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Community Life

Group of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Students at a food truck

If you sit in our classrooms or join us for a meal in the dining hall, you will be enriched by the conversation with persons from a wide range of cultural, language, and theological backgrounds. Amid this remarkable diversity, we almost daily discover new gifts of community expressed in concrete acts of mutual care and shared responsibility.

Community life at Garrett-Evangelical is basic to seminary formation. Classrooms of hospitality, a dynamic worship life during the week, covenant groups, prayer circles, community meals, and student- organized events are a key part of understanding and experiencing the formation of Christian community. Mentoring supports the seminary’s commitment to accompanying each student on the journey. Coursework, academic advising, rich conversation, and community experience empower the call and gifts of each student to fulfill God’s call and claim on their lives. Partnering in formation with denominations, we seek to prepare students for entry into ministry in the church as it is living out its mission today, with a clear commission to empower students for the church which is yet to be.

Centers and Institutes

Center for Asian/Asian American Ministry and Theology

Established by the seminary in 1984, this center serves the needs of Asian American students, pastors, and churches. The office provides services to churches throughout the North Central Jurisdiction by recruiting students for ordained ministry and by training seminarians, pastors, and lay leaders for effective ministry in cross-cultural settings. For more information, contac Dr. Wonhee Anne Joh, faculty director, at 847.866.3974.


Center for the Church and the Black Experience

Instituted in 1970 as one of the primary emphases of the seminary, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience (CBE) focuses on African American experience and ministry. This center responds to the needs of the African American students, pastors, and churches. Its purpose is to ensure the integration of black religious experience into all aspects of seminary life, including student recruitment, faculty development, curriculum planning, and special programs. Its aims are instituted by incorporating the African American experience into existing curricula, rather than establishing separate black studies programs; by the endowment of scholarships for black students; and by the establishment of a parity committee made up of equal numbers of black and white faculty. For more information, contact Taurean Webb, interim director, at 847-866-3984. To learn more about CBE, go to


Hispanic-Latinx Center

Established in 1988, this center seeks to bring Hispanic culture and experience into the life of the seminary and provide continuing education to the church. It strives to serve the needs of Hispanic and Latin American students, pastors, and churches. The office provides services to churches throughout the North Central Jurisdiction by recruiting students for ordained ministry and by training seminarians, pastors, and lay leaders for effective ministry in cross-cultural settings. For more information, contact Débora Junker, director, at 847-866-3871.


Rueben P. Job Institute

The Rueben Job Institute is an initiative for continuing education in spiritual formation, developed by Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. We are pleased to honor Bishop Rueben Job in this initiative. As an alumnus of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Bishop Job’s ministry has pioneered spiritual formation practices within the United Methodist Church. Garrett-Evangelical has continued this pioneering work through the development of the United Methodist Professional Certification in Spiritual Formation and spiritual formation/direction specializations throughout our degree programs. For more information, contact Frederick Schmidt, faculty director, at 847.8667.3985. 


Stead Center for Ethics and Values

An endowed center, the Stead Center for Ethics and Values draws on the resources of the Seminary, Northwestern University, and diverse parishes and agencies to address the compelling ethical issues facing contemporary society; e.g., technological interventions at the beginning and ending of life; war and religion; the plight of children in the cities; the environment; and human experimentation. It seeks to bring a theological perspective to these issues of ecumenical and international scope. Special lecture series and seminars are among the settings which will bring religious communities, seminary scholars, and university colleagues together with the Garrett-Evangelical community. You can contact Dr. Brent Waters, faculty director, at 847.866.3915 or


Styberg Preaching Institute

Endowed in 2005, the institute exists to form Christian leaders in the theological and practical disciplines necessary to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ faithfully in the context of contemporary cultures. The resources and programs of the institute are available to students, pastors, and alums. For more information, contact Dr. Gennifer Brooks, faculty director, at 847.866.3888 or To learn more about the institute, go to


Women's Center

The Women’s Center contains a large selection of books and other printed materials about the contributions women have historically made and continue to make in ministry. Women are welcome to come there to relax, have lunch, or just “be” at any time. It is also used as a meeting room for small groups and other gatherings. The center housed the feminist theory work group.  For more information, contact Karen Mosby, director.

