Duke theologian, researcher and administrator Craig C. Hill named dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology

Perkins School of Theology

Duke theologian, researcher and administrator Craig C. Hill named dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology

Craig C. Hill, dean of Perkins School of Theology, SMUCraig C. Hill, a Duke University leader in theological education with strengths in practice, research and church relations, has been appointed the new dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, effective July 1, 2016.

Current Perkins Dean William B. Lawrence announced in September 2015 that he will retire from the position on May 16 and take a leave of absence during the 2016-17 academic year, possibly returning to SMU as professor of American church history after that time.

Since 2010, Dr. Hill has served as executive director of the Doctor of Ministry and Master of Christian Practice programs at Duke, as well as research professor of theological pedagogy.

He previously served the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., where he held several positions: professor of New Testament, executive director of academic outreach, director of the Wesley Ministry Network, co-director of the dual degree program with The American University and director of the Master of Theological Studies degree program.

> Learn more about the SMU Perkins decanal search committee

“Dr. Hill’s broad achievements as a scholar and pastoral leader make him well-equipped to guide and strengthen the next century of theological higher education at SMU,” said Steven C. Currall, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Theology was one of the first subjects taught when SMU opened in 1915, and today Perkins School of Theology remains central to the mission and character of the University. Dr. Hill will further cement the close relationship between Perkins and The United Methodist Church, as well as with other faith-based organizations in the region, nationally, and around the world. We are delighted that Dr. Hill will join the academic leadership of SMU as dean of the Perkins School of Theology.”

“Perkins School of Theology has from the beginning sought, in the words of Charles Wesley, to ‘unite…knowledge and vital piety,’ to pursue the highest standard of theological scholarship, not simply for its own sake, but for the benefit of the Church,” said Dr. Hill. “I was delighted to discover one of the school’s earliest mottos: ‘Take the School of Theology to the Church.’ My own career has been defined by that same goal, so I feel incredibly privileged to join the Perkins community as it seeks faithfully to fulfill its mission in its second century of service to the Church.”

From his experience at theology schools of other distinguished universities, Dr. Hill brings a broad overview of best practices and evolving challenges in different regions of the nation and world. These positions include those at seminaries in Moscow, Russia; Seoul, Korea; and the University of Cambridge, England. In the United States, he has been a visiting professor at Howard University Divinity School and at Indiana University and was a Henry Luce Fellow at Yale Divinity School. Based on his experience at Duke University, Dr. Hill will bring insights into how theological education aligns with other academic programs in a global research university with a liberal arts tradition, such as SMU.

“Trends in theology education, the growing need for outreach to underserved communities and the importance of preparing ministers for new challenges and opportunities – all demand the balance of theological practice and reflection that Dr. Hill will bring to his leadership of Perkins,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

Among Dr. Hill’s church positions, he served as director of Christian Education at First United Methodist Church, Meriden, Connecticut; as chaplain at Christ Church College, University of Oxford; as associate pastor at First United Methodist Church, Peoria, Illinois; and as associate pastor at Woodside United Methodist Church, Springfield, Illinois.

“In a very competitive field, Dr. Craig Hill stood out for a number of reasons,” said Samuel S. Holland, chair of the search committee and dean of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. “He has served in various executive positions at Duke Divinity School and Wesley Theological Seminary, in other words both in a theological school embedded in a research university and at an independent institution. He brings an international perspective to SMU. In all, he will provide ecumenical breadth and theological depth that Perkins School of Theology will need going forward.”

Dr. Hill is the author of numerous scholarly articles and the forthcoming book, The Greatest Among You: Reclaiming a New Testament Perspective on Status and Ambition. His previous books include In God’s Time: The Bible and the Future and Hellenists and Hebrews: Reappraising Division within the Earliest Church.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from Illinois Wesleyan University, a Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford (Christ Church College).

Review Craig C. Hill’s curriculum vitae

April 15, 2016|For the Record, News|

Highland Park UMC establishes Umphrey Lee Professorship in Methodist History to honor SMU’s centennial

One of SMU’s oldest neighbors has given the University a lasting 100th birthday present.

A $1.5 million gift from Highland Park United Methodist Church (HPUMC) will endow the Umphrey Lee Professorship in Methodist History, as well as support the HPUMC Future Church Leaders Program, in SMU’s Perkins School of Theology. The announcement of the gift fell on the date of the SMU Centennial – Sept. 24, 2015 – allowing the University to celebrate its longstanding relationship with the church that held its first service on the SMU campus in 1916.

