August 2022 News Perspective Online

Letter from the Dean

I will be stepping down as Dean of Perkins School of Theology on Dec. 31, 2022. The time is not yet for concluding reflections, nor final words of thanks and farewell. Those can wait. I would like to say just a few things now, however, as we begin this new academic year and my valedictory semester as Dean.

I am delighted to affirm that Perkins is in a strong position to continue its forward momentum. We share a clear and compelling vision. We have multiple initiatives already underway that hold considerable potential for the future. We have a committed and experienced leadership team, comprised of both faculty and staff, whom I trust confidently. Moreover, we are on solid ground financially: our reserves have increased at the same time that we have provided substantially more financial aid — the latter thanks largely to the generosity of our many donors. Naturally, there is room for improvement, as there always will be, but our trajectory is decidedly positive.

It had been my intention to remain at Perkins for another four or five years. Upending that expectation was a series of health challenges. In late spring, I reached the unwelcome conclusion that it was unreasonable to think that I could continue doing this work at the level it requires.

On Aug. 15-16, we had a very productive and enjoyable faculty retreat at the Prothro Center at Lake Texoma. We were delighted to be joined by Bishop McKee that Monday. This gave faculty and senior administrators the opportunity to speak with him both individually and collectively. It was an excellent start to a promising year and a smooth transition.

What is ahead for Robin and me? It’s too soon to tell. Naturally, I want to remain productive, especially in terms of writing. Beyond that, who knows what other callings might present themselves? I am optimistic that good things, yet unimagined, await.

Indeed, many good things await in the remaining months of my deanship. It is an extraordinary privilege to serve in this role. I will enjoy it until Dec. 31st, and I will remember it — and you — with gratitude every day thereafter.



August 2022 News Perspective Online

OEM Update: Back to School

Students are back in class, and the Office of Enrollment Management (OEM) is back in gear! We have a busy calendar this fall. We’ll be meeting prospective students, answering their questions and helping them discern their calls to ministry.

Two items I’d like to share with you:

We recently welcomed a new OEM staff person, Emilie Williams. Meet her here.

With many recruiting events returning to “in person” mode, Emilie will hit the ground running this fall! The staff will be traveling and hosting events virtually and on campus. Two special upcoming campus events will feature lectures by Perkins faculty members Roy Heller and Ted Campbell. Read all about it here.

All of us in the 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/ae, 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.

The Rev. Margot Perez-Greene, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Enrollment Management

August 2022 News Perspective Online

Development Update: Scholarships Matter

The beginning of this school year brings something different to Perkins. As we welcome new and returning students, we also begin the process of saying goodbye to our friend, Dean Craig Hill. Dean Hill announced he is retiring as of December 31 after six-and-a-half years of service to Perkins School of Theology.

SMU President R. Gerald Turner said, “Dean Hill has led the Perkins School of Theology with a steady and compassionate hand during a time of great challenge within the United Methodist Church. His insight, outreach and vision have left a lasting mark on the Perkins School.”

One of Dean Hill’s constant reminders to the Perkins team is that theological education leads to service opportunities which are not customarily lucrative.  Graduates with large educational debt are disadvantaged from the beginning of their ministries.  We desire that graduates embark in ministry and service unencumbered by tuition debt.

That is why the Dean continually stresses scholarship giving.  Although Perkins has received generous endowments over our history, the cost of education continues to climb.  Many of our students enter Perkins with large student debt-loads from their undergraduate years.  And, with inflation running rampant this year, financial aid is all the more important.

If you are moved to do something in recognition of Dean Hill, we suggest sending a special gift for student aid in his honor.  The link to give online in his honor is here. Select “Perkins School Student Financial Aid” in the drop-down menu.

In upcoming issues of Perspective Online, I will be pleased to introduce you to our Perkins Scholars and Baugh Scholars.  Each of these deserving individuals was awarded a scholarship because of key Executive Board donors and an extremely generous foundation.  We are thankful for the generosity of those open-handed donors who made these scholarships available.

We continue to need your help in this effort.  Gifts of all sizes make a difference as they add up—with students as beneficiaries.

