[Virginia Theological Seminary press release] Upon recommendation of the Dean and President, the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., the Virginia Theological Seminary Board of Trustees unanimously appointed five members of the Seminary faculty to endowed chairs at their November 13 meeting.
“Without exception, all these professors have published significant works and served the Church with distinction. The Board was pleased to vote in favor of the resolution that authorized these chairs,” said Markham. “Please join me in congratulating these recipients on this appropriate recognition. Their contributions and accomplishments make VTS a strong and vibrant seminary.”
The Rev. Anne Katherine Grieb, Ph.D. was appointed to the Meade Chair in Biblical Interpretation. Grieb came to Virginia Theological Seminary in 1994 and is Professor of New Testament. After graduating from VTS in 1983, she earned a doctorate degree at Yale and taught at Bangor Theological Seminary before returning to teach at VTS. In her twenty years of service at Virginia Theological Seminary she has been a participant in the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission, a member of the Anglican Communion Covenant Design Group and now serves on the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order. Grieb is the author of The Story of Romans: A Narrative Defense of God’s Righteousness (Westminster John Knox Press, 2002) as well as co-editor for The Word Leaps the Gap (Eerdmans, 2008).
The Rev. James Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D. was appointed to the Arthur Carl Lichtenberger Chair in Pastoral Theology and Continuing Education. Hawkins came to VTS in 2000 as Professor of Pastoral Theology and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program. Currently, he is Vice President for Institutional Advancement and oversees the Lifetime Theological Education office at VTS. Hawkins also serves as President of the North American Committee of St. George’s College, Jerusalem, and honorary associate at Immanuel Church-on-the Hill, Alexandria, Va. The author and editor of several books, including Episcopal Etiquette & Ethics: Living the Craft of Priesthood in the Episcopal Church (Church Publishing, 2012) as well as The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Anglican Communion (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), Hawkins has an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School and a Ph.D. in American Religious Studies from Duke University.
The Rev. Joyce Mercer, Ph.D. was appointed to the Arthur Lee Kinsolving Chair in Pastoral Theology. Mercer came to Virginia Theological Seminary in 2006 after serving as a faculty member of Graduate Theological Union in California and Union Theological Seminary in the Philippines. Mercer is currently Professor of Practical Theology. She completed a doctorate at Emory University, earned a D.Min. from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago; a Master of Social Work from the University of Connecticut; and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA for twenty-eight years, Mercer is the author of several books including GirlTalk Godtalk: Why Faith Matters to Adolescent Girls-And Their Parents (San Francisco, Jossey Bass, 2008) and Welcoming Children: A Practical Theology of Childhood (St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2005).
The Rev. Katherine Sonderegger, Ph.D. was appointed to the William Meade Chair in Systematic Theology. Sonderegger came to Virginia Theological Seminary in 2002 and is currently Professor of Theology. In her eleven years of service at VTS, Sonderegger has published work on assessing the thought of Karl Barth and is currently writing the first volume of her systematic theology. In addition, she serves on the editorial board for International Journal of Systematic Theology, New Studies in Dogmatics. She completed her doctorate at Brown University; earned a D.Min. and STM from Yale and an A.B. in Medieval Studies from Smith College. Sonderegger is the author of several articles and papers, and the book That Jesus Christ was Born a Jew: Karl Barth’s ‘Doctrine of Israel’ (Penn State Press, 1992).
The Rev. John Yueh-Han Yieh, Ph.D. was appointed to the Molly Laird Downs Chair in New Testament. Yieh serves as Professor of New Testament having joined the faculty in 1995. In his eighteen years of service, he has written and contributed to a number of books, articles and essays on the Gospel of Matthew, Johannine Epistles, Revelation and Chinese biblical interpretation. Yieh earned a Ph.D., M.Phil. and an M.A. in religious studies specializing in New Testament from Yale University; an M.Div. from Taiwan Theological Seminary; and an M.A. from Fu-Jen Catholic University. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, Yieh is currently the President of the Ethnic Chinese Biblical Colloquium and is Moderator of the Chesterbrook Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Falls Church, Va. An associate editor of the Chinese Union Study Bible series, Yieh is also the author of Conversations with Scripture: The Gospel of Matthew (Morehouse Publishing, 2012).
With a combined seventy years of service to Virginia Theological Seminary, the five professors receiving an endowed chair join a distinguished history of Christian educators at VTS who have received this honor, including current colleagues Stephen L. Cook, Ph.D., Amelia J. Gearey Dyer, Ph.D., the Rev. Robert W. Prichard, Ph.D. and Timothy F. Sedgwick, Ph.D.
“I would also like to extend my thanks to the Rev. Melody Knowles, Ph.D., our vice president for academic affairs,” added Markham. ”She spoke movingly about the ways in which faculty can be recognized by an institution and explained that beyond tenure and movement from assistant to associate to full professor, the highest accolade that an institution can bestow is the invitation to occupy an endowed chair.”