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2014-01 Archive

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has been awarded a grant of $500,000 by the Lilly Endowment Inc. as a part of its Initiative to Strengthen the Quality of Preaching. This initiative seeks to improve the quality of preaching among working pastors and preaching instruction for seminary students. Garrett-Evangelical will build on the ongoing work of its Styberg Preaching Institute to improve pedagogy at the seminary, enhance the work of the institute for practicing preachers and develop teachers of preaching.

On December 8, 2014, the Garrett-Evangelical faculty met to draft a statement concerning the national crisis generated by the multiple incidents of killing of Black men by white police officers.  The meeting was convened and co-led by Dr. Luis R. Rivera, Academic Dean, and Dr. Gennifer Brooks, Chair of the Committee on Faculty.

In response to the crisis plaguing communities of color across these United States of America as it relates to abusive and murderous practices of law enforcement, Garrett-Evangelical Black Seminarians (G-EBS) sponsored three events on Monday, December 8, 2014, including a prayer vigil, dialogue, and strategic conversations. In preparation of these events G-EBS members crafted the following statement.

As Co-Chairpersons of the Student Council at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, we work with the Student Council and Student Organizations to value the voices of the Student Body. We recognize that the body of Christ is one that welcomes all regardless of race, color, ethnicity, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. 

Dr. John Walter Cason, church history and missions professor, passed away on November 3, 2014. Cason was a member of the Evangelical Theological Seminary (ETS) faculty in Naperville, Illinois and at the time of the merger became a part of the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary faculty in 1974. He was remembered as an avid reader and explorer of the new politics of liberation theology and the transformative role of church teachings.

For the second year in a row, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary will participate in #GivingTuesday to boost gift-giving to the seminary. #GivingTuesday is one day of giving that kicks off the giving season. This year it is on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

On October 23, 2014, it was announced at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary’s board of trustees meeting that Jerre and Mary Joy Stead of Scottsdale, AZ officially kicked off The Final Lap of the seminary’s Forging Our Future campaign with an additional commitment to their earlier commitments in Phase One, Two, and Three of the campaign. Their earlier commitments totaled $6 million, and their most recent commitment is for another $9 million—the largest single gift in the seminary’s history—bringing their total commitment to this campaign to $15 million!

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary’s English Course of Study school (COS) is now offering courses in a new residential hybrid format, continuing its commitment to honoring traditional methods of instruction while also embracing new emerging technologies. Each of the 20 English-language COS courses will be structured to allow students to engage faculty and one another through 5 hours of online learning and 15 hours on campus per course.

This news release was originally posted at

North Central College is honoring The Rev. Thomas Babler of Naperville with a Wall of Witness recognition during Homecoming.

Babler and four others will be honored during the College’s Homecoming Reunion Celebration from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at the College’s Residence Hall/Recreation Center, 440 S. Brainard St.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary will be participating in the Seminary Caravan stopping in three states in the Midwest October 20-22, 2014. The Seminary Caravan will feature 12 of the 13 United Methodist Church (UMC) seminaries. Students will have an opportunity to meet with representatives to discuss what a theological education entails and to learn more about each seminary’s unique offerings.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary will be hosting an Admissions Open House for those interested in pursuing theological education on Wednesday, October 8, 2014. The Open House will include opportunities to sit in on a class; hear from other students about their seminary experience; and take a tour of the seminary and Northwestern University campus.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary doctoral alumnus, Dr. Vergel Lattimore (G-ETS 1984), was named President-Elect of Hood Theological Seminary effective July 1, 2013. Dr. Lattimore will be inaugurated as the second President of the Seminary on October 2, 2014. Located in Salisbury, NC, Hood Theological Seminary is sponsored by the AME Zion Church and was founded in 2001.

Interest in caring for the environment is cropping up in all kinds of places, including at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. While care for the environment has been a much-debated topic in the political sphere, it is now gaining positive traction in America’s theological training institutions. One example of this growing movement is Blessed Earth’s Seminary Stewardship Alliance, which will be meeting September 11th-13th in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Dr. John Hinkle, beloved former faculty member, passed away on August 28, 2014. Hinkle was a loving husband and father as well as a minister, missionary, clinical psychologist, and professor. He served as a missionary for The United Methodist Church (UMC) to the Philippines from 1960-1964 and established a church in Iligan City, Philippines. Hinkle was a member of the faculty at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary from 1972-1999. He served on the National Committee for Psychological Assessment for the UMC from 1980-2000.

In recognition of Rev. Donald Struchen’s outstanding ministry and significant contributions to the church and our world, family and friends have established the Donald E. Struchen Endowed Scholarship at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. A graduate of Garrett Biblical Institute (1948), one of the three institutions that formed Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Struchen has been in ministry for over 60 years. The Donald E.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary welcomed over 90 new students to campus during New Student Orientation, beginning with worship and community meal on Tuesday evening, August 26. This year’s orientation provided a wealth of information for new students including an introduction to theological education led by members of the faculty. A number of activities were also planned during the three-day orientation including a tour of the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE) and First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple located in Chicago’s Loop.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Ph.D. student, Rev. Michele Watkins-Branch has been awarded both the Fellowship for Doctoral Students of African Descent from the Forum for Theological Education (FTE) and the Dempster Graduate Fellowship from the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Watkins-Branch is Ph.D. candidate in theology and ethics, and her current dissertation title is “Toward a Socialized Soteriology: Saving Black Souls and Black Bodies.”

Rev. Dr. K. James Stein, professor emeritus of church history and senior scholar in church history at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, was honored with the Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award for his five decades of service to the academy and the church. President Lallene Rector presented Stein with the award on July 31st at a special reception commemorating his final course at the Seminary.

