Date: February 16, 2023
It was an interesting moment. I was in a conversation with a key person in the GTS orbit (to protect her identity I am not revealing her name) and she said, “could I please ask a sensitive question?” “Always”, I replied. “So, according to a Bishop of the Episcopal Church, VTS has already sold the campus for $70 million. Is that true?”
It was an interesting question. It was interesting because the rumor had a dollar number, albeit a strange one. Seventy million dollars would be a fire sale. It was also interesting because it is completely untrue. In fact there have been zero conversations about the possibility of the sale. There is no basis in fact for this rumor. The Affiliation agreement prohibits the sale of property for a least a decade, save for an exceptional scenario where over 90% of the Board vote in favor.
Anyway, the Affiliation agreement is built on the premise that we want GTS to thrive in New York. We want the campus to witness to faith in that city. We want the conversation between city and the church. And, there is no question that the attraction of our hybrid MDiv is that the weekly residences are in Chelsea, New York. We attract students because of that promise. So, please everyone, just gently let the rumor mill know: we love the campus in New York and the campus is going to be a vital part of the future of GTS.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and President of General Theological Seminary