Garrett-Evangelical News

Meet Ashish Singh

Ashish Singh

Tell us about yourself: (degree/year, hometown, undergrad you attended, what did you do before seminary)

I currently live in Arlington Heights, IL, and I am a first year Master of Divinity student. I was born in St. Louis but moved to Chicago at the age of 5. I graduated from Loyola University in Chicago with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2000 and a Master of Information Systems Management in 2002. Before becoming a student at Garrett-Evangelical, I worked for ten years at the Walgreen’s corporate office in a variety of positions focused on marketing and merchandising analytics.

What caused you to become a seminary student and change your career path? 

I grew up hearing stories about my grandparents who had converted to Christianity in India, even though they knew it would lead to persecution. My father also told me about his journey to become a pastor. Through these stories, as well as my own experiences, I realized the transformative power of the Gospel, and I was baffled by the idea that this life-changing message could mean nothing to so many in our society today. I felt God calling me to spend my life sharing the message of transformation and liberation that is made known in and through Christ.

What has been the most challenging transition from your career to being a student, and how have you dealt with that?

I can safely say that I didn’t read this much before coming to seminary!  In my career, many days I would be able to come home and turn my brain off from whatever projects I had going on in order to focus on things at home. Now I am being challenged at school with so many new ideas that I have not encountered before, so it is hard to stop thinking about school. I’ve learned that at some point you just have to force yourself to take a break from schoolwork and tend to the other needs around you and within you.

What do you plan to do after seminary and has it changed since you began seminary? If so, why?

I am currently in the candidacy process working towards ordination as an elder in The United Methodist Church and feel that I am being called to pastoral ministry. Although as I talk to other students and see how many different and unique ways there are to serve, I can’t help but keep an open mind. Over a year ago I would have laughed at the idea of being in seminary, so anything is possible!

Why did you choose Garrett-Evangelical as your seminary?

Being a United Methodist who lives in the area, I knew that I had to at least check out Garrett-Evangelical when looking at seminary options. I came here for an open house with my wife, and as we walked around campus and met other faculty and students we both felt that it was the right choice.

How has Garrett-Evangelical fulfilled or surpassed your expectations as your seminary?

The level of academic quality and personal care shown by the faculty has really surpassed my expectations. Faculty members want to make sure students finish the required coursework, and that what we learn helps to shape our future ministry in a significant way. The passion they have for training future leaders is very evident because that is what they are called to do and not just what they are paid to do.   

What has been your favorite class/biggest revelation during class and why?

Honestly I am not sure if I can narrow it down to just one class. After finishing my first semester, I am realizing that Christ is so many things to so many people. Reading a variety of authors and listening to lectures from different professors, it is amazing to see how different people from different walks of life have interpreted Scripture and tradition by viewing it from the lens of their own unique experience. Every time I think I completely understand something, someone introduces a new interpretation that challenges me. 

What do you do to find Sabbath during the hectic school year and managing family life?

Our VFCL class challenged us to create a Rule of Life to help us try to structure our lives so that we remember to take time for ourselves and with God. Adhering to some of the rules I created is helping me to keep from losing myself in the hustle of everyday life. When life gets really busy, I have learned how to find Sabbath within the activities I am already doing. That way, time I spend with my family also becomes a time of rejuvenation and a communal time with God. 

Do you have any advice for potential students who are considering Garrett-Evangelical for their theological education?

There are a lot of great options out there, but I can say that my experience here at Garrett-Evangelical has truly been an incredibly fruitful one. I would definitely advise visiting Garrett-Evangelical’s campus and speaking with some students and faculty. I have found the mission statement on the Seminary’s website to be very accurate in portraying the character of the school. I feel that when my time here is done, and by the grace of God, I will be a more effective witnesswherever I end up.

