & President and others to express deep gratitude to our alums and friends. The story of VTS will always include the worldwide ministry of our alums. We know that everyone will not be able to be present for Bicentennial events on campus. So these “Marking the Moment” events will take the Seminary to every region of our nation, to England, and elsewhere. Dates are tentative and may change.

Roanoke, Virginia
Monday, February 28, 2022,
5:00-7:00 p.m.

Easton, Maryland
March 10, 2022, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Charlotte, North Carolina
June 6, 2022, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Charleston, West Virginia
June 29, 2022, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Baltimore, Maryland
July 6, 2022, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Winston/Salem, North Carolina
September 28, 2022, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Richmond, Virginia
October 6, 2022, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Charleston, South Carolina
November 17, 2022, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

Houston, Texas

New York, New York

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Birmingham Alabama

Atlanta, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

Phoenix, Arizona

Lincoln, Nebraska

Los Angeles, California

San Francisco, California

Santa Fe, New Mexico