Roger Ferlo to head Virginia Seminary's new Institute for Christian Formation and Leadership

November 15, 2007

Virginia Theological Seminary's (VTS) Board of Trustees named the Rev. Dr. Roger Ferlo, director of the Seminary's Center for Lifetime Theological Education (LTE), as associate dean and director of its newly created Institute for Christian Formation and Leadership (ICFL) and professor of Religion and Culture.

"Both formation and education for leadership in Christian formation are central to the mission of Virginia Theological Seminary," said the Rev. Ian Markham, VTS' dean and president. "In addition to the residential programs leading to the M.Div. and MTS degrees, VTS provides as much -- if not more -- specific concentration on formation in programs leading to the Master of Arts in Christian Education (MACE) and D.Min. degrees."

ICFL, designed to accommodate and support the Seminary's growing programs in Christian formation and leadership, and continuing education for laity and clergy, will house the Center for the Ministry of Teaching (CMT) which offers educational programs and resources for the Episcopal Church and other denominations; the Doctor of Ministry program, including a new concentration in the preaching arts in addition to the current offerings in ministry development and educational leadership; and conferences and programs for clergy and laity offered through LTE, including the Evening School of Theology, the First Three Years Program, Fridays at the Seminary, and the ecumenical Summer Collegium for ministry in small churches.

"These programs have grown significantly over the past 10 years," said Ferlo. "In a time of ferment and transition in theological education, this is an opportune moment for the Seminary to renew and expand its support for these essential programs on par with its commitment to full-time M.Div. and MTS residential education."

A graduate of Colgate University where he serves as a trustee and chair of the Faculty and Academic Affairs committee, Ferlo also received a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from Yale University. He trained for the priesthood at the General Theological Seminary in New York and has served parishes in Georgia, Pennsylvania and most recently St. Luke in the Fields in Greenwich Village, New York. The author and editor of three books, including "Heaven," published by Seabury this year, Ferlo is also an officer and long-time board member of the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES), where he frequently leads workshops on leadership and governance in church-based schools. He also leads an annual series of pre-performance theological discussions for the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., and is a regular contributor to the website Episcopal Café, sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

In addition to leading this new venture, Ferlo will continue to teach courses in liturgics, literature and theology, and religion and culture at VTS, and write for a new weblog "Religion and Culture" coming soon to the VTS website.

Founded in 1823, VTS is the largest of the 11 seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women for service in the Church worldwide, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas. Currently, VTS represents more than 55 different dioceses and 7 different countries, for service in the Church.