The Andrew T.P. Merrow Fellowship provides a residential experience at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS). Generous parishioners and friends of Fr. Merrow established the fellowship on the occasion of his 20th anniversary as Rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. Merrow Fellows come from outside the United States and participate in the life of the seminary and parish communities, where they help deepen the understanding and appreciation of the broader Anglican Communion.
Fellowship recipients are chosen by a committee consisting of parish and seminary representatives.
Shunila Ruth is the 2017 Merrow Fellow.
Ruth is a Pakistani human rights activist and politician. She is serving as Coordinator of Women’s Synodical, Church of Pakistan to support and develop women’s leadership in, liturgical, spiritual and socio-economic aspect. She is an ardent advocate of gender equality in church and admission of women to ordained ministry in Church of Pakistan [member Church of Anglican Communion].
She has spent her career defending the rights of women and religious minorities in Pakistan. She is the co-founder of Talitha Kumi Welfare Society, an organization working to rescue and rehabilitate women victims of violence.
As a politician, she is elected Member of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab since May 2013. She is the President of the Minority Wing of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Pakistan Movement of Justice), a political party in Pakistan, founded by cricketer-turned-Politician Imran Khan.
She has extensively traveled abroad to represent Pakistan on international forums. She represented Pakistan at the Fourth World Conference for Women in Beijing 1996. She was elected World Secretary of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women.
She is also a member of Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) that facilitates the co-operative work of the Churches of the Anglican Communion.