Meet Josh Larson

Josh LarsonHometown: Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Home church: St. Luke United Methodist Church, Sheboygan

Degree program: Master of divinity

Other degrees: Bachelor of business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

My call to ministry: I first received a call to ministry during high school. However, rather than embracing that call right away, I put it aside for a few years. In January 2014, I accepted a job at Appalachia Service Project (ASP) to work in West Virginia. ASP provides repairs to substandard housing in Appalachia. While I was working for that organization, we were encouraged to understand where God was calling us to serve. I discerned that God (again) was calling me to ministry. Now I am at Garrett-Evangelical. I have a huge passion for housing issues and rural poverty, both issues I worked on at ASP.

My experiences at Garrett-Evangelical so far: I chose Garrett-Evangelical to pursue my call because of its commitment to provide bold, passionate leaders for the church. I am extremely grateful for the conversations Garrett-Evangelical is having about issues regarding the church. I also chose Garrett-Evangelical because everyone was so welcoming during my visit. As soon as I arrived on campus, it felt like home.

What has surprised me: My experience at Garrett-Evangelical so far has been amazing. It has been great to be in conversation with other students and professors about Christianity, church, and the broader world. The biggest surprise so far has been the diversity of ideas on campus. Having an amazing blend of opinions and ideas has allowed me to grow in my faith in ways I never imagined. I often find myself moved during the Wednesday Gospel chapel service, which has been a great place for fellowship after dinner.

My future plans: I am in the inquiring candidacy part of ordination, planning to become a deacon in The United Methodist Church, and I am working on discerning to what part of ministry God is calling me. My time working with ASP was very important to me, and while I am not sure exactly where I am being called in mission and service work, I do feel called to a connection to that type of service. I am excited to continue the discernment process next year during field placement.

Aware Magazine | January 2015

Featured Articles

In the January issue of Aware Magazine you will hear directly from six of our newest students. They demonstrate a wide range of past experiences and future plans. We hope you will find these stories inspirational, as our students hold great promise for the future of the church and our world.

Additional features include the Steads' transformative giving to the Forging Our Future Campaign and Dr. David Hogue's faculty article, "We Marched in the Streets This Week."

Read Now

To view Aware Magazine as an online publication with the best reading experience, including fullscreen and zoom capabilities, click on cover below. If you would prefer to read Aware Magazine in a PDF format click here.

Meet Ran Yoo

 MG 9936Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is blessed by the presence, gifts, and experiences our international students bring to the seminary community. We recently sat down with Master of Divinity student Ran Yoo to hear about her exeperiences at Garrett-Evangelical.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am from Seoul, South Korea.I graduated from Methodist Theological University in Seoul with a major in theology. I am affiliated with the First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple as a ministry intern, and my home church is Jesus-Love Korean United Methodist Church in Skokie. I came to Garrett-Evangelical in 2012 with the intention of becoming an ordained Elder in the UMC. I am currently a certified candidate of Northern Illinois Conference of the UMC.

What made you decide to come to seminary, and how did you choose Garrett-Evangelical as your school?
I was born and grew up in the Methodist Church. Thus, I searched all United Methodist affiliated schools when I decided to come to America to study abroad. Among the thirteen United Methodist seminaries, Garrett-Evangelical seemed to be well balanced academically and in practical application. Lake Michigan and the incredible city of Chicago are other benefits of attending Garrett-Evangelical.

What has it been like to attend school in the U.S. after growing up in a different country? How have you had to adjust culturally?
I moved to the U.S. as a 26-year-old. I wanted to start the second quarter of my life in America. Starting a new life in a foreign country was certainly a difficult journey. Language barriers and cultural differences presented significant challenges. Even after being here for two years, I am still learning new things. Debra Shutter, a Garrett-Evangelical student who graduated in May of 2014, became my conversation partner and helps me with many of these difficulties. I call her my American mother because of the friendship we have developed through our classes together and our conversations.

What has made you feel most at home and welcome at Garrett-Evangelical as a student who is not from the U.S.?
At Garrett-Evangelical there are several people who sincerely care and support international students. I really appreciate their hospitality throughout my time here at school.  