If you want to give by check, make it out to SMU with the notation Student Financial Aid.  Send the check to:

John A. Martin
Perkins Development
PO Box 750133
Dallas, TX 75275-0133

Dean Hill and the entire team at Perkins School of Theology thank you.  Our students will be blessed by your generosity as they go into the service of ministry without substantial debt.

All my best,


August 2022 News Perspective Online

Ministry Dallas

Before starting their fall semester classes, Perkins students had an opportunity to venture out into the Dallas community to serve others. Ministry Dallas, held Aug. 17-18, took participants to Genesis Women’s Shelter and to Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, both in Dallas, to volunteer and meet ministry leaders

“This is a favorite annual event that gives students hands-on experience and a chance to meet face-to-face with people doing important and exciting ministry,” said Tracy Anne Allred, Assistant Dean of Student Life and Director of Community Engagement at Perkins. “Dallas is such a large, diverse community; we wanted to offer students a way to get at least a glimpse of some of the wonderful ministry that’s going on.”

The two-day event began at a secure location of Genesis Women’s Shelter. Twelve people, including two Perkins staff members, participated.  The address is unpublished, to protect domestic violence victims who come there for safety. Participants heard a presentation about Genesis’ work to address domestic violence and toured the campus, including the emergency shelter and Annie’s House. Leading the program were Genesis staff members Nicole Berg, Volunteer Coordinator; Amy Norton, Sr. Director of Fund Development; and Perkins alum Alissa Lindsay Newton (M.A.M, ‘18), Director of Fund Management.

On the second day, 15 participants (including one faculty and three staff) visited Lover’s Lane United Methodist in Dallas. Their day started with a volunteer project, packing food for the church’s pantry, followed by a contemporary worship service and a Q&A with the church’s staff.  The group then traveled to Lover’s Lane UMC’s Walnut Hill campus for lunch and to talk about the adoption/merger and plans for that campus.  Leading that day’s program were recent Perkins alum Melissa Nelms (M. Div., ‘22) and alum Randall Lucas (M.A.M., ’19; M.Div. ‘22).

Marcell Silva Steuernagel, Assistant Professor of Church Music at Perkins, was also on hand as the group learned about modern worship.

Students reflected on the program afterward; here are a few of their insights:

“I’m inspired to give back. In the short time I’ve been at Perkins, the instructors, staff and students maintain a positive attitude that encourages me to give back everything I’ve been blessed to receive. It’s a contagious atmosphere.” — Master of Divinity student Linda Bell

“It really is true that the church should be the arms and legs of Christ. Instead of being overly concerned with individual “salvation” I feel our duty as Christians should be to provide dignity along with equality and doing that really does require that we get in the ‘thick’ of the issues that surround us – not with just donations, either. My goal is to be more aware of places where I can be a servant by walking alongside of women in particular.” — Master of Theological Studies student Margie Dess


Photos courtesy of Tracy Anne Allred.

August 2022 News Perspective Online

Interim Dean

Bishop Michael McKee will become dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology ad interim effective Jan. 1, 2023, following Dean Craig C. Hill’s planned retirement on Dec. 31, 2022. The announcement was made Aug. 10 by Elizabeth G. Loboa, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs for Southern Methodist University. (Read the announcement here.)

Bishop McKee (M.Th. ’78) will serve until a permanent dean has been named. His appointment was informed by meetings this summer with the Perkins Executive Board, faculty, staff and students, according to Provost Loboa.

Bishop McKee has served as episcopal leader of the North Texas Annual Conference since his election by the South Central Jurisdiction in 2012, and he will retire from that position on January 1, 2023. He also will step down as a member of SMU’s Board of Trustees during his interim deanship.

Bishop McKee was appointed to serve Perkins as Bishop in Residence beginning in 2023 – participating fully in the life of the school but focused heavily on leadership development with students and alums and providing a pastoral presence to the entire Perkins community. As interim dean, he will have the opportunity to provide similar leadership and will further strengthen SMU’s ties with donors, congregations and institutions within the North Texas region as well as nationally, Provost Loboa wrote in an announcement distributed to Perkins faculty, staff and students.

