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Latest News from Bridwell Library

Bridwell Quill – Latest Note, November – December 2021

Read the update from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia.

Bridwell Quarterly – Fall 2021

The thirteenth issue of The Bridwell Quarterly includes a note from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia, reflecting on the past few months; a story about the newly renamed Center for Methodist Studies at Bridwell Library; a tribute to Ian Tyson; a staff profile; and many more topics we hope you’ll enjoy.

Click to read the Fall 2021 Issue of The Bridwell Quarterly.

Bridwell Quill – Latest Note, August – October 2021

Read the update from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia.

Bridwell Quarterly – Summer 2021

The twelfth issue of The Bridwell Quarterly includes a note from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia, reflecting on the past few months; reports on the library’s reopening, the Dante Festival and the arrival of a new major collection; upcoming online exhibitions; a staff spotlight; and many more topics we hope you’ll enjoy.

Click to read the Summer 2021 Issue of The Bridwell Quarterly.

Bridwell Quill – Latest Note, April – July 2021

Read the update from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia.

Bridwell Quarterly – Spring 2021

The eleventh issue of The Bridwell Quarterly includes a note from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia, reflecting on the past few months; updates on the library’s renovations; upcoming online exhibitions; and many more topics we hope you’ll enjoy.

Click to read the Spring 2021 Issue of The Bridwell Quarterly.

Bridwell Quill – Latest Note, January – March 2021

Read the update from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia.

Bridwell Quarterly – Winter 2021

The tenth issue of The Bridwell Quarterly includes a note from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia, reflecting on the past few months; recent acquisitions and winter gifts to Bridwell; updates on the library’s renovations; upcoming online exhibitions; and many more topics we hope you’ll enjoy.

Click to read the Winter 2021 Issue of The Bridwell Quarterly.

Bridwell Quill – Latest Note, July – December 2020

Read the update from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia.

Bridwell Quarterly – Fall 2020

The eighth and ninth issue of The Bridwell Quarterly includes a note from Bridwell Library Director, Anthony Elia, reflecting on the past few months; passages and experiences of staff; updates on the library’s renovations; upcoming online exhibitions; and many more topics we hope you’ll enjoy.

Click to read the Summer / Fall 2020 Issue of the Bridwell Quarterly

Bridwell Quarterly – Spring 2020

The seventh issue of The Bridwell Quarterly includes a note from Bridwell Library Director, Anthony Elia, reflecting on the past few months; passages and experiences of staff; updates on the library’s renovations; upcoming online exhibitions; and many more topics we hope you’ll enjoy.

Click to read the Spring 2020 Issue of the Bridwell Quarterly

Bridwell Quill – Latest Note, February – April 2020

Read the update from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia.

Bridwell Quarterly – Winter 2020

The sixth issue of The Bridwell Quarterly includes a note from Bridwell Library Director, Anthony Elia, reflecting on the past few months; passages and experiences of staff; updates on the library’s renovations; upcoming online exhibitions; and many more topics we hope you’ll enjoy.

Click to read the Winter 2020 Issue of the Bridwell Quarterly

Bridwell Quill – Latest Note, November – December 2019

Read the update from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia.

Bridwell Quarterly – Fall 2019

The fifth issue of The Bridwell Quarterly includes a note from Bridwell Library Director, Anthony Elia, reflecting on the past few months; passages and experiences of staff; updates on the library’s renovations; upcoming online exhibitions; and many more topics we hope you’ll enjoy.

Click to read the Fall 2019 Issue of the Bridwell Quarterly

Bridwell Quill – Latest Note, September – October 2019

Read the update from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia.

Bridwell Quill – Latest Note, May – August 2019

Read the update from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia.

Bridwell Quarterly – Summer 2019

The fourth issue of The Bridwell Quarterly completes the first annual cycle of publishing, and includes a note from Bridwell Library Director, Anthony Elia, passages and experiences of staff, a reflection on the library’s current state of change, and many more topics we hope you’ll enjoy.

Click to read the Summer 2019 Issue of the Bridwell Quarterly

Bridwell Quill – Latest Note, March & April 2019

Read the update from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia.

