As we begin the Fall 2023 term at Perkins School of Theology, I want to remind you that our Development office continually works to facilitate gifts to Perkins that benefit the important ministry of education.
My assistant, Rose Burns, and I are laser-focused to find sources for funds to aid the development of Perkins. Much of our attention is on raising money for scholarships so that our students do not incur insurmountable debt as they finish their various degrees. We continue to make strides in raising scholarship dollars. Generous donors make this mission possible, and you can be involved in this important work in many ways.
- Each year, Perkins holds three Faith and Business Luncheons. The first on this year will take place Monday, Sept. 18 and features Mr. David McAtee, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel for AT&T. David is an outstanding Christian layman. He will be sharing his story in an interview format. The luncheon is free and open to all by reservation. To make a reservation click here. Be on the lookout for future announcements about the January and April luncheons.
- Our annual spring Scholarship Luncheon will take place March 19, 2024, and will feature Mr. Clark Hunt, a member of the SMU Board of Trustees and Chairman and CEO of the Super Bowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs. Details of how you can secure a seat for yourself or, even better, sponsor a table for you and your guests will be available soon. The event will take place on the SMU campus in the Martha Proctor Mack Ballroom.
- This fall, the final installation of the Caren and Vin Prothro Organ is being accomplished. The organ is a historic E. M. Skinner organ built in 1917 and totally refurbished for Perkins Chapel. Our organist professors tell me that it is a perfect size and sound for our Chapel. A dedicatory concert will take place in the early spring on a yet-to-be-determined date. It will be in service for the Lessons and Carols of Christmas at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30. Watch for an announcement of that important and well-attended event. We have many to thank for this instrument … not the least of which are Bill and Gay Solomon, who gave the lead gift so the purchase in rebuilding could be made. Gay is a member of the Perkins Executive Board. For information about the organ, click here.
- Two important committees will each meet twice this year. The Perkins Campaign Steering Committee convenes on the morning of October 4 and again on March 8, 2024. As of this month, the Perkins Campaign has raised almost $31.5 million. We expect that total to increase significantly during the course of this year.
The other important committee is the Perkins Executive Board, a group of individuals who care deeply about Perkins’ mission and its students, faculty and staff. For information about the Executive Board, click here. I will be introducing you to the Executive board members in a future article.
Next month I will introduce you to this year’s Perkins Scholars and Baugh Scholars. Remember, every scholarship dollar is important. Don’t forget about the Perkins giving page or, if you would rather reach out and talk, here is our information:
Perkins Office of Development
PO Box 750133
Dallas, TX 75275-0133
Rose Burns, Advancement Associate
Before fall semester classes started, students, faculty and staff had an opportunity to go out in the Dallas community to serve others. As part of this year’s Ministry Dallas activities, held Aug. 16-20, Perkins students and staff spent a day at Joppy Momma’s Farm to assist with the farm work and then to
Bonton Farms Market Cafe for lunch. The following days took them to
Welcome Week at Perkins was full of activities, including a Popsicle Party, the Feast of Beginnings, and the Fall Banquet.
Dr. James Lee, Associate Professor of the History of Early Christianity, was interviewed for the University of Notre Dame’s Wisdom Project on YouTube. The Wisdom Project at Notre Dame explores various dimensions of Wisdom, both in and beyond religious traditions. The Wisdom Project’s YouTube channel is hosted by Dr. Gabriel Said Reynolds, Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology. Dr. Reynolds asked Dr. Lee about wisdom in the book of Job, Augustine’s understanding of wisdom in relation to faith and reason, and wisdom according to the early Greek Christian tradition. https://youtu.be/9k9QCrmHZ9M
Dr. Lee also was invited to teach a 3-week theology course at the University of Notre Dame in July entitled, “Christian Doctrine for Catechists,” for the Echo Graduate Service program. The Echo program helps to form lay leaders for service in the church. Students serve at a parish or school during the academic year while earning a Master of Arts in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. https://mcgrath.nd.edu/service-learning/echo-graduate-service-program/
Dr. Susanne Scholz, Professor of Old Testament, is organizer of the upcoming research symposium “Law, Religion and Social Progress in the Age of COVID-19,” scheduled for Sept. 17-19 at Perkins School of Theology. The pandemic has had great impact on social progress within and across societies. This symposium, sponsored by SMU’s Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute (DCII), explores notions of social progress, during pandemic and ‘post’-pandemic times, within a diversity of national and international contexts, primarily through the prism of law and religion. Scholars from around the world (Britain, Canada, Japan, Nigeria and the United States) will present their work located in various academic disciplines (religious studies, law, anthropology, rhetorical studies, political science, social science and theological studies). For more information and to register: https://people.smu.edu/lawreligionandsocialprogress/
Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles, Professor of New Testament and Director of the Baptist House of Studies at Perkins, was part of a panel – “Sacramental Plants and Fungi: Historical and Scientific Insights for the Religious Life – at the recent Parliament of the World’s Religions gathering in Chicago. The panel, moderated by religion historian Elaine Pagels, also included noted author and speaker Richard Rohr.