“I am honored to return to Perkins as interim dean, and I thank Provost Loboa for the opportunity to serve in this capacity,” Bishop McKee said.

“Because of the strong commitment to excellence exhibited by the school’s faculty and staff, students and alumni, Perkins is well-positioned to continue making a significant impact in churches, communities and the Academy,” he added. “I look forward to building upon the foundation that Dean Craig Hill has created in his time at Perkins and wish him well in retirement.”

August 2022 News Perspective Online

Abraham Lecture

Dr. Fred Aquino

The inaugural William J. Abraham Memorial Lecture will take place Monday, Oct. 17 at 9:30 a.m. at Perkins Chapel, with Dr. Fred Aquino delivering the lecture and a reception following in the Blue Room in Bridwell Library. The program will also be livestreamed on YouTube; a recording will also be available after the event.

Bridwell Library (SMU Libraries) and Perkins School of Theology established the annual Memorial Lecture to bring a scholar to the SMU campus each year to engage in a topic related to Abraham’s work of the scholar’s choosing.

Dr. Abraham, 73, died suddenly in October 2021. He was the Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies at Perkins from 1995 until his retirement in May 2021. He joined the Perkins faculty on Sept. 1, 1985, as the McCreless Associate Professor of Evangelism and the Philosophy of Religion under the leadership of then-Dean James Kirby and Provost Hans Hillerbrand. After retirement, he became Professor Emeritus of Wesley Studies.

“For almost four decades, Billy Abraham’s scholarship and commitment to excellence impacted the lives of countless Perkins students, colleagues, and others across the globe,” said Bruce D. Marshall, Lehman Professor of Christian Doctrine at Perkins, who helped coordinate the lecture. “His death was a tremendous loss to Perkins and to the wider community. We hope this lecture will help keep alive the legacy of his rich, bountiful and prolific career.”

Dr. Aquino, a former student of Dr. Abraham, is Professor of Theology and Philosophy at the Graduate School of Theology, Abilene Christian University (ACU), and the director of the philosophy minor at ACU. He earned his Ph.D. in Religious Studies (with an emphasis in systematic theology) from Southern Methodist University in 2000. His lecture title is “William J. Abraham and John Henry Newman on Faith and Reason.” Newman (1801-1890) was an English theologian, scholar and poet and was an important and controversial figure in the religious history of 19th century England. Newman was canonized as a saint in the Catholic Church in 2019.

Bill Millard

Bill Millard, an SMU alum (B.A., ’78, J.D./MBA, ‘83) and a longtime member of Highland Park United Methodist Church, provided support for the lecture program. Millard faithfully attended the In His Steps adult Sunday school class that Abraham led; he has accumulated a collection of 10 journals full of notes he took at Abraham’s classes since 2002.

“Billy Abraham was an extraordinary man,” Millard said. “His teaching and preaching were mesmerizing and lifechanging. The combination of his great humor, his ability to inspire, his deep knowledge and his ability to offer historical perspectives – he was like no other preacher I’ve ever encountered. I wanted to be part of keeping the legacy of his views and his preaching alive.”

If you would like to attend the lecture, please RSVP to Rachel Holmes at Please indicate if you will need parking.









August 2022 News Perspective Online

Chair Installation

In May 2021, Perkins School of Theology announced the appointment of two new holders of two endowed chairs: Dr. Rebekah Miles as the Susanna Wesley Centennial Professor of Practical Theology and Ethics and Dr. Ted Campbell as the Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies.  Both appointments began on June 1, 2021, but the formal installation of the two chairs will take place at a special ceremony on Monday, September 26, at Perkins.

Not only do the two chairs involve professorial positions — the new chairholders will each receive an engraved desk chair as part of the formal installation ceremony. Miles and Campbell will also each deliver a lecture on a topic of their choosing as part of the installation.

The event begins at 2 p.m. with a special introduction by Randy Maddox, who is William Kellon Quick Professor Emeritus of Wesleyan and Methodist Studies at Duke Divinity School. Maddox will provide a brief introduction on Outler and Susanna Wesley, and their connections to Perkins’ Wesleyan heritage. Maddox served as co-author of Wesley and the Quadrilateral, along with Miles, Campbell, Scott Jones and Stephen Gunter. He serves as general editor of the Wesley Works Editorial Project, which Perkins has been participated in since its inception in 1960.