Student Groups

Covenant Group

Covenant groups, such as prayer groups and theological reflection groups, are organized by student initiative. Their purpose is to facilitate Christian fellowship and reflection within the community. Covenant groups sometimes form around a specific intention such as the exploration of new worship literature, Bible study, or a specific theological discussion topic. Faculty often assists in the development of these groups. The Director of Spiritual Formation and the Dean of Students provide support and staff assistance. The Director of Special Services also assists in finding appropriate meeting places for covenant groups. The Chairperson of the Spiritual Formation Committee assists in coordinating these groups. Orientation and organizing dates take place at the beginning of each semester.


Garrett-Evangelical Black Seminarians (G-EBS)

The purpose of G-EBS is to promote scholarship and fellowship among African American students and to sensitize the seminary community to the black religious experience. The group sponsors programs, worship services, and other activities that affirm and encourage appreciation for African American customs, culture, and religious traditions. Membership is open to African Americans and international students from Africa and the Caribbean.
Faculty Advisor: Reginald Blount


Gospel Ensemble

This ensemble is open to all persons who enjoy singing gospel music. Rehearsals, on Tuesdays at 9:00 pm, are prayerful, spirit-filled fellowship times which often provide a needed lift after a long day of classes. The ensemble performs a variety of music - anthems, spirituals, hymns, traditional and contemporary gospel - for the Garrett-Evangelical and Northwestern communities.
Director: Kelly Tiebout


Korean Student Association

The Korean Student Association is a student group for Korean-Americans and international students from Korea. Its primary purpose is to provide support and fellowship and to promote an awareness of Korean culture and customs in the seminary community.  They typically offer several get-togethers with food, worship services, and other special events throughout the semester


Order of St. Luke

This religious order in the United Methodist Church is dedicated to sacramental and liturgical scholarship, education, and practice. It was founded in 1946 to strengthen Christians in their spiritual journey through a life of disciplined prayer with a strong emphasis on the sacraments as means of grace. Its moving and sustaining force is that vision of John and Charles Wesley that sought to bring about a sacrament as well as evangelical revival in the church. Activities of the seminary chapter include educational events focusing on worship, community worship events, and other activities that develop spiritual growth.
Formation Officer: Ron Anderson


Order of St. Philip

The Order Of Saint Philip is dedicated to evangelism and evangelistic scholarship, education, and practice.  The Order strives to be active in the Garrett-Evangelical community, as well as the surrounding areas and world at large. We strive to be an order that is a diverse community of peoples, lay and clergy, from numerous denominations, seeking to share the Good News of God's love and eternal salvation through Jesus Christ.
Faculty Advisor: Mark Teasdale


Sacred Worth

Sacred Worth at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is a student group that seeks to advocate for the dignity, rights, and issues of the LGBTQ+ communities and their allies. It is a place of fellowship and support for all persons. Sacred Worth affirms that all persons are of sacred worth, created in the image of God and every effort is made to recognize the rights of all people and to celebrate each person regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.


Seminarians for Justice

Seminarians for Justice is a Garrett-Evangelical student group that seeks to provide a community where students can learn about justice work and what it means to actualize public theology. This includes providing education about social/environmental justice issues, connecting with other organizations and seminaries that are working on social/environmental change, and taking part in public actions. Seminarians for Justice values both robust existential reflection on the issues of our time and substantive public work that furthers the commonwealth of God. We are a social action and group education network. Taking seriously the notion of the Word as flesh, we will strive to embody what Christ looks like today by educating ourselves on, and engaging with, contemporary social and/or environmental issues in a public way.
Interim Staff Director: Shane Nichols



This student group is dedicated to environmental sustainability and empowers students, faculty, and staff to be good stewards of the Earth.  More information can be found at
Faculty Advisor: Timothy Eberhart


Theta Alpha Kappa

Theta Alpha Kappa (TAK) is the national honor society for Religious Studies and Theology. Students. It is the only national honor society dedicated to recognizing academic excellence in baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate students and in scholars in the fields of Religious Studies and Theology. Garrett-Evangelical students with at least a 3.5 GPA and who have completed half of their degree requirements are nominated for membership.