“Our church history dates back to the founding of SMU, but our relationship is more than just an overlapping of time and geography,” said Rev. Paul Rasmussen ’04, HPUMC senior pastor, during the University’s Centennial Convocation. “It is our privilege to endow this professorship and to support the growth of future church leaders as we prepare for future generations of congregants. The Perkins School of Theology is our partner in so many ways, and remains at the heart of the SMU tradition of outreach in the community and the world.”

The gift includes $1 million to establish the faculty position in the Perkins School of Theology, and $500,000 to support educational opportunities for individuals aspiring to serve in church leadership roles. Recipients of “future leaders” funding may include students enrolled in graduate, undergraduate, certificate or continuing education programs or courses across the University, with students identified and recommended by HPUMC.

“When it comes to Umphrey Lee, it’s hard to know where SMU ends and Highland Park United Methodist Church begins, because Rev. Lee served us both for so many years,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Our HPUMC neighbors are part of the SMU family and we feel a special sense of pride that this gift will support us in teaching the rich Methodist history that we share and help to prepare future church leaders.  It’s a wonderful way to celebrate our combined centennials.”

Lee arrived at SMU in 1915, the first year classes were held on the Hilltop, and was elected the first student body president. He received his master’s degree as a member of SMU’s first graduating class in 1916. He served as pastor of HPUMC for 13 years, as SMU’s fourth president for 15 years (including during the World War II years) and as its chancellor after he stepped down as president. Over his lifetime he wrote 10 scholarly books on topics including Methodist history, the relationship between church and state, and pacifism in the context of the historic church.

“Umphrey Lee was a scholar of Methodist history who believed that the liberal arts should make students think about their responsibilities in society, and that a successful experience at Southern Methodist University would help instill personal and social values,” said Perkins Dean William B. Lawrence. “This gift from the congregation that Rev. Lee loved to the University that he also loved is a wonderful tribute to a man whose influence on SMU was transformational.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

October 1, 2015|News|

31 SMU professors receive tenure, promotions effective in 2015-16

Thirty-one SMU faculty members are newly tenured as associate professors or have been promoted to full professorships to begin the 2015-16 academic year.

The following individuals received tenure or promotion effective Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015:

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Angela Ards, English
  • Greg Brownderville, English
  • Justin Fisher, Philosophy
  • Matthew Keller, Sociology
  • Matthew Lockard, Philosophy
  • Daniel Moss, English
  • Nia Parson, Anthropology
  • Christopher Roos, Anthropology
  • Stephen Sekula, Physics
  • Alicia Zuese, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish)

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Thomas Coan, Physics
  • Darryl Dickson-Carr, English
  • Robert Kehoe, Physics
  • Francisco Morán, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish)
  • Tony Ng, Statistical Science
  • Sherry Wang, Statistical Science

Dedman School of Law

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Jessica Dixon Weaver, Law (family law, child protection, professional responsibility)

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Anthony Colangelo, Law (conflict of laws, civil procedure, U.S. foreign relations law, private and public international law)
  • Nathan Cortez, Law (health law, administrative law, FDA law)

Lyle School of Engineering

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Joe Camp, Electrical Engineering
  • Jennifer Dworak, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Andrew Quicksall, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Recommended for tenure (associate professorship previously awarded):

  • Edmond Richer, Mechanical Engineering

Meadows School of the Arts

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Christopher Dolder, Dance

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Sean Griffin, Film and Media Arts

Perkins School of Theology

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Ted Campbell, Church History

Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Scott Davis, Applied Physiology and Wellness

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Leanne Ketterlin Geller, Education Policy and Leadership
  • Lynn Romejko Jacobs, Applied Physiology and Wellness
  • Paige Ware, Teaching and Learning
  • Peter Weyand, Applied Physiology and Wellness
May 13, 2015|For the Record, News|

Calendar Highlights: March 18, 2015

Who-We-Be-coverExamining Race: Presented by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, American Book Award winner Jeff Chang will give a lecture on his latest work, Who We Be: The Colorization of America, on  Wednesday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. The lecture is free and open to the public.

NCAA Tournament: Seeded sixth, the SMU Men’s Basketball team will face UCLA on Thursday, March 19 in Louisville in their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1993. Tip-off time is set for 2:10 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised on truTV. On campus in the Arnold Dining Commons, SMU Dining Services invites members of the University community to a watch party at 2 p.m.; hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza and popcorn will be served. Admission is free for students with meal plans, $5 for all others. For complete NCAA Tournament coverage, visit the Mustang NCAA Tournament Central 2015 webpage. 

