FAQs for Hybrid Master’s Degree Programs

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Our Admissions Office is here to help you at getadmitted@garrett.edu or 847.866.3998.


The following degree programs are available in a hybrid format at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary:


    • Master of Divinity
    • Master of Arts in Faith, Culture, Educational Leadership (Formerly Master of Arts in Christian Education)
    • Master of Arts in Pastoral Care and Counseling – Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Track
    • Master of Arts in Public Ministry


This means that students can enroll in any of these degree programs without relocating to the Evanston/Chicagoland region.

Garrett will have two intensive sessions for distance learners to take courses on campus. These will occur during our January term and our June summer sessions. Students in the Master of Arts in Public Ministry program will also be required to attend a short in-person retreat during Garrett’s Fall New Student Orientation period.


If a student is within commuting distance of campus, you are also welcome to register for in-person courses throughout the year as it is workable for your life and schedule.

Yes! All students qualify for scholarships from Garrett and there is no separate application! Simply submit your application to the Seminary and you will be considered for all available funds.

Garrett will offer online courses in three formats: synchronous, asynchronous, and hi-flex. Synchronous means that even though you will be learning from a distance, you will join your classmates and your instructor live (and virtual) at a specified class time each week. Asynchronous means that you will learn on your own schedule, within a specific timeframe. Asynchronous learners will still have deadlines and work to submit on a weekly basis, but you will not have a specified time where you will meet with your classmates or your instructor. Lastly. Hi-flex learning is a class modality that allows students to join both in-person and virtually during a live class session. Updated classroom technology allows this to be a seamless experience in the classroom no matter how you participate.

No! We are excited to say that our enhanced hybrid degree programs do not require that you be within commuter distance of Garrett’s Evanston campus.

The Office of Admissions encourages prospective students who are considering ordination to be in conversation with their denominational ordination boards as they discern their next steps in theological education. Some traditions have specific requirements around how many courses a student must take in-person to be considered for ordination. United Methodist students are required to take 1/3 of their courses in-person to qualify for ordination as an elder or a deacon. That said, Garrett’s intensive courses do qualify as in-person learning and would count toward any residential standard that your denomination may require.

Yes! Garrett is committed to supporting both full-time and part-time learners. As vocational ministry shifts, and more bi-vocational learners enter our programs, we are committed to making sure that we support all students throughout their degree program. Each program does have a maximum time frame that you must complete your degree within, these time limits represent the window you have to complete your degree while maintaining your federal student aid and Garrett scholarships. They are as follows:


    • Master of Divinity: 8 years (16 consecutive semesters)
    • Master of Arts or Master of Theological Studies: 6 years (12 consecutive semesters)

Housing will be available on campus on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Office of Admissions can also provide you with off-campus housing options if you would prefer.

You do have to take online courses as a student at Garrett. Our move to increase hybrid options will not impact our robust residential offerings. We are committed to continuing the highest quality of residential theological education as before, while expanding our modalities in order to make our programs as accessible as possible to a wide variety of students. There may be times where the course that works best for your life and schedule is offered in a virtual format. But the decision can be worked out in a conversation with your faculty advisor.

Garrett has taken intentional time to enhance our hybrid degree programs in a way that offers distance learners an equally robust student experience as our residential students. This means that the various student-facing offices throughout our institution will make themselves available via phone or video call, to connect with students remotely. Faculty are already in the habit of engaging advisees and students virtually, and our library staff continues to invest in virtual research resources for students to do their work effectively from a distance.