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Pan-Methodist Fellows Program

Center for the Church and the Black Experience

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Center for the Church and the Black Experience

NEW: Master of Arts in Public Ministry | Racial Justice Concentration

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NEW: Master of Arts in Public Ministry | Racial Justice Concentration

Degrees and Programs

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Degrees and Programs

Pan-Methodist Fellows Program

Since 1970 and the foundation of the Church and the Black Experience, Garrett-Evangelical has had a strong emphasis on African American experience and ministry. In line with this commitment and our Methodist heritage, Garrett-Evangelical is launching a new Pan-Methodist Fellows Program in order to better support AME, AMEZ, and CME students who are called to ministry. As a Pan-Methodist Fellow, a student in guaranteed the following:

  • A scholarship ranging from 50-100% of tuition;
  • Gatherings with the Pan-Methodist Fellows advisor, Rev. Dr. Reginald Blount, Assistant Professor of Formation, Youth, and Culture, for fellowship, mentoring, and conversation around various topics related to theological education and professional ministry formation in the AME, AMEZ, and CME denominations; and
  • Opportunities to network with our Pan-Methodist Alumni/ae.

To learn more about the Fellows program at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, contact our Admissions Office at 1.800.SEMINARY (outside of Chicago), 847.866.3998, or GetAdmitted@Garrett.edu.

Black Faculty Members

Rev. Dr. Cheryl Anderson, Professor of Old Testament

Rev. Dr. Cheryl Anderson is professor of the Old Testament at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church. Her research interests focus on women and biblical laws as well as liberationist readings of biblical texts. Her first book, Women, Ideology, and Violence was published by Continuum Press in 2004. Her second book, Ancient Laws and Contemporary Controversies: The Need for Inclusive Biblical Interpretation, was published by Oxford University Press in the fall of 2009. She has also published numerous articles, in addition to lecturing extensively in the United States and in sub-Saharan Africa.

During the last few years, Dr. Anderson has studied the Church’s response to the AIDS pandemic in the African American community and in South Africa, the country with the highest number of persons in the world who are living with AIDS. She has received two major grants for her work—one was from the Louisville Institute and the other one was a Fulbright award. Dr. Anderson is committed to using her academic background to help African and African American communities face this pandemic.


Rev. Dr. Trina Armstrong, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care

Rev. Dr. Trina Armstrong teaches pastoral care and counseling pastoral theology at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. Dr. Armstrong is a licensed marriage and family therapist especially skilled at working with traumatized families, children and adolescents. She recently provided individual, family and couples counseling with families with severely traumatized and emotionally disturbed children as a systemic family therapist with Nystrom and Associates. Dr. Armstrong has served as hospice Chaplain, a pastoral counselor at several churches, a crisis pregnancy and rape crisis centers, a homeless shelter, a halfway house for formerly incarcerated women, and a methadone clinic for people suffering from addiction. Reverend Armstrong is an ordained Itinerant Elder in the 4th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church having served on the ministerial staffs at several AME church in Minnesota and California.

Dr. Armstrong has a PhD in Practical Theology-Spiritual Care and Counseling from the Claremont School of Theology, a Masters Degree in Spiritual Care and Counseling from Claremont School of Theology, a Masters Degree in Psychology--Marriage and Family Therapy from California Southern University, a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems from Golden Gate University.

Dr. Armstrong regularly lectures and preaches on trauma, healing, and wellness as her research, ministry, and clinical work focuses on the impact of historical and cultural trauma on African American children, adolescents, families, and relationships. Her article “Rot at the Core: Black Theology and Psychotherapy: An Integrative Approach Towards Liberation from Psychological Slavery” was published in a 2011 edition of The A.M.E. Church Review. Dr. Armstrong’s dissertation on pastoral care to single black mothers, Beyond the Veil of the Village: A Womanist Practical Theological Analysis of Single African American Mothers, Cultural and Relational Trauma, and Relationship Education Programs is published in the UMI dissertation database and a revision of this work and a forthcoming book on trauma-informed pastoral care and counseling in the Black Church will be published in 2016 and 2017.


Rev. Dr. Reginald Blount, Assistant Professor of Formation, Youth, and Culture

Rev. Dr. Reginald Blount is the assistant professor of formation, youth, and culture at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He has spoken nationally and internationally at numerous conferences and workshops helping faith communities envision new and creative ways to minister to, with, and on behalf of young people. Blount earned his doctor of philosophy degree from Garrett-Evangelical and Northwestern University's joint porogram in religious and theological studies, focusing on the areas of Christian education and youth ministry. 


