Virginia Theological Seminary Starts Reparations Fund for Slave Descendants

The fund will be allocated annually for any descendants of former slaves who worked at the Seminary and the work of African American alums...

Photo: Virginia Theological Seminary

Alexandria, VA – The Virginia Theological Seminary, the flagship seminary of the Episcopal Church, has announced that the Seminary will create an endowment fund as a way to start repairing the material consequences for sins of the past against the families of former slaves.

“This initiative has the potential to be transformative,” said Rev. Joseph Thompson, the director of the Office of Multicultural Ministries. “Though no amount of money could ever truly compensate for slavery, the commitment of these financial resources means that the institution’s attitude of repentance is being supported by actions of repentance that can have a significant impact both on the recipients of the funds, as well as on those at VTS.”

The fund, which is fully funded by VTS, will be allocated annually for the needs of any descendants of enslaved persons that worked at the Seminary, the work of African American alums, among other purposes.

“This is a start,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president of VTS. “As we seek to mark Seminary’s milestone of 200 years, we do so conscious that our past is a mixture of sin as well as grace. This is the Seminary recognizing that along with repentance for past sins, there is also a need for action.”

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