6.png

apply-orangeapply-orange

Contact Admissions

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

Phone: (847) 866-3945
Toll-Free: (800) SEMINARY
Fax: (847) 467-1269
GetAdmitted@garrett.edu

Christian Education & Congregational Studies

The PhD in Christian Education and Congregational Studies (CE) primarily prepares persons for teaching in theological seminaries and undergraduate church-related colleges as well as denominational leadership in education. Students learnhow Christian faith is formed and embodied in communities of faith through the integration of insights from theology and the social sciences (psychology, education, sociology, anthropology). Two key emphases are (1) the traditions and practices of Christian religious education in congregations and public life that empower persons for faithful living, and (2) formation of youth in church and culture. Our interdisciplinary emphasis equips students to engage several fields in their research projects such as congregational studies, multi-cultural education, human development, qualitative research, history, and theology.

Admission

Admission Requirements:

    • Masters degree in religious or theological studies from an accredited college or university.
    • Proficiency in the English language. Applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to give evidence of such competence (demonstrated by a TOEFL score).

A completed application consists of:

  • Application
  • Research statement
  • Professional experience/Resume
  • Writing sample (15 pages)
  • 3 letters of reference
  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • $75 application fee
  • Background check (conducted by the seminary, may take up to two weeks to complete)
  • Additional financial and church documents are required of international students in order to satisfy interrnal and federal requirements.

The admissions committee reserves the right to determine in its sole judgment whether an applicant is a suitable candidate for a specific concentration in the Ph.D. program.

Graduation

PhD (CE) Degree - 40 semester hours
CE Degree Grid

  • 7 semester hours of core courses required for all PhD students
  • 18-24 semester hours of Christian education and related disciplines
  • 9-12 semester hours in a cognate concentration
  • 2 research tools: one in a language for academic research and another in qualitative research or congregational studies (social science research tools require satisfactory completion of two graduate-level courses). Students may present competence in two languages as long as they also include congregational research in coursework.
  • 4 written qualifying examinations and an oral examination covering the following areas: 
    (1) Overview of religious education 
    (2) Congregational studies 
    (3) Cognate area (church history, ethics, biblical studies, or theology) 
    (4) Focused area of research (e.g., transformative teaching and learning, etc.)
  • Dissertation prospectus to be discussed and approved at the time of the oral examination or within three months following the satisfactory completion of oral exam, as negotiated with advisor.
  • Dissertation

Program Goals

Knowing:
To know practices and disciplines of Christian education and formation and to understand how these are affected by differing cultural contexts. This goal includes the following sub-themes:

  • To know major approaches to faithful teaching and learning,
  • To understand learning theories - particularly liberative and transformative learning and multiple intelligences theory - and their pedagogical use,
  • To be aware of theories of human development including psycho-social, socio-cultural and faith development,
  • To know learning theories and how to use them,
  • To know the dynamics of congregational analysis,
  • To know the methods of qualitative, historical, and practical theological research,
  • To understand the practices and dynamics of university and seminary education,
  • To explore the dynamics of interfaith religious education.

Doing:
To conduct research in educational ministry and to prepare for teaching and leadership in a seminary, college, and/or the church.

  • To integrate practices of biblical and theological study into Christian religious education,
  • To be able to read, evaluate and engage the culture of a congregation and its community with particular sensitivity to culture, race, class and gender,
  • To teach a class in Christian education,
  • To demonstrate abilities to consult with others in educational ministry,
  • To complete a major research project using qualitative, historical or practical theological research.

Being:
To become a Christian educator/ practical theologian who seeks to liberate and empower persons to be co-creators of the reign of God in our multi-cultural and multi-faith environment. This goal includes the following:

  • To be a reflective teacher and leader who can empower others in a congregation or educational institution to be reflective and open to transformation,
  • To be a Christian disciple who continues to engage in the practices that develop and deepen faith,
  • To understand oneself as a critical and open participant in the ongoing practices of an academic discipline and theological tradition.

In addition to addressing these goals, students have ample opportunity for developing skills as teachers and scholars through serving as teaching assistants and developing a teaching portfolio. Each student develops a focus for research. Projects of previous graduates have included the following:

• Youth ministry in the African American church,
• Theological and vocational understandings of laity, 
• Theological education in Puerto Rico,
• Children and Eucharist,
• Theological development of adolescent girls,
• Spiritual formation in theological education,
• Pastoral leadership in urban African American congregations,
• Ministries with second generation Korean American young adults,
• Narrative and identity formation in the life stories of immigrant women.


