The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.

Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary

  • Ph.D. Christian Ethics, University of Exeter
  • M.Litt Philosophy and Ethics, University of Cambridge
  • B.D. Theology, University of London
“The fundamental questions about God and God’s relationship with the world have preoccupied ever since I started thinking. These are the questions that really matter. I love the complexity of the responses to the questions; I marvel at depth of the response within the tradition; and I seek to show how the Christian faith can be compelling, beautiful, and attractive today.”

About the Dean

A respected authority within The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion in systematic theology, social ethics, and religious diversity, Markham is committed to nurturing critical thinking Christian leaders, both lay and ordained, who will serve as God’s witness to the world.

In 2007, Markham was appointed Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary. Before being called to VTS, he served as Dean and Professor of Theology and Ethics at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut and as visiting professor of globalization, ethics, and Islam at Leeds Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom. He also served on the faculty of Liverpool Hope University and the University of Exeter.

When the 1881 Chapel at VTS was lost to fire, the Dean led the capital campaign for the construction of the new Immanuel Chapel, designed by Robert A. M. Stern. During the Bicentennial Campaign, he facilitated $40 million of campus renovation funded by a campaign that is currently at $49 million. And as the Seminary approached its 200th anniversary, Dean Markham led the Board to create a Reparations Fund of $1.7 million in recognition of the work of enslaved persons on the campus. Under the Dean’s tenure, revised scholarship packages have led to increased enrollment, increased selectivity, and growth in the diversity of the student body.

A trained Christian Ethicist and Biblical Scholar, Markham is a prolific author and editor of numerous books, including:

• Against Atheism: Why Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris Are Fundamentally Wrong
• An Introduction to Ministry: A Primer for Renewed Life and Leadership in Mainline Protestant Congregations
• An Introduction to Said Nursi: Life, Thoughts, and Writings
• A World Religions Reader
• Do Morals Matter?
• The New Apologetics: At the Intersection of Secularism, Science, and Spirituality
• Prophetic Preaching: The Hope or the Curse of the Church?
• Reasonable Radical?: Reading the Writings of Martyn Percy
• Understanding Christian Doctrine
• Words That Listen: A Literary Companion to the Lectionary

Markham has received several awards for his scholarship and teaching. He was named Robertson Fellow 2006, Teape Lecturer in India 2004, Claggett Fellow attached to Washington National Cathedral in 2000, and Frank Woods Fellow at Trinity College, Melbourne in 1997.

In addition to his role as Dean and President, Markham has been serving as Priest Associate at St. Paul’s Church in Alexandria since 2007. He is also currently on the board of St. Stephens & St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Virginia.

He is married to Lesley Markham and they have one grown son, Luke.

Markham has received several awards for his scholarship and teaching. He was named:

Robertson Fellow 2006

Teape Lecturer in India 2004

Claggett Fellow attached to Washington National Cathedral in 2000

Frank Woods Fellow at Trinity College, Melbourne in 1997

Dean's Commentary

Dean's Commentary

Honorary Degree Recipients

Honorary Degree Recipients

Dean's Cross Award

Dean's Cross Award