What has been your biggest challenge you have faced in seminary, and how did you overcome it?
When I started my field education, I was really afraid of staring my ministry in a totally different setting. In my first year, I served in a Korean church before being placed somewhere new for my field education assignment. While I was nervous about serving in an unfamiliar context, I am completely satisfied with my current field site. I realize now that God’s plan is always better than mine, and I am learning a lot in my new assignment.

Do you have any advice for students who are currently considering enrolling in seminary and what they should look for in a school?
I think the most important part of choosing a seminary is knowing what they can provide you to prepare you for your future ministry. Do they provide good academics, internship programs, scholarship opportunities, and worship services? Decide what you need to build up for your specific calling and vision, and then you can search out what school will be the best for you as a bold leader of the church.

Meet Brian Smith

Brian Smith Dec. 2014Name: Brian E. Smith, Sr.

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois (Englewood Community)

Degree Program: Master of Divinity

Why did you choose Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary?
I chose Garrett-Evangelical because my congregation has a longstanding history with the institution and I was familiar with its practices and culture. I have a pastor’s heart and I appreciated Garrett-Evangelical’s emphasis upon practical ministry. Garrett-Evangelical trains students to become preachers, teachers and leaders in the church.

What are you planning on doing after you graduate from Garrett-Evangelical?
I am planning to serve as a pastor or assistant pastoral leader in the Baptist Church. I intend to pursue post-graduate education opportunities and I would like to serve with organizations that focus upon international ecumenical relations or economic development.

I have always had a keen interest in building cross-cultural and religious partnerships on an international level. I also come from an entrepreneurial family, which has sparked my interest in assisting with the development of both labor and business, especially in underserved communities. Garrett-Evangelical confirmed my passion and calling to tend to the full flourishing of communities both in terms of their spiritual well being and their socio-economic advancement.

Which of the three chapel services is your favorite and why?
I am perhaps biased towards the Wednesday evening Gospel service in terms of my favorite worship experience simply because it is one I am most familiar with. I love soulful music and worship. However, I also enjoy the Tuesday Word and Table service because Holy Communion is offered at every gathering. In my own Baptist tradition, communion is served only once on the first Sunday of each month.

What has been the most influential worship service you have attended Garrett-Evangelical and why?
I have attended numerous worship services but the most impactful service that I can recall is the Word and Table service in which Dr. Stephen Ray preached from the Exodus passage describing the moment when Pharaoh’s army was drowned in the Red Sea. This service was held in the context of the killing of Mike Brown. Dr. Ray’s message was profound and clear: Don’t take on the ways of your oppressor. Given the recent grand jury decisions not to indict the killers of unarmed black men, it is imperative for Christians to actively respond to evil without hatred in our hearts. This is not an easy task but Dr. Ray reminded us that we must always strive to reach our higher calling; to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

In what ways have you assisted in either the planning or taking part in the chapel services?
I have preached at a number of services and I have ministered through singing in chapel. Every experience is unique and informative, particularly in the traditional formats that are outside of my own worship style. I have learned to appreciate the variety of expressions and even incorporate some of those elements into my own worship practices. I am comfortable in a variety of settings and it brings me joy to know that I have an extended family in the body of Christ.

Do you have any advice for students who are currently applying to seminaries and going through the discernment process to find out which seminary is right for them?
I advise prospective seminarians to pay close attention to their passionate responses in life. Pay attention to the things that make you excited. Even your negative emotions provide clues in terms of your calling. Don’t underestimate your abilities or God’s ability to work through you. If you are an older established professional seeking a change in your career, recognize that God can and will use everything that you have experienced for God’s glory. Be patient with yourself and remember that God is never in a hurry. Remember that God is always present but quite often we are the ones who are absent from God.