Bridwell Quarterly – Spring 2019

The third issue of The Bridwell Quarterly features a range of activities and events, not least of which is an old (though now discontinued) tradition, which former Bridwell staff member Charles Baker writes about: Savonarolafest.

Click to read the Spring 2019 Issue of the Bridwell Quarterly

Bridwell Library – May 2019

The Word Embodied

This fine press catalog, limited to two hundred copies, was designed and printed by Bradley Hutchinson at his letterpress printing office in Austin Texas. Reflecting the style of many of the items featured in the exhibition, the catalog comprises loose folios and sheets housed in a four-flap paper portfolio. The type is Espinosa Nova, designed by Cristóbal Henestrosa and based on the types of Antonio de Espinosa, the first typecutter in the New World, who was active in Mexico City between 1551 and 1576. The paper is Mohawk Superfine and the illustrations were printed by Capital Printing of Austin, Texas. The portfolio was constructed by Santiago Elrod. Images were prepared by Rebecca Howdeshell, Bridwell Library, using an i2S SupraScan Quartz A1 book scanner. 100 pages, folios housed in paper wrappers; color illustrations; 28 x 21 cm. Please visit to purchase your copy.

  • Arvid Nelsen, Curator and Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarian

All of Bridwell Library’s publications, including past issues of the Bridwell Quill and Bridwell Quarterly can be found here:

Bridwell Quill – Spring 2019

Read the update from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia.

Bridwell Library – February 2019

Bridwell Library announces an exhibition of some of the earliest and most important publications printed in Greek, which runs through May 20, 2019. The selection offers a glimpse into the richness and significance of materials accessible for study and appreciation at Bridwell Library Special Collections. For more information, visit our website.

From the January 2019 Issue of Perspective Online

Bridwell Quill – January 2019

Read the monthly update from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia.

Bridwell Quarterly – Winter 2018

The second issue of The Bridwell Quarterly explores hidden aspects of the library’s collections, plus some remarkable encounters with people who have visited the library in recent months.

Click to read the Winter 2018 Issue of the Bridwell Quarterly

From the December 2018 Issue of Perspective Online

Bridwell Quill – December 2018

Read the monthly update from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia.


From the November 2018 Issue of Perspective Online

Introducing Bridwell Quarterly, a new seasonal publication from Bridwell Library.

“In these pages and those of future publications, we hope to speak as a fellowship of colleagues, who support our patrons, neighbors, and friends. We welcome you all to Bridwell Library and hope that you will enjoy reading about the many events, projects, and activities that are happening in our community.” – Anthony Elia, Bridwell Library Director 

Click to read the Fall 2018 Issue of the Bridwell Quarterly

Bridwell Quill – November 2018

Read the monthly update from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia.


From the October 2018 Issue of Perspective Online

Perkins Names Anthony Elia New Director of Bridwell Library

Anthony Elia has been named J.S. Bridwell Foundation Endowed Librarian and Director of Bridwell Library at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, effective June 1. He succeeds retiring Director Roberta Schaafsma, who served in that role since April 2007. Read the full release here.

Bridwell Quill – October 2018

Read the monthly update from Bridwell Library Director Anthony Elia.

April 2021 News Perspective Online Top Story

A Message from the Dean: A Great Moment for Methodism

Over the years, I’ve visited the World Methodist Museum in North Carolina multiple times. I enjoyed perusing the artifacts of early Methodism and seeing documents that John Wesley penned and items that he might have touched.  For a fan of Methodist history, this wonderful museum made history come alive.

I was saddened to hear the announcement, several week ago, that the Museum would close. My sadness turned to hope, however, when I learned that the World Methodist Council (which operated the Museum) was looking for a location for their extraordinary collection. I could only dare to imagine that Bridwell Library and Perkins School of Theology would be its new home. Last week, we received the wonderful news that Bridwell Library will be the recipient of the Museum’s collection in its entirety.

We are thrilled by this marvelous opportunity but also humbled by the great trust it evidences. We take the stewardship of these remarkable materials very seriously.

