News and Events

Important news from Dr. Mark Olson

Dear friends,

About  year ago I began preaching three Sundays a month at Haymarket Baptist Church and the experience has reminded me how much I enjoyed serving as a pastor.  The church voted to call me as their new Senior Pastor and I have accepted their call. For that reason I am resigning as President of the John Leland Center for Theological Studies effective December 31, 2017. While Haymarket will immediately consider me their Senior Pastor, I will continue to serve full-time at Leland while preaching three Sundays a month at Haymarket. Only when I complete my work at Leland at the end of December will I transition to full-time work at Haymarket. I believe this will give our Trustee Board time to launch a search for a new permanent President and/or an Interim President if needed.

I want to personally thank each of you for the opportunity to serve with you for these past 10 years. It is a rare opportunity to lead a seminary as it prepares men and women to be leaders in Christian ministry, and I am honored to have served in this capacity. I pledge to give my very best efforts during the next six months to help the school thrive, recruit new students, and raise additional funding. I’m sure Trustee Chair Carl Biggs and I will communicate with you in greater detail about the next steps for our school.

In Christ,

Mark Olson

Upcoming All School Gathering

The John Leland Center for Theological Studies

Presents our Fall 2017 All-School Gathering and Spiritual Formation Service

Saturday, August 26, 2017

John Leland Center

Main Campus – Arlington, VA


August hybrid intensive course opportunity

Leland is offering an exciting August hybrid intensive course opportunity that you won’t want to miss.  The course, Leadership in Ministry, is designed primarily for those who are called to exercise leadership, both in ecclesial and non-ecclesial settings. The conference speakers are widely known and respected leaders in various walks of life. In addition, the course will provide significant networking opportunities at a major leadership conference.  Leaders are expected to attend the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit simulcast  August 10 –11, 2017, at Columbia Baptist Church (Falls Church, VA). Leaders will attend meeting with the instructors during the conference. The conference will be followed by five weeks of online work. The online portion will consist of posting substantive comments on video and reading assignments.

Read the full course description here:


Contact registrar@leland.edu ASAP for more information on how to register for this course.  The summit registration fee will not apply to tuition and must be paid by the student.  To register for the summit, please click here:


The Great Obstacle Race 2017 – Registration

Calvary Hill Baptist Church: The Great Obstacle Race 2017 – Registration

The Great Obstacle Race will be held June 17, 2017 8 a.m – noon at Calvary Hill Baptist Church (9301 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031).  The race is an obstacle course race that will be held on the church grounds, rain or shine.  The race will be held to raise awareness for the plight of refugees and all proceeds will go to Refuge and Hope International


Each paid racer will receive a free tee shirt.  Please sign up below and enter your shirt size.   The cost per Individual is $15 for adults or $10 for children under 12.  There is a group rate for 10 or more racers of $10 per person. Payment is due at the registration table, which opens at 8:00 a.m. the morning of the race (cash, check, or credit card for an addition $1 fee). The Great Obstacle Race will begin at 8:30 a.m.


To help with the with the Great Obstacle Race or become a sponsor sign up here.
Date: 06/17/2017 (Sat.)
Time: 8:00am – 12:00pm EDT
Location: Calvary Hill Baptist Church (9301 Little River Turnpike Fairfax, VA 22031)

June Intensive Course with Dr. Matt Lee

How do we reach people who do not know Christ? That’s the primary challenge of evangelism. In recent years, an eclectic group of Christian leaders from different traditions have been giving a fresh look at evangelism through the lens of community. In our culture where loneliness and a sense of disconnectedness pervade, perhaps a warm, welcoming community infused with grace and love can be a place for healing and belonging. This is the idea behind church planting as evangelism.

Course: Church Planting and Evangelism
Dates: June 9, 10, 16, and 17
Time: 9am to 4pm

 **This course fulfills the Models of Evangelism requirement for M.Div. students**

2017 Graduation Speaker

Leland will hold its graduation at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 3 at the Church at Clarendon and our guest speaker will be Dr. Judy Fentress-Williams, Professor of Old Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary.

Dr. Fentress-Williams earned her Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Yale University and has taught at VTS since 2002. She is also Senior Assistant to Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley at Alfred Street Baptist Church. Among her many publications are the Ruth  commentary in the Abingdon Old Testament Commentary Series, “Micah” in The Women’s Bible Commentary, and “Esther” in Fortress Old Testament. She is a dynamic preacher and Leland is blessed to have her as our graduation speaker.

Alfred Street Baptist Church will also provide one of their outstanding choirs to help lead music during the graduation.

Dr. Shirin Gives Interview to Christianity Today


Dr. Shirin was interviewed by Christianity Today on what American Christians can learn about religious freedom from Russia.  The interview touched a range of topics, such as the history of Russian evangelical movement and how the country’s tiny evangelical population fits into its complicated church and state paradigm.  Also discussed were some lessons North American Christians can draw from recent developments in Russia’s churches and society at large.  You can listen to the interview at:


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