GTS appoints the Rev. James W. Farwell to the H. Boone Porter Chair of Liturgics

General Theological Seminary
Posted Jul 5, 2023

The Rev. James W. Farwell, Ph.D., assumed the H. Boone Porter Chair of Liturgics on July 1, 2023.

The General Theological Seminary (GTS) announced the Rev. James W. Farwell, Ph.D., assumed the H. Boone Porter Chair of Liturgics on July 1, 2023.

Dr. Farwell is an honors graduate of GTS (’89) and served on the Seminary’s faculty from 2002 to 2007. He will hold dual appointments at General and Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS), where he will continue in his current role as Professor of Theology and Liturgy.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., President of GTS, said: “We are delighted that Dr. Farwell will be part of the team teaching at GTS. He was trained at GTS and continues to believe in the distinctive GTS ethos. He knows and loves the Chapel of the Good Shepherd. The liturgical tradition of GTS is safe in the hands of Dr. Farwell.”

Following the Affiliation Agreement with VTS, General is embarking on an exciting season of renewal, which has seen the launch of an innovative hybrid MDiv program that responds to the changing needs of the church.

Dr. Farwell said: “I look forward to helping to lead the evolution of General from a residential to a hybrid program for formation for ministry, building rigorous online teaching around learning intensives in residence at General’s campus in New York City. As a member of faculty at VTS, I am honored to serve one of the strongest institutions for residential formation in the country, and I would like to help make General Seminary one of the strongest for hybrid formation.”

At GTS, Dr. Farwell will teach liturgical history, liturgical and sacramental theology, and liturgical leadership. He will continue to teach liturgical, sacramental, and comparative theology, and liturgical leadership at VTS, as well as directing the Anglican Studies Diploma program.

The H. Boone Porter Chair of Liturgics is endowed by the generosity of the family of the Rev. H. Boone Porter, D.Phil. Dr. Porter played a significant role in the leadership of The Episcopal Church in the late 20th century. The Book of Common Prayer 1979 reflects his influence, from its overall spirit to some of its prayers and rites. Dr. Porter was also editor of The Living Church for 13 years and a leader in mutual ministry. He was Professor of Liturgics at General Seminary from 1960 to 1970, establishing the first doctoral program in liturgics in the country. He mentored many students who went on to become giants in liturgical scholarship in The Episcopal Church, including Marion Hatchett, Leonel Mitchell, and Thomas Talley, who was Dr. Farwell’s own first teacher in liturgics at General Seminary.


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Founded in 1817, The General Theological Seminary of The Episcopal Church is the oldest seminary of The Episcopal Church. The Seminary was chartered by an act of The Episcopal Church’s General Convention and its name was chosen to reflect its founders’ vision that it be a seminary to serve the whole church.