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Higher Learning Commission Reaffirms Garrett-Evangelical’s Accreditation through 2028

Higher learning Commission

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary earned a reaffirmation of accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), extending the seminary’s accreditation through 2028. The Institutional Actions Council of the HLC met on March 4, 2019, to determine the seminary’s accreditation status.

The seminary was evaluated on five criteria of the HLC – mission, institutional integrity, teaching and learning, learning assessment, and institutional effectiveness. Garrett-Evangelical met the criteria of all five areas with two interim reports due in October 2020.

Among the positive affirmations from the HLC report included the seminary’s ecumenical and inclusive approaches in equipping students to work in diverse congregational, educational, and community settings, thus serving the wider public. In addition, the seminary’s efforts to streamline and align its programs, attend to cross-cultural learning, and educate faculty in strategies to achieve these goals was recognized as a strength. The report also praised the current curriculum and faculty’s efforts to expose students to a multicultural society, a diverse global perspective, and cross-cultural competencies needed for leaders in today’s pluralistic world.

“This was a process that involved all constituents of the seminary: faculty, staff, students, alums, trustees, and friends,” said President Lallene J. Rector. “The HLC accreditation process affirmed that Garrett-Evangelical is an outstanding seminary that remains committed to its mission of being a servant seminary that prepares bold spiritual leaders for the church, the academy, and our world. I want to express my deep appreciation to everyone who had a part in this process, in particular Dr. Ron Anderson who headed up our accreditation efforts.”

As an institution that prepares leaders for a variety of ministries, Garrett-Evangelical has intentionally maintained accreditation from two different agencies, HLC and The Association of Theological Schools (ATS). The ATS visiting team was on campus September 24-27, 2018, and the HLC visiting team on November 5-6, 2018. Both agencies granted the seminary accreditation for the next 10 years, the maximum period for which accreditation can be granted.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary was accredited by HLC in 1974, as a new entity following the merger of Evangelical Theological Seminary (ETS) and Garrett Theological Seminary (GTS). Both ETS and GTS were granted accredited status in 1972.

The Higher Learning Commission is an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in 19 states located in the North Central region of the United States.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church, was founded in 1853. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 450 students from various denominations and cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.