Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison James Norman
Submission Date Nov. 15, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Virginia Theological Seminary
IC-1: Institutional Boundary

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Institution type: Associate (i.e., short-cycle), Baccalaureate, Doctoral/Research, or Master's:

Institutional control (Public, Private for-profit, or Private non-profit):
Private non-profit

A brief description of the institution’s main campus and other aspects of the institutional boundary used to complete this report:

Virginia Theological Seminary is the flagship seminary of the Episcopal Church. Founded in 1823, VTS prepares women and men from around the world for both ordained and lay service in the Church. Students from every Episcopal province in the United States and from many other countries have found their way to VTS to be shaped by the discipline of worship in an environment committed to learning so that they can serve Christ effectively.

VTS celebrates the richness of the orthodox Christian tradition. We affirm the centrality of the Scriptures, the historic creeds, and our Prayer Book in our learning and living together. We recognize that Christians disagree about much and encourage the conversation as we seek to discern God’s will for our age. Christians across the spectrum are welcome at VTS.

Our eighty acre campus, nestled in the historic town of Alexandria, provides an environment for growth, learning, and community. While the website will give you a sense of the Seminary, this is no substitute for a visit. …

Which of the following features are present on campus and which are included within the institutional boundary?:
Present? Included?
Agricultural school No No
Medical school No No
Other professional school with labs and clinics (e.g. dental, nursing, pharmacy, public health, veterinary) No No
Satellite campus No No
Farm larger than 5 acres or 2 hectares No No
Agricultural experiment station larger than 5 acres or 2 hectares No No
Hospital No No

The rationale for excluding any features that are present from the institutional boundary:

Virginia Seminary was founded in 1823 to educate men for the ministry of Christ's church. It was born of the struggle which followed the Revolutionary War. Among our founders were Bishop William Meade, the third Bishop of Virginia, and Francis Scott Key, whose 1814 poem The Defence of Fort McHenry became the text for our National Anthem in 1931. We currently educate men and women for ordained and lay ministry offering degrees in Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Ministry.

During the early days of America's independence, a small group of dedicated men committed themselves to the task of recruiting and training a new generation of church leaders. In 1818, Francis Scott Key formed "An Education Society" and five years later opened the "School of Prophets," to become the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Virginia. When the school opened in Alexandria with two instructors, 14 students were enrolled.

During the Civil War, the Seminary was used to house 1,700 wounded Federal troops and to bury 500 of their comrades. After the war, two professors and 11 battle-weary veterans reopened the Seminary. By 1923, the year of its Centennial, the Seminary had regained the resources, the certainty of full enrollment, and the invested funds that had characterized the institution in 1860.

The years between 1923 and 1946 saw steady progress, but the end of World War II marked the advent of the present era of continuing expansion and improvements.

On June 3, 1953, Virginia Seminary merged with The Bishop Payne Divinity School, a distinguished black institution started by Virginia Seminary in 1878.

Since 1950, 22 new buildings have been added to the campus, including five dormitories, the refectory and Scott Lounge, 15 faculty homes, a recreation building, and a day-care center for young children. In 1993, the Addison Academic Center opened, with classroom space, the Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Auditorium, the Seminary bookstore, and the student lounge.

Since 1938, Virginia Theological Seminary has been an accredited member of the Association of Theological Schools and is nationally recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a “reliable authority as to the quality of postsecondary education” within the meaning of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA).

Together with its neighbor, Episcopal High School (on land given by the Seminary in the 1800s), VTS holds one of the largest contiguous green spaces in the city of Alexandria. VTS holds over 90 acres, and the neighboring boarding high school holds over 130 acres.

Additional documentation to support the submission :

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