VTS names director of Center for Anglican Communion Studies

March 13, 2013

ens_031313_robertHeaney[Virginia Theological Seminary — Press Release] On March 7, 2013, the VTS Board of Trustees unanimously approved the appointment of the Rev. Robert Heaney, Ph.D. as the new Director of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies and Assistant Professor of Christian Mission at the Virginia Theological Seminary. Heaney will join the VTS faculty this fall.“Dr. Heaney is the perfect mix,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president for Virginia Theological Seminary. “He is a priest in the Church of Ireland, has considerable mission experience in Tanzania, is a thoughtful scholar, has an engaging presence, and is deeply committed to the ethos of the Seminary,”Since 2010 Heaney has served as the first-ever Director of Postgraduate Research and Studies at St. John’s University of Tanzania, where he is also a senior lecturer in the School of Theology and Religious Studies. Heaney received a Ph.D. from Dublin’s Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy in 2003, and accepted the post in Tanzania while researching African theology for a D.Phil. degree from the University of Oxford, which he is working toward.Heaney has taught courses on Anglicanism, missiology, post-colonial theology, philosophical theology, and African and global theology. In addition to those areas, his research interests also include ethics of mission, global Christianity, and liberal/progressive/post-colonial evangelicalisms.

He is the author of several journal and book articles, including “Views of Colonization Across the Communion” in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Anglican Communion and “Prospects and Problems for Evangelicalisms and Post-colonialisms” in Great Awakenings: Evangelical Engagements with Postcolonialism, both of which are forthcoming. He is the founding editor of Soma: An International Journal of Theological Discourses and Counter-Discourses and is currently working on a number of book projects.

Heaney was ordained a priest in the Church of Ireland in 2002, and has been active in Anglican parishes in Ireland, England, and Tanzania. He is married to Dr. Sharon Heaney and they have one son, Sam.

As director of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies, Heaney will ensure the Center’s continued support of theological education; the engagement of Anglican leaders and scholars in study, research and conversation; and interreligious dynamics across the Communion.

Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited 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, the Seminary represents more than 42 different dioceses and 5 different countries, for service in the Church.