Student Stories: A Cross-Cultural Field Education Experience

Kyle ReynoldsField education is a key component of the Master of Divinity curriculum at Garrett-Evangelical. It gives students the opportunity to discern, test, and refine their call as they apply their seminary education in real life ministry settings. While many of our students serve in traditional parish settings throughout the Chicagoland area, third year M.Div. student, Kyle Reynolds of Olathe, Kansas, decided to venture a little farther away from Chicago for his field education placement. This past summer, Kyle served at Wesley Methodist Church in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. He also participated in classes at Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, where students from all over South Africa attend to become full-time ministers in the Methodist Church of South Africa. We recently sat down with Kyle to talk to him about his field education experience.

How did you decide to go to South Africa for your field education?

I was looking for something non-traditional to do as a field placement, and I knew I needed to do something over the summer. Garrett-Evangelical already had connections there, and I knew it was an opportunity like no other. The people at Seth Mokitimi were extremely welcoming and very eager to have me.

What was your involvement with Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary?

I spent two weeks with the students in what is called “vocational intensive.” Students basically learn all the things you need to learn for ministry that you don’t learn in a normal classroom setting. The entire student body learns together, and the focus of this specific session was missions. We learned what the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA) was doing on the larger structural level, what missions look like for the local congregation, and what missions look like for the seminary. I spent a few weeks attending classes like a normal student, which gave me a feel for what seminary students in South Africa were learning and a glimpse of what theological education looks like through a South African perspective.

Where did you do your practical ministry experience, and what were your roles?

I spent two weeks working in Wesley Methodist Church, which is a middle-class white congregation there in Pietermaritzburg. I preached, I attended and lead Bible studies, and I was a liturgist on Sunday mornings. In one week we were in five different schools, leading devotionals for staff, praying for students and leading devotionals for them too. The congregation was very proactive about being involved in the community, and that is something that really stuck with me.

If pastors in the U.S. would commit to taking on one public role (visiting prisoners, visiting firefighters, visiting teachers before classes start, going into a business area and leading a devotional over lunch), we would see a lot of change in our communities and in our churches. Pastors in South Africa were ministering wherever they could, wherever doors were open. Every time they walked through one of those doors, it seemed like two more opened.

What is something from your experience that you have found has really affected your classes here at Garrett-Evangelical?

My cultural awareness has grown significantly since I’ve been at Garrett-Evangelical. Becoming immersed in another culture and hearing critical opinions about the United States, even if most of them were true, were challenging and powerful experiences.  They gave me the opportunity to get a glimpse of the world through someone else’s lens, which has made me much more sensitive to culture and context in any conversation we have in seminary. It has also shown me the importance of being careful about making absolute statements about one’s understanding of God. I have learned to take a step back and reflect and realize the smallness of my context.

Has this affected your calling in ministry or your goals in ministry?

It allowed me to broaden my understanding of what the title of pastor entails. I don’t know that the people I met were doing anything totally different from what some are doing in the U.S., but I had never seen it before. All of the practical ministry experiences I had there broadened my scope of what ministry can include. It also built connections that I believe will last a really long time.

What is the best advice you can give to people who are currently looking at potential seminaries?

Learn everything you can about a school’s field education program. How flexible are they? What does a normal field placement look like? What are the requirements? What structure is in place? Are there churches and agencies they have long-standing relationships with? Are there new sites being added regularly? Can you go to a context that is not your own? That’s why I wanted to go to South Africa. I wanted to experience something completely different than what I have grown up in or what I may or may not be doing for the rest of my life. That’s also why I chose Garrett-Evangelical for my theological education. None of this would have been possible without the Seminary’s remarkable field education department and resources and for that I remain grateful.

Aware Magazine | 2013-2014 Annual Report

The 2013-2014 Annual Report chronicles our progress and new initiatives during the past year, and gives you an opportunity to hear directly from each member of the Leadership Team. We pray that you will enjoy reading about the ministry of our seminary and we encourage you to get involved, pray for our students and faculty, and support our mission to prepare bold, articulate spiritual leaders for the world.

