Skip to content »

2019-01 Archive

Dr. Rodolfo R. Nolasco Jr., professor of pastoral theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, was awarded a 2020 Project Grant Research from the Louisville Institute in the amount of $30,000. Pulling from his expertise and prior publications, Nolasco’s research project will look specifically at United Methodist clergy members who self-identify as LGBTQIA. The research project is titled, “Q-nnections: Exploring the Phenomenological World of Self-Identifying Queer UMC Clergy Subjected to Social and Religious Mechanisms of Exclusion.”

Recognizing the changing religious landscape, decreasing outside scholarship support from denominational bodies, and the unique manifestations of God’s vocational call, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is expanding access to financial aid for all students. Beginning with students admitted for Fall 2020, Garrett-Evangelical’s financial aid program will guarantee:

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is pleased to announce it has received a sustainability grant of just over $372,000 from Lilly Endowment Inc. for its “Leading Vibrant Congregations: A Collaboration of Faith and Finance” initiative. With this sustainability grant, the seminary will be able to build upon the outstanding progress made on the programs developed from the original grant it received in 2016.

Helping People Invest in Something Larger than Themselves

Shortly after David Heetland accepted his first job in development, a friend approached him to say how sorry he was that Heetland was leaving the ministry. Before agreeing to head up Dakota Wesleyan University’s development office, Heetland had been serving as dean of students there and before that, as campus minister and assistant professor of religion and philosophy.    

Effective August 1, 2019, Rev. Dr. Mai-Anh Le Tran was named vice president for academic affairs and academic dean. This is a historic appointment in the seminary’s 166-year history as she is the first woman of color to serve as academic dean. A 2004 doctor of philosophy Garrett-Evangelical graduate, Tran is an internationally recognized leader in theological education, an accomplished scholar, and much sought-after expert in pedagogy. She joined the faculty of Garrett-Evangelical in 2017 as associate professor of religious education and practical theology.

EVANSTON, Illinois – On Saturday, November 16, 2019, the National Association of Colored People (NAACP) Evanston/North Shore Branch honored Dr. Lallene J. Rector, president of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, for her outstanding service in higher education at the Freedom Fund Banquet. Held at the Evanston Golf Club, this was the 55th annual banquet of the Evanston/North Shore Branch.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary faculty members are on their way to San Diego, CA, for the 2019 annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)! The annual AAR/SBL meeting is the world's largest gathering of scholars interested in the study of religion. More than 1,000 events take place during the Annual Meetings, including a plethora of academic sessions, workshops, meetings, receptions, and tours.

The latest book from Dr. Rolf Nolasco, professor of pastoral theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, offers a unique look at what it means for queer people to locate and anchor their identity as a beloved child of God. God’s Beloved Queer: Identity, Spirituality, and Practice draws from a wide range of disciplines—pastoral theology, spirituality, counseling psychology, affective neuroscience, anthropology—to offer a more nuanced description of what it means for queer folks to be sacred icons of God like everyone else.

By North Central College

Students get a new chance for a head start on graduate religious studies

North Central College has united with Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary to offer students the unique opportunity to take graduate-level courses in religious studies while completing their undergraduate degrees.

By Hilary Hurd Anyaso

The late James Hal Cone was the founder of black theology and a graduate of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and Northwestern University. Fifty years after the publication of his seminal text, “Black Theology and Black Power,” the University’s department of religious studies will host a two-day conference to examine his body of work within the humanities and black critical thought.

The Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion has awarded Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary a grant for a “Mapping ‘Race’ Across the Curriculum” project. The project will conduct a “syllabus mapping” to identify and classify the ways in which critical consciousness of race is infused in the seminary’s Master of Divinity (MDiv) curriculum, especially in the required courses and core distribution electives.

It is “for such a time as this” that Let Your Light Shine: Mobilizing for Justice with Children and Youth, a new book edited by Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary professors, Rev. Dr. Reginald Blount and Rev. Dr. Virginia A. Lee, has emerged. From broken immigration policies, hunger, school shootings, mass incarceration, human trafficking, failing schools, and child soldiers in wars worldwide, the harsh realities our children are living in cannot be ignored. Blount and Lee, together with contributors like Marian Wright Edelman, Rev. Dr. Janet Wolf, Rev. Dr. Gregory C.

On November 1-2, 2019, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and Northwestern University will host scholars, religious leaders, and activists for “Black Theology and Black Power: Retrospect and Prospect”, a conference reflecting on James Hal Cone’s seminal work, Black Theology & Black Power, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary will welcome Dr. Melanie L. Harris as its keynote speaker for the 2019 Academic Convocation on September 4, 2019. Harris is the visiting professor of global ethical leadership and environmental studies at the University of Denver and founding director of African American and Africana Studies and full professor of religion and ethics at Texas Christian University. She will deliver her convocation address at 4:00 p.m. in the seminary’s Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful. All are welcome to attend.

On August 7-8, 2019, some 60 United Methodist scholars will gather at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas,

  • in protest against the long-time stance of the denomination prohibiting same-sex marriage and ordination of homosexuals and the punitive measures of the traditional plan passed at the special session of the General Conference in February,

  • to cast a vision for a church inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ community,

Students earn a certificate of completion in one of five areas of study and up to 15 credit hours to apply toward a degree program for $425 per credit hour.

The foundation for Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader and Rev. Dr. Margaret Ann Crain’s new book, Women Bishops of The United Methodist Church: Extraordinary Gifts of the Spirit (Abingdon Press, April 2019), is a series of interviews they conducted with each of the women bishops of The United Methodist Church. Through the stories they collected, they learned what enabled these women to persevere, claim authority, define leadership in their own ways, and rise to the episcopacy.