A lecture by Rebekah Miles will begin at 2:15 p.m., followed by a lecture by Ted Campbell at 3 p.m. entitled “The Evolution of John Wesley’s Commitments to Celibacy.”  The program will conclude with the 4 p.m. installation and reception.

The installation is open to the public and will take place in Perkins Chapel, with the reception following at Bridwell Library. Attendees may join remotely via livestream on YouTube. A recording will also be available afterward at the same link.

Dr. Rebekah “Beka” Miles, Professor of Ethics and Practical Theology, was appointed Susanna Wesley Centennial Professor of Practical Theology and Ethics, a chair vacated by Dr. Evelyn Parker, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who retired in 2021, and who was named inaugural holder of the chair in 2015. The chair was established in 2014 by a $2.5 million gift made by an anonymous donor through the Texas Methodist Foundation. It honors Susanna Wesley, frequently referred to as “the mother of Methodism.” Her sons, John and Charles Wesley, led a revival within the 18th century Anglican Church that sparked the emergence of global Methodism generally and the Methodist Episcopal Church in the American colonies. Historians point to the “practical divinity” embraced by Susanna and her sons John and Charles after her.

Dr. Ted Campbell, Professor of Church History, was appointed Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies. The late Rev. Dr. William J. Abraham held the chair from 1995 until his retirement in 2021. The chair was established in 1982 in honor of Albert Cook Outler (1908 – 1989), a longtime faculty member at Perkins as well as a distinguished Methodist theologian and philosopher. Outler made crucial contributions to the scholarship of John Wesley including a critical selection of John Wesley’s work published in the Library of Protestant Thought which led to his leadership in the Wesley Works editorial project, now The Bicentennial Edition of the Works of John Wesley. Funding for the chair was provided by the Texas Annual Conference. The chair is dedicated to promoting the study of John Wesley, as well as his brother Charles Wesley and other leading Methodist thinkers.

August 2022 News Perspective Online

Wesley-UK Immersion

Fourteen members of the Perkins community enjoyed an extraordinary journey to the places in England where Methodism first began, as part of the Perkins UK-Wesley Immersion, July 20 – August 1. The group retraced the steps of Methodism’s founder, John Wesley, visiting the places where he studied, preached and ministered.  Ten Perkins students from the Dallas and Houston-Galveston programs were in the group, as well as four faculty, staff and friends of Perkins.

“Visiting Oxford, I got to sit in pews where Wesley sat, stand in pulpits where Wesley preached, and see the place where he lived out his commitment to a disciplined life of holy study,” said the Rev. Tripp Gulledge, a third-year M.Div. student.

The trip was co-led by faculty member Dr. Ted A. Campbell, Albert C. Outler Professor of Wesley Studies at Perkins, and the Rev. Connie Nelson, Executive Director of Public Affairs and Alumni/ae Relations.  It was the third such immersion, organized by the duo, first offered in 2017.

“When I joined the staff at Perkins ten years ago, my goal was to create this opportunity to explore the history of John Wesley in the UK along with Ted Campbell, who is one of the leading Wesley scholars in the world,” said Nelson. “I love seeing participants have these ‘aha’ moments, where they connect Wesley’s history with their own spiritual journeys.”

“I gained so much from this trip, and especially enjoyed hearing the background stories, that I did not get in books, shared by Dr. Campbell and the guides,” said Eunbyul “Stella” Cho, a third-year M.Div. student in the tour group.

Included on the itinerary: a tour of John Rylands Library in Manchester, which houses the Wesley Family papers; a stop at The Old Wellington, an historic pub where Wesley met with some of his Manchester acquaintances; a tour of the Old Rectory in Epworth; and a visit to Wesley Memorial Church. Participants worshipped on July 24 at St. Andrews Church in Epworth, then traveled to Oxford, where Campbell led a walking tour highlighting significant places in John Wesley’s life, followed by a tour of Lincoln College. The group stayed in the dormitories at St. Anne’s College and attended Choral Evensong at Christ Church Cathedral.

