John A. Martin
Director of Development
Perkins School of Theology

Developing personal finances for the future is an ongoing task. We set aside money in our 401(k) or 403(b) accounts. We look forward to taking Social Security rather than simply paying it. And we hope that our financial obligations shrink. In the midst of our long-range plans, we have bills to pay, unexpected car repairs and other expenses to which we must attend — a roof, a water heater, a lawnmower or whatever.

Schools of theology are no different. We build for the future by procuring endowment funds, keeping our buildings in top shape and acquiring planned gifts. But in the meantime, we have bills to pay, employee salaries to disburse, unexpected expenses and intriguing opportunities to pursue and fund.

Perkins is fortunate to be part of SMU’s three-year, current-use giving initiative called Pony Power. The University is seeking to raise an average of $50 million per year over three years in money that can be expended right away for current initiatives. Having $50 million in current-use funds is the equivalent of a disbursement from a $1 billion endowment! Funding of that magnitude allows us to take advantage of even greater opportunities than we have up to this point.

As you probably know, SMU recently completed an extremely successful $1.15 billion Second Century Campaign. Perkins raised almost $65 million of that total. Those gifts to Perkins transformed some of our facilities, endowed four faculty positions and afforded us significant money for scholarships. The campaign allowed us to move ahead on many fronts.

In the current Pony Power initiative, we are asking all Perkins donors to consider making a three-year pledge to a current-use project at Perkins. While we value endowment, capital and planned gifts and will continue to seek those, we are emphasizing current-use gifts during these three years.

Dean Craig C. Hill has remarked on a number of occasions that our greatest needs are:

  • Student financial aid.
  • The SMU Fund for Perkins, an unrestricted
    fund that can be used by the dean where needed most.
  • The rejuvenation of the Perkins Houston- Galveston Program.

All three of those priorities impact the number and quality of students attending Perkins. We want to help our students avoid the burden of great personal debt as they follow God’s call to study at Perkins.

As Margot Perez-Greene, associate dean for enrollment management, notes, “It is imperative that we make scholarship funds available to our incoming students. They are stretched to the maximum between study, ministry, work and family. We want to help these leaders get well-trained and out into ministry settings.”

Hugo Magallanes, director of the Houston-Galveston Program, said, “The opportunity in America’s fourth-largest city is immense. I am eager to see what progress Perkins can make in theological education over the next several years in the Houston-Galveston region.”

We need your help. I am asking that we stretch ourselves financially so the dean’s priorities can be realized.

With a thankful heart,

– John


To join the effort, please visit or contact me:
John A. Martin, Perkins Development, PO Box 750133, Dallas, TX 75275-0133
214-768-2026 (direct line) |