Date: August 30, 2022
The Seminarians of Color Union (SOCU) is a vibrant organization that gathers students, staff, and faculty from various races, languages, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds for safe conversations, fellowship, and support. SOCU was founded with the goal of creating a supportive, nurturing, and communal environment wherein all voices are acknowledged, and the diverse cultures and gifts of people of color are celebrated. Moreover, within SOCU and the larger VTS community, SOCU founders also imagined its members being lifted to flourish into God’s call to be fulfilled and fill others in the context of worship, community, and a Church enriched in diversity and representation.
SOCU is most certainly living into its founders’ dreams. SOCU has become and is becoming a vital ministry, a gift from God bestowed not just to people of color within the VTS community, but also to the community at large, given to ensure that people of color can bring everything they are and feel as if VTS also belongs to them as much as it does to everyone.
This year marks Virginia Theological Seminary’s bicentennial anniversary. However, we must also remember that it wasn’t until 1951 that VTS became an integrated institution. On its 200th birthday, VTS can be celebrated as an institution that continues to move forward in equipping a diverse and inclusive Church and towards building beloved community. Welcome back VTS, as we continue this important Kingdom work.
Herschel Wade, Ph.D.