Date: January 6, 2023
This is the commentary made up of two confessions. First, I confess that I am not a fan of the General Ordination Examinations. The ordeal of sitting for six papers over the course of three days cannot be a condition for effective congregational leadership and a good vehicle for judging healthy formation. My preference would be that a group from the House of Bishops come to the Seminary from time to time and then reflect with us on whether our curriculum is teaching the canonical areas; and if so, then treat the transcript as evidence that the canonical areas are met.
However, we live with the system that is. So, the second confession: I confess, although I passed (and I was under a system where the grades went from 1-5 and 3 was passing), I did not do well. I have prayed for our GOE students. And as the examinations come to an end, I pray that you all will have the gift of a relaxing evening, where you celebrate that you have the endurance to have got through all this. I am proud of you. Rest tonight.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and President of General Theological Seminary