Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Early Warning Signs of Diminished Support at Virginia Seminary?

By Jeff Walton
February 27, 2014

Virginia Theological Seminary Dean Ian S. Markham caused a stir last year after giving a provocatively titled address at the Diocese of Delaware convention on "The Myth of the Decline of the Episcopal Church."

Recalling that the denomination was not in a state of decline in the 1990s, Markham insisted that the Episcopal Church was primed for a turnaround after shedding hundreds of thousands of members in the 2000s. The address was met alternately with appreciation and incredulity from different corners of the Anglican/Episcopal blogosphere.

Markham has been a voice unabashedly predicting a positive future for the shrinking denomination. But now the institution Markham leads - the largest of the Episcopal Church's 11 accredited seminaries - may itself be seeing a decline in support.

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