I have often said that Perkins is “An Academy for the Whole Church in the Whole World.” The holding of this collection puts us in a unique position and gives us a unique responsibility to be of particular service to pan-Methodist, pan-Wesleyan churches throughout the world. Wesley Studies has always been a strong point of Perkins, and this gift creates new and undreamed-of prospects for its future. I can scarcely contain my enthusiasm as I brainstorm with others about the possibilities for making Wesley Studies even more central to our mission. I am also delighted to make this resource available to all, as Wesley himself surely would have wanted.

Read the news release about this exciting news, here.  To quote the CEO of the World Methodist Council, this is a great moment in Methodism. I’m proud to witness this moment, and thrilled that the Perkins community is part of this incredible effort to keep Methodist history alive.

April 2021 News Perspective Online

Office of Enrollment Management: More Student Ambassadors

Continuing to Highlight Our Gifted Student Ambassadors

By Rev. Margot Perez-Greene, Ph.D.

We come to the last in the series of introducing our Student Ambassadors who have served well in recruitment activities during a complicated and uncertain time in the history of theological education. We applaud their efforts to come forth amid their challenges of navigating new educational delivery systems, stressors caused by the pandemic, uncertainties in their ministries, and curiosity about what the “new normal” will look like. In all this chaos, these students were, and are, fervent service providers to prospective students. Enjoy their personal testimonies and, as always, keep us in prayer.


Associate Dean of Enrollment Management

Steven Lefebvre: In His Own Words

“I chose Perkins because it is one of the 13 Methodist seminaries, and the Houston-Galveston program allowed me to stay in my job as a youth pastor.  I have always wanted to be a pastor since I was a little kid (I know weird, right?). But the road to ordination has been winding and full of challenges. However, I believe with each closed door or day spent wandering in the spiritual wilderness, God has been building in me the character, empathy, and patience to be the man God’s calling me to be. I am so grateful my path has unexpectedly led me to the Methodist Church and Perkins School of Theology. Perkins has been a wonderful theological home.”

Steven Lefebvre is a certified candidate in the Tennessee Conference and hopes to serve as an Elder in the United Methodist Church upon ordination.

Shandon Klein: In Her Own Words

“I chose Perkins because of its emphasis on not only learning about God but also being with God. The professors’ desire to provide students with tools for our own problem solving in ministry (as opposed to spoon-feeding us what to think) was very attractive to me. My call is to plant multiethnic churches and help other churches integrate, creating a tangible glimpse of God’s kingdom. I also feel called to bridge the gap between academia and the local church. After completing my time at Perkins, I will continue my pursuit of my PhD in Christian Ethics at SMU and (hopefully!) become an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church.”

Shandon Klein, a third year Master of Divinity Student, is currently serving at First United Methodist Church, Richardson.


April 2021 News Perspective Online

Development Update: SMU Giving Day

On April 13, Perkins School of Theology will be part of SMU Giving Day, a time of commitment and celebration.  This once-a-year, 24-hour philanthropic blitz rallies Mustangs everywhere for one big day of fundraising.

SMU Giving Day is a funding lifeline to many initiatives, at Perkins and beyond.  Many of the causes on campus rely on Giving Day to meet their financial goals.  Because of the pandemic, last year’s Giving Day was suspended.  We hope that this year’s event will surpass the efforts of the past.

Where does the money go?  SMU administers gifts to the specific causes that donors select on the Giving Day website.  During our last Giving Day, 160 projects were available.  More than 3,200 donors gave $1.4 million dollars to those combined causes!

What are Perkins’ initiatives this year?  Perkins has selected five important initiatives for donors to support on April 13:

  • The SMU Fund for Perkins is a discretionary fund for the Dean to use to meet challenges, start new plans, and take care of issues that arise. It is like Perkins’ savings account to cover needs of our family.  The goal on Giving Day is $5,000.
  • Global Theological Education’s project goal is $8,000. Through the Virtual Visiting Professor program, Perkins School of Theology is providing high quality teaching resources to underserved theological schools in Africa, Asia and Europe. To meet this objective, we seek out theologians, church leaders and community developers, particularly those in the global south who are offering all of us new and deeper insights into the ways that God is active in our world. We video their short lectures, then make the lectures available in a package with readings, /discussion questions and learning outcomes on our Virtual Visiting Professor website. Dr. Robert Hunt states: “Giving helps connect our donors in direct and understandable ways with projects directly tied to Perkins’ mission of serving the church. This giving encourages both the direct beneficiaries, and those engaged in the day-to-day management of these projects.”
  • The Hispanic/Latin@ Ministries program’s Roy D. Barton Lectureship hosts leading Hispanic/Latin@ scholars in theological education, as well as church leaders who have significantly impacted the Hispanic and Latinx church and community. Please help the program reach its goal of $5,500 and continue the legacy of Barton lectures.
  • General Student Financial Aid Fund. Scholarships are the most pressing need at Perkins.  We want to help our students afford the outstanding theological education they receive here. Every scholarship award we can give aids in recruitment and mitigates the cost of higher education. The goal is $4,000.
  • Student Life is pursuing the installation of a water bottle filling station. As we look to a hope-filled future with students returning to in-person learning on campus, we are excited about the possibility of having a water bottle filing station available at Perkins. Having a clean and sanitary place for individuals to fill their drinking containers will be a real advantage for all those who use our buildings for classes, programs, and events. The goal is $5,000.

In order to participate, please go to and follow the prompts. The site will go live closer to April 13th.

April 2021 News Perspective Online

A Year of Living with COVID — What’s Next?

On March 11, the world marked the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the COVID pandemic – the day in 2020 when the World Health Organization officially declared COVID as a worldwide pandemic.

And what a year it has been. Classes moved to remote or hybrid formats. Students and faculty began wearing masks everywhere. Most large gatherings were cancelled. When people did gather in person, seating was spaced out to allow social distancing.

Now, with vaccinations rolling out across the country, many are wondering how soon things will return to normal — and how life might be different, even after the threat of the virus recedes.

That was the subject of a discussion — “Post-COVID Life at Perkins” — at the March 23 Community Hour at Perkins (CHAP), moderated by Susanne Scholz, Professor of Old Testament and sponsored by the Community Life Committee, a faculty standing committee.

Attendees were asked: What should we keep from our online life of 2020 and 2021, and what should we modify?

“There’s no going back to the world we lived in before,” said Tracy Anne Allred, Assistant Dean of Student Life. “We’ve been forced to see community differently.  There’s more depth to our community when everyone has access.”

Several students agreed on one “keeper”: Thursday night Study Halls, initiated last spring and held via Zoom. The Office of Student Life hosts the weekly gatherings to allow students to connect, chat, discuss assignments, and get to know each other. The study halls typically start at 8:30 p.m. and often run on until midnight or later.

“They’ve been a fantastic time of community building and shared learning, and it has been a lot of fun,” said Julian Hobdy, a third-year M.Div. student.

Students shared how study halls served to connect them with students in other classes and for first-year students to mine the wisdom of second-and-third year students. And many recalled fond memories of laughs and pranks shared during the study halls.

“I’ve never set foot on SMU’s campus,” said Steven Lefebvre, a student in the Houston-Galveston program. “But I have zero doubts about my belonging to the Perkins family. Study hall played a major role in my sense of belonging.”

Several students also expressed hopes that the online Bridwell Library workshops will continue post-pandemic.

Others in the CHAP said they’d like to see other online programs like virtual chapel services continued, to foster connections between the Dallas and Houston-Galveston students. Some expressed appreciation for the gift of having students join from places like Mumbai and Mombasa. While that has posed some technological challenges – WiFi isn’t always as reliable in some parts of the world – the virtual connection has expanded and enriched the community.

Staff members expressed hopes that some of the flexibility of working at home, if only part-time, might be continued after the pandemic.

Ally Stokes, a first-year student, would like to see faculty members continue to record classroom sessions.

“Having the ability to re-watch classes provides an extra level of reinforcement when we’re learning,” she said. “And when something comes up and I have to miss a class, being able to go back and watched a recorded class is really helpful.”

Still, Stokes says she’s looking forward to returning to in-person classes.

“There’s a lot that we miss from the in-person environment,” she said. “When a professor can’t see us, they can’t tell if we’re getting it.”

Going forward, Susanne Scholz thinks it’s important for faculty members to examine the pedagogical impact of the Hy-flex teaching mode (combining in-person and remote learning) before embracing it in an ongoing basis.