Armenian Genocide Centennial Remembrance: SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Programs hosts Peter Balakian as he discusses cultural destruction and the Armenian Genocide on Thursday, March 19, at 8:30 p.m., in McCord Auditorium. Sponsored by the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of DFW, the lecture is free and open to the public.

litfest-1

SMU LitFest: Featuring an array of readings, receptions and book signings celebrating the creative work of poets, novelists and students, SMU’s LitFest 2015 begins Thursday, March 19 and will continue through Sunday, March 21. Sponsored by SMU’s Department of English, most events will be free and open to the public. For a complete schedule, visit the SMU LitFest 2015 webpage.

Tate-Willson Lecture: J. Cheryl Exum, professor emerita of biblical studies at the University of Sheffield and a director of Sheffield Phoenix Press, will visit SMU’s Perkins School of Theology as a guest speaker for the 2015-16 Tate-Willson Lectures. Exploring this year’s theme “The Bible and the Arts,” Exum will present a lecture on “Why Bible Readers Should Visit the Art Gallery.” The lecture will take place on Monday, March 23, at 7 p.m., in the Great Hall of Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall. For additional information about the 2015 Tate-Willson Lectures, contact the GPRS via email.

Dr. Michio Kaku

Dr. Michio Kaku visits SMU as a guest speaker for the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series on Tuesday, March 24.

Tate Lecture Series: SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series presents Michio Kaku on Tuesday, March 24. Currently working to complete Einstein’s unified field theory, Dr. Kaku is a theoretical physicist, best selling author, acclaimed public speaker, renowned futurist and popularizer of science. The Tate Lecture will begin at 4:30 p.m., in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom, with the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum, followed by The Oncor Lecture at 8 p.m., in McFarlin Auditorium. For more information, visit the Tate Series webpage. 

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: SMU Meadows School of the Arts hosts Emily Jacir as part of the Visiting Artist Lecture Series on Wednesday, March 25, at 6:30 p.m., in O’Donnell Hall. Including a range of diverse media and strategies, Jacir creates works about transformation, questions of translation, resistance and the logic of the archive. The lecture is free and open to the public.

March 18, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date, Sports|

Students honor professors’ excellence with 2015 HOPE Awards

SMU’s Department of Residence Life and Student Housing honored 45 exceptional University educators at the 2015 HOPE Awards Banquet in February.

HOPE (Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence) Award recipients are named through student staff member nominations as professors who “have made a significant impact to our academic education both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Eric Larson, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the Lyle School of Engineering, was honored as 2015 Professor of the Year.

The complete list of 2015 HOPE Award honorees:

Cox School of Business

  • Judy Foxman, Marketing
  • Hyungshin Park, Accounting
  • Robert Puelz, Real Estate, Insurance and Business Law

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

  • Adriana Aceves, Mathematics
  • Paul Avey, Tower Center for Political Studies
  • Greg Brownderville, English
  • David Michael Crow, Psychology
  • LeeAnn Derdeyn, English/Discernment and Discourse
  • Melissa Dowling, History/Classical Studies
  • John Duca, Economics
  • James K. Hopkins, History
  • Vanessa Hopper, English
  • Matthew Keller, Sociology
  • Michael Lattman, Chemistry
  • David Lee, Anthropology
  • Judy Newell, Mathematics
  • Rachel Ney, World Languages and Literatures/French
  • Jennifer O’Brien, Chemistry
  • Wei Qu, World Languages and Literatures/Chinese
  • Stephen Robertson, Statistical Science
  • Bivin Sadler, Statistical Science
  • Martha Satz, English
  • Sam Ross Sloan, English
  • Tom Stone, English
  • Thierry Tirado, World Languages and Literatures/French
  • Nick Tsarevsky, Chemistry
  • John Wise, Biological Sciences
  • Patty Wisian-Neilson, Chemistry
  • Brian Zoltowski, Chemistry

Lyle School of Engineering

  • Mark Fontenot, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Eric Larson, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Peter Raad, Mechanical Engineering

Meadows School of the Arts

  • Hank Hammett, Music/Meadows Opera Theatre
  • Debora Hunter, Art
  • Mark Kerins, Film and Media Arts
  • Suzanne Larkin, Advertising
  • Melissa Murray, Music
  • Tom Tunks, Music
  • Ben Voth, Communication Studies

Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

  • Yolette Garcia, Assistant Dean for External Affairs and Outreach
  • Lynn Jacobs, Applied Physiology and Wellness
  • Kelyn Rola, Applied Physiology and Wellness

Dedman School of Law

  • Martin Camp, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
  • Meghan Ryan, Criminal Law and Procedure, Torts

Perkins School of Theology

  • Abraham Smith, New Testament
March 2, 2015|For the Record, News|
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