By Derrick Perkins (File photo)
The Virginia Theological Seminary is going green — and in a big way.
Officials announced last week that the local institution would join the Green Seminary Initiative. More than 45 other seminaries participate in the program, which encourages consideration of the environment in five areas: education, worship, community life, public ministry, and buildings and grounds.
The seminary’s dean, the Rev. Ian Markham, is not keeping his ambitious goals for the program and his school secret. He sees the seminary as a potential beacon for others.
“If Virginia Theological Seminary can be institutionally green ... then it can become a model. And, slowly, others can see the possibilities,” he said.
The announcement coincided with the creation of The Kreitler Cup, named for seminary alum Peter Kreitler, who came up with the idea to pit the seminary against his high school — Loomis Chaffee in Windsor, Conn. — in a green competition. The two will compare carbon footprints on an annual basis and establish plans to improve their efforts at sustainability.
“The idea is that we will learn from each other, compete against each other and recognize achievement. We want students, staff and faculty to all combine in supporting and participating in these efforts,” said Markham. “Our strategic plan obligates us to have an environmentally sensitive campus and preserve this remarkable world that God has given us.”