“We need to critically keep in mind how this works,” she said. “Even when we have some people in class, we all end up on the screen. I think it deserves further exploration and investigation.”

Lessons Learned

In an informal survey via email, faculty members also mused about lessons they’ve learned from the past year – and what the world might look like on the other side.

Rebekah Miles, Professor of Ethics and Practical Theology, envisions a post-pandemic world that’s more centered on the home.

“Even though we are all eager to get back to some regular routines, I suspect that the pandemic has made home-bodies of many in the US,” she said. “I think we will see a flourishing of the domestic arts – cooking, sewing, carpentry, etc.”

At the same time, she adds, the pandemic has fast forwarded the move to online technologies in theological education and churches.

“I suspect that a lot of our meetings will stay online and that we will have richer online offerings for teaching and worship but that face-to-face interactions in worship and teaching will still be preferred,” Miles said.

Susanne Scholz, a proponent of classical homeopathy, sees the crisis through a health care lens.

“Christians in the USA face a massive health crisis in their lives,” she said. “The vast majority of them are utterly and almost totally dependent on their meds and thus the allopathic medical industries.”

Post-COVID, she hopes that Perkins can help members of the community learn to “gain and sustain medical agency and holistic health over our bodies, minds, and spirits by deconstructing the tech-pharmaceutical industrial complex from a theological position.”

“Can this happen when Christian faculty themselves are believing more in their meds than in Christ?” she asked. “I see the response to this question as our quintessential theological-pedagogical problem in the post-COVID era.”

Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner, Professor of Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology, noted that Winter Storm Uri, coupled with the pandemic, showed the need for church leaders to be prepared to offer radical hospitality in catastrophic emergencies. She thinks members of the Perkins community can lead and are leading the way.

“If life is a journey or pilgrimage, there will be a need for waystations, sacred and warm waystations,” she said. “Especially in the time of a pandemic or natural weather disaster, the wayfarers called ‘the unhoused’ or ‘the unsheltered’ will stand in need of hospitality of all sorts.”

When Uri struck, and people lost heat and electricity, she asked: “How was the ecclesial practice of hospitality to wayfarers extended? Where were the waystations?”

As a successful model, she cited Oaklawn UMC in Dallas, a midtown church staffed by Pastor Mara Morhouse (M.Div. 2019) and the Rev. Rachel Griffin Baughman, Senior Pastor and a former Perkins student. When their church shelter reached capacity, they turned to the city government and pre-established relationships with other agencies in a team effort. As a result, the Convention Center of Dallas was opened for the unhoused and unsheltered. Blankets, warmth, bathrooms, cots, and meals were offered to hundreds in an unlikely waystation.

Mark W. Stamm, Professor of Christian Worship, looks back on the past year as a liminal time – “a time between times,” an extended period of uncertainty and change. Much like Israel’s period of wandering in the wilderness, there were many unexpected and strange moments. During liminal times, Stamm says, the best response is “imaginative hope.”

“We deal with this time just by being aware of the grace and sustenance that comes to us in the middle of it,” he said.

He recalled a retreat that he attends annually for the Order of St. Luke.  In typical years, members travel from around the U.S. to gather in person. Members of chapters in faraway places like the Philippines and Singapore don’t normally participate. This year, with the retreat held virtually, members from Singapore led a service of Morning Prayer in real time, which was evening for attendees in the continental U.S.

“That is an experience that we will never forget and that we wouldn’t have had without the pandemic,” he said. “As a result, we’ve realized that at least some of our work going forward should be done in a virtual online format.”

What’s next?

Many members of the Perkins community reiterated their anticipation of a time when in-person gatherings return.

Several in the CHAP said they’ve missed the in-person social events. Scholz looks forward to seeing people in Kirby Parlor again. Faculty Assistant Carolyn Douglas hopes committee meetings will continue via Zoom, but she won’t miss Zoom celebrations.

“I can’t wait to get back in the actual classroom, to interact in person with students and colleagues, to sit together over a meal in the refectory,” Miles said.

Once it’s safe, Stevenson-Moessner said, “I will grab my two little granddaughters in Iowa, head to the beach, run barefoot with them in the sand and surf, cuddle at night, and never stop kissing them goodnight.”