Participants also attended a lecture with Dr. Daniel Reed from the Brookes University’s Centre for Methodism and Church History and enjoyed an exhibit of some of Lincoln College’s Wesley treasures. The group also traveled to London to tour Wesley’s Chapel, visit Methodist Central Hall Westminster, and walk along Wesley’s Way, including Bunhill Fields, Aldersgate Flame Memorial, Charterhouse School and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Sara Cowley, a second-year M. Div. student on the trip, was deeply moved by the visit to The New Room in Bristol.

“The chapel was so peaceful,” she said. “I had a spiritual experience praying there. I could spend forever sitting there in quiet meditation. I truly believe that my relationship with God has transformed for the better because of my experience at The New Room. Incredible vibes in that chapel.”

“For me, a deep commitment to study God and God’s word is absolutely integral to the ministry to which I have been called,” said Gulledge. “As such, the opportunity to encounter the places of work, study, worship, and residence in the scholarly life of John Wesley were very meaningful for me.”

“I was surprised at how persecuted the Methodists used to be in the UK,” said Cowley. “The little details – like the choice to not put windows on the first floor of some of their worship spaces – cemented how difficult their lives would have been. The Wesleys did not have it easy!”

Several students commented that the trip made John Wesley more real.

“I have met John Wesley through books, but when I visited this place where he and his family actually lived, I realized that he was a normal person like me,” said Cho. “It reminded me that God works through a normal, ordinary person for God’s glory.”


Photos courtesy of Eunbyul “Stella” Cho.

August 2022 News Perspective Online

Fall Convocation

Eating is more than a physical need. Food plays a central role in daily human existence as well as the life of faith communities. Communion, one of the most sacred rituals of the Christian faith, recalls the last meal that Jesus shared with His disciples.

“Food and Faith” will be the focus of this year’s Fall Convocation, Nov. 14-15, at the Perkins Chapel and Hughes Trigg Ballroom at SMU. Registration is now open at

Guest speakers will include Aarti Sequeira, a chef, author, producer and Food Network personality; Norman Wirzba, a Duke University professor who writes about food and theology; and Jin-Ya Huang, founder of Break Bread, Break Borders (BBBB), a social enterprise empowering refugee women.

“We’re exploring the sacredness of food, the sacredness of the experience of sharing food together, and the importance that has in faith development and in communities of faith,” said Bart Patton, Director of the Office of External Programs at Perkins.

Funding for the two-day event comes in part from the Paul Elliott and Mildred Fryar Martin Lectureship in Practical Theology, the Jackson Lectureship in Bible, the Claudia and Taylor Robinson Lectureship and the W.W. Fondren Lectureship.

The event kicks off on Monday evening, Nov. 14, with a food-themed exhibit and reception at Bridwell Library, followed by an opening lecture by Aarti Sequeira at Perkins Chapel. The program on Tuesday, Nov. 15, begins with opening worship and a session with Sequeira, followed by a book signing. Jin-Ya Huang and members of Break Bread, Break Borders (BBBB), will lead session two. For lunch, participants will enjoy a cross-cultural, buffet-style feast prepared by the women of BBBB.

Attendees can select from a slate of workshops on Tuesday afternoon, including a workshop led by Norman Wirzba and another led by organizers of Project Unity’s Together We Dine program, founded by SMU Board of Trustees and Perkins Executive Board Member Ritchie Butler. The convocation concludes Tuesday afternoon with a session led by Norman Wirzba and a brief closing reflection.

Guest speakers include:

Aarti Sequeira, a chef, author, producer and Food Network personality. Her deep knowledge of spices earned her the nickname “Spice Queen.” In addition to hosting her own show, Aarti Party, she also serves as judge on hit shows like Halloween Wars, Candy Land (hosted by Kristen Chenoweth), Luda Can’t Cook (featuring Ludacris), Guy’s Grocery Games, Supermarket Stakeout and Christmas Cookie Challenge. Her nationally syndicated column for the Associated Press entitled “World’s Fare” taught readers how to use ingredients from the international aisle in simple, weeknight dishes. She also voices the animated character of Chef Shobha in Disney Jr.’s, Mira, The Royal Detective. A gifted writer, Aarti published her first cookbook, Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul in 2014.

