April 27, 2014
Perkins Distinguished Alumna Karen Greenwaldt '77

Distinguished Alumna Karen Greenwaldt ’77 speaking at Perkins School of Theology during Ministers Week.

The Rev. Karen Greenwaldt, general secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship from 2001–2013, received the 2014 Perkins School of Theology Distinguished Alumna Award February 3.

The award was presented as part of Perkins’ annual Ministers Week, which draws scholars from across the country for lectures and workshop on the Bible and ministry. It recognizes effectiveness and integrity in service to the church, continuing support and involvement in the goals of Perkins and SMU, distinguished service in the wider community and exemplary character.

A clergy member of the Central Texas Annual (regional) Conference, Greenwaldt earned a Master of Theology degree from Perkins in 1977. The first woman ordained as an elder in the Central Texas Conference, she served as general secretary – or chief executive officer – of the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) from 2001 until her retirement in 2013.

Bishop D. Max Whitfield, Bishop in Residence at Perkins, praised Greenwaldt’s selfless leadership. “She was the individual from whom the other general secretaries and many of the Council of Bishops members sought direction when major issues and the future direction of the denomination were needed.”

She also has served as an associate pastor and a hospital chaplain.

Greenwaldt is the author of Singles Care One for Another, For Everything There is a Season and Organizing in the Small Membership Church, as well as numerous articles on the vision and mission of the church.