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Meet Beverly Judge

“Just as we try to make wise choices when we invest in stocks or bonds, we have a responsibility to invest wisely in our charitable giving.”

Throughout her career, Beverly Judge (GTS 1967) has done a lot of thinking about stewardship and charitable giving.

She spent 35 years in New York City working for faith-based organizations and initiatives. She started at Global Ministries working for its Advance program, which encouraged United Methodist churches to “go the second mile” and give to U.S. and worldwide mission projects. She later managed the Global Ministries’ Office of Field Interpretation, helping missionaries visit their supporting churches and setting up mission interpretation events throughout the country. After that, she did freelance communications work for many faith-based organizations including the American Council on Gift Annuities and the Stewardship Commission of the National Council of Churches.

So, when it came time for her to create a planned gift of her own, Judge knew exactly what she wanted to do.

“When we give to causes and organizations, we are making an investment as well as a charitable gift,” she explained. “Just as we try to make wise choices when we invest in stocks or bonds, we have a responsibility to invest wisely in our charitable giving.”

That’s why Judge decided to invest in Garrett-Evangelical. She created a planned gift through the Florida United Methodist Foundation and named Garrett-Evangelical one of its beneficiaries. Upon her death, the money will go to Garrett-Evangelical to provide scholarships for women.

“I wanted to do something for my seminary,” she said. “It meant a lot to me as a student and a staff member.”

Judge came to Garrett Theological Seminary after graduating from McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas, with a degree in religion. As a college student, she had wanted to be an ordained minister, but by the time she arrived at Garrett, she had decided that it was not a good fit for her.

“I didn’t have the pioneering spirit that it would take,” she said. “This was in the early 1960s, and while it was technically possible, it was not easy.”

She chose Garrett because she was looking for a seminary that offered a degree other than a master of divinity and a master of religious education. At the time, Garrett had a joint MA program with Northwestern University that allowed students to study theology from more of an academic than professional viewpoint.

Judge said she loved her classes and the caring atmosphere at Garrett. She also loved the worship services in the chapel. “The music was terrific,” she said.

In her final year at Garrett, Judge worked as a part-time secretary for Rocky Smith, who was dean of students at the time.  “He had an immense heart,” she remembered. “The rule was that when anyone, faculty or student, walked into the office, I was to stop typing and make sure he or she had coffee and conversation. That was a challenge for me sometimes, but I did get to know a lot of people.  Rocky was a special part of my seminary experience.”

A year after she graduated, Judge returned to Garrett to work in the seminary’s admissions office. She stayed until she moved to New York to work for Global Ministries in 1973.

While she did not have a traditional church ministry, Judge said she considered her work with all her religious-based clients a lay ministry. “Perhaps I could have made more money if I had spread my wings and worked with more secular organizations, but that is not who I was.”

Judge finished her career as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Faith & Values Media in New York. Now retired and living in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, Judge enjoys traveling, and she remains active in her church. She is also on the board of directors of the Florida United Methodist Foundation, where she created her planned gift.

According to Judge, there is a hymn in the Presbyterian hymnal that summarizes how she views charitable giving. “We give thee but thine own, whate’er the gift may be; all that we own is thine alone, a trust, O Lord, from thee.”