Garrett-Evangelical News

Garrett-Evangelical Celebrates the 2011 Convocation and Edsel Ammons Award

EVANSTON, Illinois, September 2011 – Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary welcomed a young, diverse incoming class of future pastors, scholars and community leaders at convocation. With more than 90 new students enrolled, the new class represents six different countries and 29 states with an average age of 29 in the masters programs.

No stranger to the evolving face of the Church, keynote speaker Dr. Richard J. Mouw,PhilNRich president of Fuller Theological Seminary, reflected on “making room.” Garrett-Evangelical has explicitly adopted the Christian call of hospitality as the theme for the 2011-2012 academic year.  Dr. Mouw acknowledged the luxury of theological education in the midst of a very real, very broken world. He referenced a sermon C.S. Lewis delivered at Oxford University in the midst of war torn Europe, when students struggled with the privilege of academic study as their fellow citizens and family members were perishing in battle.

“All theological education will be learning in wartime until the Lord Jesus Christ returns,” Dr. Mouw said. “Academic activity can certainly be a way of diverting our attention from the tragedies around us, but it can also be an exercise in faithfulness. We Christians need to keep at the business of teaching and learning precisely because we want to be faithful to the God who calls us to take the tragedies of our sinful condition seriously.”

2011 Edsel Ammons Award for Leadership in Racial Justice and Understanding

PhilNladiesThe convocation ceremony celebrated the life and ministry of one laid to rest and for one whose call continues to unfold in exciting ways. Michele Watkins Branch, an M.Div. graduate and Ph.D. student at Garrett-Evangelical, was presented the 2011 Bishop Edsel A. Ammons Award for Leadership in Racial Justice and Understanding.

A graduate of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, a retired United Methodist Bishop, and the son of jazz pianist legend Albert Ammons, Bishop Ammons joined the seminary’s faculty in 1968 as professor of church and urban society. Dr. Philip Amerson, president of Garrett-Evangelical, characterized Bishop Ammons as “courageous and visionary,” for he was one who continually sought to make Garrett-Evangelical more aware of the needs of Black students and faculty. Ammons died Christmas Eve of 2010, in Evanston, at the age of 86. He is survived by his wife, Helen Fannings Ammons, who helped present the award to Mrs. Watkins Branch.

Founded in 1853, Garrett-Evangelical is a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 500 students from many denominations and various 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.

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UMC Logo Garrett-Evangelical, a seminary related to
The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.