Garrett-Evangelical News

“Leadership, Stewardship, Smart Geothermal"

GeothermalEvanston, IL, October 2010 - The community of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has made a conscious effort to take specific steps in order to “Go Green.”  The notion to take seriously a theologically informed stewardship of creation has been made manifest through the massive renovations of Loder and Lesemann Halls. By partnering with Indie Energy Smart Geothermal™, Loder and Lesemann will be heated by gathering solar energy stored in the earth and cooled by using the ground to remove heat from the buildings. When completed, Loder Hall will have Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification.

"Including geothermal energy in our facility remodeling will save money on energy costs.  It also demonstrates a commitment to the responsible care of God's creation.  We are demonstrating to our students, the Church, and the broader community a commitment to environmental stewardship," says president Philip Amerson. “These current renovations provide a tangible example of putting a theology of creation care into practice.”

Garrett-Evangelical’s progressive and aggressive thinking in creation care caught the attention of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.  The three parties met along with representatives from Northwestern University and the Evanston Chamber of Commerce to discuss the benefits of renewable energy.  Congresswoman Schakowsky’s acknowledgement of this project speaks to her commitment to renewable energy and the creation of new green jobs.

These renovations are not only helping the environment, they are also improving the life of students of Garrett-Evangelical by adding new amenities that will promote community and spiritual growth. Some of the highlights of Loder Hall, thanks to these renovations, includes: outdoor patios, a chapel, and a prayer room; a student lounge, kitchen and dining area, and high tech classroom in the Lower Level; the student center, cafeteria, and bookstore on the First Floor; and updated guest suites and student dorm rooms on the second through fourth floors.

“This is a mission driven project that will provide the students the space and resources to have a productive and quality education at Garrett-Evangelical,” says Dr. Pamela Lightsey, dean of students. “Community life and classroom education work together to create a well-rounded education. By including attractive and comfortable dorm rooms, an updated library, accessibility, and a student center, students will have a place to develop community as well as think theologically.”

First year student, Tasha Sargent is excited that Garrett-Evangelical is being environmentally and student conscious with these new renovations. “Community is something that is very important to me and was one of the reasons I choose to come to Garrett-Evangelical. I am also passionate about the taking care of the environment so that future generations can enjoy God’s creation. It was great to hear that the seminary was not only making renovations that would promote community but would also be environmentally sustainable with the use of geothermal energy.”

The renovation is expected to be completed in August 2011, just in time for the start of Fall classes.

Garrett-Evangelical is a graduate school of theology of The United Methodist Church founded in 1853. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 500 students from many denominations and various cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve the church and society around 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.