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Spiritual Life

Group of people praying together in the Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful

Seminary education is much more than coursework. Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary understands the importance of feeding not just the mind but also the soul. The chapel ministry at Garrett-Evangelical provides opportunities to praise and worship God, to grow spiritually, and to learn together about the ministries of preaching and worship. Christian leadership is also nurtured through community worship and small group discipleship and prayer groups which meet for sharing, support, and accountability.

Whether it's attending community worship, one of our communal prayer services, meditating in the prayer garden behind Howes Chapel, walking the prayer labyrinth, or doing a devotional on the lake shore, Garrett-Evangelical offers a variety of ways for students to engage in spiritual formation.

We invite you to learn more about Spritual Life at Garrett-Evangelical through the wealth of information below. If you have questions or needs, please contact the Chapel Coordinator, Renee Smithback, at


Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary understands the importance of feeding not just the mind but also the soul. The chapel ministry at Garrett-Evangelical provides opportunities to praise and worship God, to grow spiritually, and to learn together about the ministries of preaching and worship. Our Community Worship and Communal Prayer services are times where faculty, students, staff, and family members are together affirming that we are an authentic and prophetic community of faith.


Our Community Worship and Communal Prayer services have necessarily changed by the pandemic and resulting restrictions, but our commitment to centering our common life on the Triune God has not. We now join in worship online, from wherever we are, knowing that the Risen Christ meets us and gathers us into a Body enlivened to follow God’s call.


Community Worship

Our Community Worship service blends together a variety of worship styles and practices in a creative and dynamic worship language that allows for active participation, cooperation, in an action-reflection dynamic that enables us to learn from one another and learn to be and become with one another. It is in moments of intense communion, such as the ones experienced in worship, that we are able to engage boundaries of time, space, social narratives, and experiences to share that which makes us all vulnerably human, mysteriously graced, and blessed by the Spirit.

Communal Prayer

These brief prayer services are there to allow students, staff, faculty, and family members the opportunity to grow as a worshiping community, as well as to intentionally experience the variety of ways God speaks to us in a spiritual environment where flexibility, diversity, plurality, and other possibilities are core concepts.

Office of the Chaplain

The Office of the Chaplain works as an extension of the Office of Student Life (OSL) to provide pastoral care, presence, and leadership to the Garrett-Evangelical student community and serves as a pastoral resource within the overall Garrett-Evangelical community. The Chaplain offers space and regular office hours for students seeking counseling, vocational discernment, spiritual accompaniment, crisis intervention, active listening, spiritual and faith formation resources, as well as connection to professional counseling and spiritual direction resources. The Chaplain also works in collaboration with the OSL to nurture an ecology of student wellness at Garrett-Evangelical, e.g., serving on committees related to student life; participating in selected chapel services, resourcing student organizations and centers and institutes as needed. In addition, the Chaplain works with the OSL to expand and diversify the availability of resources for students to proactively care for themselves, engage in peer-to-peer care, and to directly access professional counseling services on campus.

Rev. Dr. Karen Mosby


Rev. Dr. Karen Mosby


Spiritual Formation

Beginning with its first spiritual formation class in 1984, Garrett-Evangelical has long been at the forefront of Protestant seminaries in supporting faculty and developing programs in this area. As one of the only Protestant seminaries in the United States to have an endowed chair in spiritual formation, Garrett-Evangelical is committed to nurturing spiritual leaders. Along with classes specializing in spiritual formation, students can work towards a certification in spiritual formation or a specialized Master of Arts degree in Spiritual Formation and Direction. Current students can also participate in various spiritual life opportunities put on by the Student Council, our weekly chapel service, any of our three communal prayer services, student led bible studies, and more.

Sacred Spaces

Pray. Meditate. Rest. Be.

Having sacred space is vital to maintaining good mental, physical, and spiritual health. Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary offers a number of sacred spaces for students to find solitude, center their spirit, and commune with God


Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful

Dedicated in 1992 "to the glory of God in memory of the Unnamed Faithful," the Chapel the Unnamed Faithful is designed to express the seminary's understanding of corporate worship, where brothers and sisters in Christ gather, not as observers but as family members around a common table. Moveable chairs and liturgical furniture make possible a variety of seating arrangements and creative worship settings.


Howes Chapel

This small, intimate chapel located in front of the main building of Garrett-Evangelical was built to honor the memory of Frank W. Howes, who was during his lifetime one of the most dedicated members of the Board of Trustees of what was then Garrett-Biblical Institute. Since its dedication on January 31, 1937, its doors have been open to all people within and outside the seminary community, inviting all to enter to rest and pray.


Leona Anita Black Prayer Room

Given in honor of Garrett-Evangelical President Emerita Lallene Rector’s grandmother, the Leona Anita Black Prayer Room is located on the lower level of Loder Hall and provides students opportunity and space for prayer, meditation, and contemplation. 


The Barbara Wendt Bell Chapel

The Barbara Wendt Bell Chapel is located on the fourth floor of Loder Hall. The sacred space is available for the seminary community and offers an intimate place for prayer, reflection, and study.


Prayer Garden

The Prayer Garden behind Howes Chapel serves as a quiet outdoor place for the Seminary’s students. Along with a benches and open areas for one to sit and rest, the Prayer Garden features a path with stations for prayer and reflection.


Lake Michigan

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is blessed to be located on the shores of Lake Michigan. Walking paths, bike trails, and the Northwestern Lakefill provide a beautiful view of Lake Michigan and are perfect places for prayerful walk, gathering for a bible study or covenant group, or simply sitting in the wonders of creation.

Let Justice Roll Down! | A Liturgical Resource Center

Let Justice Roll Down! is a liturgical resource center of the Chapel at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Worship is formational. The words we say and sing inform the way we follow Christ and shape our understanding of God. The prophet Amos shares God's anger at worship that is divorced from justice: 

I hate, I reject your festivals;
    I don’t enjoy your joyous assemblies.
If you bring me your entirely burned offerings and gifts of food—
        I won’t be pleased;
    I won’t even look at your offerings of well-fed animals.
Take away the noise of your songs;
        I won’t listen to the melody of your harps.
But let justice roll down like waters,
        and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.  Amos 5:21-24 (CEB)

Because Scripture says that "the whole creation is groaning together" for the revelation of God's children (Rom. 8:22), and because we are called into Christ's work of the reconciliation of all things (2 Cor. 5:17-19), our vision is:

to serve our incarnate God by envisioning a just earth, working for liberation, and learning from intersectionality as we worship our Creator in Spirit and truth. 

Let Justice Roll Down! accomplishes this task by creating and curating liturgical resources that call the church into ecological faithfulness. When we worship, we are formed to be like God, the One who lovingly created and cares for the whole of the cosmos. As we face the unprecedented challenges of climate change and environmental degradation, churches are uniquely positioned to organize for justice. The resources on this site are curated to assist worship planners in designing services that celebrate our Creator and call us to the task of joining the Creator's work in the world.