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Accreditation and Title IX

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is accredited by two associations of schools, each with rigorous standards that challenge the seminary to assess its work in light of its mission and of common standards for excellence in graduate education: The Association of Theological Schools and The Higher Learning Commission. Both agencies will reviewed the school for reaccreditation in fall of 2018 and both agencies reaffirmed accreditation for the seminary through 2028. The following degree programs are approved by the Association of Theological Schools: M.Div., M.A. in Christian Education, M.A. in Pastoral Care and Counseling, M.A. in Public Ministry, M.A. in Spiritual Formation and Direction (formerly M.A. in Spiritual Formation and Evangelism), M.T.S., D.Min., and Ph.D.

Accreditation Agency contact information:


The Association of Theological Schools of the United States and Canada
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275
Fax: 412-788-6510


The Higher Learning Commission
30 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602-2504
(800) 621-7440

Substantive complaints regarding our ability to meet accreditation requirements may be submitted through the Higher Learning Commission’s Complaint Process.


As a graduate theological school chartered in Illinois, Garrett-Evangelical is authorized to operate and offer degree programs by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). Complaints regarding its operation that cannot be resolved directly with the institution may be submitted to IBHE.



National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Logo

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has been approved by Illinois to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.

In addition, Garrett-Evangelical is on the approved seminary list and is regularly evaluated by the Commission on Theological Education of the University Senate of The United Methodist Church.

Educational Effectiveness

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is a graduate school of theology that prepares skilled, bold and articulate leaders who share the transforming love of Jesus Christ. Related to The United Methodist Church, with an ecumenical and international reach, we prepare leaders who are equipped to live and proclaim the Gospel and to teach in diverse congregations and educational settings. To this end, measuring the educational effectiveness of our programs is Garrett-Evangelical’s ongoing commitment.

Evaluating educational effectiveness is an ongoing process carried out across our degree programs. We continually seek to improve our teaching practices and the educational quality of programs for our students. Assessment processes range from course evaluation questionnaires to review of degree and program goals to interviews with alumni/ae. We annually review the data made available to us from the Association of Theological Schools through the Graduate Student Questionnaire (GSQ) and utilize that information as one of many bases for the improvement of curricula and student services. Two key components in the GSQ report are the assessment of Educational Effectiveness in Facilitating Skill Areas which students consistently rate as effective to highly effective, and the Level of Satisfaction with School’s Students Services and Academic Resource, in which students report a general level of satisfaction. We also look to our significant markers for student learning for keys to improving our degree program pedagogy, including a mid-program evaluation that guides students toward successful completion of the program and the final projects specific to each degree program. 

Other key measures of effectiveness include graduation rates, the average length of time for the completion of a degree, and continuing enrollment. These are listed below for each degree program for students entering between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2017.


Master of Divinity (M.Div.)

This professional degree for pastoral vocation provides the academic qualification for ordination as elder or deacon by The United Methodist Church and other denominations. The M.Div. offers students the opportunity to choose from a variety of concentrations, including urban ministry, youth ministry, social justice, and African-American Church Leadership. In addition, the program prepares students with high academic achievement for doctoral studies in religion. 

  Total Enrollment % Completed Degree Average Years to Completion % Still Enrolled % Withdrawn % Change Degree
MDiv 372 60.2 3.4 18.0 17.5 4.3


Master of Arts (M.A.)

Master of Arts degrees equip students in the following areas of specialized ministry: Christian Education (MACE), Pastoral Care and Counseling (MAPCC), Public Ministry (MAPM), and Spiritual Formation and Direction (MASFD). These programs prepare students for leadership in congregations and agencies in specialized ministries. They also meet educational requirements for those seeking ordination as deacons in The United Methodist Church and for elders preparing for specialized ministries.

  Total Enrollment % Completed Degree Average Years to Completion % Still Enrolled % Withdrawn % Change Degree
MACE  29 55.2 2.9 20.7 20.7 3.4
MAPM*  2 50 2 0 0 50
MAPCC  51 56.9 3.1 15.7 23.5 3.9
MASFD* 4 25 2 25 25 25

* The MAPM program began in 2017 and the MASFD was reconfigured as a separate degree at that time.


Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.)

This two-year degree program allows for specialization in a chosen area of research and provides preparation for doctoral study in religion. It can be combined with a professional degree. Areas of specialization include: Old Testament, New Testament, History of Christianity, Theology and Ethics, Liturgy, and Religion, Personality and Culture. 39% of graduates in this program over the past five years have gone on to advanced academic study.

  Total Enrollment % Completed Degree Average Years to Completion % Still Enrolled % Withdrawn % Change Degree
MTS 57 45.6 2.7 28.1 26.6 0


Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)

The DMin is an advanced degree in Christian ministry that prepares students for spiritual leadership in the church and enhances their competence as practical theologians. The DMin reflects the seminary’s commitment to meeting the needs of leadership in the church and the serious theological reflection that is foundational to this task. Tracks include: Community Organizing, Congregational Leadership, Spiritual Direction, Strategic Leadership for Black Congregations, and Preaching. 

  Total Enrollment % Completed Degree Average Years to Completion % Still Enrolled % Withdrawn % Change Degree
DMin 95 47.4 3.3 24.2 28.4 0


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

This program prepares persons for teaching and research in theological seminaries, departments of religion in colleges and universities and church leadership. PhD students may specialize in one of five program areas:  Biblical Studies; Christian Education and Congregational Studies; Liturgical Studies; Pastoral Theology, Personality, and Culture; and Theology, Ethics and History. Of our graduates over the past five years, 58% currently serve as faculty or administrators in higher education, 8% as directors or administrators in denominational agencies, 24% as pastors of congregations, and 10% in other agencies or programs.

  Total Enrollment % Completed Average Years to Completion % Still Enrolled % Withdrawn % Change Degree
PhD 74 29.7 5.7 47.3 21.6 1.3


Notice of Nondiscrimination

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary does not discriminate, or permit discrimination by any member of its community against any individual, on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, genetic information, or any other classification prohibited by law in admissions, recruitment, financial aid, employment, housing, services, or in its educational programs or activities.

Title IX

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is committed to a safe and healthy environment and, as such, does not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form, including but not limited to, sexual harassment or sexual assault, gender harassment, discrimination based on pregnancy and prenatal status, stalking, and dating and domestic violence. Such conduct violates the community values and principles of our institution and disrupts the living, learning, and working environment for students, faculty, staff and other community members.

An attempt to commit an act identified in this policy, as well as assisting or willfully encouraging any such act, is considered a violation of this policy. Community members may also be held responsible for any misconduct by their visitors and guests.

Title IX (Title IX 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681, et seq.) of the U.S Higher Education Act protects individuals from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities which receive federal financial assistance:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

You can find futher information on Title IX and Garrett-Evangelical's Sexual Misconduct Policy here.

Student Concerns, Complaints, and Grievances

The policy and procedures regarding Student Concerns, Complaints, and Grievances are set out here. Current students may also access this information and a secure online form here.