Dr. Jack Levison, W.J.A. Power Professor of Old Testament Interpretation and Biblical Hebrea, recently was interviewed by Kevin Krueger for the “Breakaway” podcast on WGTS-FM (Washington, D.C.) Listen to the in-depth interview on Levison’s latest book, Seven Secrets of the Spirit-Filled Life.
Rachel Mumaw (M.Div. ’23) is the newest pastoral resident at Second Baptist Church in Liberty, Missouri. Rachel is getting married in September to her fiancé, Noah, and will start her new position on Oct. 2.
Dr. Charles Barker, (d. June 2023), Perkins Alum (M.T.S. ’14), who initiated moves in making DFW a compassionate city following the Charter for Compassion and who served as President of Compassionate DFW for many years, was given the Karen Armstrong Humanitarian Award at a banquet during the Parliament to the World’s Religion in Chicago. His beloved spouse, Conoly, flew in from Dallas and attended the Parliament banquet in his honor to receive the posthumous award in his stead.
Dr. Christinah Kwaramba’s (M.T.S. ’09) work in Clinical Pastoral Education was featured in an article on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s website.
Laura Cooper Fitzgibbon (M.Div. ’07) has accepted a call to Manassas Presbyterian Church in northern Virginia, beginning Sept. 15.
Joseph L. Allen, Professor Emeritus of Ethics who served on the faculty of Perkins School of Theology from 1957 until his retirement in 1998, passed away May 3 at the age of 94. Among his scholarship, he wrote and published the 1995 Love & Conflict: A Covenantal Model of Christian Ethics and the 2011 Perkins School of Theology: A Centennial History.
The Rev. Carlton R. “Sam” Young was a comprehensive contributor to church music for decades. He was Director of the Master of Sacred Music Program at Perkins from 1964-75 and established the program as a vital force in graduate professional church music. He also founded the Church Music Summer Seminar at Perkins, a program that continued for over four decades, training countless local church musicians who could not attend seminary.
Young edited The Methodist Hymnal (1966) and The United Methodist Hymnal (1989), and earned distinction as a composer, arranger, conductor, teacher and scholar. Young died May 21 at age 97. Read more about Young’s life and legacy in this profile.
Summer is in full swing, and the Office of Enrollment Management (OEM) continues to review Fall 2023 applications weekly in addition to the many other ways in which we are working to engage students. For Annual Conference season alone, OEM participated in nine trips to connect with our UMC constituents and alumni.
One summer event we look forward to every year is hosting our Project Transformation students on campus. This year’s visit included an impromptu piano recital — we have some talented students and look forward to seeing where their ministry goals take them!
All of us in OEM look forward to meeting prospective students and sharing the exciting story of how God is working through Perkins School of Theology. A reminder: everyone in the Perkins community plays a part in our recruiting effort. That includes faculty, staff, alumni, current students and friends. Please let us know about any of your church members, friends or associates who may be considering a theological education. We’ll reach out and support them in any way we can.
Much is uncertain these days; but Perkins OEM stands ready to receive inquiries and applications for Fall 2023 and Spring 2024. To that end, here are a few key dates to keep in mind:
- Fall 2023 Dallas Campus Application Deadline: August 4
- Spring 2024 Houston-Galveston Hybrid Application Deadline: December 1
- Spring 2024 Dallas Campus Application Deadline: December 15
With this momentum, we are eager to approach the recruitment season and have already planned to increase the number of virtual sessions by continuing our creativity of content, format and sensitivity to prospective student schedules. Another exciting addition to our calendar for the coming year is the introduction of Saturday Inside Perkins events, allowing students to visit campus on the weekend. We also will be traveling across the United States, visiting schools and ministries with students who are discerning whether seminary is the right next step for them.
Lastly, we would like to congratulate Stephen Bagby on his new position, working with Church of the Incarnation. We are grateful to Stephen for his five years of service in OEM. We will miss his presence in the office and his natural capacity for connection but are excited for this next step in his journey!
Thank you for your continued support of OEM! We ask for your prayers as we continue striving to find the future leaders of our church and community.