April 2021 News Perspective Online

2021 Graduation

Perkins students who graduated in December 2019, May 2020 or August 2020 are invited to participate in the May 2021 graduation ceremonies, which take place May 14-15 on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The deadline to RSVP to participate is April 16.

Because the 2020 commencement ceremony was deferred until August 2020, and many graduates from the 2019-20 academic year were unable to attend in August 2020, Perkins and Southern Methodist University have extended the invitation to these graduates to attend the events for May 2021.

The dates for the events are:

Friday, May 14 at 4 p.m.

Perkins School of Theology, “A Celebration of Degrees and Academic Achievements”

Moody Coliseum

Saturday, May 15 at 8 a.m.

All University Commencement

Ford Stadium

Distancing protocols established by the University will be in effect.  The events will also be live streamed for those graduates and guests who cannot attend in person.

Graduating Perkins who wish return to participate in person for either or both ceremonies should submit an RSVP by email to Alyssa Parrish at, indicating which event they plan to attend (or if they will attend both events).  Please copy Joe Monroy on the RSVP email at  The deadline to submit an RSVP is Friday, April 16.

Information about commencement will be updated on the University’s commencement web page.  Those who RSVP will receive more information about both events as the details become available, including information about obtaining tickets for invited guests.  Returning graduates must acquire regalia in order to attend either event.  The deadline to order regalia is Monday, April 19, 2021.

For additional information, including a link to order regalia, click here.

April 2021 News Perspective Online

7 Last Words

Members of the Black Seminarians Association (BSA) at Perkins School of Theology will host the annual Seven Last Words service on Good Friday, April 2, beginning at 7 p.m. The service will take place live via webinar.  

The special Good Friday service is an African American tradition woven around the last utterances of Christ before his death on the cross.  Five years ago, the BSA hosted its inaugural Seven Last Words service at St. Luke “Community” UMC, and now it’s quickly becoming a Perkins tradition, too.  The Rev. Bryant Phelps (D. Min. ’17), a Perkins grad and now senior pastor of Church of the Disciple in DeSoto, was the visionary behind the original event.

“During the six hours Jesus was hanging on the cross, the Gospels have recorded seven statements that Jesus said,” said Rev. Nerissa Grigsby, co-Vice President of the BSA. “An annual 7 Last Words service not only commemorates the life and legacy of the Son of God, but also provides key insights into how those sayings are still relevant and pertinent in our daily lives today.”

The program also serves to showcase emerging preachers.  

“Traditionally, this service gives voice to the up-and-coming generation of pastors,” said Wyatt Wallace, III, President of the BSA.   “In the past, we’ve typically had a mixture of preachers from the community as well as Perkins alumni and students. This year, we have six Perkins students speaking, and one alumnus.”

The worship service was coordinated by the BSA’s 2020- 2021 officers, including Wyatt; Grigsby; Amy Cannon, co-vice president; Brenda Smith, secretary/treasurer, and Samuel Spraggins, student advocacy chair.

The speakers are:

  1. Minister Wallace Wyatt, III (M. Div. student)
    • “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
  2. Rev. Thomas Hayden Garner (D. Min. student)
    • “Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
  3. Minister Shandon Klein (M. Div. student)
    • “Woman, behold, they son! Behold, thy mother.” (John 19:26-27)
  4. Minister Braxton Bush (M.Div. student)
    • “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthews 27:46 / Mark 15:34)
  5. Rev. Brenda Smith (M. Div. student)
    • “I thirst.” (John 19:28)
  6. Rev. Barbara Taylor (M. Div. student)
    • “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
  7. Rev. Jeremiah Johns (Perkins Alum – M. Div.)
    • “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)

The virtual service is open to everyone. Join the service at the link below:

Webinar ID: 919 4205 2048

Said Grigsby: “We invite everyone to come and experience this service in hopes that each one has a renewed sense of passion, as we see Jesus on the cross and what Christ endured for our redemption!”

April 2021 News Perspective Online

Words Matter

The Perkins community is invited to join an online panel, “Words Matter:  The Intersectionality of Race, Religion and Public Policy” at 7 p.m. on April 19, 2021.  The Zoom webinar is sponsored by Perkins School of Theology’s Center for the Study of Latino/a Christianity and Religions and the Department of World Languages and Literature at Dedman School of the Humanities and Sciences. For details, read the press release here and see the flyer here.

