1306 N. Highland Street
Arlington, VA  22201
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Latest News


Call to Creativity:

How Work Leads to Transformation in God's Kingdom

with special guest speaker Dr. Art Lindsley

Vice President of Theological Initiatives at The Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

Thursday, January 22, 2015

5:30pm - Spring New Student Orientation

6:30-7:30pm - All-School Gathering: Food and Fellowship

7:30pm - Lecture

The Church at Clarendon

1210 N. Highland Street

Arlignton, VA 22201


The John Leland Center for Theological Studies seeks a Director of Enrollment and Development to recruit Masters and Diploma students, oversee the admissions process, stay in touch with enrolled students, and aslo assist the President with financial development (fund-raising). The position requires 30 hours per week and includes health insurance. The successful candidate will have at least a B.A. degree, display an outgoing personality and ability to engage people from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds and nationalities, and the organizational ability to keep track of all applicants through the entire process of admissions. He or she will also build relationships with local Baptist associations and other Christian organizations as well as supervise publicity. We are seeking a devout Christian who values the development of educated ministers and lay leaders to rejuvenate our churches and community. Please send a resume, cover letter, and at least three references to: President Mark Olson at


Are you an intellectually curious and devoted follower of Christ, passionate about exploring the crossroads of faith, work and community life? Consider taking a class or two with like-minded folks in our community at Leland. At Leland we are excited to offer classes that are accessible to people from diverse walks of life, ranging from topics like "Theology of Work" to "Advanced Biblical Study in Revelation" to "World Religions." Our one-page application to take classes as a "graduate special student" is quick and easy to complete and will qualify you to take up to six two-credit masters-level classes or audit as many classes as you want without entering a formal graduate program. If you don't have your bachelor's degree yet, we have something for you too! Our School of Ministry offers bachelor's-level classes, and applying is just as easy.

Interested in more information? See our Class Schedule page for the classes we will be offering in the coming term. See Financing Your Education for current tuition rates and fees. Or, contact Debbie McCain Wesley, Director of Enrollment, and she will be glad to answer any questions you have and get you started on your journey with Leland.


This season the issues of racial reconciliation, community health, and the role of law enforcement have been at the forefront of our public consciousness. This is a kairos moment for a program we at Leland have been developing throughout the last year. The S.A.L.T. Project (Spirituality and Law Enforcement Training) aims to bring clergy and law enforcement together in a dialogue to consider their complementary roles in pursuing "shalom" both in the community and in their own personal well-being as public servants. Rev. Samuel Feemster, a retired FBI trainer, and Dr. Jeff Willetts, Professor of Divinity at Leland - both are pastors as well - are uniquely qualified to lead this project. Both have been involved for the last several years with training law enforcement officers and theological students in the areas of spirituality and pastoral care in the context of law enforcement. As a part of the project, Leland will be offering MF4331-Spirituality and Law Enforcement as an intensive class in the Spring 2014 semester. Clergy and law enforcement officers are invited to apply as participants in the ongoing project, and to register specifically for the class.

HERE is the link for the application to the SALT Project

HERE is the link for the Course Description

For more information, contact the registrar at


Leland graduate Josh Hayden has just accepted the call to serve as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Ashland, Virginia, an opportunity which will give him plenty of opportunity to demonstrate transformational leadership, the quality which Leland seeks to instill in each of its students.

Josh was one of Leland's youngest M.Div. graudates in 2008, and is still only 32 years old. After graduate, he continued to serve as Associate Pastor at the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Warrenton, VA. In addition to bringing his creative talents to ministry, he also enrolled in Duke's D.Min. program, from which he expects to graduate in 2015 or 2016. His D.Min. Thesis, "Creative Destruction: Towards a Theology of Institutions," seeks to explore ways in which Christian institutions can be reborn, sometimes after their "death" but other times through rigorous seeking after a new kingdom purpose.

First Baptist of Ashland has a great heritage and is a flagship church for its region. More than 1000 Christians clam membership in the church. However, the congregation is hoping to more effectively reach young people, including the students in nearby Randolph-Macon College. The congregation believes that Josh is just the transformational leader to help them pursue this great opportunity. With his help, the congregation hopes to explore what it looks like to lay down their lives as a means to help the town of Ashland and surrounding Hanover County to flourish - to help shape the imagination of a community wondering if churches can contribute to the common good.


What lead you to Leland? Two ministers from my home church, Rev. Samuel Feemster, a Leland graduate, and Rev. Sonya Habimana, a Leland Trustee, both suggested that I look into Leland, as they saw my passion for teaching Sunday School grow over the years. I started at Leland in the fall of 2009.

What degree are you pursuing? I am currently pursing my Masters of Divinity. The course work has opened up my mind to a host of information that has made Christian life and traditions clearer for me to understand. I like to teach. As I have learned over the years, students have so many questions about the Bible and how to live for God. The more that I learn about Christian history, Baptist history, and theological thoughts and ideas, the better equipped I am at bringing clarity to my students' minds.

What in your experience as a student has been most beneficial to your current ministry responsibilities and what are those responsibilities? The most beneficial experience that I have had is sitting in class and listening to my classmates' thoughts and witnessing their reactions to topics that are brought up in class. The diversity of thoughts and backgrounds brings added dimensions to the learning experience. Not only do I learn from the professors and my text books, but I have the opportunity to learn from the shared experiences of my classmates. I did not have this experience when I pursued my undergraduate degree.

I'm currently teaching Sunday School for middle school and high school students at my church. Learning more about the context of life in Biblical times has helped me to explain cultural activities of those times to my high school youth groups.

How do you understand your ministry as transformational? As a teacher, I am responsible for helping students understand the Bible. Teaching is my passion. I am thankful for having a good understanding of the Bible, and and I am thankful for the ability to help teenagers understand how to read it, and how to learn about God's will by studying it. I use my gift to help teenagers grow in understanding of the Bible and God's will at an early age, so that they do not have to struggle with turning their hearts over to God later in life.

Are there any particular Leland courses that have been impactful? The first two classes that I took at Leland, "Introduction to Theology" and "Philosophy for Theology", were wonderful "check yourself" courses. While I had been saved for twenty years, and I was a confident Sunday School teacher, those two classes taught me that there is a lot more to theology than I had anticipated.

What are your plans for the future? My current plans are to continue pursuing my Masters of Divinity degree. I am proud to say that I am at the half-way point. The road has been long, but every class, every book, and every paper have been worthwhile. They have poured so much understanding into my mind, though, of course, I have much more to absorb.

Any other thoughts on Leland? Leland provides a great atmosphere for learning. The small class size allows for plenty of conversation, and the professors welcome the dialogue. Many professors will even deviate from their lesson plans (for just a few minutes) to give extra nuggets of information that they believe will help their students understand basic concepts or history. The professors have experience in their field and know what knowledge and assistance their students will need to be successful. I have yet to meet a professor at Leland who did not care about his or her class.

-Andre Coles, Current Leland MDiv Student





  John Leland Center for Theological Studies
1306 N. Highland Street
Arlington, VA  22201