To view Aware Magazine as an online publication with the best reading experience, including fullscreen and zoom capabilities, click on cover below. If you would prefer to view Aware as a PDF click here.


Distinguished Alums 2014

RitaLester2 copy copyRita Lester

Rita Lester pursued the study of religion and religions as exemplary of the liberal arts, including methods and data from humanities and social sciences.  She holds two degrees from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, a master of theological studies conferred in 1991 and a doctor of philosophy conferred (jointly with Northwestern University) in 1997. 

Lester has taught at Nebraska Wesleyan University (NWU) in Lincoln, Nebraska since 1998.  She currently serves as professor of religion and is also the faculty president, a member of the board of governors, and was chair of the philosophy and religion department (2006-2012). In addition to undergraduate courses, Lester has taught religious diversity in NWU’s master of arts in historical studies program.  Lester is a strong advocate for a comparative approach to religious study.  Lester teaches courses such as World Religions, Understanding Religion: Christians and Muslims, Women and Religion, and Contemporary Religious Studies.

Students and colleagues of Lester say she is known for her rigorous courses. In the same breath, they are quick to point out that her courses are so intriguing and engaging that students want to come back for more. “It is one thing to teach information, but it is really something else to inspire,” wrote one of Lester’s NWU students.  She is celebrated by her colleagues for her ability to stretch students’ minds, stay current on best teaching methods, her countless hours spent helping students with their prestigious scholarship applications, and work with students outside of the classroom.

It is because this continued dedication that Lester has earned recognition and unique career opportunities.  She spent 2007 on sabbatical in Toronto where she studied and conducted research at the Encounter World Religions Centre. She served as a Fulbright Program adviser during the 2009-2010 academic year and continues to contribute to prestigious scholarship programs such as Fulbright, Boren and Critical Languages.   In 2010, she was one of 12 professors in the nation selected to attend the “Teaching About Islam and Middle Eastern Culture” seminar in Jordan.  That same year she won NWU’s 2010-2011 Margaret J. Prouty Faculty Teaching Award.  In 2012, Lester was named the Nebraska Professor of the Year and was honored on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. She was selected from nearly 300 top professors in the country.

Lester was one of the 150 authors who contributed to the Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America (Indiana University Press, 2006), which was edited by Rosemary Skinner Keller and Rosemary Radford Reuther, both former faculty of Garrett-Evangelical. Lester's most recent publication is a chapter on tradition in Voices of Feminist Liberation (Equinox Press), which was published in the fall of 2012.

While her academic department is small, many agree that her reach is wide. “I went to school back when one could get a degree in religion, but really only study one religion, or even just a part of one religion,” said Lester. “The study of religion is more like the study of languages these days; people should know more than one. And knowing other ones may even help you to better know your own and yourself.”


 

M. Franklin DotsM. Franklin Dotts

After teaching high school English in Pittsburgh for six years, M. Franklin Dotts received a call from God to move from public education to Christian education. He pursued this call by attending Garrett Biblical Institute and received a master of divinity (M.Div.) degree with a specialty in Christian education in 1961. In this same year, he was certified in Christian education and ordained an elder in the Nebraska Annual Conference of The Methodist Church. In 1969, he received a doctor of education (Ed.D.) degree in religious education with a specialty in curriculum planning from Teachers College, Columbia University, through its joint program with Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

While pursuing his doctoral degree, Dotts began his long tenure at the United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) and the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) of The United Methodist Church.  He started there as an editor of church school curriculum resources for young children and early elementary children in the Department of Children’s Publications. After six years, he became the Director of Curriculum Planning, which meant working with the entire editorial staff in long-range planning of curriculum resources for all ages.  From 1986 until his retirement in 1990, Dotts served as Executive Editor of Children’s Publications, with responsibility for all church school resources for children from birth through Grade 6.  Throughout his time as editor on the national staff, Dotts was widely known for his encouragement and leadership. He served as a professional and personal mentor, setting an example for countless colleagues through whom his work continues today.

