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Online Offerings

We understand there are many reasons you may prefer to learn online. Perhaps you are located too far away from Garrett-Evangelical’s campus or maybe your vocational, personal, or family commitments make it difficult for you to find a consistent time to attend a course that meets at regularly scheduled dates and times. We are happy to offer the following online offerings on a variety of topics that vary in the length of time and effort needed to participate.

Rueben P. Job Institute for Spiritual Formation

The Rueben P. Job Institute is an initiative for continuing education in spiritual formation, developed by Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. We are pleased to honor Bishop Rueben P. Job in this initiative. As an alumnus of Garrett-Evangelical, Bishop Job’s ministry has pioneered spiritual formation practices within The United Methodist Church. Garrett-Evangelical has continued this pioneering work through the development of the United Methodist Professional Certification in Spiritual Formation and spiritual formation/direction specializations throughout our degree programs.

For more information about the Rueben P. Job Institute for Spiritual Formation, contact Frederick Schmidt, 847.866.3985.

What God Wants for Your Life Blog

What God Wants for Your Life is a blog written by Rev. Dr. Frederick Schmidt, who holds the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and directs the Rueben Job Institute for Spiritual Formation. The blog is updated weekly and can be found here.

The Rueben Job Institute Online Courses

The Rueben P. Job Institute also offers a number of online courses for continuing education credit. These online courses provide an opportunity for both clergy and lay to explore meaningful facts of their own spiritual formation and their leadership with others in spiritual formation/direction ministries. These instructors interact with students each week over a six-week period and while there are weekly deadlines, participants are able engage the class on their own schedules within each week. For most courses, participants spend 3-4 hours per week to complete all aspects of the course and receive 2 CEUs.

Summer 2018 - Spring 2019 Spiritual Formation Online Offerings

Spiritual Disciplines and Prayer (COURSE FULL)
June 24 - August 17, 2018
Rev. Dr. Dwight Judy, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Formation, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Interfaith Spirituality for Christians
August 20 - September 28, 2018
Dr. Ruth Judy, Associate Core Faculty, Sofia University

Retreat and Small Group Leadership Training
October 1 - November 9, 2018
Rev. Dr. Brenda Buckwell, Director of Living Streams Flowing Water Spiritual Formation Ministry

Creativity and Divine Surprise: Contemplative Creative Expression in Spiritual Direction and Formation
November 12 – December 21, 2018
Rev. Dr. Karla Kincannon, Affiliate Faculty, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Benedict on Campus: Spiritual Formation with Youth and Emerging Adults
January 21 - February 28, 2019
Rev. Dr. David MacDonald, University Chaplain, Ohio Northern University

The Resounding Word: A Lenten Journey Toward the Resurrection
March 6 - April 27, 2019
Rev. Dr. Brenda Buckwell, Director of Living Streams Flowing Water Spiritual Formation Ministry

The Practice of Christian Mindfulness
April 29 - June 6, 2019
Dr. Amy Oden, Professor of Early Church History and Spirituality, Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University

For more information about the Rueben P. Job Institute for Spiritual Formation online course, please contact please contact us at or call 847-866-4547.

Paraprofessional Certification in Spiritual Formation

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is pleased to announce a two-year program in Spiritual Formation, leading to United Methodist approved Paraprofessional Certification in Spiritual Formation. Garrett-Evangelical has been approved by the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry to offer the curriculum for this continuing education program. Our first partner is the Ministry of Spiritual Formation at First United Methodist in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. You can learn more about the program here.


We view webinars as an opportunity to connect with you in the midst of your busy schedule to provide you with relevant and timely education and training. Our webinars enable you to engage with our faculty or other presenters and ask questions about the variety of topics. Through Connectional Learning, we will offer webinars on professional development, spiritual formation, congregational and community leadership, and more. To see what we are offering, visit

Connectional Learning also offers the For Such A Time As This webinar series. We are living in tumultuous times in which people fear for their rights, their safety, and their very lives. People of faith are looking for ways to live out their faith in response to these fears but sometimes lack the training or theological basis for their work. Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary's For Such A Time As This webinars seek to respond to the needs of clergy, lay people, and congregations with theological education and practical tools to live out their faith-based activism.

You can find more information on this webinar series at

Evangelism for Non-Evangelists

Course Dates: February 7 - March 14, 2019  Registration is Open!

This six-week online introductory evangelism course invites you to grow deeper in your own faith and, as you do, reflect on why you believe God is good, articulate your faith in a way that is authentic to that belief, and develop creative practices that grow from those beliefs. It also equips you to continue reviewing your personal and congregational strategies for evangelism well after the webinars are over. You will receive several tools developed by the presenters that you can reproduce and use to apply to your ministries in order to evaluate their evangelistic effectiveness and prompt you how to improve or complement them to develop a more fully formed discipleship pathway.


Financial Management for Churches and Nonprofits

Course Dates: Janaury 7 - March 15, 2019 | Registration Open!

The Financial Management for Churches and Nonprofits course, with support from Lilly Endowment Inc., is an online offering in conjunction with Garrett-Evangelical’s Leading Vibrant Congregations: A Collaboration of Faith and Finance Grant

The parables of Jesus make it clear that money should not be our master, but that we also must be capable of using it well. Often, this is a challenge for pastors and lay leaders, who have never received formal training in handling finances, but are expected to run their congregation’s finances. The Financial Management for Churches and Nonprofits course was designed to remedy this problem. In this course, we will look at the importance of financial planning for churches as nonprofit organizations. We will explore the planning process for the operating, capital expenditure, and cash budgets. We will discuss the long-term financial planning process. The course will look at the importance of capital structure and investment policies that are aligned to the organization’s strategic objectives. All of these topics will be built on the foundation of nonprofit accounting, nonprofit financial statements, and financial policies. 


Spiritual Habits for the Queer Soul

Course Dates: Janaury 28 - February 22, 2019 Registration Open!

Spiritual Habits for the Queer Soul is a four-week online course that offers LGBTQ+ community and allies practical spiritual habits that will help nourish a life of lovingkindness or compassion towards oneself and others in the midst of personal, religious, and political challenges that confront us all. It aspires to be holistic in its approach—addressing the life of the mind, tending the body, and enlivening the spirit—and interactive through forum discussions and reflections and weekly live conversations.



Intersection is an innovative continuing education program that enables participants to earn a 0.5 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) online while engaging with thought-provoking content. Participants view a recorded lecture provided by Garrett-Evangelical’s faculty or a visiting lecturer, read a book or several articles assigned by the faculty member or lecturer to complement their lecture, and submit a 3-5 page reflective paper for the faculty member or lecturer to review and provide comments. Following are some of the newest lectures in Intersections you can view from faculty and visiting lecturers:

  • "Building the Reformation Movement: The Wittenberg Faculty and the Beginnings of Protestantism," Dr. Anna Johnson, Associate Professor of Reformation Church History

  • “Ecological Ministry as Spiritual Healing in the African American Beloved Community,” Rev. Dr. Ventra Asana, Michigan Interfaith Power & Light

  • “Lamenting Macrina: Dynamics of Grief and Gender in the Ancient Church,” Dr. Charles Cosgrove, Professor of Early Christian Literature

There is a $50 fee, which covers registration and enrollment costs. Garrett-Evangelical adheres to the CEU policy set forth by the Society for the Advancement of Continuing Education for Ministry (SACEM) that five hours equals 0.5 (half) CEU. 

For a full listing of available lectures and information on how to enroll, please visit

Other Online Videos

Many of Garrett-Evangelical’s lectures and address from academic ceremonies or conferences/workshops can be viewed on the seminary’s YouTube Channel. Visit us at!