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Rev. Dr. Timothy R. Eberhart Named Director of the New Master of Arts in Public Ministry Degree

November 9, 2017
Rev. Dr. Timothy Eberhart

In preparation for the Fall 2018 launch of the new master of arts in public ministry (MAPM) degree, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has named Rev. Dr. Timothy R. Eberhart director of the program. Eberhart brings a wealth of educational and ministerial experience and he has been instrumental in the seminary’s ecological justice and sustainability initiatives. Most recently, Eberhart has served on the faculty of Garrett-Evangelical through a joint appointment with Methodist Theological School in Ohio. He was appointed to Garrett-Evangelical full-time in July of this year and will continue to serve as assistant professor of theology and ecology.

In his role as director of the MAPM program, Eberhart will be responsible for all aspects of the program including curriculum development, recruitment efforts in partnership with the admissions office, and administration oversight. In addition, he will work closely with students to ensure their academic success. “We have designed this program to educate faith leaders for wise, courageous, and transformative public ministries in service to God's loving justice for all peoples and creation," said Eberhart. “Students in this program will aspire to fulfill their Christian vocations to love God and serve neighbor through public ministries of advocacy, organizing, justice-making, and related vocations in service to the common good.” Eberhart, whose scholarship and teaching is focused in the areas of ecological theology and environmental ethics, will also advise students who choose to concentrate in ecological justice within the MAPM.

Since coming to Garrett-Evangelical, Eberhart has worked diligently to raise awareness about the theological, ethical, and pastoral implications of ecological degradation and injustice and is helping to build a culture of environmental sensitivity and sustaining practices within every facet of the seminary. Under Eberhart’s leadership the seminary has formed a Green Team and a sustainGETS student group and established partnerships with The Seminary Stewardship Alliance and The Green Seminary Initiative. Courses in ecological theology, environmental ethics, food justice, and more have been introduced into the curriculum. These efforts, combined with Eberhart’s new role as director of the MAPM, will continue to help Garrett-Evangelical best prepare its graduates to be faith leaders equipped to work for racial justice, economic equality, ecological flourishing, gender equity, and a democratic society that works for all.

“We are delighted that Dr. Eberhart has accepted the invitation to direct the master of arts in public ministry program,” said Dr. Lallene J. Rector, president of Garrett-Evangelical. “This degree and his own commitment to ecological justice represent a convergence of vocational callings: the intersections of congregational life, scholarly engagement, teaching for discipleship, and a passion for faith-based love of neighbor and justice work in the public realm. The school is blessed by the many gifts Dr. Eberhart brings to our life together!”

Eberhart earned his doctor of philosophy from the Graduate School at Vanderbilt University, his master of divinity degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School, and his bachelor of arts in religion from St. Olaf College. A sought-out speaker, Eberhart has lectured and led workshops at institutions and churches throughout the nation. His newest book, Rooted and Grounded in Love: Holy Communion for the Whole Creation (Wipf and Stock), was published in June 2017.

Eberhart is an ordained elder in the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC). He has served on various boards and committees of the church including the Northern Illinois Bishop’s Task Force on Sustainability. He is the current North American Secretary for the Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies. At the local level, Eberhart is a board member of Citizens Greener Evanston and serves on the Environmental Justice Evanston Committee. He and his spouse, Rev. Becky Eberhart, and their three children reside in Evanston, Illinois.

To learn more about the master of arts in public ministry, go to Garrett.edu/MAPM.