William B. Lawrence, dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, has been elected by the United Methodist Church’s 2012-16 Judicial Council to serve as its president. The election was held May 3, during the UMC’s 2012 General Conference.
Lawrence, who has been Perkins dean and professor of American church history since 2002, was first elected by the 2008 General Conference of The United Methodist Church to serve as one ofnine members of the Judicial Council. Sometimes referred to as the denomination’s “Supreme Court,” the Council is the highest judicial body within The United Methodist Church.
Its responsibilities include determining whether acts or proposed acts of the General Conference, as well as Jurisdictional, Central, and Annual Conferences, conform to the Constitution and current Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church.
In addition to his service with the Judicial Council, Lawrence also has been elected by members of the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools (AUMTS) for a one-year term as AUMTS President. The election was held April 24, at the spring 2012 meeting of the AUMTS. Created in 1933, AUMTS includes the deans and presidents of all 13 theological schools in the United States directly related to and supported by The United Methodist Church through the leadership of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.