Thursday, May 29, 2008

VTS appoints Rev. Dr. David T. Gortner

Alexandria, VA – At its May board meeting, the Board of Trustees of Virginia Theological Seminary appointed the Rev. Dr. David T. Gortner as the new Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program and Professor of Evangelism and Congregational Leadership. Gortner steps in to his new position, housed under the Seminary’s Institute for Christian Formation and Leadership, on August 1, 2008.

Gortner comes to VTS from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) where he has served as Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology since 2004 and as Director of the Center for Anglican Learning and Leadership since 2005. In addition to teaching courses on pastoral theology, youth ministry/leadership, and human development, Gortner directed and developed CDSP's continuing education program for clergy and religious leadership that includes online education. Concurrent with his work at CDSP, Gortner co-convened the Graduate Theological Union's (GTU) area in Psychology and Religion, assisting in the redesign of the M.A. and Ph.D. curricula.

As Director of Virginia Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry Program, Gortner will have oversight of the two D.Min. degrees: Ministry Development, which focuses on increased excellence in ministerial leadership in congregations, and Educational Leadership focuses on leadership in school ministries. The case study seminar has been central to the program since it began in the 1970’s.

“Dr. Gortner is a gifted scholar with a passion for theological education,” said the Very Rev. Ian Markham, dean and president of Virginia Seminary, “and we are delighted about his appointment. The D.Min. Program is vitally important to the Seminary and I am confident that David can continue to develop and enhance the program."

A prolific writer, Gortner’s books include, Transforming Evangelism (Church Publishing, 2008); Propelled into a Waiting World: Evangelism Recast for the 21st Century (Church Publishing, 2007); and the forthcoming, Around the Table: Exploring Episcopal Identity (June 2008.)

Gortner holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; an M.Div. from Seabury-Western Seminary, Evanston, Illinois; an M.A. in Psychology from Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and a B.A. in Psychology from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.

Active in parish life, Gortner serves as Assisting Parish Priest at St. Mark's in Berkeley, California and at St. Mark's in Evanston, Illinois. On the Diocesan level, Gortner is a member of the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministry Commission and a member of the Clergy Wellness Commission.

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.

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