In March of 2020 the seminary launched the Alumni Care Initiative.  The Initiative was an innovative communal approach to an alumni ministry of care and connection.  Its chaplains sojourned with the alumni community—international, ecumenical, diverse leaders of the Church—throughout tumultuous societal, ministerial, and personal times.  They offered one-to-one listening and prayer, small gatherings and retreats, ministry site visits, connected alumni-to-alumni, and reconnected them to their seminary community.  After two years of communal discernment, care, and connection, the way was made clear to establish the Center for Alumni Care and Seminary Engagement—CARES.  

CARES continues and enhances the Initiative’s ministry of care and connection.  The relationships formed in seminary are sacred—set apart. These individual and communal relationships can be an enduring wellspring as seminarians become alumni serving, often isolated, in their call.  The Alumni Care Chaplains desire to meet alumni where they are, to companion them in their various stages of life and ministry, and to connect them with their seminary community as a sacred source of continued sharpening and encouragement.  

CARES expands beyond the Initiative’s small beginnings, adding an intentional posture of engagement.  The seminary is committed to creating, to re-building, and to nurturing relationships and resources with kingdom partners across denominations, institutions, communities, and geographies.  It desires to engage neighbors near and far so that all may flourish—together—believing that life abundant is life together.


“Ministry can be a lonely and challenging field, and I am so glad that Palmer and EU are expanding their ministry to help alleviate these burdens. It’s refreshing to know that Eastern continues to care and minister to us beyond when we stop paying for tuition. In my short time meeting with the Alumni Chaplain, I came away feeling refreshed, thought about, and loved; this kind of care goes a long way.”

James Williams, MDiv '19