Date: May 22, 2023
There are many moments when I proud of the VTS community. I am proud of the Faculty publications, the quality of the instruction, the careful worship, and the opportunities to be shaped with additional activities. But, today, I wish to lift the quality of our community in receiving the guest.
I have lost count (quite literally) of the number of visiting academics and clergy people who have said to me, “I have had a delightful stay here; your students really made me welcome.” Time and time again, the students of VTS made a guest welcome. They went up and said hello. They sat with them. They offered to drive them into DC or even down the Skyline Drive. Our guests were literally amazed.
This is an important skill to learn. In an Episcopal Church with an ASA of 150 or more, there will be two guests on typical Sunday trying that congregation out. Welcome is the most significant factor in the decision of that guest to return. Learning the skill to welcome is priceless.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and the President of The General Theological Seminary