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Garrett–Evangelical Theological Seminary

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
Motto To know God in Christ and, through preparing spiritual leaders, to help others know God in Christ.
Established 1853
Type Seminary
Affiliation The United Methodist Church[1]
President Lallene J. Rector
Dean Luis R. Rivera

Evanston, Illinois, USA
42°03′22″N 87°40′32″W / 42.0562°N 87.6755°W / 42.0562; -87.6755Coordinates: 42°03′22″N 87°40′32″W / 42.0562°N 87.6755°W / 42.0562; -87.6755{{#coordinates:42.0562|-87.6755|type:edu_region:US-IL|||||| |primary |name=

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Garrett–Evangelical Theological Seminary (G-ETS) is a graduate school of theology of The United Methodist Church located in Evanston, Illinois. It is located a few miles north of Chicago on the Evanston campus of Northwestern University. The seminary offers a number of masters and doctoral-level degree programs in theology and is actively engaged in outreach to congregations focusing in the Midwest but with influence around the world.


Founded in 1853[3] through the liberality of Mrs. Eliza Garrett,[4] Garrett-Evangelical is the result of the interweaving of three institutions:

  • Garrett Biblical Institute, the first Methodist seminary in the Midwest, was established in 1853 by largely the same church people who founded Northwestern University. Its founders hoped that the school would shape mind and spirit toward an educated ministry.
  • The Chicago Training School, established in 1885, was an important force for women in ministry and for developing service agencies throughout Chicago. Chicago Training School merged with Garrett Biblical Institute in 1934.
  • Evangelical Theological Seminary, located in Naperville and founded as a seminary of the Evangelical Church (later the Evangelical United Brethren) in 1873. Garrett-Evangelical was formed in 1974 when the Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston merged with the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Naperville, Illinois (both UMC schools). The merged school occupied the Garrett campus.[3]

Garrett-Evangelical is on the campus of Northwestern University and continues many associations with the university. The school was a pioneer institution in preparing women for ministry.[5] The Chicago Training School for Home and Foreign Missions for women was merged into Garrett Biblical Institute in 1930. Dr. Georgia Harkness was the first woman to hold the post of professor of theology at any seminary in the United States. The Center for the Church and the Black Experience was one of the earliest centers focusing on ministry and the African American experience.

Degree programs[6]

Masters Level

Doctoral Level

Garrett-Evangelical offers six Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) concentrations:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Christian Education & Congregational Studies
  • History of Christianity and Historical Theology
  • Liturgical Studies
  • Pastoral Theology, Personality and Culture (Clinical Training Track also available)
  • Theology and Ethics

Garrett-Evangelical also offers five Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) tracks:

  • African-American Congregational Leadership
  • Congregational Leadership
  • Spiritual Direction
  • Mission in the Contemporary United States
  • Preaching (in cooperation with ACTS, the Association of Chicago Theological Schools)

UM Programs

  • Basic Graduate Theological Studies: For those seeking Deacon's orders in the United Methodist Church
  • Certification Studies: For those seeking Certification in the United Methodist Church
  • Children's Ministry
  • Music Ministry
  • Christian Education
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Evangelism
  • Youth Ministry
  • Course of Study School: For United Methodist local pastors
  • Advanced Course of Study: For local pastors who have completed Course of Study School and are seeking Elder's orders in the United Methodist Church


Northwestern University

Garrett-Evangelical and Northwestern University have a relationship that is almost a century and a half old. Common founders established both institutions to provide an educated ministry for an educated church. Over the decades, the institutions have shared numerous resources, including courses, buildings, faculties, libraries, parking, and technology.

Today, the Garrett-Evangelical learning community is deeply enhanced through its relationship with Northwestern:

  • Library resources and access (both physical and virtual);
  • E-mail and other forms of information technology;
  • Ph.D. coursework and dissertation advising;
  • Recreational facilities and opportunities;
  • International student assistance;
  • Many cultural events and special lectures and programs.

The Association of Chicago Theological Schools

The Chicago area boasts the greatest concentration of seminaries per capita of anywhere in the U.S. The Chicago area schools are organized into a cluster called The Association of Chicago Theological Schools. Garrett-Evangelical is one of the 11 member schools. The ACTS website states:

Together, the schools within ACTS offer a rich network of resources for theological education, making the association one of the outstanding centers of theological education in the world. Available to the approximately 3,000 students currently enrolled at its member schools is a faculty of more than 350, more than 1,000 courses offered annually, and library collections of 1.7 million volumes and nearly 5,000 currently received periodical subscriptions.[8]

Ecumenical Theological Seminary Program

Garrett-Evangelical cooperates with the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit in a program that enables students to take up to half of their work toward a Master's degree in Detroit.

Dual Degree in Social Work with Loyola University

Garrett-Evangelical and the School of Social Work of Loyola University of Chicago have a cooperative agreement for a dual degree program leading to the MSW at Loyola and the MDiv at Garrett-Evangelical. Selected courses may be applied to the respective degrees at each school. Students must be admitted to both schools.

Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education

Garrett-Evangelical has a collaboration with SCUPE (Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education), which thinks prophetically and imaginatively about the direction of our global civilization as evidenced in our cities. SCUPE offers experiential learning that allows the city to touch the heart and the heart to reach out to the city. Our academic courses prepare individuals with information and skills to become effective agents of transformation in our urban world. Garrett-Evangelical offers an Urban Ministry Concentration. Seminary students take five courses through SCUPE, learning at sites throughout the city.

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary

Garrett-Evangelical and Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) have partnered to provide students at AMBS seeking ordination in the United Methodist Church the opportunity to earn a certificate in United Methodist Studies from Garrett-Evangelical. In return, AMBS will provide a set of courses for a concentration and/or certificate in Peace Studies for Garrett-Evangelical students.

Some of these courses will be made available online, some by intensive courses in January and the summer, and some during regular semester terms on the campuses in Evanston or Elkhart. Another component of the partnership is that each school will also provide staff to advise students in fulfilling the expectations for these certificates.

Notable alumni

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Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Faculty/former faculty


  1. ^ "Garret-Evangelical Theological Seminary". General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Our History". Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "About Us". Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  4. ^ 12px Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Garrett Biblical Institute". Encyclopedia Americana. 
  5. ^ Keller, Rosemary Skinner, "Conversions and Their Consequences: Women's Ministry and Leadership in the United Methodist Tradition" in Catherine Wessinger, Religious Institutions and Women's Leadership, South Carolina University Press, 1996, pp. 101-123.
  6. ^ "Degrees and Programs". Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Connections". Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Association of Chicago Theological Schools". Association of Chicago Theological Schools. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Distinguished Alums". 

External links