Rev. Dr. Gennifer Brooks, Ernest and Bernice Styberg Professor of Preaching

Rev. Dr. Gennifer B. Brooks is the Ernest and Bernice Styberg professor of preaching and director of the Styberg Preaching Institute at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church. Brooks most recent publication is Bible Sisters: A Year of Devotions with the Women of the Bible (Abingdon, 2017). She is also the editor of Black United Methodists Preach! (Abingdon, 2012) and the author of Unexpected Grace: Preaching Good News from Difficult Texts (Pilgrim Press, 2012) and Good News Preaching: Offering the Gospel in Every Sermon (Pilgrim Press, 2011).

Brooks received a doctor of philosophy in liturgical studies from Drew University and a doctor of ministry and master of divinity from New Brunswick Theological Seminary.

Concentrations Tailored to Black Seminarians

Garrett-Evangelical recognizes the distinctive history and culture of the Balack Church and offers students an opportunity to enhance their capacity to engage effectively in ministry within this context. The Master of Divinity program offers over ten concentrations including African-American Church Leadership and Urban Ministry. The Master of Arts in Public Ministry program offers a concentration in Racial Justice. The Doctor of Ministry program offers a specialization in Strategic Leadership for Black Congregations. The Doctor of Philosophy program offers an optional focus in African American/Black Religious Studies with any concentration. 

Students in these concentrations will address issues such as how to approach biblical studies, theological reflection, church administration, and evangelism from an Black perspective. The courses are taught by one of the largest cohorts of Black faculty at a United Methodist seminary. The program compliments the faculty with a cadre of highly accomplished Black alums of Garrett-Evangelical.

Notable Pan-Methodist Alumni

Rev. Archibald J. Carey, Jr. (AME, GBI 1932) 

Pastor, African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church; Civil-Rights Activist; Attorney and Circuit Court Judge; City Alderman; Chairman, President’s Committee on Government Employment Policy; Alternate Delegate to the United Nations

Rev. Archibald J. Carey Jr. followed in the footsteps of his famous father—Archibald Carey Sr. —to become a major figure in Chicago’s political and religious life during much of the 20th century. Born in Chicago in 1908, he attended both Chicago-Kent College of Law and Garrett Biblical Institute, where he earned degrees in law and theology.

Between 1930 and 1941, Rev. Carey served as pastor of the Woodland African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in Chicago, until he moved to Quinn Chapel AME Church, the second oldest Black church in the city and the place where his father had been the minister for a number of years. Rev. Carey Jr. preached at Quinn Chapel until 1967.

Rev. Carey, a Republican, was elected an alderman from Chicago’s Third Ward and served on the Chicago City Council from 1947 to 1955. In 1952, Carey was one of the speakers at the Republican National Convention. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was nominated for President at that convention, appointed Carey an alternate delegate to the United Nations, a post he held from 1953 to 1956. In 1955, President Eisenhower appointed him the chairman of the President’s Committee on Government Employment Policy; Rev. Carey was the first African-American to serve as Committee Chair.

Through the 1950s, Rev. Carey maintained a close connection with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While visiting Dr. King’s home in 1956, Rev. Carey participated in the Montgomery Improvement Association’s (MIA) Annual Institute on Nonviolence and Social Change. Rev. Carey was enlisted by Dr. King throughout the year-long Montgomery bus boycott campaign to raise money and public awareness of the protest in Chicago. In April 1957, Rev. Carey assisted in organizing an “Hour of Prayer” that raised $2,500 for the MIA. In 1966, Rev. Carey changed his party affiliation to Democrat and, that same year, was elected a Cook County circuit court judge. Rev. Carey served in that capacity until 1978 when he retired at the age of 70.

Over the course of his career, Rev. Carey was a pastor, attorney, civil-rights activist, politician, orator, circuit court jurist, and businessman. Throughout it all, he remained firmly tied to the church, holding pulpits, pulpit assistantships, and denominational offices. One of his areas of significant service was on the Board of Trustees of Garrett-Evangelical, where he lent his wisdom about preparing persons for ministry. That church was always his first love, and always his reason for being in the world of political encounter and social struggle.


Dr. James H. Cone (AME, GBI 1961 and 1965) 

Charles Augustus Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York

Widely recognized as the founder of black liberation theology, the Rev. Dr. James H. Cone is the Charles A. Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Dr. Cone attended Shorter College and holds a B.A. degree from Philander Smith College. In 1961, he received a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett Theological Seminary and later earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Dr. Cone has been conferred 13 honorary degrees, including an honoris causa from the Institut Protestant de Théologie in Paris, France.

Among his numerous awards are the American Black Achievement Award in Religion given by Ebony Magazine, the Fund for Theological Education Award for contributions to theological education and scholarship, the Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion, and the Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award in recognition of seminal theological scholarship from Garrett-Evangelical.

Dr. Cone is an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. He is listed in the Directory of American Scholars, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Religion, Who’s Who among African Americans, and Who’s Who in the World. He is the author of 12 books and more than 150 articles and has lectured at many universities and community organizations throughout the U.S., Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He is an active member of numerous professional societies, including the Society for the Study of Black Religion, the American Academy of Religion, and the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT) in the Philippines.

