Join us as we celebrate Drs. Philip and Elaine Amerson and their years of ministry and service to the church and the academy.

Since June 2006, Philip A. Amerson has faithfully and honorably served as President of Garrett-Evangelical. Since then, President Amerson has provided leadership during exciting and challenging days, and has brought imagination and tireless commitment to theological education at the school, the national church, and beyond. Among the significant achievements during this time, President Amerson saw enrollments increase by over twenty percent, led a major renovation of campus facilities and worked to double the capital campaign gifts and pledges, surpassing $75 million of the $100 million goal. Under his leadership, Garrett-Evangelical emphasized hospitality and sustainability, added faculty positions in Wesley and United Methodist Studies, Global Christianity and World Religions, and supported the establishment of the Rueben Job Chair in Spiritual Formation. During this time a renewed emphasis was given to strengthening the Center for the Church and the Black Experience and broadening the school’s reach through online learning.

In honor of President Amerson's years of service and upcoming retirement, Garrett-Evangelical is pleased to host a two-day event October 23 and 24, 2013 that will include conversations on church and theological education, worship, and a concert featuring special guests. Use the tabs below to learn more and register. We hope that you will join us in celebrating President Amerson's ministry and service to Garrett-Evangelical, the Church, the academy, and the world.

Philip A. Amerson Bio

Phil AmersonThe Rev. Dr. Philip A. Amerson became president of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, in June 2006. He also holds the title of professor of the sociology of religion.  Dr. Amerson received a doctor of philosophy degree from Emory University in 1976, a master of divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1971 and a bachelor of arts degree from Asbury College in 1967. 

Prior to arriving at Garrett-Evangelical, he served as president of the Claremont School of Theology for six years.  Dr. Amerson has taught at several colleges and graduate schools. As an ordained elder of the United Methodist Church, he has also served as pastor for 21 years, including appointments at three congregations in the South Indiana (now Indiana) Conference. 

His work in the United Methodist Church includes: founding member of Patchwork Ministries in Evansville, Indiana;  vice president of the University Senate; chairperson of the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools; member of the Commission on Theological Education; member of the Bishop’s Task Force on Theological Education and of the Ministry Study Commission;  presenter at the 10th and 11th Oxford Institutes of Methodist Theological Studies and co-convener of the “Practical Theology” session at the 2002 event; and delegate to United Methodist General Conferences in 1992, 1996, 2000 (South Indiana Conference) and 2004 (California-Pacific Conference).

He is the author of numerous books, articles and papers, including Tell Me City Stories: A Journey for Urban Congregations and his most recent publication, “The Vocation of Peacebuilding,” with John W. Woell in Choosing Peace Through Daily Practices.

A cradle Methodist and Indiana native, he is married to Elaine, formerly the director of leadership for The United Methodist Church’s California-Pacific Annual Conference. The Amerson family includes a son and daughter-in-law, Andrew and Erin; a daughter and son-in-law, Lydia and Tom Murray; and three grandchildren. 

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, October 23rd

The Joy of Congregational Life
1:00-2:20 p.m. | Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful

The Joy of Educating for the Common Good
2:35-3:50 p.m. | Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful

4:00-5:00 p.m. | Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful
Preacher: Bishop Michael McKee, North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church

Dinner and Program
6:30 p.m. | Dinner and Program | Allen Center, Northwestern University (Limited capacity, please register by September 30th using the Registration on this page)


Thursday, October 24th

Concert - A Night to Remember: The Life, The Legacy, The Lyrics 
7:00 p.m. | Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful


The Joy of Congregational Life

1:00-2:20 p.m. | Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful

Rev. Laurie Haller
First UMC, Birmingham, MI

  Dick Wisdom 7087316 n Rev. Dr. Richard Wisdom
Northern Illinois Conference 
of The United Methodist Church

Rev. Dr. Carlyle Fielding Stewart, III
Hope UMC, Southfield, MI













The Joy of Educating for the Common Good

2:35-3:50 p.m. | Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful

luis rivera 

Dr. Luis Rivera-Rodriguez 
Theological Seminary 

Rev. Tom Porter
JustPeace Center
Dr. Shanta Premawardhana
Seminary Consortium for
Urban Pastoral Education
Dr. Sara Wenger Shenk
Anabaptist Mennonite
Biblical Seminary



A Night to Remember: The Life, The Legacy, The Lyrics 

7:00 p.m. in the Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful featuring special guests:


Cynthia Wilson
Grammy- nominated artist and
Dean of Students at Garrett-Evangelical

  DSC 0595 copy Garrett-Evangelical Faculty-
Music and Wordsmith Offerings by: Barry Bryant, Charles Cosgrove, Ruth Duck, Brooke Lester, Jim Papandrea, Henk Pieterse, Stephen Ray, Osvaldo Vena, and Brent Waters


(Courtesy of Indiana University) 

Charles Webb
Dean Emeritus, 
Indiana University School of Music



Hotel, Shuttle Service, and Parking

Hotel Accomodations and Shuttle Service

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hilton Garden Inn in Evanston, Illinois at a rate of $145.00 a night. To register call 800.STAY.HGI or 847.475.6400 and mention "Amerson Retirement" to receive the discounted rate. You must make your reservation by September 25, 2013, to receive the discounted rate.

We are please that Hilton Garden Inn will provide shuttle services for this event. Please note the shuttle seats only 12 people, so shuttle service will be on a first-come-first-served basis. The hotel is only planning to run one shuttle at each specified time on Wednesday, October 23:

  • 12:25 p.m. - Meet in lobby for 12:30 shuttle from Hilton Garden Inn to Garrett-Evangelical
  • 3:25 p.m.   - Meet in lobby for 3:30 shuttle from Hilton Garden Inn to Garrett-Evangelical
  • 5:45 p.m.   - Meet in front of Main Garrett-Evangelical building for 5:50 shuttle to Hilton Garden Inn
  • 6:15 p.m.   - Meet in lobby for 6:20 p.m. shuttle from Hilton Garden Inn to Garrett-Evangelical
  • 9:10 p.m.   - Meet in front of Allen Center Main Entrance for 9:15 shuttle to Hilton Garden Inn

Getting to Campus

Campus and Parking Maps 


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