Dotts retired as an elder in the Nebraska Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church in 1991 but continued to share his editing gifts in free-lance work with both The United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ. He also served the church through consulting and leadership training in local church, district, and annual conference Christian education.

For the past 28 years, Dotts has also served as a children’s consultant in the Committee on the Uniform Series of the National Council of Churches, which produces the International Lesson Series curriculum outlines for numerous denominations and publishers.  His work there exhibits Dott’s deep commitment to ecumenical Christianity as he has brought his wisdom and wealth of theological and biblical expertise to such a diverse ecumenical setting.

Dotts currently serves on the Board of Directors of Sacred Traditions and Rituals (STAR.), an inclusive worshipping community at Central United Methodist Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina. In recalling Dotts’ impact on STAR, The Rev. Susan E. Perrin writes, “In ordinary things done, one can experience extraordinariness. That is what Franklin has done, does, and will continue to offer his family, friends, community, church, STAR, and his alma mater… That is why the Rev. Dr. M. Franklin Dotts is worthy of this recognition from his beloved institution.”

Meet Michael Weaver

michael weaverHometown:
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio; Currently living and working in Middlebury, Indiana

Home church:
I was born and raised in The United Methodist Church and am currently serving as director of youth ministries and worship leader at the United Methodist Church in MIddlebury.

Degree program: 
Master of Divinity

Other degrees:
Bachelor of arts in church music and minor in theatre/drama, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Mount Vernon, Ohio

Formative experiences:
Being raised in the church was an important formative experience in my life. I also was blessed with two different summer church internships while I was an undergraduate. They allowed me to see what really goes on "behind-the-scenes" of experiences at Garrett-Evangelical. Since I am still working, the distance was important, and it was also important that the seminary was sensitive to the challenges of commuting students with respect to scheduling and programs. I was very impressed when I visited and with the contact I had with the school after my visit. They really listened to what I had to say and were able to help me stay connected with the seminary and to people I met there.

Plans for the future:
I am still in the process of discernment, but right now I feel that I am being called into youth/young adult and creative arts ministries. I want to continue to help youth and young adults come to know Jesus, but I also want to continue to use my musical and theatrical abilities.

Meet Cora Glass

Cora GlassHometown: Pontiac, MI

Home church: First United Methodist Church, Birmingham, Michigan

Degree program: Master of Divinity

Other degrees: Bachelor of arts in nonprofit leadership and management

Formative experiences:
In seventh grade, my church held a contest to see which youth could raise the most money for the CROP walk, a charity walk for hunger and poverty relief. The prize for the contest was a chance to see The Sound of Music on stage at the FOX Theater in Detroit. I loved The Sound of Music, so I decided to send letters to all my friends and family asking for donations. Along the way, I learned more about the impact I was making for hungry and impoverished people around the world. This became the catalyst for my involvement in missions. This love for the church's work in our world is my motivation toward pursuing ordained ministry.

Experiences at Garrett-Evangelical: Over the years, I have been mentored by many Garrett-Evangelical graduates. Many of these pastors have a passion for missions and community. When I began looking for a seminary to attend, I knew Garrett-Evangelical would be a place that would nurture my call. The seminary's location also provides great opportunities to work in the city and suburbs of Chicago.

Plans for the future:
I feel called to become an ordained elder. This will allow me to help inspire congregations towards deeper relationships with God and community. I desire to help churches reach out and provide for the spiritual, emotional, and material needs of their community.

Aware Magazine | July 2014

Congratulations to the class of 2014! This year 85 students received degrees from Garrett-Evangelical, and we commend them on their fine work and their future ministries. In this issue of Aware Magazine you'll meet eight of our graduates who are going forth to live out God’s call to serve the church, academy, and world. 