Dr. Cone is best known for his ground-breaking works, Black Theology & Black Power (1969) and A Black Theology of Liberation (1970); he is also the author of the highly acclaimed God of the Oppressed (1975), and of Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare (1991), all of which have been translated into nine languages.  The 30th Anniversary of the publication of Black Theology & Black Power was celebrated at the University of Chicago Divinity School (April 1998), and a similar event was held for A Black Theology of Liberation at Garrett-Evangelical (April 2000) and at the Catholic Theological Society of America (June 2001). His research and teaching are in Christian theology, with special attention to Black liberation theology and the liberation theologies of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  He also teaches 19th and 20th century European-American theologies. His latest book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree, received the 2012 Nautilus Silver Award in Religion/Spirituality-Western Traditions. It was an Amazon.com #1 best seller in religion in February 2012. Naming it one of the top religion books of 2011, Huffington Post editors said: “One of the great theologians of the late 20th century, Cone forces us to look hard at suffering, oppression and, ultimately, redemption.”


Bishop Gregory G. M. Ingram (AME, G-ETS 1975)

Bishop and Presiding Prelate, First Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church

Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram was appointed presiding prelate of the First Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church on July 4, 2012, during the 49th Quadrennial Session of the denomination’s General Conference, held in Nashville. At the 2008 General Conference, Bishop Ingram was elected to chair the General Conference Commission, which oversaw planning and organization for the 49th Quadrennial Session. In his new assignment, he will preside over seven annual conferences comprising Delaware, New England, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Bermuda.

Bishop Ingram was elected and consecrated the 118th Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in 2000. His first appointment was to the Fifteenth Episcopal District, which comprises Angola, Namibia and most of South Africa. His second appointment was to the Tenth Episcopal District, which encompasses the State of Texas.

Prior to his election to the Episcopacy, Bishop Ingram served as the senior minister of Oak Grove AME Church in Detroit, Mich. During his 13-year pastorate, the church prospered both numerically and financially. Before being assigned to Oak Grove, Bishop Ingram served as pastor of AME churches in Chicago, Springfield and Alton, Illinois. He also served two years on the religious staff at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Campus.

Bishop Ingram has distinguished himself throughout African Methodism, in particular, and the religious community, in general, for his expertise on stewardship and tithing. He is a dynamic preacher and lecturer who is sought after to speak at churches, colleges, universities, and civic functions. He has authored a number of publications that are heralded throughout African Methodism. Included among them are: Equipping the Saints for ServiceThe African Methodist Episcopal Church Pastor’s Journal and Quarterly Conference Record BookThe Joy of Giving More Than Enough and The S.A.T. Manual on African Methodism: A Study Guide on the Faith, Beliefs, History and Structure of the World’s Oldest Denomination Founded by Blacks, an acclaimed instructional tool for new members that has been updated and expanded.

Bishop Ingram holds a B.A. from Wilberforce University, an M.A. in Teaching from Antioch College, an M.Div. from Garrett-Evangelical, and a D.Min. from United Theological Seminary. His religious, civic, community, professional and social affiliations, past and present, include the Ecumenical Center for Stewardship Studies in North America (executive board member), the Christian Communication Council (board member), Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan (advisory board member) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (life member).


Rev. Albert Dillard Tyson, III (AME, G-ETS 1980)

Presiding Elder, North District, Chicago Conference, African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church

Rev. Albert Dillard Tyson, III sums up his ministry with two words: service and inclusion. He believes that God called him to serve his people and to serve them inclusively. In his role as Presiding Elder, he seeks to “include those within the communion who have been marginalized or whose capacities have not been utilized to the fullest extent”—particularly females and younger candidates. In his episcopal district, there are 10 presiding elders, and only one of them is female. But, for Rev. Tyson, “everyone has something to offer to the building of the kingdom,” and providing opportunities to all is a key element of serving God. Inclusion is not only about providing more opportunities for those candidates historically excluded from service, but also it is about making sure that candidates are well prepared for available appointments and can “grow” into top positions.

For Rev. Tyson, faithfulness involves being true to his calling and being responsible for his calling; God expects this of him and can count on him to do so. In the same way, Rev. Tyson expects faithfulness from his colleagues: “God can count on me and I can count on God, colleagues can count on me, and I want to be able to count on them.”

Inspiration in his ministry comes, first and foremost, from Jesus. A child of the parsonage—as well as a grandchild and great-grandchild—Rev. Tyson initially rejected the idea of being a preacher but later was faithful to the clear call he heard: “My parents did not push me, but when the call came, I was very clear . . . it had a profound impact on my life that would change my focus completely.”

