Pathway to Ministry is a new academic program from Virginia Theological Seminary offering one tuition-free year of study to students who have not yet engaged a discernment process but wish to pursue formal theological education in an academically rigorous and spiritually nurturing environment.


Copyright © 2019 Virginia Theological Seminary

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. VTS offers Masters and Doctoral level degrees, non-degree diplomas, and Continuing Education programs. 

3737 Seminary Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22304


Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary seeks to form women and men for leadership in the Episcopal Church. Students from every Episcopal province in the United States and from many other countries have found their way to VTS. Here they have been shaped by the discipline of worship in an environment committed to learning so that they can serve Christ effectively. 

As we count down to our bicentennial celebration, our task remains to make the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion stronger, more vital, and more effective. VTS celebrates the rich orthodox Christian tradition. We affirm the centrality of the Scriptures, the historic creeds, and our prayer book in our learning and living together. The Jesus Movement has been alive at VTS for almost 200 years.


During this year at VTS, students:

  • Enroll in a selection of courses that provides a well-rounded foundation of theological knowledge 

  • Participate in a structured program of discernment 

  • Are eligible to receive the Diploma in Theology at the end of one year, with the option to continue for a second year (earning a Master of Arts degree), or stay for a third year (earning the Master in Divinity) 

During their tenure at VTS, Pathway to Ministry students have the option of engaging a diocesan ordination process. If, through this work, a student and diocese determine a call to ordained ministry, the student can move through the rest of the ordination process and complete the Master in Divinity degree in three years. If a student and diocese conclude that ministry will be as a layperson, the student may then choose how best to move forward with formation (i.e., M.Div., M.A., or Diploma). Any of these three degree/diploma options are open to any student in the program regardless of canonical status.

Pathway to Ministry is tuition-free for the first year and includes an additional $5,000 stipend. If a student wishes to continue for a second or third year, he/she may apply for VTS financial aid following the standard guidelines for all other Master’s level programs.