Perkins School of Theology announces degree concentrations in Church Management, Social Innovation to begin in Fall 2017

SMU Perkins Chapel with blue foxgloves, 2015, by Hillsman S. Jackson - LRSMU’s Perkins School of Theology has added two new degree concentrations – in partnership with Cox School of Business and Meadows School of the Arts – designed to strengthen future clergy in the area of church management and to equip those pursuing nontraditional forms of ministry that encourage social innovation.

The Church Management and Social Innovation and Nonprofit Engagement (SINE) concentrations will be available beginning Fall 2017 to Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Master of Arts in Ministry (M.A.M.) students.

The Concentration in Church Management is an 18-credit-hour interdisciplinary graduate-level concentration that will provide world-class business education to students in tandem with critical theological preparation. Courses offered by the Cox School, which was ranked No. 6 globally for quality of faculty in 2016, will focus on the needs of nonprofit managers in areas including organizational leadership, staff and volunteer management, membership generation, cross-cultural management and targeted marketing.

“This concentration is both badly needed and highly distinctive,” said Perkins Dean Craig Hill. “It leverages SMU’s considerable strengths in both theological and business education to provide a program that addresses needs of church bodies in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”

Offered in partnership with the Meadows School’s Division of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, the Concentration in Social Innovation and Nonprofit Engagement is designed primarily for students who do not intend to work as pastors in a local church setting, but in nontraditional ministries. The 15-credit-hour interdisciplinary graduate-level concentration will focus on innovative approaches to addressing social issues and the needs arising from technological, demographic and societal changes. Through courses including social entrepreneurship and innovation, business and professional communication, financing for the social good, and others, students will learn how to form effective, practical and sustainable responses to these emerging challenges.

“Perkins students enrolled in the Social Innovation and Nonprofit Management concentration will be able to apply intellectual rigor and spiritual integrity to communication theory, and to practice research, strategy, consulting and advocacy in light of critical theological inquiry,” Dean Hill said. “Many of our students, including those who pursue ordination, find themselves on the cutting-edge of nontraditional ministries within communities across the United States. Perkins and Meadows are committed to equipping leaders not only for current societal realities but also to face future challenges.”

“Students receiving a theological education with either of these concentrations will be better prepared to lead churches, non-profits, and other ministry settings,” said Bishop Michael McKee, episcopal leader of the North Texas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, member of the SMU Board of Trustees and chair of the Perkins Executive Board. “SMU and Perkins will be providing a better-prepared person for service in our rapidly changing culture.”

> Read the full story at the Perkins School of Theology website