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New Graduates from The Evening School
On Monday April 23rd we celebrated Mary Hinkle and Molly O’Brien, who completed The Evening School of Theology Diploma in Theological Studies. The diplomas were awarded by Dr. Lisa Kimball, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at VTS, followed by a joyful reception. Congratulations to Mary and Molly on achieving this milestone! We hope they continue their journey of curiosity and discovery.  
 

Changes to Registration Procedures for “Enriched” Classes
In February, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Continuing Education at Virginia Theological Seminary. As with many milestones, it gave us an opportunity for reflection and discernment. We are currently engaged in that process as we look at ways to enhance our offerings to meet the needs of lay and clergy leaders. We are currently planning our evening community classes for the fall, which will be announced in our June newsletter. 

We are streamlining the process for enrolling in what have been previously called “Enriched Evening School Classes” (masters-level courses offered to continuing education students.) Students interested in taking a graduate level course at VTS this fall can apply to audit a select range of courses through the “Non-Degree” program. (Note: continuing current practice, there may be be limitations on the number of non-degree students admitted to a particular class). Find the link for applying to audit here.  

The new application deadline for continuing education students is August 1(not June 15, as the website lists). Scholarships are available for lay continuing education students auditing these classes. Please email Diane Wright, Interim Coordinator for Continuing Education, with any registration or scholarship questions.

We are also exploring certificates programs in a variety of topical areas starting as early as 2019. We requested input, we’ve listened and are excited about responding! More coming soon!

ART AND THEOLOGY: DEEPENING CONVERSATION


The Evening School Course Deepens Conversations on Race and Identity

Chrissy Crosby, a student in the Evening School, shares her experience with Art and Theology: Two Trains Running. 
 

"Last fall, author and theater critic Riley Temple (VTS MTS 2014) led an Evening School class  exploring theology in the literary imagination of 20th century dramatists. The class studied the Century Cycle plays of African-American playwright August Wilson.  When Arena Stage in DC planned a production of Wilson’s Two Trains Running for Spring 2018, the class decided we needed to see this play and discuss it after viewing.

As part of its Art and Theology track, the Evening School offered two opportunities to discuss the play, before and  after the run. Temple, who also also offered “Talk-backs” at Arena Stage following performances, led the discussions. The pre-performance session focused on the music of Wilson’s words, particular themes in Two Trains Running, and how those themes run throughout the Century Cycle. At the predatory session, the group read through the play’s galvanizing soliloquies, noting their use of repetition and story to build a strong sense of rhythm and blues — the hallmark of Wilson’s poetry. The gathering after the play spent time in personal reflection on Wilson’s characters, the effect of Arena’s staging, and Wilson’s overall worldview.  

This offering provided an opportunity to discuss race in America in a safe place, with a clear agenda, and with specific  people’s experiences to guide us. We shared our reactions to Wilson's portrayal of the ongoing struggles of African American communities. Some participants admitted that they had never had such conversations before, or found them startlingly intimate. Some wondered about caricatures. Several offered personal stories in response to the stories in the play. The preparation and engagement enabled a frank conversation that moved far beyond Two Trains Running. 

Engaging with art theologically allows fresh perspectives and new understandings to emerge. We learned to look for God in new ways — in unfamiliar cultures and painful histories — in a spirit that led to truth. I hope to see more opportunities like this happen at VTS." 

UPCOMING OFFERINGS
Eformation 2018
Second Annual Online June Conference 

Saturday, June 7, begins 9:30 a.m. EST
$50 to register 

The eFormation learning community is committed to bringing forward-focused and practical resources for faith leaders — volunteers and paid, ordained and lay, across a variety of ministries. Crafted around 21st-century needs for 21st-century faith communities, this online formation conference offers workshops, online worship, and affinity group conversation opportunities, providing a holistic range of ministries, resources, and tools.

Workshops by national leaders will touch on vital everyday topics, offering best practices for applicable ministries: 

  • Social Media 101 (Elizabeth Panox-Leach, Charis Bhagianathan)
  • 21st Century Church (Shamika Goddard, Kenji Kuramitsu)
  • Mind/Brain Education (Ian Kelleher, Glenn Whitman)
  • Curation + Formation (Charlotte Hand Greeson, Matthew Kozlowski)

Affinity group sessions will give attendees the opportunity to talk in real-time about the workshops. Hosted by an ecumenical group of leaders, these Zoom meetings provide time for informal participant-led discussion. There will be affinity group conversations around Spanish-Speaking Communities, Quakers, Formation, Adult Formation, Spirituality, Worship, Social Justice, Communications, and General Interest. 

Learn More and Register

Evangelism Boot Camp 2018
Thursday, May 31, 4 p.m. - Saturday, June 2, 5 p.m.
$85 (commuter rate) -
$150 (includes meals and housing)
Discounts for group registration


Evangelism Boot Camp 2018 brings together a team of leaders from across the Episcopal Church and other denominations who to guide faithful lay and clergy leaders into developing holistic, natural, and committed practices of lively public faith and witness. We will practice person-to-person listening while learning to speak the Christian story from our own lives. The conference will also focus on church planting and developing public witness in community-based ministries and outreach. Questions? Contact CCE@vts.edu.

Learn More and Register

Going Deeper Together
Small Group Facilitator Training for Clergy and Seminarians

Sunday, June 10, 1 - 4 p.m. 
Free; Register by Wednesday, June 6 

This peer group facilitator training is geared towards clergy and clergy-in-training who want to learn how to form and facilitate effective peer groups. The training will focus on:

  • learning in community
  • identifying and forming a clergy community of practice
  • distinguishing a learning community from a support group
  • recognizing the role of the facilitator
  • developing a group covenant and group goals.
For more information, contact Anne Turner, Program Coordinator for Deep Calls to Deep:  A Program to Strengthen Episcopal Preaching.
 
Learn More and Register
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Lifetime Theological Education provides continuing education and professional development opportunities for clergy and laypeople, in person and on-line, leveraging the faculty and resources of Virginia Theological Seminary.

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