Committed to deacon studies since the creation of the order in 1996, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is proud to offer a new course this fall entitled, The United Methodist Deacon. Taught by Professor Emeritus of Christian Education, Dr. Margaret Ann Crain, this much anticipated course will explore the possibilities, origins, theology, and ministry of the Order of Deacon in The United Methodist Church.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is among the first to offer all six United Methodist studies courses mandated by the Book of Discipline in an online format. Required for ordination or one of the ministry certifications in The United Methodist Church, these six courses explore topics critical to the contemporary church through a variety of perspectives and voices, and equip students for congregational leadership in the 21st century.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary will welcome Rev. Stephen Lewis, president of the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE), as keynote speaker at the 2014 academic convocation on September 3, 2014. Titled “Start Boldly, Lead Differently,” Lewis will deliver his convocation address at 4:00 p.m. in the Seminary’s Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful and all are welcome to attend.

Professors, doctoral students, and many graduates of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary will present at this year’s annual conference for Christians Engaged in Faith Formation (CEF). Titled, May the Circle be Unbroken, the conference will be held on October 17-20, 2014 at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.

The United Library at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary was awarded a Historical Records Preservation Grant to financially assist in the preservation and digitization of the Lucy Rider Meyer and Chicago Training School archives. Issued by the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board (ISHRAB) and the Illinois State Archives, the United Library is one of the first theological institutions in Illinois to be selected for this grant.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is again the recipient of a grant given by the Bernard Heerey Family Foundation. The grant provides annual full-tuition and stipend to three students fulfilling their field education requirements as student chaplains in a hospital setting. While all M.Div. students are eligible for the scholarship, the foundation is committed to helping a diverse array of students.

Garrett-Evangelical alums have once again shown unrivaled support for their seminary. More than 300 seminaries are invited to report their fundraising statistics to the Council for Aid to Education each year, and this past fiscal year (July 2012 – June 2013), Garrett-Evangelical was ranked first in alum participation. More than 37% of the alum family made a gift to the Seminary!

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary will welcome prominent theologian and scholar Dr. Mark Lewis Taylor during the fall 2014 semester as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Theology. Taylor has written extensively on religion, culture, and politics and holds the Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Theology and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey.

Friday, May 30th, the Minnesota Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church honored former Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary trustee, Rev. Jeanne Audrey Powers, for her extraordinary service to the people and churches of the Minnesota Annual Conference.  Powers was one of the first women to be ordained in The United Methodist Church in 1958.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that the seminary has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) of The United Methodist Church for the Young Clergy Initiative (YCI). This initiative specifically focuses on programming geared toward increasing the number of young clergy in The United Methodist Church. Garrett-Evangelical was one of twenty-nine organizations to be given a monetary grant from the GBHEM for this initiative and one of two United Methodist theological schools.

Rev. Alfred T. Day, an adjunct faculty member at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, has been named General Secretary of the General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH) of The United Methodist Church. Day currently serves as the pastor at Historic St. George’s United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and an adjunct professor in United Methodist studies at Garrett-Evangelical. Day’s new position will take him to the United Methodist Archives and History Center at Drew University, located in Madison, New Jersey.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is honored to recognize Dr. Rita Lester and Dr. M. Franklin Dotts as the 2014 Distinguished Alumni. Each year, the seminary chooses two alumni to be honored as Distinguished Alumni at our Commencement exercises. One alumnus is chosen from the most recent 25 years of graduates and one alumnus is chosen from all those alumni who graduated over 25 years ago.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that Dr. Pamela Holliman, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Psychotherapy, has been elected the President of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC). The mission of this association is to bring healing, hope, and wholeness to individuals, families, and communities by expanding and equipping spiritually grounded and psychologically informed care, counseling, and psychotherapy.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is pleased to present the Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award to Mr. Robert Ravenscroft, internationally renowned musician and long-time friend of Garrett-Evangelical. The award is given in the name and spirit of Eliza Clark Garrett, founder of Garrett Biblical Institute in 1853, to honor a person, who by their imaginative acts of communal restoration and healing, reflect God’s mission and purposes for our world.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is pleased to announce Rev. Dr. Gennifer Brooks has been elected Dean of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) Doctor of Ministry Preaching Program, effective May 1, 2014. Dedicated to helping students discover their own pulpit hermeneutic, Brooks is Ernest and Bernice Styberg Professor of Preaching and Director of the Styberg Preaching Institute at Garrett-Evangelical. In addition to teaching and advising students in the ACTS DMin Preaching Program, Brooks is a long-standing member of the Program Committee.

The United Library at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the compilation and digital publication of the Arthur Landwehr Sermon Collection. Rev. Dr. Arthur J. Landwehr II, a distinguished alum and life trustee of Garrett-Evangelical, was an incredible preacher, ecumenist, and author who spent the majority of his ministerial career serving congregations in the Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is delighted to announce Rev. Dr. Justo L. González, foremost scholar in religious studies and Methodist history, will speak at the seminary’s 157th Commencement on May 16th. The Commencement service will begin at 10:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church of Evanston.

What happens when we slow down the pace of life? What do we hear when we are quiet enough to be still? Answers to the questions can be found at SoulScapes, a unique worship service open to the public and featuring Music Serving the Word, a national ministry fusing the arts and faith. Hosted on Wednesday, April 30th, at 6:00 p.m. by Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, the service offers an opportunity to explore issues of faith, beauty, reflection, and renewal within the context of the arts.

The inaugural celebration of Lallene J. Rector as president of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary will take place February 28 and March 1, with the inaugural ceremony set for Saturday, March 1. A variety of events, including a panel discussion, concert and a worship service, will be held during the two-day period.