Date: June 1, 2023
It is my deep pleasure to announce that, with the full support of the VTS faculty, the Board of Trustees recently voted the tenure and promotion of Sharon Heaney, Ph.D. to the role of Associate Professor of Theology and Latin American Studies and Director of Academic Writing.
Dr. Heaney began teaching at VTS in 2014 as an Adjunct Professor in the Masters and Doctoral programs, coming from the position of Senior Lecturer in Theology at St. John’s University in Tanzania. After serving as Co-Director of the Writing Center for a year, she became the Director of Academic Writing and Visiting Professor in Hispanic/Latino Theology and Language as well as Instructor in D.Min. Studies in 2017. In 2019 she was appointed as Director of Academic Writing and Assistant Professor of Theology and Latin American Studies.
A major component of this promotion was Dr. Heaney’s recent publication that will come out this fall: Engaging Latino/a Theologies. Building on her earlier book Contextual Theology for Latin America, her new work focusses on unfolding several key terms in Latino/a theology. Acknowledging her own situatedness as an Irish Protestant, Dr. Heaney’s work emerges from the strong relationships that she has built within the field, and her book is an active and enlightening demonstration of dialogue.
Academic publications are only part of the consideration for tenure, and it was a delight to review Dr. Heaney’s service to the VTS community. She is an extraordinary teacher who approaches courses as a venue for conversation with texts, authors, and co-learners in the classroom. As the Director of the Academic Resource Center she has coached students in research practices and writing processes that empower them to find their academic voice. As a key part of the multicultural leadership team, she has helped to grow the expression of different voices in our worship at VTS. She also supports the Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency course now held every second January.
VTS is stronger with Dr. Sharon Heaney as a tenured member of its faculty. Please join me in congratulating her well-deserved promotion.
The Rev. Melody D. Knowles, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer
Associate Professor of Old Testament
Virginia Theological Seminary and General Theological Seminary