By Rev. Dr. Cheryl B. Anderson, Professor of Old Testament

On Sunday, May 19, 2019, Grace United Methodist Church (UMC) of Gaithersburg, Maryland, celebrated its 175th anniversary with a special homecoming service. I had served as the associate pastor of that church from 1990-1993. As is often done, they invited previous pastors to return and three of us did. We were asked to speak for only five minutes — and that’s not an easy task for those who speak for a living!

Announced at the Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, May 16, 2019, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has promoted Rev. Benjamin Reynolds to assistant vice president of student services and dean of students. Reynolds was named dean of students in the spring of 2017 and held the position of assistant director of recruitment prior.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary announces the appointment of Rev. Dr. E. Byron (Ron) Anderson as Associate Dean of Institutional and Educational Assessment, effective July 1, 2019. In this new role, Anderson will steward the responsibilities of institutional accreditation and assessment and ensure integrous alignment between institutional strategic planning and a comprehensive, systematic approach to educational assessment and programming.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that doctor of philosophy student, Rev. Heesung Hwang, has been selected as a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Louisville Institute. Hwang will receive her doctor of philosophy in Christian education and congregational studies from Garrett-Evangelical on May 17, 2019, at the seminary’s 162nd Commencement.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary announces the appointment of Rev. Dr. Mai-Anh Le Tran as vice president for academic affairs and academic dean, effective August 1, 2019. This is a historic appointment in the seminary’s 166-year history as Tran is the first woman of color to serve as academic dean. This appointment comes after Academic Dean Luis R. Rivera announced in early 2019 that he will be stepping down as academic dean after five and half years of service.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Brian Bantum as the Neal F. and Ila A. Fisher Chair of Theology, effective July 1, 2019. Bantum is an accomplished theologian who writes on the intersection of theology and identity, exploring how the claims of Christian identity are illumined and challenged by the realities of race, ethnicity, and gender.

EVANSTON, Illinois - Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is proud to announce doctoral students Gina A. S. Robinson and Bryson White have been selected to receive a 2019 Doctoral Fellowship from the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE). Robinson is studying in the Christian education and congregational studies field and White is studying in the theology and ethics field of Garrett-Evangelical’s doctor of philosophy program.

EVANSTON, Illinois – Having just completed a national search, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of Taurean J. Webb as director of the Center for the Church and the Black Experience (CBE). In addition, Webb will be joining the faculty as instructor of religion and race and will be named as assistant professor of religion and race upon completion of his dissertation. Webb will begin his position on May 1, 2019.

Maria Alejandra Salazar, current master of divinity student at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, was named a 2019 Emerging Leaders Fellow by the ARC (Arts, Religion, and Culture) organization. Salazar is one of six fellows in the 2019 cohort.

A letter from the presidents and deans of the Association of the United Methodist Theological Schools regarding "A Study of the Thirteen Official Theological Schools of The United Methodist Church" by Dr. Daniel O. Aleshire, former executive director of the Association of Theological Schools.


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.

Now in her fifth year as president of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, President Lallene J. Rector will hold her annual Town Hall for all constituents of the seminary, on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, from 12 – 1 p.m. (CDT). This 60-minute live and interactive presentation will be available both by telephone and in an online audio forum, allowing students, faculty, staff, alums, trustees, and friends of the seminary to participate from anywhere in the world.

EVANSTON, Illinois – Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is pleased to announce Rev. Grace Imathiu, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Evanston, Illinois, will speak at the seminary’s 162st Commencement on May 17, 2019. Imathiu has been in ministry over several decades and continents, working to create communities of love, hope, and inclusion. The Commencement service will begin at 10:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church of Evanston. All are welcome to attend.

EVANSTON, Illinois – At their meeting on February 7-8, 2019, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Board of Commissioners for the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) voted to re-accredit Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary for ten years, the maximum period for which accreditation is granted. All nine degrees currently offered by Garrett-Evangelical were approved, including: the master of divinity, five master of arts, the master of theological studies, the doctor of ministry, and the doctor of philosophy.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary will host an Interfaith Climate Summit for the Evanston community on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Co-sponsors for the event include the City of Evanston, Northwestern University Spiritual Life, Citizens’ Greener Evanston, and Faith in Place.

Dear Garrett-Evangelical Community,

I greet you in the love, in the grace, and in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Statement of the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools (AUMTS) at the Special Session of General Conference 2019

Rev. Kimberly Ingram, delegate to the Special Session of General Conference 2019, GBHEM Board Member, and member of the Western North Carolina Annual Conference

Currently, the seminary is in year two of a three-year Green Seminary certification program through the Green Seminary Initiative (GSI). Written by staff member, Liz Lwanga, the seminary's latest initiatives were recently reported on the GSI blog.


The Green Seminary Initiative | By Liz Lwanga

EVANSTON, Illinois, JANUARY 2019 – At the request of several members of the Evanston community, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, The Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University, and numerous African American churches and organizations have once again worked collaboratively to produce a community project entitled, “Out of the African Diaspora to Evanston, Illinois: A Mosaic of Human Community.” This project was created in recognition of the 2019 Black History Month and builds

*Written by North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, on January 16, 2019.


NAPERVILLE, Illinois – North Central College is uniting with Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary to offer students the unique opportunity to take graduate-level courses in religious studies while completing their undergraduate degrees.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has established a new partnership with Faith in Place, a state-wide organization that has worked with over 1,000 houses of worship throughout Illinois to protect our common land, air, and water. Through this exciting partnership, Garrett-Evangelical will be offering a dynamic new course this Spring semester called Organizing for Environmental Justice.