Constitutional & Canonical Amendments

C1: Amend Canon 10 to Allow for Missions of a Theological Seminary

Resolved: that the following words be added to Canon 10 of the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese of Virginia and be designed as a new section 9.

Section 9.

(a)    A theological seminary located within the bounds of the diocese may with the consent of the Ecclesiastical Authority and the Regional Council of the Region in which the Mission is to be located, establish within the boundaries of such Region one or more or more Missions of a Theological Seminary.  The minister in charge of such Mission shall be appointed by the Dean and President of the theological seminary with the concurrence of the Ecclesiastical Authority. The Dean and President shall also appoint or allow to be elected a Vestry Committee which shall be composed as provided in Canon 11.14. It shall be charged with transacting the temporal business of the Mission, except that the theological seminary may retain to itself such temporal functions as it deems proper and in any event shall be ultimately responsible for the temporal obligations of the Mission.

(b)   The Dean and President of the theological seminary may at any time agree with the Bishop to designate such “Mission of a Theological Seminary” as a “Mission,” and upon such designation becoming effective, the provisions of this section shall no longer apply to such a Mission.  Any Mission functioning under this section shall be so marked in the annual list of Missions.

(c)    A Mission of a Theological Seminary shall be entitled to lay and clerical representation in the Diocesan and Regional Council as is afforded other Churches.

Background:  This provision, which parallels the current section 8 for Missions of a Founding Church, would allow for Missions of a Theological Seminary.  It would make possible—with the consent of Bishop and regional council—a practice that dated to the first half of the 19th century and existed explicitly in the canons of the Diocese of Virginia from 1938 to the 1953.  The Virginia Theological Seminary has no immediate plans to found such missions, but it is in the process of developing a strategic plan that might include such a possibility in the future.

Submitted by:

The Rev. Dr. Robert W. Prichard

Supplemental information.