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
Garrett-Evangelical's centers and institutes enrich seminary life through lectures, workshops, and conferences; allow students, faculty, and the church to interact in programs of mutual interest; and offer new perspectives, resources, and continuing education opportunities to the wider community outside of the seminary.
To learn more about any of the centers and institutes listed below, click here.
Center for Asian/Asian American Ministry
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.
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.
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is committed to addressing the urgent environmental crises facing the world’s peoples today by promoting the just and wise care of God’s creation for the flourishing of all. This commitment is rooted in an affirmation of God’s love for the world, an embrace of our human vocation to be faithful stewards of the good earth, and an active hope in God’s promise to establish justice and righteousness throughout the land.
The Center was established in 1988 to bring Hispanic-Latinx culture and experience into the life of the seminary. The Center's mission has been to meet the needs of Hispanic-Latinx students, pastors, parishioners, and community leaders in creative, insightful, useful, and organic ways. It also seeks to cultivate a community of friends who have a heart and concern about the realities of Latinx communities across the United States, Latin America, and beyond. Furthermore, we seek to offer opportunities for reflection on complex issues related to Latinx's experiences from a theological and social justice standpoint, while seeking to promote dialogue and partnership with community leaders and non-profit organizations that together work for the common good.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every year, Garrett-Evangelical has a multitude of student organizations operating that provide students with space for fellowship, spiritual formation, academic discussion, creativity, and much more. As the needs of the student body shift from year to year, some student organizations may take a break and others may come back online. The Office of Student Life can help you connect with the student organization that fits your needs and passions (or help you start a new one!).
Below are just a handful of the student organizations that are currently or have been recently been active:
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.
A new Christian community has formed at Garrett-Evangelical in the spirit of living simply, relationally, and with an eye to the liberation of both human and non-human creation. The Genesis Collective gathers weekly to share in local meals and practices of spiritual formation for loving action.
This ensemble is open to all persons who enjoy singing gospel music. Rehearsals 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.
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.
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.
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.
The Spoon Collective is a group of seminarians at Garrett-Evangelical who experience the effects of chronic illness and/or disability. We exist to offer peer support, encouragement, promote advocacy/education, and question ableism around us. Our name is based on the Spoon Theory, created by Christine Miserandino, to explain the limited energy of those who experience chronic illness or disability.
sustainGETS supports the seminary’s commitment to ecologically-regenerative thought and practice through planning for lectures, workshops, field trips, worship services, and advocacy opportunities throughout the year.
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 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.
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
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.