Courses

Select Courses in this concentration:

 

• Seminar in Christian Education (offered each year. Topics include theology and education, emancipatory pedagogy, ethnicity and cultural pluralism, education for social change, and theological education)

• Youth, Culture, and Church 
• Adults and Christian Faith 
• Advanced Practicum in Teaching and Learning 
• Christian Education in the African American Experience 
• Curriculum and Resources in Educational Ministry 
• History and Theories of Christian Education
• Faith and Developmental Theories 
• Methods in Congregational Research 
• Seminar in Practical Theology 

 


Faculty

The present faculty members in Christian religious education have focused their research on the history and theology of education, on congregational studies and qualitative research, on practical theology, on youth ministry, and on adult education. Some professional contributions include the following:

Reggie Blount

Reginald Blount

Assistant Professor of Youth, Formation, and Culture

Virginia Lee

Virginia Lee

Associate Professor of Christian Education and Director of Deacon Studies


Select Bibliography
Study book to accompany the first book, Dust and Breath: A Christian Perspective on Faith and Health, by Kendra G. Hotz and Matthew T. Mathews, in a new series for the Church Health Center, 2011-2012.

“Becoming Multi-culturally Competent,” Christians in Education, Spring 2010.

“Piety: Affirmation of Tenure Message,” Memphis Theological Seminary Journal, Vol. 23, 2007.

“Guide Us, O God,” That We May Be Saved: Advent -- Lent Devotional Book 2002—2003, Division of Spiritual Formation, Board of Discipleship, Virginia Conference, 2002.

“The Pastor as Educator,” Alert Magazine, Fall 2000.

"The Hidden Curriculum: Is Your Church Teaching What It Intends To Teach?" Circuit Rider, March-April 2000.

Jack Seymour copy

Jack Seymour

Professor of Religious Education


Select Bibliography
“Characteristics of Religious Education.” Religious Education 107 (October‐December 2012) – in press.

“Theology, Education, and Social Science.” Religious Education 107 (July‐September, 2012): 321‐ 322.

“Building Consensus and Negotiating Conflict.” C(H)AOS Theory: Reflections of Chief Academic Officers in Theological Education. Ed. by Kadi Billman and Bruce Birch. Eerdmans, 2011: 268‐279.

Yearning for God: Reflections of Faithful Lives. With Margaret Ann Crain. Nashville: Upper Room Press, 2003.

A Deacon’s Heart: The New United Methodist Diaconate. With Margaret Ann Crain. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2001.

Mapping Christian Education: Approaches to Congregational Learning. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997.

 

Graduates

Select Recent Book Publications of Program Graduates:
(Graduates identified in bold italics)

Baker, Dori Grinenko. Doing Girlfriend Theology: God-Talk with Young Women. Pilgrim Press, 2005.

Baker, Dori Grinenko & Mercer, Joyce Ann. Lives to Offer: Accompanying Youth on Their Vocational Quests. Pilgrim Press, 2007.

Caldwell, Elizabeth. Making a Home for Faith: Nurturing the Spiritual Life of Your Children.United Church Press, 2000.

Caldwell, Elizabeth. Leaving Home with Faith: Nurturing the Spiritual Life of Our Youth.Pilgrim Press, 2002.

Kang, S. Steve. Unveiling the Socioculturally Constructed Multivoiced Self: Themes of Self Construction and Self Integration in the Narratives of Second-Generation Korean American Young Adults. University Press, 2003.

Conde-Frazier, Elizabeth; Kang, S. Steve; Parrett, Gary. A Many Colored Kingdom: Multicultural Dynamics for Spiritual Formation. Baker Academic Books, 2004.

Parker, Evelyn. Trouble Don't Last Always: Emancipatory Hope among African American Adolescents. Pilgrim Press, 2003.

Wimberly, Anne Streaty & Parker, Evelyn. In Search of Wisdom: Faith Formation in the Black Church. Abingdon Press, 2002.

Tribble, Jeffery. Transformative Pastoral Leadership in the Black Church. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan Press, 2005.

Select Recent Book Publications of Program Graduates: 

(Graduates identified in bold italics)

Baker, Dori Grinenko. Doing Girlfriend Theology: God-Talk with Young Women. Pilgrim Press, 2005.

Baker, Dori Grinenko & Mercer, Joyce Ann. Lives to Offer: Accompanying Youth on Their Vocational Quests. Pilgrim Press, 2007.

Caldwell, Elizabeth. Making a Home for Faith: Nurturing the Spiritual Life of Your Children.United Church Press, 2000.

Caldwell, Elizabeth. Leaving Home with Faith: Nurturing the Spiritual Life of Our Youth.Pilgrim Press, 2002.

Kang, S. Steve. Unveiling the Socioculturally Constructed Multivoiced Self: Themes of Self Construction and Self Integration in the Narratives of Second-Generation Korean American Young Adults. University Press, 2003.

Conde-Frazier, Elizabeth; Kang, S. Steve; Parrett, Gary. A Many Colored Kingdom: Multicultural Dynamics for Spiritual Formation. Baker Academic Books, 2004.

Parker, Evelyn. Trouble Don't Last Always: Emancipatory Hope among African American Adolescents. Pilgrim Press, 2003.

Wimberly, Anne Streaty & Parker, Evelyn. In Search of Wisdom: Faith Formation in the Black Church. Abingdon Press, 2002.

Tribble, Jeffery. Transformative Pastoral Leadership in the Black Church. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan Press, 2005.

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