Virginia Theological Seminary announces full scholarship packages for all full-time residential students

Virginia Theological Seminary
Posted Feb 22, 2024

An aerial view of Virginia Theological Seminary’s campus.

Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) will offer full scholarship packages to all admitted, full-time residential students beginning in the 2024/25 academic year. The scholarships cover tuition, on-campus housing, and meal plans for full-time, residential students studying VTS’ Master in Divinity, Master of Arts, Diploma in Anglican Studies, Diploma in Theology, and Pathway to Ministry programs.

The new approach replaces the current system under which scholarships were only available to students who had a household income below $150,000, and assets, excluding their personal home and pension, of less than eight times the value of their housing, which for a single student is around $250,000.

The decision to change the scholarship package was driven by a number of factors, including a desire to simplify the eligibility criteria, recognition of the fact that students lose their income when they enter seminary, and wanting to make it possible for more students to pursue their calls without incurring debt or relying on savings. The change will also apply to master’s-level students who are currently studying at the Seminary.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., said: “Our mission is to nurture well-formed leaders of congregations. We hope this revised scholarship package will encourage more applicants, especially those with families, to consider the transformative residential experience that VTS offers.”

VTS’ three-year, residential Master in Divinity (M.Div.) is designed to meet the educational and formational needs of students in the ordination process in The Episcopal Church or in an equivalent process in another denomination. The program has requirements in the core areas (Bible, Theology, History, Ethics, Worship, and Practical Theology), supplemented with electives for students to explore additional interests or vocational call. In addition to the standard introductory courses, students can take up to three years of Biblical Languages, and electives as diverse as the Psalms and Negro Spirituals, Engaging Latino/a Theologies, and Pastoral Care for at-risk Children.

VTS also offers three specialized Master of Arts (M.A.) degrees in the areas of Biblical Studies, Church and Witness, and Christian Formation. The program, which is completed in the equivalent of two-years’ full-time study, aims to prepare students for advanced research and service to the Church. To support work on a sustained thesis or capstone project, M.A. students take two courses in Theological Research and Writing, and they present their work to the VTS community before graduation.

The Seminary also has several one-year programs offered at the master’s-level which are covered by full scholarship funding. The Diploma in Anglican Studies provides students who already have an M.Div. degree the opportunity to dive deeply into the Anglican tradition in preparation for ordination. The Diploma in Theology is a flexible program that allows students to take a variety of master’s-level seminary courses. The Pathway to Ministry program enables students to begin a one-year course of studies and graduate with a Diploma in Theology or continue into the M.A. or M.Div. programs.

An average of 65 courses are offered each year in the master’s-level programs, taught by VTS’ 19 full-time faculty and additional affiliated instructors.

In addition to classroom learning, students have the opportunity to put what they learn into practice through Contextual Ministry placements, with nearly 150 field education sites to choose from. Students can also take part in a Cross-Cultural Educational program, with scholarships available for overseas travel. This year the Seminary ran a trip to Puerto Rico for the first time and it regularly subsidizes travel to Israel-Palestine.

VTS students can also take courses from more than a dozen theological schools in the area through the Washington Theological Consortium.

Alongside its master’s-level programs, VTS also offers a Doctor of Ministry and a Doctor of Educational Ministry, with classes beginning every spring.

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries, please contact Nicky Burridge, Vice President for Communications at VTS.
Tel: (703) 461-1782

Mobile: (703) 300-2876

About Virginia Theological Seminary:

Virginia Theological Seminary was founded in 1823 and has a long tradition of shaping faithful women and men, lay and ordained, for leadership in The Episcopal Church and beyond. It is the strongest seminary in the Anglican Communion and provides more than 25 percent of the clergy of The Episcopal Church.