Garrett–Evangelical Theological Seminary

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Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
MottoLet there be light.
TypePrivate Seminary
Established1853; 168 years ago (1853)
Religious affiliation
United Methodist Church[1]
PresidentJavier A. Viera
DeanMai-Anh Le Tran
Location, ,
United States

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
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.jpg

Garrett–Evangelical Theological Seminary (G-ETS) is a private seminary and graduate school of theology of the United Methodist Church. It is located in Evanston, Illinois on the campus of Northwestern University. The seminary offers a number of masters and doctoral-level degree programs in theology and promotes a wide range of programming through its academic Centers and Institutes. These include the Styberg Preaching Institute, the Stead Center for Ethics and Values, the Center for Ecological Regeneration, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience, the Hispanic-Latinx Center, the Center for Asian/Asian-American Ministry, and the Rueben P. Job Institute for Spirituality and Spiritual Formation.


Founded in 1853[2] by Eliza Clark Garrett,[3] 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.[2]

Garrett-Evangelical is on the campus of Northwestern University and continues many associations with the university. Both institutions were founded together by the same group of Methodists concerned about education in the mid-nineteenth century. Garrett was a pioneer institution in preparing women for ministry.[4] 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 religion, ministry and the African American experience.


Northwestern University[edit]

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;
  • Cross registration
  • International student assistance;
  • Many cultural events and special lectures and programs.

The Association of Chicago Theological Schools[edit]

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.[5]

Ecumenical Theological Seminary Program[edit]

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[edit]

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 M.Div. 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[edit]

Garrett-Evangelical has historically collaborated with SCUPE (Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education), which used to exist as a program to empower seminarians for urban ministry.[6] In February 2017, SCUPE underwent restructuring and became OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership, which is now focused on global training in all walks of life.[7] As OMNIA moves its mission away from the seminary focus, it has maintained its relationship with Garrett-Evangelical, but classes no longer count for credit. In place of the SCUPE classes, Garrett-Evangelical has worked to offer more contextually appropriate and public theology-focused classes.

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary[edit]

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[edit]

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Former and current faculty[edit]


  1. ^ "Garret-Evangelical Theological Seminary". General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. Archived from the original on January 24, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "About Us". Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  3. ^ Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Garrett Biblical Institute" . Encyclopedia Americana.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Association of Chicago Theological Schools". Association of Chicago Theological Schools. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "It's Official: SCUPE is now The OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership!". Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2014-02-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]