President Joseph Biden Visits Virginia Seminary; Encouraged by Chapel-as-Clinic

Date: April 6, 2021

Media Contact: Elizabeth Panox-Leach
Tel: (703) 461-1764

ALEXANDRIA, VA – On Tuesday, April 6, the Hon. Joseph R. Biden, the 46th president of the United States, visited the campus of Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) in Alexandria, Virginia, as part of a visit supporting an initiative to host vaccination clinics in faith centers.

In early February, the Seminary invited Neighborhood Health to use Immanuel Chapel as a venue for a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Neighborhood Health, whose mission is “to improve health and advance health equity in Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax by providing high-quality primary care regardless of ability to pay,” has offered COVID-19 vaccinations two days a week to patients and family members. Typically, they average 300 vaccinations a day.

“Our chapel is continuing to share the Gospel in this season, although it is taking a slightly different form,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of VTS. “The President’s visit to the campus is a celebration of a faith-based organization working in partnership with a neighborhood health association to ensure that people stay well and safe during this pandemic.”

In his visit, the President took the opportunity to thank the Seminary for their willingness to partner with Neighborhood Health. He met Dean Markham and Marty Wheeler Burnett, D.Min., acting associate dean of chapel. Basim Khan, M.D., executive director and primary care physician at Neighborhood Health, presented the clinic to President Biden. The President also took the opportunity to meet some of the community members visiting Immanuel Chapel for their COVID-19 vaccine.


Founded in 1823 as a beacon of hope in a country new and finding its way, Virginia Theological Seminary has led the way in forming leaders of the Episcopal Church, including the Most Rev. John E. Hines (VTS 1933, D.D. 1946), former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church; the Rt. Rev. John T. Walker (VTS 1954, D.D. 1978), the first African-American bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; and theologian, author and lay preacher Ms. Verna J. Dozier (VTS D.D. 1978). Serving the worldwide Anglican Communion, Virginia Theological Seminary educates approximately 25% of those being ordained who received residential theological education. Visit us online:

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