News & Announcements

Michele G. Smith Named Garrett’s Next CFO

Michele Smith, CFO

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that Michele G. Smith has been appointed the new vice president for finance and operations and chief financial officer, effective September 15, 2023. 

“Garrett’s reputation for educating courageous spiritual leaders is well-known. I am excited to partner with President Viera and the rest of the leadership team as we together envision Garrett’s role in future kingdom service,” said Michele. “By building upon the existing strong framework to best position Garrett going forward, the students we send out as faithful servant leaders will be supported and well-prepared for our ever-changing world.” 

After a national search, Garrett ‘s search committee enthusiastically recommended Michele G. Smith as its new CFO. Michele has served in higher and theological education for many years, most prominently as the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, Texas. Currently, she is the interim Vice President for Financial Services/CFO at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, also in Fort Worth. She brings a wealth of experience having already served in this role at multiple institutions and is also deeply involved in the work of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), of which Garrett is a founding member. Michele has extensive experience in finance, accounting, investments, budget, tax, cash management, and operations both in higher education and in private banking, and she holds both the BBA and MBA from Baylor University. 

“Michelle is an experienced and highly seasoned leader who will bring that wealth of knowledge and capability to Garrett,” said President Javier Viera. “We’re fortunate to have been able to attract such a recognized leader to Garrett, and I’m excited for her to begin her leadership among us.” 

Many thanks are in order for the search committee who worked with President Viera on this search, which produced a highly talented group of candidates. Trustees Jim Lumberg, Andrea Wright, Julia Wyatt, and Doug Worthington represented the board; Professors Reginald Blount and Mark Teasdale the faculty, and Carine Lopez Velazquez, Becky Eberhart, and Steve Malott, the Senior Leadership Team. Their thoughtfulness and commitment enabled Garrett to attract a top candidate. 

Michele also currently serves as a board member (treasurer) for a medical clinic offering free health and dental services, including assistance in self- help, to the underserved and uninsured population in Fort Worth. She remains active in a local church, and has served ATS as chair for CFO Conference Planning Committee, as well as a presenter at its CFO Conference in both 2018 and 2022. She was instrumental in the successful development of the Configuring Higher Education Administration for Next Generation Excellence initiative, a Lilly Foundation Pathways for Tomorrow Phase III grant.  Michele remains actively engaged in C.H.A.N.G.E.’s efforts to design and develop shared services for ATS schools. 

Welcome to Garrett, Michelle! 

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, a graduate school of theology historically affiliated with 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.