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Development Staff

Our Development Staff is here to assist you with matching your philanthropic interests with opportunities to enrich Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary's academic programs and fulfill the seminary's mission of training spiritually grounded and prophetic leaders for the church, the world, and the academy.

David Heetland
Vice President for Development

Email | 847.866.3970

Contact David for:

  • Major gifts
  • Planned gifts (annuities, wills, insurance,
    trusts, real estate, IRAs, etc.)
  • Gifts to Forging Our Future
    capital campaign
  • Endowment information
  • Starting a scholarship
  • Any development-related question

Ceciley Akins
Director of Stewardship

Email | 847.866.3971

Contact Ceciley for:

  • Endowment Reports
  • Donor inquires - Questions regarding scholarship recipients
  • Inquiries of scholarship amounts/latest gifts
  • Campus visits – scheduling/inquiries
  • Plan ways to give – small informational gatherings, church giving, ministry Sundays
  • Council of Laity – become a member,
    member contact

April McGlothin-Eller
Director of Development

Email | 847.866.3988

Contact April for:

  • Questions about the Annual Fund
  • Questions from or about alumni
  • Alumni events, including reunions



Brian Smith
Assistant Director of Development

Email | 847.866.3923

Contact Brian for:

  • How to make a gift to the seminary
  • Why the seminary needs gifts every year
  • Contact information for fellow alumni
  • What expenses the annual fund covers
  • What is the state of the seminary in terms
    of academics and mission

Stephanie Bliese
Assistant Director of Gifts and Donor Records

Email | 847.866.3927

Contact Stephanie for:

  • Questions about past or present gifts to
    the seminary
  • Updating contact information
  • Receipts for taxes
  • Past, present, or future pledges to
    the seminary
  • Student thank you letters to
    scholarship donors

Judy Russell
Gifts Processor


Douglas Vernon
Development Associate Michigan, Indiana, Ohio Areas