Aware is published quarterly by the Development Office for alums and friends of Garrett-Evangelical, a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church with an ecumenical outreach. To view Aware as an online publication with the best reading experience, including fullscreen and zoom capabilities, click on cover below.

If you would prefer to view Aware as a PDF click here.


 

Meet Octavius Wilson

 MG 0032 copy copyHometown: Chicago, Illinois

Home church: Carter Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Chicago

Degree program: Master of divinity

Other degrees: Bachelor of arts in business administration

Formative experiences: Truthfully, I have had many experiences that can be attributed to accepting Christ in my life and my call to service. The one that really stands out to me was an experience in 2007 when I lost one of my closest friends to gun violence. Growing up on the south side of Chicago was filled with challenges. Young people are faced with the temptations of drugs, gangs, and dropping out of school. Even my friends and I made some bad decisions and ended up affiliated with the gangs in the neighborhood. Because of this decision from our childhood, one of my friends ended up losing his life. Unfortunately, I was there to watch him breathe his last breath.

This incident changed my life. It made me appreciate life more than I ever had in the past. The experience also gave me a passion for people who are influenced and affected by gangs. This tragedy eventually led me to God, and now I am serving at a church in the inner city as the youth pastor. The challenges I have had in my life make me want to help those faced with the similar challenges make the right decisions in their lives. It is my goal to see our youth survive, and ministry is the avenue in which this will happen. It is my hope that the seminary will refine my gifts so that I can be even more effective in saving lives.

Experiences at Garrett-Evangelical: What attracted me to Garrett-Evangelical was my first cousin, Rev. Dr. George Wilson. He is an alumnus of this school and spoke with such high regard of the faculty and the program at this seminary. Since I have been here, everything he said has been true. I am extremely glad to be matriculating at Garrett-Evangelical.

Plans for the future: It is my dream to one day be the CEO of a community center that provides a space for spiritual, mental, and physical health development for children, youth, and adults. It is my hope that there will be more than one facility and that each will be placed in a community that is in need of change, socially and economically. It is my vision that these facilities will be a form of the church that is less traditional, but just as effective in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ by being the light in the midst of darkness.

Aware Magazine | May 2014

From Chicago to Seoul and across the world, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is committed to a cross-cultural education for our students. You can read all about it in our latest magazine issue. Aware is published quarterly by the Development Office for alums and friends of Garrett-Evangelical, a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church with an ecumenical outreach.

To view Aware as an online publication with the best reading experience, including fullscreen and zoom capabilities, click on cover below. If you would prefer to view Aware as a PDF click here.


 

Meet Paul Ortiz

Ortiz PaulHome state: California

Home church: Urban Village Church, Chicago, Illinois

Degree program: Master of Divinity

Formative experiences: My earliest memories of church life are in little storefront buildings located in the California barrios where I grew up. Growing up in the Hispanic/Latino(a) Pentecostal tradition, the songs we sang and the sermons I heard were mostly in Spanish, and as a result the theology was often in Spanish, too. By this I mean that I was presented with a God that was involved with the struggles of the poor Hispanic families of my childhood congregations. My journey since has taken me to non-denominationalchurches and recently to The United Methodist Church.
 
Experiences at Garrett-Evangelical: I have found Garrett-Evangelical to be theologically progressive and evangelical at the same time. This combination is important to me. I believe that the future of the church is a blend of the passionate spirit of the Evangelical Church along with the bigger theological outlook that often categorizes mainline Protestantism.

Plans for the future: I have been part of Urban Village Church since 2010 and was a church planting intern for over a year. I have recently transitioned to student pastor at a bilingual United Methodist Church, El Redentor Del Calvario/Redeemer of Calvary. I dream about church planting in Hispanic/Latino(a) neighborhoods and experimenting with new ways of doing church. Many Hispanic/Latino(a) people from my generation identify as religious “nones.” I desire to minister to those whom have been disillusioned or even hurt by the church.

 

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