Seminary Covenant

We the community of Virginia Theological Seminary, in response to the love of God in Christ, resolve to embody love, justice, peace, and respect for every child of God on this campus and in the world. We affirm that disciples of Jesus are called to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves.

We seek, therefore, to promote a communal life that values every member, whatever our race, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, primary language, denomination, physical ability, intellectual ability, nation or region of origin, age, family configuration, or religion, including no religion at all.

In order to pursue these aspirations faithfully,

*We affirm* that this institution must repent the sins of its past and work to repair their effects in the present, including but not limited to ongoing patterns of white supremacy, white privilege, male dominance, heterosexism, and elitism.  We recognize that, in their intersecting identities, individuals may experience multiple forms of oppression, and indeed, both privilege and oppression.

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We commit to ongoing engagement with our institutional and societal history, and we commit to the promotion of an intercultural ethos on campus, which means a community where no one culture or group dominates others.  This institution aspires to become a leader in theological education and spiritual formation by leading in how we embrace multicultural and intercultural perspectives.  An important aspect of this work is learning how to navigate conflict across our various cultural backgrounds.  Vital signs of our health in this regard will be the hallmarks of grace, forgiveness, reconciliation, forbearance, and kindness.

We commit to assessing regularly the status of diversity, inclusivity, and equity on this campus, including revisiting this covenant as a living document that gives shape to our life together. The Board of Trustees and the Dean and President delegate to the Office of Multicultural Ministries the task of monitoring our progress towards the commitments made herein.  As needed, Multicultural Ministries will lead the community in revising this covenant.

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*We ask* in all these things for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to create a supportive, non-judgmental environment in which our diversity, along with the positive aspects of our history, can be celebrated and in which our biases and shortcomings can be discovered and transformed. We do not know the kinds of communities we may enter when we leave this place, but we pray that this community will shape and equip us all to practice love, understanding, and justice in our diverse world.  In so doing, may we participate in the restoration of the created order, in which God shall take all nations for God’s own (Psalm 82:8).

An extended version of this covenant that elaborates upon its scriptural theological and historical foundations will be coming soon.

The Covenant was affirmed by the faculty on May 21, 2019

The Rev. Joseph Thompson, Ph.D.
Director of Multicultural Ministries
Virginia Theological Seminary
3737 Seminary Road,
Alexandria, VA 22304

Phone: (703) 461-1732

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