He finds further inspiration from his forebears—his father, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, and others of earlier generations: “They inspired me by their willingness to work in the most difficult of situations, to see to it that the kingdom would be established no matter what . . . their endurance and fortitude inspired me.” Rev. Tyson appreciates the pastors in his father’s generation and before for the clarity of their commitment: “Those before us also had bills to pay and families to support but, for them, the gospel and its pursuit was always first.” Instead of asking “What’s in it for me,” they asked instead, “What can I do to promote the kingdom?”


Rev. Dr. Jeffery L. Tribble, Sr. (AMEZ, G-ETS 1993 and 2003)

Associate Professor of Ministry, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia; Presiding Elder, Atlanta District, Georgia Conference, African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church

In considering his ministry roles, Rev. Dr. Jeffery L. Tribble, Sr. reflects on Paul’s statement in Ephesians 4 that “some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers . . .” Early in his career, he felt called to be a pastor and enjoyed serving in the church; however, as he became increasingly aware of theological and pastoral issues in the congregations he served, he felt drawn back to the academy and to a teaching career: “some people find the question in the midst of practice, and I found it there.”

Even today, the roles of pastor and teacher are bound together in Dr. Tribble’s ministry: “Being a pastor is a key part of my identity even as a scholar.” Now, as a professor, his teaching is built upon scholarship that speaks to both the academy and the church: “I’m much more interested in writing to serve the church, in such a way as to be accessible to scholars as well as educated laity and clergy.” One of Dr. Tribble’s role models and mentors was Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr., a New Testament scholar who later became a bishop: “He was a shepherd in the classroom . . . students could tell that he loved the church, loved people, because he brought that relationship of care even to the classroom.”

Dr. Tribble’s willingness to embrace this dual identity emerges from his understanding of faithfulness, which he defines as responding to the call of God wherever that takes him. He credits Rosemary Keller and Rosemary Radford Ruether with this important advice: “Make sure your career does not get in the way of your calling.” While building a career means being upwardly mobile, climbing the ladder, and moving toward a particular goal, being faithful to the God who calls us often involves going in another direction entirely.

Inspired by his African-American ancestors, Dr. Tribble recalls the sense of pride he felt when he joined the faculty at Garrett-Evangelical in 2000, as he reflected on the people he represented and the long line of African-American scholars, pastors, and activists who had come before. Early in his career, Dr. Tribble’s theology began to take shape around the idea of transformation, and it was during his time at Garrett-Evangelical that he began to define his ministry in terms of praying, working, and teaching for personal and social transformation. He recognized clearly the importance of pastoring for personal transformation and for ministering in an urban setting for social transformation: “My formation was shaped between the tensions of those two poles.”


Rev. Dr. Carmichael D. Crutchfield (CME, G-ETS 2010) 

Associate Professor of Christian Education and Youth Ministry, Memphis Theological Seminary, Memphis, Tennessee; General Secretary, Department of Christian Education, Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church

For Rev. Dr. Carmichael D. Crutchfield, Christian education, which he defines as “the spiritual uplifting of people,” extends far beyond the typical teaching settings. In his ministry, he focuses not only what he teaches but also how he teaches it, identifying nurture and formation as two elements that are essential to the education of God’s people. Formation is the what—“the essence of what we do throughout our lives to shape people to be faithful and loyal to God”—and nurture is the how, the ways in which teaching, fellowship, service, preaching, and worship all help to shape and form people in the faith.

Dr. Crutchfield draws his understanding of faithfulness from Matthew 22, the “greatest commandment,” and he characterizes gospel ministry as not only being committed to loving God and neighbor, but also “being a witness to that love in the world in every station and place in life.” Because witness is key, it is not enough for Christians to spend time in devotion, prayer, or reading Scripture; it is equally important to “be involved in the lives of other people through compassion, to be intently concerned about justice in every aspect of life, to look toward a vision of God where all of humanity is valued and considered important, and to seek justice and liberation and freedom and to fight for those aspects of life.” Dr. Crutchfield has been inspired by those who embody the claim to love God and neighbor—from Martin Luther King, Jr. to his own father, William T. Crutchfield, who had a deep love for the Bible and prayer, but also an authentic sense of concern for those outside the household.

His time at Garrett-Evangelical was instrumental in helping Dr. Crutchfield know “that it is possible to change lives through teaching,” and he credits Jack Seymour with instilling this knowledge in him through his own teaching and writing. He also credits Dr. Reginald Blount for giving him an interest in the research area of critical pedagogy. Changing lives through teaching, Dr. Crutchfield believes, happens both in the academy as well as in the church, and what he does in one setting is applicable in the other. He identifies leadership as an essential focus in the future for both the church and for CBE—lifting up leaders who are able to envision a goal or direction and compel others to go in that direction—and Christian education, he believes, is essential for developing, motivating, and forming a new generation of leaders.