Virginia Theological Seminary
Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill was founded by the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1941. The Dean of the Seminary at the time, The Very Rev. Alexander C. Zabriskie, officially served as the first Rector of the parish. An associate rector, The Rev. Robert F. Gibson (later Bishop of Virginia) was appointed to run the parish.
In 1946, the Seminary gave a parcel of land to the parish to build a rectory and a separate parish hall. A smaller chapel was later built at this site, where a 9:00 a.m. Sunday service was established to accommodate increasing numbers of parishoners. It was named Zabriskie Chapel, in honor of the primary source of inspiration for establishing the parish. Services continued to be held in both the Immanuel Chapel on the seminary campus as well as the new Zabriskie Chapel until fire destroyed the Immanuel Chapel on October 22, 2010. Upon completion of the new Chapel for the Ages on the VTS campus, services will again be held on both sides of Seminary Road.
Several ordained faculty members of VTS currently serve as priests associate for Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill. Other faculty members, staff, and seminarians have made Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill their home congregation. Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill serves as a field education site for seminarians at VTS as well as a training site for the Diocese of Virginia's summer internship program, Mid-Atlantic Parish Training Program.
The strong relationship and close ties between VTS and Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill are vitally important to both institutions, and are deeply cherished and tended to in many ways. Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill is still referred to as the "Seminary Parish." This relationship was formalized with a written Covenant in 2015.