“I’m a foodie and a fan of Food TV and the Food Network,” said Patton. “I learned about Aarti’s recipes through her TV show. I was thrilled to discover that her most recent cookbooks include devotions, because cooking and food are important to her and to her faith story.”

Norman Wirzba, Gilbert T. Rowe Distinguished Professor of Christian Theology and Senior Fellow at the Kenan Institute of Ethics at Duke University. He pursues research and teaching interests at the intersections of theology, philosophy, ecology, and agrarian and environmental studies. He lectures frequently in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Wirzba’s research is centered on a recovery of the doctrine of creation and a restatement of humanity in terms of its creaturely life. As director of the multi-year, Henry Luce-Foundation-funded projected “Facing the Anthropocene,” he is working with an international team of scholars to rethink several academic disciplines in light of challenges like climate change, food insecurity, biotechnology and genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, species extinction, and the built environment.

“Norman has published several books on the theology of food, eating and sustainability,” Patton said. “He represents the current theological thinking about what we eat, how we eat and where our food comes from. Many experts can address the science of ecological equity, but Norman speaks to what that means from the Christian theological perspective – from the fields where our food is grown to our experience of sitting together at the table.”

Jin-Ya Huang is a social impact, community development, and creative innovator with a focus on the intersection of equity, design, and social justice work. She is the founder of Break Bread, Break Borders (BBBB), a social enterprise empowering refugee women economically through the storytelling of food and culture. She honed expertise in sustainable global supply chain while working in marketing for Fossil Group, JCPenney, Neiman Marcus, and Keurig Dr Pepper. She is also an acclaimed interdisciplinary artist and writer whose work has been featured in galleries and at the Bush Institute, Dallas Innovates, Amon Carter Art Museum, Texas Lyceum, Slow Food USA, Toyota of North America, Airbnb International, the Today Show and NPR Morning Edition.  TIME Magazine highlighted Huang as a Community Bridge Builder Across America.

“We had the chance to meet Jin-Ya and to taste the food prepared by the women of Break Bread, Break Borders during our Art of Resilience conference here at Perkins in 2019,” Patton said. “She and her team bring a multifaith approach to their work.” Refugee women participating in the program are partnering with various community hubs to prepare food and share their stories–including The Mix, a commercial kitchen connected with White Rock United Methodist Church in Dallas.

“If you’ve ever been part of a mission trip or traveled internationally, you know how important it is to experience food you may have never seen or tasted,” Patton said. “Food plays such an important role in sharing stories and learning about other cultures, perspectives and stories.


August 2022 News Perspective Online

Fall Recruiting

Perkins’ Office of Enrollment Management (OEM) is gearing up for a busy fall, with two on-campus recruiting events, featuring faculty members Roy Heller and Ted Campbell, as well as travel to a variety of off-campus gatherings. 

“The best news is that graduate fairs and colleges and universities are resuming their face-to-face recruitment opportunities,” said the Rev. Dr. Margot Perez-Greene, Associate Dean of Enrollment Management. “Our Ministry Discernment Associates, Caleb Palmer and Emilie Williams, are thrilled to be participating in these off-campus events.”

The OEM also announced its recruitment schedule for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Two key events on campus for prospective students are planned for this fall:

Lunch & Lecture featuring Dr. Roy Heller, Thursday, Sept. 22, Noon to 1:30 p.m.

For prospective students who may have limited time, this midday program will allow attendees to get to know Perkins better. While they enjoy lunch, the OEM staff will provide packets of information and briefly share about graduate programs at Perkins and financial aid opportunities. Next, a lecture will be presented by Dr. Heller, who is Professor of Old Testament, Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Religious Studies. Heller’s topic will be “The Place of Scripture in Our Lives: Reading ‘As If …’ ”. Heller will discuss several ways that people often read the Bible — some helpful, some not helpful — as we use it to discern who God is, who we are and what we should be doing with our lives.

