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Mailing Address
Garrett-Evangelical
2121 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60201

Phone: (847) 866-3971
Toll-Free: (800) SEMINARY
Fax: (847) 866-3989
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Meet Brenda Kostner

Brenda Kostner
22 years old
M.Div., first year           

Kostner BIn part, I chose to attend Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary because it would expose me to different cultures. Growing up on a farm 45 miles southwest of Wichita, KS, I was always curious as to what adventures the “big city” held. A Methodist from birth, I grew up attending the church my parents were raised in, Murdock United Methodist Church.

For my undergraduate work, I studied at Washburn University in Topeka, KS. Curious about nearly every subject, I found a home in the history department, graduating with a B.A. in history. While taking a world religions course, I discovered an interest in the study of religions. I thoroughly enjoyed taking classes in religious history, world religions, and biblical languages. For my senior project, I decided to combine my two interests in history and religion and write on the theology and hymnody of Charles Wesley. Already knowing that I wanted to attend seminary, this project gave me a jumpstart into studying early Methodist history, something I am excited to continue learning about in the future.

While in college I was blessed to be a part of two great faith communities that encouraged and supported me in discerning my call to ministry. University United Methodist Church was my home church away from home. There, I was able to explore my call, helping with youth and children ministries, Sunday school, worship, pastoral care, and discipleship. As a sophomore, I joined the Campus Ministry group at Washburn. I made some of my best friends and was blessed to go on my first mission trip. Also, I was able to assist my campus minister in worship, programming, and with small groups.

For me, seminary has been a continuation of that journey of discernment. I have found the community at Garrett-Evangelical so encouraging and challenging for my call. Right now, I feel called to the local church. What does that mean to me? I believe it is discerning what God is calling the church to be, visioning with people on how to do that, helping people see and understand God in their lives and in the world, and seeing them grow in their identity as God’s children and transforming their communities and the world.

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UMC Logo Garrett-Evangelical, a seminary related to
The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.