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Annual Fund

The Annual Fund is the “living endowment” of
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

The Annual Fund represents the ongoing support of alums and friends every year. These gifts are needed and spent each fiscal year (July 1 through June 30), and they are a flexible, immediate, and essential source of funds for the seminary. A gift of $100 to the Annual Fund is the equivalent to a $2,000 gift to the endowment. A $500 gift to the Annual Fund is equivalent to a $10,000 gift to the endowment. Garrett-Evangelical would need an additional $22.6 million in endowment funds to produce the funds raised for the Annual Fund each year.

Individuals who make unrestricted gifts to the Annual Fund allow the seminary to put their gift towards meeting the areas of greatest need across the seminary immediately. While the funds given to the Annual Fund are spent every year, the seminary's work of preparing bold, spiritual leaders for the church, academy, and world continues year in and year out.

Every Gift Matters

We are very grateful to those who are able to make large gifts, but we recognize that many of our alums and friends have limited resources. Many small gifts can make a big difference. The median gift to the Annual Fund last fiscal year was $100. More than 76% of gifts to the Annual Fund were less than $250.

Giving Every Year Matters

Your alumni gift to the Annual Fund each fiscal year shows your pride in the place that helped shape who you are today, and it gives the next generation of religious leaders the same opportunity. As a friend or church supporter of the seminary, your Annual Fund gift helps prepare effective, passionate pastors, deacons, and lay people for your local church.

Alum Participation Matters

Many foundations want to know what percentage of alums support the seminary. Last year Garrett-Evangelical ranked #1 among seminaries, with 30% of alums supporting the seminary. This year we hope to do even better, as a high level of support from alums makes a significant difference in securing support from foundations and others.

Giving Early Means Giving More

Giving to the Annual Fund early in the fiscal year enables the seminary to put your gift to work right away and helps ensure that we will be able to fulfill our mission. It also saves the seminary money by reducing the number of appeal letters we send out and the number of phone calls we make to encourage gifts. Our fiscal year runs July 1st to June 30th.

Unrestricted Giving Matters

Gifts to the Annual Fund help support this fiscal year’s operating budget. The Annual Fund goal for 2016-17 is $1,130,000. Friends, in addition to alums, are encouraged to give to the Annual Fund. If you can only make one gift this year, make it to the Annual Fund.

Giving to the Annual Fund also provides you with many choices. You can make an unrestricted gift—always a most welcome gift as it enables the seminary to use it where it is most needed. Or you can designate your Annual Fund gift to financial aid, library support, or to a program area that you care deeply about.

Become A Leadership Donor Every Year

A leadership gift is any gift of $1,000 or more within the fiscal year. You can become a leadership donor by making a one-time gift of $1,000 or more, a semi-annual gift of $500 or more, a quarterly gift of $250 or more, or a monthly gift of $84 or more. Recurring gifts are easily set up at or by contacting the development office at 847.866.3970.

How To Make A Gift


Use your Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express for fast secure and easy giving at or by calling 847.866.3970.

Electronic Transfer

You can set up an electronic transfer from your bank account by filling out this form and returning it to the development office.

By Check

Make your check payable to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and mail to:

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
Development Office
2121 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60201


Faces of the Annual Fund

Committed to the Church: Paul Ortiz (G-ETS 2016)

After graduation this past May, I moved to Tacoma, Washington, to create a new faith community. Regularly, I meet people who have left the church because a very small “God” was presented to them. In return, I’m doing a lot of one-on-ones and listening to people share who they are and what excites them. Our goal is to align their passions with this new expression of church, and we seek to launch a regular worshipping community within the next nine to twelve months.

My seminary experience and two years in chaplaincy were very life-changing. I learned how to step into spaces with people who are radically different from me. I developed the ability to be comfortable outside a church context and be a pastoral presence. My theological education and training was possible because of the financial support I received, and for that I remain truly grateful.


Connecting the Church and the Academy: Rev. Dr. Mark Teasdale (Garrett-Evangelical Faculty) & Rev. Dr. Heather Lear (G-ETS 2015)

Rev. Dr. Mark Teasdale serves as the E. Stanley Jones associate professor of evangelism and director of the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program. His forthcoming book, Evangelism for Non-Evangelists: Sharing the Gospel Authentically, is a condensation of the core lessons he’s learned in practice and teaching that empowers congregations to articulate their faith in new and compelling ways. Working closely with his former advisee, Rev. Dr. Heather Lear - director of evangelism ministries for Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church, they have developed a webinar being offered as a pilot this fall (with an upcoming spring offering) that assists individuals and congregations in evangelism that changes lives, not just numbers.

When I started the DMin program, I wanted to understand how to turnaround a church. Churches often express the need for help with growing, but their concerns are primarily financial in nature. More often than not, we find that their mission and outreach is based on member interests and not community needs. Teasdale’s book and the webinar go beyond the surface and seek to make a lasting impact on individuals, the church, and our communities.

- Rev. Dr. Heather Lear (G-ETS 2015)

Garrett-Evangelical equips local churches with critical resources for their transformative ministry in the world. Your gift to the Annual Fund supports such efforts.


Educating for Local and Global Ministries: La'Quentin Jenkins (MDiv Student) & Michelle King (MDiv Student)

This summer Garrett-Evangelical launched the Garrett-Evanston Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® program in partnership with the city of Evanston. This six-week program offers a high-quality, literacy-rich program to under-served children. The program also offers our seminarians the chance to mentor and teach children using an integrated reading curriculum.

This summer, I watched our young scholars blossom. Even principals and superintendents who visited were so impressed with the program that they are planning to make changes in their own schools.

- Michelle King (MDiv Student)


This program changed the course of these young scholars’ lives and how they will look at themselves, their education, and our community. The fifth ward of the city of Evanston was forever changed too when they saw consistent hope in a community desperate for good news!

- La'Quentin Jenkins (MDiv Student)

Garrett-Evangelical’s commitment to advocate for the wellbeing of its local community will serve as a model for seminarians to take into their own communities for years to come. Your financial support to the Annual Fund makes that global impact possible.