“Roy Heller is known for his unique, passionate delivery of topics in his field,” Perez-Greene said. “Whenever we have prospective students on campus, we encourage them to observe his class when his schedule permits.”

At the conclusion of the lecture, attendees will also have a chance to ask questions.  An optional campus tour will follow at 1:30 p.m.

Dinner & Lecture, featuring Dr. Ted Campbell, Thursday, Dec. 1, 3:30 to 5:45 p.m.

Attendees will hear from Dr. Campbell, who is the Albert C. Outler Professor of Wesley Studies and a renowned historian in The United Methodist Church.

Campbell’s topic will be “Dead or Alive: Reassessing Mainline U.S. Protestantism.” He’ll provide some perspective to the conventional wisdom that mainline (or old-line) denominations are now eclipsed by Evangelical churches who are drawing members from mainline churches and will tackle the “rumors” that claim that assumes a “horrifying mainline meltdown is portending the death of old-line Protestant churches.” He also will offer some context to what some see as an alarming rise in the number of Americans who identify as religiously unaffiliated “nones.”

Campbell is a popular speaker on church history, doctrine and polity. He also serves as lead advisor for Perkins’ Master Author Scholar Teacher (MAST) program for students integrating the academy to the church and faith-based communities and organization. Campbell has guided numerous students in the program to produce materials in a range of media, including video, writing, film, music and podcasts.

After the lecture, OEM staff will provide general guidance for graduate degree programs and financial aid opportunities. Afterward, attendees will have the option of participating in Perkins’ annual Advent Worship Service at 6 p.m. in Perkins Chapel.

Inside Perkins

Two additional on-campus Inside Perkins events will take place this fall, on Thursday, October 20, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. An optional campus tour will follow at 1:30 p.m. on both days.

“These events will provide very up close and personal chances to meet with key individuals who can offer the information and interaction to help prospective students make informed decisions about next steps toward a commitment to theological education,” Perez-Greene said. “We encourage and welcome prospective students to mark their calendars to attend any of these events as their schedules permit.”

Other Opportunities

In addition to these two campus events, prospective students will have several opportunities to explore Perkins this fall through Virtual Visits.  Conducted via Zoom, these online meetups allow prospective students considering theological education to ask questions and hear from current students as well as Perkins faculty and staff.

Dates currently planned for this fall include:

  • Friday, Sept. 16, noon: Virtual CONNECT with OEM staff.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 27, noon: Virtual DISCERN with Rebekah Miles and a current student.
  • Thursday, Oct. 13, noon: Virtual CONNECT with OEM staff, focused on Perkins’ hybrid program.
  • Thursday, Oct. 27, noon: Virtual DISCERN with Rebekah Miles and a current Perkins student.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 9, noon: Virtual CONNECT with OEM staff and a current Perkins student.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m.: Virtual CONNECT with OEM staff and a current student, focused on Perkins’ hybrid program. Thursday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m.: Virtual DISCERN with Rebekah Miles.

OEM on the Road

Members of the OEM staff will travel to conferences, colleges, universities and other venues this fall to meet prospective students and provide information about Perkins.

Here’s a partial list of off-campus programs that Perkins representatives plan to visit this fall:

Friday, September 16: Texas Baptist Women in Ministry 2022 Annual Conference, Abilene Christian College, Fort Worth, Texas.

September 18-22: Nevertheless She Preached Conference, Austin, Texas

September 28-30: Leadership Institute 2022, Leawood, Kansas

Thursday, October 20:  Michigan Seminary Fair (Hope College, Cornerstone University, Calvin College)

November 19-22: American Academy of Religion & Society of Biblical Literature, Denver, Colorado

Individual Visits

Students may also schedule Individual Visits to the Perkins campus by calling Stephen Bagby, OEM’s Director of Admission Operations, at 214-768-2139 or, or by registering at

Check the OEM website for updates in the recruiting schedule here.

All members of the Perkins community — alumni, current students, faculty, staff and friends — are encouraged to contact the Office of Enrollment Management.

“Send us names and contact information, and we will do the rest,” Perez-Greene said. “We look forward to meeting many new prospective students and accompanying them on their journey of discernment as they explore theological education.”