Is the Faculty of VTS getting smaller?

Date: March 27, 2023

Dean’s Table was lively last week. And as always there were some important and thoughtful questions and issues raised. One of them was the size of the Faculty: surely, the perception goes the Faculty is getting smaller?

If you ask Senior Vice President Ballou, then she will tell you that actually there is a slight increase in Faculty related salary lines. We hover around twenty-six. This includes the Rev. Rachelle Sam (our Associate Dean), our visiting professor and director of research, Dr. John Knight, our visiting professor and faculty emerita, the Rev. Kate Sonderegger, and our newest addition with the Rev. Dr. Rode Molla (our Berryman professor in Children’s spirituality). So, we are not actually getting smaller in size.

However, it is true that we have not rushed to fill some positions. We did try to do a search for a professor of ethics, which was finally suspended. We could suspend the search partly because it remains true that we two Faculty members and one Visiting Professor with a competency in Ethics – the Rev. Dr. Ross Kane, Dr. John Knight, and me (even if, another helpful piece of feedback from Dean’s Table, that the occasional class with a video – one of three out of thirteen sessions – was not appreciated). Therefore, subject to Board approval, we are hoping to do two or three Faculty searches in Fall of 2023.

Like many things, the perception is not totally accurate and I would love you, the reader, to gently correct the perception. However, it remains a priority to ensure that we have a high quality Faculty team doing the hard work of formation for the sake of the Gospel.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and President of The General Theological Seminary


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