Fifty years ago, former pastor Douglas Norris graduated from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. In 2012, he will celebrate 60 years of continued ministry that began when he became pastor of two churches at the age of 18. In celebration of his long and distinguished ministry, Garrett-Evangelical is establishing the Douglas and Eleanor Norris Scholarship Fund at the seminary with an initial gift of $1,000. It will become permanently endowed when it grows to a minimum of $25,000.
On August 7, David Heetland, Vice President for Development at Garrett, will make a brief presentation about the scholarship during the 9:00 and 10:25 morning worship services at the First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto.
Norris said he is "overwhelmed" by the seminary's desire to establish this fund. "It is not about me, but about the future of The United Methodist Church," he continued. "I received an excellent education at Garrett, benefitting greatly by receiving a scholarship …. [But] Times have changed and the cost of seminary education is out of reach for many gifted persons graduating from college who feel called to be pastors. I wonder how many look at a formidable seminary debt, can't see how they would pay it off with a beginning pastor's salary, and give up!
"A $25,000 endowment will provide an annual scholarship of $1,000. Never being satisfied with doing only the minimum required, I hope many will be inspired to help build a scholarship fund that reaches a level to grant a substantial scholarship each year," he finished.
To participate in this exciting challenge, you may make a gift payable to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, designate it for the Douglas and Eleanor Norris Scholarship, and send it to: Development Office, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2121 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60201. Your gift is fully tax deductible.
Currently, tuition at Garrett is $17,000 a year, and books, supplies, and living expenses bring the total to more than $35,000 a year.
Doug Norris's long ministry includes a three-year short-term mission in Japan; pastorates and interim pastorates in Minnesota, California, and Arizona; helping begin the Walk to Emmaus in his Annual Conference; providing leadership on the Conference Board of Discipleship and Camping Ministries; and currently serving his 41st year as Director of the Conference Family Camp. Having seen creative projects accomplished by church endowment funds, Doug is a firm believer.
The Douglas and Eleanor Norris Scholarship will be designated for students pursuing the United Methodist ministry as their first career.
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, located on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, began its "long and glorious history" in 1853, Norris says. He adds that he now is "very impressed" with the quality of the current faculty and students.