April 2021 News Perspective Online

Perkins Summit for Faith and Learning

Attendees traveled virtually, from 12 different states and one Canadian province, for “a day of seminary” at the Perkins Summit for Faith & Learning, held online March 19-20. With the theme “Looking Forward, Learning Together,” the program offered courses taught by five members of the Perkins faculty and an alumnus and was attended by a total of 133 people.

The Perkins Summit — formerly the Perkins Theological School for the Laity – has been held annually for several decades.

“Lay members as well as pastors and others have the opportunity to experience deep learning on theological, biblical and thematic topics taught by Perkins faculty, staff, and alums,” said Priscilla Pope-Levison, Associate Dean for External Programs and the event’s coordinator.

While many attendees were from Texas, others came from Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and British Columbia.

“While holding the event virtually was less than ideal, one advantage was that many people from a long distance away, who might not be able to afford the time or the cost travel to an in-person event on campus, were able to join us this year,” said Pope-Levison.

Also, by way of a first-time partnership, the program was made available to residents at C.C. Young, a senior living community in Dallas.   C.C. Young recently invested in a major upgrade of its audiovisual equipment and broadcasting infrastructure, given the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

“We are thrilled to have piloted participation in this year’s program virtually,” said Brian Parmer, a C.C. Young staff member.  “We were able to share both the full day and half day programs on both of our campus broadcast channels over the weekend, making programming accessible to anyone who cared to join in from the comfort of their own living room.”

The program’s schedule included Friday afternoon worship, livestreamed from St. Stephen United Methodist Church in Mesquite. The church’s pastor, the Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Moore, designed the worship service, and the Rev. Leanna Coyle-Carr of Wilshire Baptist Church preached the sermon. The gathering concluded with Dean Craig C. Hill presenting the Seals Laity Awards to 2020 recipient Mary White and 2021 recipients Nancy Seay and Lisa Tichenor. Many attendees commented positively on the worship service and Seals Award presentation.

“It was inspiring and touched me in a deep way,” one attendee said.

Courses offered during the two-day event included “How to Read the Bible According to the Early Church Fathers” by James Kang Hoon Lee, Associate Professor of the History of Early Christianity and Director, Doctor of Ministry Program at Perkins; “An Unconventional God: The Holy Spirit According to Jesus,” taught by Jack Levison, W.J.A. Power Professor of Old Testament Interpretation and Biblical Hebrew at Perkins; “Truth Telling in a Post-Truth World,” taught by Stephen Long, Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics; and “How Do We Solve A Problem Like…Mary?” taught by Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner, Professor of Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology at Perkins; “Models of Evangelism,” taught by Pope-Levison; and “An Introduction to Black Liberation Theology,” taught by Ray Jordan, a Perkins alum and Adjunct Professor at SMU’s Simmons School of Education. The event closed on Saturday afternoon with Lectio Divina led by Ruben Habito, Professor of World Religions and Spirituality and Director of Spiritual Formation at Perkins.

In a post-event survey, attendees offered positive feedback on the experience.

“I just wanted to express how awesome PSFL was!” another attendee commented. “Even though we covered some “touchy” subjects, everything was just really uplifting.”

April 2021 News Perspective Online

Faculty Updates April 2021

Op-Ed on Asian Hate Crimes

A short piece by Sze-kar Wan on the Atlanta murders recently appeared in Church Anew.

“We don’t need legal jargons to tell us this is an anti-Asian hate crime,” he wrote. “We just know it. From experience and from history.” He cited examples of injustices against Asian Americans: violence against Chinese miners during the gold rush of the nineteenth century; the Page Law of 1875; the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882; the 1887 Hells Canyon Massacre; the Internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War; the killing of Vincent Chin and the refusal to jail his convicted killers in 1982; racist rhetoric used by President Trump throughout the pandemic. “They all had a hand in the shootings,” Wan wrote. He also explored how misinterpretations of Jesus’s teaching and purity culture played a part. Read the piece here.

