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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

Updated August 23, 2021


All students, faculty, and staff who will be present on campus must be fully vaccinated. Additionally, all individuals living in campus housing who are eligible for vaccination are required to receive a vaccine in order to stay in campus housing. Exemptions may be made for medical or religious reasons. Those individuals who are not vaccinated and have approved exemptions should continue to practice social distancing, mask wearing, testing, and self-isolation when traveling domestically and internationally.

For the safety of our community members, during the Fall 2021 semester, all seminary-related events and gatherings will be limited to our students, staff, and faculty who have been fully vaccinated. For those who have not been vaccinated, or who are not a current member of our campus community, virtual options will be made available whenever possible.

The Senior Leadership Team, in collaboration with the Campus Safety Team, will continue to assess the current situation and you can anticipate updates on the Garrett COVID-19 webpage. In an effort to centralize communication at this time, all questions related to the campus closing and the seminary’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) should be directed to

We urge our beloved seminary community to care for their whole selves during this time and to follow the guidelines provided by the CDC. Finally, we join with so many around the world in prayer for those who have been impacted directly by COVID-19, for our healthcare workers, and all who are at a high-risk.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
2121 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois 60201

Information for Prospective and Current Students, Faculty, and Staff

Courses: Fall 2021 Semester


We anticipate that in-person instruction will resume in the Fall of 2021. Classes offered during the 2021-22 academic year will be in the following modalities:

  • Face-to-face: We assume that this will be the primary modality for the academic year, and encourage F-1 students to plan on returning or moving to campus for in-person classes.
  • Fully online: A combination of synchronous and asynchronous online learning with regular and substantive engagement with instructor and peers.
  • Hybrid: A combination of in-person and online learning, the latter of which may be synchronous and/or asynchronous.
  • HyFlex: A few pilot classes with flexible hybrid modalities from which students may choose based on need or preference.

Every required course of our Master’s degrees will be offered in two (2) modalities over the course of the academic year (e.g., face-to-face or hybrid in one term, fully online or hyflex in another term). Course schedules are available online and registration is open for all current and incoming students here.

Housing Availability for Fall 2021 Semester

Housing for Fall 2021

For the Fall 2021 semester, the seminary's three apartment buildings, Loder Hall, and Old Dorm will be available for students who have shown proof of vaccination for COVID-19. To learn more about Housing at Garrett-Evangelical, visit the Housing webpage

We want you to know that the safety and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority. We are working under the guidance of the Center of Disease Control (CDC), the State of Illinois, and the local Health Department in the implementation of our housing plans, protocols, and programming for the 2021-2022 Academic Year. To that end, any person eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine (currently everyone age 12 and up) who resides in Garrett Housing must be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and must provide evidence of such to the Office of Student Life by Friday, August 13, 2021. As vaccines are approved for additional age groups, individuals will have 60 days to acquire vaccines and provide proof to the Housing office. For those who desire to move in on August 1, 2021, proof of vaccination will be required. A COVID-19 vaccination addendum will need to be signed in addition to your lease agreement. If you have any questions related to this policy or need to submit proof of verification, please send email to

International students who are not able to acquire a vaccine prior to arrival in the United States should notify the Office of Student Life prior to their arrival. Such students will be required to obtain a vaccine within 14 days of arrival. These students should also complete a PCR test within 3-5 days of arrival and self-isolate for a full 7 days after arrival, or self-isolate for 10 full days if a test is not completed. These students will be permitted to stay in their assigned housing, but should not attend courses in-person until they have completed their entire vaccination course (2 weeks after 2nd shot for Pfizer and Moderna, or 2 weeks after single-shot Johnson). 

Food Services

A meal plan through Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary will not be available during the Fall 2021 semester, nor will any meal plan fees be charged to student accounts. Students who wish to remain in Loder Hall without food service must plan accordingly. Small refrigerators will be added to each dorm room in Loder Hall to assist. Additionally, there is a kitchen available to be utilized in Loder Hall.

We are in the process of working with Northwestern University to see if Garrett students can sign up for a pre-paid meal plan through Northwestern University. We will provide this information to Garrett dorm residents once we have it available. Based on early discussions with Northwestern University, this pre-paid meal plan would need to be arranged directly between the student and Northwestern University.

Students with questions concerning housing and food services are encouraged to contact the Director of Housing, Tulani Myers, at 847.866.3939 or You may also contact the Garrett Housing Office at

Prospective Students

Who to Contact

General admissions items, setting up a virtual or in-person visit, your admission, or specifics related to admitted students, please contact the Admissions office at or by phone at 847.866.3945.

To continue your discernment and learn more about Garrett, please be in contact with Rev. Grant Swanson at or by phone or text at 224.221.6924.

