December 2023 News Perspective Online

Perkins mourns loss of Dr. Chuck Aaron

Rev. Dr. Charles Aaron, co-director of the Perkins Intern Program since 2017, passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 29. After undergraduate studies at Lambuth College and earning a Master of Counseling from Memphis State University, Chuck received his Master of Divinity from Perkins in 1985 and a Ph.D. in Old Testament from Union Theological Seminary in 1996. He was an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, where he served as pastor at numerous churches over the years.

In addition to his wife, Sandra, he is survived by two sisters and their husbands, three nephews and one niece, and countless friends.

The Perkins community honored Chuck during a special service of remembrance Nov. 30. A celebration of Chuck’s life is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 5, at Oak Lawn UMC. If you have any photo memories of Chuck you’d like to share, please send them to In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Oak Lawn UMC or the Coalition for Safe Spaces in Lebanon.

December 2023 News Perspective Online

Congratulations to our December graduates!

Twelve Perkins students were awarded degrees during SMU’s commencement exercises, which took place Saturday, Dec. 16.

Congratulations to these individuals for their time at Perkins, their dedication to coursework and their transition to Perkins alumni:

Doctor of Ministry: Deborah DeFrank Tipps, Brandon Lacey, Jimmy Decee Greene Jr.,

Master of Divinity: Reyner Daniel De la Torre, Sandra Rene Allison, LaToya Chameka Johnson, Edna Faye York, Eunbyul Cho, Emmanuel Edore Asekhame

Master of Theological Studies: Natalie Celeste Gama, Katherine Boyd

Master of Theology: Jae Jun Cho

December 2023 News Perspective Online

Faculty News

Priscilla Pope-Levison, Research Professor of Practical Theology at Perkins, wrote a blog post for The Pastor’s Workshop in which she discussed how churches can create a culture of testimony in their worship. Pope-Levison highlights the work of several churches that are part of cohorts in Testimony HQ, a Lilly Endowment, Inc.-funded initiative (for which she is co-principal investigator) that focuses on developing thriving congregations through the practice of testimony as community engagement.

Ruben L.F. Habito, Professor of World Religions and Spirituality at Perkins and Director of Spiritual Formation, spoke on the importance of gratitude in a recent column that appeared in The Dallas Morning News.


Ted Campbell, Albert C. Outler Professor of Wesley Studies at Perkins, will assume the role as the archivist of the Texas Annual Conference.


Jaime Clark-Soles, Professor of New Testament, Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor and Director of the Baptist House of Studies at Perkins, recently delivered a webinar with the Cleveland Clinic: “Psychedelics and Soul Care.” She discussed her experiences in understanding the intersection of psychedelics, soul work and religious experience.

Susanne Scholz, Professor of Old Testament at Perkins, was included in a recent article in Texas Monthly magazine featuring the formation of Market Street UMC in Mabank, Texas.


Harold J. Recinos, Professor of Church and Society at Perkins, delivered the benediction at the unveiling of a historical marker honoring William Allen Taylor, who was a lynching victim in 1884.

December 2023 News Perspective Online

Alumni and Student Updates

Danny Sebastian, a Ph.D. student in Religious Studies, was one of 10 finalists of SMU’s annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. Sebastian presented his research – “Accounting for Ethics: Addressing Social Challenges through an Accounting Lens” – in non-specialist language in less than three minutes with the assistance of one static PowerPoint slide. Participants were judged on the effectiveness of their presentations and their ability to convince the judges of the impact of their research.

Perkins graduates Cassie Wade (M.Div. ’13) and Jim Dees (M.T.S. ’19) were included in a recent article in Texas Monthly magazine featuring the formation of Market Street UMC in Mabank, Texas.


Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Booker (M.Div. ’86) passed away Nov. 22 in Dallas. For 37 years, Dr. Booker served United Methodist churches in both the Texas and North Texas annual conferences. He retired from Highland Park UMC in July 2023.


Rev. Kay Reed (M.Div. ’91) passed away Oct. 19 in Brenham, Texas. Upon graduation and ordination, she began a career as one of the first women ministers in the Northwest Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, serving churches in Lubbock, Meadow, Ropesville, Earth, Colorado City, Albany, Moran, Tulia and Brenham.