A Journey with VTS

Date: June 15, 2023


As I look back at my time at VTS, I feel grateful for my experience as a seminarian. Now, as an alum, I am grateful to be on the AAEC. It has been quite a journey from postulant to alum.

After being made a postulant, I was concerned about finding a seminary that would accept me with two small children. And when I spoke to friends, they too were concerned about where I should go to receive my theological study. They were concerned about my financial need and as a foreigner who spoke several different languages, but not a high level of English.

Some of the questions that came up were: how could I respond financially to the cost of my career? In what language would I study: Do the seminaries offer programs in French or Spanish…?  All these questions remained unclear for me and my friends who were helping me discern. At a certain point I became very discouraged. Further, my concerns were not just the above, but also to find a seminary that could prepare me to face the challenges of this world, minister in difficult circumstances, and discover God in all.

At the end of the journey, I visited VTS, and laid down all my concerns and needs, and the Seminary welcomed me. VTS welcomed me with my strengths and my weaknesses, and created a community around me to transform my weaknesses into strengths, equipped me as a priest in the Episcopal Church, and sent me out into the world with the tools and qualifications of ministry to the whole church, according to the needs of the community. I thank you VTS, the faculty, staff, and all who supported me in this journey. May my experience help all postulants and seminarians who have the same concerns as I had. And may your journey be as blessed and rewarding as mine has been.


The Rev. Jean Beniste ‘14
AAEC Member 
Rector, Christ Episcopal Church, Waukegan, IL

Back to all