For questions about financial aid and scholarships, please be in touch with our financial aid office at

Please be assured, we will still be able to get you information, process applications, make admissions decisions, and get you registered for classes.

Campus Visits

As Garrett continues to watch and be responsive to what is happening at Northwestern University, the cities of Evanston and Chicago, and within the U.S. and globally, our top priority remains keeping our students, staff, and faculty safe. This is an evolving situation, and, as such, our Leadership Team continues to assess our current reality and to determine the best ways to safeguard our seminary community and the campus moving forward. Garrett expects to re-open campus to employees on August 9, 2021, and to students for orientation in late August. Campus visits will be available by appointment to vaccinated individuals beginning mid-September. To arrange your campus visit, please email

We would also invite prospective students to consider virtual visits and meetings with staff, students, and faculty, especially if travel poses a barrier to you. Virtual visits can also be arranged by contacting the admissions office at

PhD Applications

In response to COVID-19 pandemic, PhD applications WILL NOT require GRE scores for those applying during the 2021-2022 academic year. The TOEFL test will still be required for students who have not completed a previous degree in English. Those who are unable to complete the test due to COVID-19 should contact the admissions office at for alternative options.

CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

This statement provides information to comply with reporting requirements for Garrett-Evangelical’s participation in the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. 

  • On April 9, 2020, in a letter from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Garret-Evangelical learned that the seminary would receive an allocation from the HEERF program of $54,902 of which no less than $27,451 must be distributed to eligible students in the form of emergency grants related to disruption of instruction due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • On April 17, 2020, Garrett-Evangelical submitted the required grant documents for the first part of the HEERF funds for student emergency grants. Garrett submitted the required certification document at that time.
  • On May 5, 2020, Dean of Students, Rev. Benjamin L. Reynolds issued a notice to all students concerning the availability of the emergency grants, along with a form to apply for the funds.
  • On May 6, 2020, Garrett received notice that the HEERF emergency student funds grant of $27,451 was approved and ready for drawdown in the G5 system.
  • On June 8, 2020, Garrett disbursed 15 grants totaling $21,315.75 to eligible students. The average grant size was $1421.05.
  • As of June 10, 2020, Garrett disbursed 16 grants totaling $22,736.80 to eligible students.
  • As of June 15, 2020, Garrett disbursed 17 grants totaling $24,157.85 to eligible students.
  • On June 29, 2020, Dean of Students, Rev. Benjamin L. Reynolds followed up with the students who had been issued grants in the first round and emailed all students about the opportunity for a second ground of emergency grants, along with a form to apply for the funds. 
  • As of July 16, 2020, Garrett disbursed 20 grants totaling $25,657.85 to eligible students.
  • As of July 23, 2020, Garrett disbursed 28 grants totaling $31,500.40 to eligible students.
  • As of July 30 2020, Garrett disbursed 29 grants totaling $32,000.40.
  • In the first round of grants, 19 students were each awarded $1421.50. In the second round of grants, 10 students were awarded $500 each. The total amount awarded was $32,000.40.

Garrett estimates that 126 Title IV eligible students are enrolled in Spring 2020; the number is based on the number of students who filed FAFSA for Spring 2020.

Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting under CARES Act

The Styberg Library

The Styberg Library will open to the Garrett community on Monday, August 23, at 8:30 a.m. and to the general public on Tuesday, September 7, at 8 a.m. 

Important Library Reopening Guidelines

  1. All regular library services will resume on August 23 – check the library website to find a list of library services offered.
  2. Curbside pickup and scanning services, which have been provided during our remote operations, will continue throughout the fall semester.
  3. Most of the library spaces – e.g., Reference Room, Methodist Room, stacks, group study room, PhD study suite, and restrooms on the lower level – will be open; however, the Ott Lounge and Annex (back room in the library basement) will remain closed until further notice.
  4. Library hours are as follows:
    1. 8/23-9/3: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    2. 9/4-9/6: Closed (in observance of Labor Day)
    3. 9/7-12/31: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  5. Special COVID-19 Precautions:
    1. Masks must always be worn in the library.
    2. No food or drinks are allowed in the library including the PhD study suite.
    3. No group gatherings are permitted in the library.
    4. Social distancing is encouraged.
    5. Disposable masks, hand sanitizers, and disinfecting wipes are available for use at the Circulation Desk.
  6. The Northwestern University Library is currently open to all Garrett students, faculty, and staff. With your Garrett ID, you will be able to access the building during its open hours. Regardless of vaccine status, masks are required in all shared indoor facilities on Northwestern's campus. For more up-to-date information, please check the NU Library website before visiting.

Details about library resources and services can be found on the library’s website. You are also welcome to contact us with any questions or concerns you have by emailing us at or by calling us at 847.866.3909.

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