RICHMOND, Va. (September 14, 2018) – As the 50th year of the Richmond Theological Consortium (RTC) approaches, its three founding members have renewed their dedication to the advancement of the work of the collaborative institution.
Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (BTSR), Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology of Virginia Union University (STVU), and Union Presbyterian Seminary (UPSem) announced an agreement on September 21, 2018, stating their intention “to enter into a conversation and a season of discernment to explore ways to deepen our collaborative relationship building on our historic identities, shared values, and faith commitments.”
“There was tremendous vigor and excitement when the center was first announced in 1969,” said Dr. Brian K. Blount, president of Union Presbyterian Seminary. “We want to recapture that vigor and intentionality with increased discussions among the three faculties and innovations in course planning and programming.”
The Richmond Theological Consortium began in the 1969 as the Richmond Theological Center with three founding members, the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Union Theological Seminary, and the School of Theology of Virginia Union University. Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond joined the RTC in 1991.
“As a brand-new, freestanding seminary, BTSR was grateful for the warm hospitality and genuine welcome of our RTC colleagues in 1991,” said Dr. Linda McKinnish Bridges, BTSR president. “Just as we have been supported by this community of racial and ecumenical diversity through these 27 years, it is now time to deepen those relationships and strengthen the bonds that brought us here to Richmond. We are committed to a community of inclusion, and we want to be even more intentional about working together.”
“With the signing of this agreement, we recommit ourselves to the grand vision of theological education when the RTC was first established,” said Dr. Corey D. B. Walker, vice president and dean of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology. “This agreement not only recognizes the historic nature of our partnership, it also provides an innovative framework for creative collaboration in an age of rapid and dramatic change in theological education and higher education.”
President Blount said there will be additional benefits as students find ways to worship together, work together, and become exposed to the unique strengths of each of the three institutions.
“With Dr. Linda Bridges completing her first year as president at BTSR and Dr. Corey Walker aboard as Vice President and Dean at STVU for one year, we have dynamic, fresh leadership,” said Dr. Blount. “And with that leadership, it is an especially good time in our histories to work, as our memorandum of understanding states, toward an innovative and collaborative model of theological education that is diverse, ecumenical, and inclusive.”
Located in historic Kingsley Hall on the campus of Virginia Union University, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology of Virginia Union University (STVU) is a leader in graduate theological education. Named after the late Samuel DeWitt Proctor (1921-1997), distinguished pastor, scholar, educator, and civic leader, STVU emphasizes intellectual excellence, transformative spiritual growth, and faithful service to the church and world. STVU students come from diverse personal and professional backgrounds, but share a common quest—to uniquely and authentically answer their call to Christian ministry. Learn more at www.vuu.edu/theology
Baptist in heritage, ecumenical in nature, inclusive in outlook, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond provides advanced theological education and training for effective leadership in the various ministries of the church for those men and women who are called and committed to Christian ministry. Learn more at www.btsr.edu.
Since 1812, Union Presbyterian Seminary (formerly Union Theological Seminary of Virginia) has been dedicated to the vision of forming leaders for the church in the world. Serving a diversified student body, the seminary has two campuses located in Richmond, VA, and Charlotte, NC. Learn more at www.upsem.edu.
Mike Frontiero, Director of Communications
Union Presbyterian Seminary
Beth McMahon, Director of Communications
Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond
Pam Cox, Assistant Vice President for Public Relations & Communications
Virginia Union University