WomenIMAGES (Women in Ministry at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary) focuses on women in ministry, affirms openness and receptivity to women throughout the seminary, and gives special attention to the concerns of women in church and society. The seminary is committed to addressing the special educational needs of women, as well as creating a non-sexist and inclusive environment for theological education. Student representatives present the visibility, leadership, and perspectives of women through participation in student governance structures.

Student Council

The Student Council at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is comprised of Garrett-Evangelical students (and two advisors) that meet monthly. Its purpose in relation to the Garrett-Evangelical community is:

  • To actively promote intentional and thorough information sharing among the faculty body, the student body, and the administrative body
  • To enable each body (faculty, student, and administrative) to remain responsibly informed about committee work and current issues within the academic, administrative, spiritual, and social lives of the Garrett-Evangelical community
  • To provide each body with a structure that convenes to discuss issues, set goals, and priorities, and organize to further these goals, as well as to further the quality of life within the Garrett-Evangelical community as a whole
  • To incorporate each body into the decision-making process of the Garrett-Evangelical community

Its purpose in relation to the student body is

  • To promote dialogue within the student body
  • To build a sense of community and solidarity
  • To empower the student body by enabling it to come together as one body to asses needs, to address areas of concern, and, as a united student body seeking to express itself as a community of faith, to set priorities and actively work for them

Student Council Committees

The following five committees, each focused on specific aspects of community life at Garrett-Evangelical, are composed of voting members of the Student Council. Elected membership of each committee includes the chairperson, 3 returning students and 1 first-year or new transfer student.

Academic Programs:
This committee is concerned with all academic policy. Members of the committee will serve on the following selected faculty committees: Masters Degrees, Library, Internationalizations/Cross Cultural, and Lecture.

Student Life:
This committee is concerned with organizing activities that will enhance the student life of the Garrett-Evangelical community.

Spiritual Formation:
This committee is concerned with the sacramental, liturgical, devotional, and spiritual life of the Garrett-Evangelical community. The committee appoints one member to the faculty worship committee.

Student Fund:
This fund was established in 1991. Each year the fund assists students who experience an emergency that places them in unexpected financial need. Student Fund distribution is administered by a committee of students in a procedure that protects the anonymity of the applicants. Applications for funds may be obtained from the office of the Dean of Students. This committee meets as applications are received to make determinations for distribution. Blessings flow both ways as the fund also provides an opportunity for students to give. Donations for this fund are received at any time in the cashier’s office.

Because of the emergency nature of this committee, elected members must be available to be in communication with the Dean of Students and with each other throughout the full calendar year of their term.

University Relations:
This committee is concerned with the relationship between Garrett-Evangelical and Northwestern University. The committee focuses on communication, promotion, and encouragement of participation in the life of both campuses in the area of academics, campus ministry, and religious life.


Today, Garrett-Evangelical is intimately connected with Chicago, and students take advantage of the abundant opportunities offered by the world-class city looming just south of the campus. When it's time to relax, students snap pictures by "The Bean" at Millennium Park... take in a play in Chicago theater district... revel in the wonderfully diverse music scene at clubs throughout the city... ride the El to nearby Wrigley Field and relish a Chicago-style hotdog at a Cubs game... soak up sunshine at one of Chicago's many sandy beaches... bicycle on miles and miles of lakefront trails... and take sailing lessons on Lake Michigan through the seminary's connection with Northwestern University.

As you will see, when it comes to Chicago, our students' urban education (and adventure) is limited only by their imagination.

City of Chicago

Millenium Park

Grant Park

Navy Pier

Arts, Culture, and Entertainment

Sports and Recreation

Willis Tower Skydeck

Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Lakefront Path

The Second City