All the best,
The Office of Enrollment Management
Perkins School of Theology is accepting nominations for its 2023 Distinguished Alumnus/a Award. The deadline to submit is Thursday, Aug. 31.
Every four years, youth from throughout The United Methodist Church have gathered for four days of discipleship, fun and fellowship at the YOUTH event. The event is filled with interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service opportunities and fellowship time.
This year, members of Perkins’ Office of External Programs will be onsite to engage with conference attendees about the myriad programs Perkins offers. Also, 2023 graduate Tripp Gulledge will be one of the event’s 10 highlighted speakers, while three other Perkins alumni will be leading workshops: Melissa Gepford (“Pioneering a New Conference Youth Ministry”), David Magallanes (“A Ministry Strategy that Works”) and Chelsea Peddecord (“What’s a Methodist? It’s All in the Details!”)
To further the understanding and practice of congregational music-making, the Christian Congregational Music conference brings together world-class scholars and practitioners to explore together the varying cultural, social, and spiritual roles church music plays in the life of various Christian communities around the world. This conference, which happens every other year, is among the premier academic events in the field.
At this year’s gathering, Dr. Marcell Silva Steuernagel – Assistant Professor of Church Music and Director of both the Master of Sacred Music and Doctor of Pastoral Music programs at Perkins – is chairing the panel “Issues of Performance,” participating in the roundtable discussion “Between Ephemerality and Stability: Timbre in Christian Congregational Music” and presenting a paper entitled “From Hybridity to Messiness: Power and Purity in Christian Musicking.”
Two 2023 Perkins graduates also will have central roles at the conference. Fernando Berwig Silva, who is moving on to doctoral studies at SMU, is presenting a paper entitled “The Sacred World of Futebol,” while Mykayla Turner will be chairing two panels – “Children’s Music Ministry in Local Culture” and “Creating Meaning Through Song” – while presenting her paper entitled “Reckoning Resources: Community Music in a Rural Mennonite Context.”
MARCHA is the official Hispanic/Latino national caucus within The United Methodist Church and the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico that serves as an advocate for the Hispanic/Latino people inside and outside the church. By encouraging the creation of spaces for reflection on Hispanic/Latino pastoral work, MARCHA promotes a respect for human rights and a commitment to peace, justice, freedom and equality. Melissa Hernandez Probus will be onsite to answer any questions about Perkins’ Hispanic ministry initiative.
Watch the graduation video here.
Click on photos to see full size image.
2023 Graduation Day Awards
The Robert Weatherford Prize for Internship Preaching was established to honor the distinguished service of Robert Weatherford to the United Methodist Foundation. This award is given to Master of Divinity students for excellence in preaching during internship
The Fellowship Seminarian Award, established by The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, is given to a graduating seminary student who displays outstanding leadership in music and/or worship arts including but not limited to, dance, drama, fabric art and liturgical writing.
The Hoyt Hickman Award for Outstanding Liturgical Scholarship and Practice is awarded by The Order of St. Luke to the graduating student who has demonstrated quality scholarship in the study of liturgy and is an effective leader of Christian worship.
The Roger Deschner Prize in Sacred Music was established in memory of Roger Deschner, long-time professor of sacred music at Perkins. The prize is given to M.S.M. students who excel in academic work, musical abilities and overall achievement in the M.S.M. program.
Fernando Berwig Silva
The Phillip Schaff Prize in Church History, established by Klaus Penzel, is awarded to students who have demonstrated excellence in the historical study of Christianity, while participating in courses in church history. It is named after the founder of the American Society of Church History.
The Karis Stahl Fadely Award is presented to students who exhibit the qualities which were exemplified by Karis Fadely: commitment to Jesus Christ and to the total ministry and mission of the Church; responsibility in assigned tasks; ability to excel in a wide range of ministerial functions; and use and management of time.
The B’nai B’rith Award in Social Ethics is given by the Harold M. Kaufman Memorial Foundation to students on the basis of scholarly competence in the field of Social Ethics and personal commitment as shown in voluntary activity in support of worthy social causes. And we are delighted again this year to be joined by Sandy Kaufman who will present the award.
The Harry Hosier Spirit Award, established by Perkins alumnus The Rev. Dr. Henry Masters, is given to a graduating student who best exemplifies the spirit of Harry Hosier expressed in what is described as his “elocution of faith: I sing by faith, preach by faith, pray by faith, and do everything by faith.”
The Dr. and Mrs. Glenn Flinn Senior Award is given to that member of the graduating class who, in the judgment of the faculty, best exemplifies the aims of the school and the church for its ministry.