Planned Giving

Legacy Gifts

Ways to Name Virginia Seminary as a Beneficiary

Making unrestricted outright bequest. In making such a gift, you may designate either a specific dollar amount or a percentage of your estate to Virginia Seminary.
Naming the Seminary as a remainder beneficiary. In this case, the Seminary will only receive funds after specific sums have been paid to other designated beneficiaries.
Making a contingent bequest which will provide for the distribution of assets to Virginia Seminary only if one or more of your named beneficiaries does not survive you.

Suggested Language for Including a Bequest to Virginia Seminary in Your Will

For an Unrestricted Bequest:

I give and bequeath to the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Virginia ($__________) or (__________% of the residue of my estate) to be added to the General Endowment Fund of the Seminary.

For a Specified Bequest:

I give and bequeath to the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Virginia ($____________) or (____________% of the residue of my estate), the income to be used only for the following purpose: (state purpose). If, in the future, it is in the opinion of the Dean and President, with the concurrence of the Board of Trustees, that all or part of the income of this fund cannot be usefully applied to such purpose, the Seminary may use the same for any purpose that will most nearly accomplish my wishes.

For a Contingent Bequest:

In the event that any of the beneficiaries named herein (in my will) predeceases me (or predeceases me leaving no heirs), I leave the rest and residue of my estate to the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Virginia, to be added to the General Endowment Fund of the Seminary.

Individuals who inform us that they have made a provision for Virginia Theological Seminary in their will or trust are recognized in The Annual Report for each fiscal year and honored as Members of the Seminary’s 2023 Legacy Society.

We would be pleased to discuss any of these opportunities with you and your counsel. For additional information, please contact Vice President for Institutional Advancement Linda L. Dienno at (703) 461-1717, or by email at .

VTS offers several methods by which you can transfer capital to the Seminary but retain the income from the asset for your lifetime and/or the lifetime of your spouse or another person. Working through the Episcopal Church Foundation, you can fund a Charitable Gift Annuity arrangement, whereby you transfer capital and receive a guaranteed fixed income each year, paid quarterly. For larger gifts, you can establish separate Charitable Trusts which will pay you either an annuity or percentage amount.
The advantages vary according to your circumstance and objectives, but all the plans at Virginia Theological Seminary offer you the following benefits:

  • Annual Income for yourself and/or another beneficiary.
  • Immediate federal income tax deduction.
  • Avoidance of a capital gains tax when giving appreciated property.
  • Investment Diversification.
  • Estate tax savings.

When the last income beneficiary dies, the principal is transferred to the Seminary for a purpose of your choosing.

We would be pleased to discuss any of these giving opportunities with you and your counsel. For additional information, please contact Vice President for Institutional Advancement Linda L. Dienno at 703-461-1717, or by email at .

Congress made permanent the law that allows people age 70½ or older who own an IRA to make cash gifts directly from their IRA to charity. An IRA rollover gift will not be included in your taxable income and will qualify for your required minimum distribution. To make a charitable IRA rollover gift, please contact the company that your individual IRA investments are with and request a distribution from the IRA custodian directly to VTS and ensure no withholding is being taken from the qualified charitable distribution (QCD).

A gift of life insurance can provide a significant year-end charitable deduction. You could purchase a new policy or donate a policy that you currently own but no longer need. To receive a deduction, designate VTS as both the owner and beneficiary of the life insurance policy. Check with your insurance agent for details.

The 2023 Legacy Society

Since our 1823 founding, Virginia Seminary has been blessed with a tradition of generosity. This has enabled VTS to become strong and financially stable, poised and prepared to train lay and ordained leaders for the 21st century Church.

By including VTS in their will or trusts or by having made life income gifts to the Seminary, many alumni and friends have helped ensure our long-term health. Through planned giving, these friends and alumni often make their largest gifts.

Planned giving encompasses a variety of ways that gifts can be made from accumulated resources. It leads to legacy and lets anyone concerned with the wise use of his or her personal resources make a considered choice about their ultimate disposition.

Those who have let VTS know of their estate plans are members of The 2023 Legacy Society, which is co-chaired by Mary Lewis Hix and the Rev. James (Jimmy) M.L. Grace ’05. Their wise counsel and deep conviction around legacy giving are invaluable.

Our Annual Report features a list of The 2023 Legacy Society members and we would be honored to include your name. If you wish to talk about legacy giving or if you would like a forum in your parish on this topic, please contact us at

Message from Co-Chairs

Priorities shift as our life circumstances shift. A recent conversation with a friend who is moving from a large home into a “retirement” condo prompted me to reminisce about the many moves I’ve experienced and the priorities associated with each move. My husband was in the Army for the first 25 years of our marriage, which meant frequent moves from one assignment to the next. I recall the first move of our marriage, when we owned precious little of material worth. I carefully packed the sterling silver flatware received for wedding gifts in a shoebox and carried that box in the car as we traveled cross country. I was not about to trust the silver to the professional movers. As time went on and children arrived, the car was packed with favorite toys and tricycles, so that the children could have their prized possessions no matter where we lived. As the children grew older, photograph albums were the valued possession and so were carefully packed into the car for a move. Priorities continue to shift. Material possessions are less important, and I ponder ways to ensure that my beliefs and values have lasting benefit. Might legacy giving to VTS be a part of your current priorities?

As co-chair for the 2023 Legacy Society, it is probably a bit ironic that I am Rector of a parish (St. Andrew’s, Houston) that does not have a formally established endowment at this time.  Establishing one is part of a necessary growth process for the parish, and we are working to do that.  Part of the impetus for St. Andrew’s to establish an endowment is to provide for and insure the future of the parish through uncertain economic times.

I am grateful for the wisdom of key leaders at Virginia Theological Seminary who had the foresight to do just the same.  I count it as a privilege to name the Seminary in my will as a beneficiary since the Seminary provided a theological foundation that continues to serve me well through nearly fourteen years of ordained ministry.  There are many ways to make a long-lasting gift to the Seminary that will perpetuate its existence well into the future.  Designating the Seminary as a beneficiary in an insurance policy, will, or annuity are three practical ways to consider making a gift to the seminary.  But there are many others.  Linda Dienno or the Rev. Barney Hawkins are available to assist you as you prayerfully consider a possible legacy gift to the Seminary.

The 2023 Legacy Society

If you are not a legacy society member yet, please give prayerful consideration to joining alumni and friends such as VTS alum, the Rev. Jennifer McKenzie, ’04, (Archdeacon of Wigan & West Lancashire in Liverpool, UK) and her husband, Ken, who have included VTS in their estate plans. They shared their reasons why saying:

“Making VTS part of our planned giving is important to us because VTS has been so important to us and our family. It was a place of tremendous growth and formation, of friendships and opportunities unimagined. By making this decision to name VTS in our will, we get to choose what and who we honor after we are gone—there will be no question as to the value we place on this institution of formation and learning.” 

If you have already made a commitment to the Seminary in your estate plan that we may not be aware of, we thank you. Please contact Linda Dienno at so we can honor you as a 2023 Legacy Society member.