The Butterfly House: Community in Formation

Date: June 8, 2021

The work of formation at Virginia Theological Seminary takes place in community. For some families, that community includes The Butterfly House. For families of preschool children, before there is “class, chapel, lunch,” there is The Butterfly House. For over thirty years, Seminary families have had the convenience of quality child care for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, right on our campus. The Butterfly House uses a variety of different learning theories to offer infants and children a “child-centered, play-based curriculum.” Located near the edge of campus, the children of The Butterfly House are often seen taking walks, participating in Godly Play, or visiting with a parent during lunch. 

The Butterfly House has a special place in my heart. When we moved here, our son had just turned 3. We did not have many friends in the area. The Butterfly House provided a ready-made community of friends and family for ours. Before we knew it, our son had invitations to birthday parties and playdates, and more importantly, he began to form lasting friendships. It was at The Butterfly House that he was exposed to Godly Play. On the mornings I dropped my son off into the capable hands and hearts of the teaching team under the direction of Mary Kate Holland/Davis, I knew he was going to have a good day with his friends. Years later, most of the teachers’ names have changed, but the spirit is the same. Now under the direction of Juanita Sanchez, The Butterfly House has reorganized into two groupsThe Butterfly House and The Caterpillar Cluband has a beautifully landscaped outdoor play area. It is still a place where children are provided the opportunity for engaged learning and opportunities for friendship. Some of our students and faculty are able to devote their attention to their work during the day because of the exceptional care and support received from The Butterfly House, a vital and formative community at VTS. 

The Rev. Judy Fentress-Williams, Ph.D.
Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Old Testament

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