Father/Son Podcast

An interview with Marcell Silva Steuernagel and his father, Valdir Steuernagel, is featured in a podcast about the witness, embodiment, and community of the Lutheran church in south Brazil during the COVID-19 crisis. This conversation was recorded in the fall of 2020 as part of a global worship course taught by Prof. Maria Cornou at Calvin Theological Seminary. Listen to the podcast or read the transcript here.

Marcell Silva Steuernagel also presented The Townsend-McAfee Institute for Church Music lecture at Mercer University on March 18. Entitled “Wholistic Musicking: Performance Theory for Musicians,” the lecture focused on how concepts from performance studies can help musicians enhance their participatory and presentational musical leadership abilities. He also recently presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Society for Christian Scholarship in Music, held virtually in late February. His presentation, entitled “Negotiations of Identity and Faith in Brazilian Christian Music from the 1960s to the 1980s,” focused on the recent history of Brazilian church music.

Book Reception

Dean Craig Hill hosted a March 1 Zoom reception celebrating recent faculty books. The books highlighted were Wes Allen’s Protestant Worship: A Multisensory Introduction for Students and Practitioners, Abingdon (2019); Jaime Clark-Soles’ Women in the Bible, Westminster John Knox Press (2020); Jack Levison’s An Unconventional God: The Spirit according to Jesus, Baker Academic, 2020; Abraham Smith’s Black/Africana Studies and Black/Africana Biblical Studies, Brill, 2020; Theo Walker’s The Origin of Man’s Ethical Behavior (1941) by Ernest Everett Just & Hedwig Schnetzler Just, Amazon Direct Publishing, 2020; and Sze-kar Wan’s Romans: Empire and Resistance (T & T Clark , 2021).

Book Honored

Priscilla Pope-Levison’s book Models of Evangelism has been named Outreach Resource of the Year in the Theology and Biblical Studies Category by Outreach magazine. Read the article in Outreach here. The book was also recommended by Bishop Gregory Palmer of the Ohio West Conference of the United Methodist Church. Palmer wrote: “Many sincere Christians dismiss evangelism due to enduring evangelistic caricatures. This book helps readers move beyond those caricatures to consider thoughtfully and practically how they can engage in evangelism, whether it’s through one-on-one conversations, social media, social justice, or the liturgy of worship services.” Read Bishop Palmer’s review here.


Johnson Op-Ed

Susanne Johnson, associate professor of Christian education at Perkins, weighed in on the topic of civility in a Feb. 28 op-ed published in the Dallas Morning News, titled, “Civility comes not by hashing out our differences, but seeing each other as human.”  Johnson wrote: “I suspect that most readers are as fed up as I am with the amount of vitriol and violence generated in public discourse the past several years. Many of us have struggled to keep certain relationships intact, but there were casualties.” Johnson noted that Pew Research Center observes that most Americans abhor members of the other party and believe the opposition undermines the nation’s well-being. She also quoted Reinhold Niebuhr, “Whenever the followers of one political party persuade themselves that the future of the nation is not safe with the opposition in power, it becomes fairly certain the nation’s future is not safe, no matter which party rules. For such public acrimony endangers the nation’s health more than any specific policies.” Johnson proposed the practice and power of authentic dialogue as an antidote. “Authentic dialogue draws on the power of personal storytelling to dismantle fear-based prejudices, and engender empathy and understanding of others from within their own lived reality,” she wrote. “Behind every belief is a story, and behind every story is a fellow human being.” Read the op-ed here.

Hunt Op-Ed

Progressive bashing of evangelicals and Catholics is getting a little old, as is the converse, wrote Robert Hunt, Director of Global Theological Education at Perkins, in a March 28 op-ed in the Dallas Morning News.  “It is pointless, alienating and risks becoming an exercise in self-righteousness,” he writes. “This is particularly so when the charge is that these groups are unloving and unaccepting without acknowledging that the meaning of the terms ‘love’ and ‘acceptance’ are part of the disagreement.” Hunt encouraged progressives, evangelicals and Catholics to seek the common language they share and to listen more carefully to each other. “It seems unlikely that religious people, regardless of where they stand, can make the fullest contribution to society by attacking one another without even grasping why they disagree,” he concluded. Read the op-ed here.