January 2021 News Perspective Online

Faculty Updates: January 2021

A Boundless God Honored

Jack Levison’s book A Boundless God has won the “Award of Merit” in the Biblical Studies category for Christianity Today’s 2021 Book Awards. In recognizing the book, reviewer Peter Gosnell, professor of religion at Muskingum University, writes: “Who knew that a word study could read like an adventure story—welcome to the world of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. As Jack Levison guides us through the various uses of the word in the Hebrew Scriptures, he offers insight into the refreshment, the surprise, the danger, and the boundlessness of the Spirit of God.” Read the review here.

In December, Baptist News Global published an Advent reflection series by Jack Levison every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the season. The reflections were excerpted from another Levison book, An Unconventional God (Baker Publishing, 2020.) Read the first reflection here.

Levison is W.J.A. Power Professor of Old Testament Interpretation and Biblical Hebrew at Perkins.

Op-Ed on COVID Vaccine 

Who should get the next round of COVID-19 vaccines? Dallas Gingles weighed in with a philosophical viewpoint in an op-ed published in The Dallas Morning News on December 27.  “With the Emergency Use Authorization of COVID-19 vaccines… society faces new challenges related to prioritizing distribution of the vaccine,” he wrote. “We can think carefully about these issues by asking a few basic moral questions about them.” Gingles is associate director of Perkins’s Houston-Galveston Extension Program. Read the op-ed here.

Models of Evangelism

Christianity Today blogger Scot McKnight has included Priscilla Pope-Levison’s book Models of Evangelism as one of five picks in his 2020 Jesus Creed Books of the Year list.

“Pope-Levison, who has taught evangelism for decades, describes and evaluates the 8 most common models of evangelism,” McKnight wrote. “Because the book is so fair-minded, it will be useful for one and all.” Read the blog post here.

January 2021 News Perspective Online

Student News: Yolanda Santiago Correa

GBHEM Features Perkins D.Min. Student

Yolanda Santiago Correa, a third-year Ph.D. student at Perkins, was recently featured in the Women of Color Scholars’ Series published by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM.) The daughter of two United Methodist ministers, Santiago Correa moved from Puerto Rico to North Carolina in 2015 to attend Duke Divinity School. There, she became interested in studying the relationship between Blackness and Latinx identities. Now a 2020 Women of Color Scholar, Santiago Correa bridges those cultural connections as a doctoral student at Perkins. With her dissertation, Santiago Correa hopes to break down myths about the roots of Afro-Latinx identity and African descent in the Caribbean Christian church. Read more about her story here.


January 2021 News Perspective Online

Something in the Water

Perkins Co-sponsors “Something in the Water,” A Virtual Conversation on Racial Justice

Dallas (SMU) – Perkins School of Theology is co-sponsoring “Something in the Water,” a live virtual conversation on racial justice in America with the Rev. Dr. Michael W. Waters and former congressman Beto O’Rourke on Tuesday, January 12 at 7 p.m. Central time.

The online event marks the launch of Waters’ new book Something in the Water: A 21st Century Odyssey, published by Chalice Press, and promises to be “an illuminating discussion of America’s racist past, our present struggles, and the hope and belief in a better day to come.” Leah Gunning Francis, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Christian Theological Seminary, will moderate the conversation.

Waters is a civil rights leader, pastor and an alumnus of Perkins, where he earned a Doctor of Ministry in 2012 and Master of Divinity in 2006. He was named a 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient by Southern Methodist University.

Waters is founding pastor of Abundant Life African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Dallas, Texas. As an activist and social commentator, his words of hope and empowerment have inspired national and international audiences. Read more about Waters and his book at

O’Rourke, who wrote the forward to Waters’ new book, represented Texas’s 16th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2013 to 2019.

Gunning, the moderator, is the also author of Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community.

Attendees are invited to “come to learn, be inspired, and challenged to consider your role, collectively and individually, in the troubled waters of racism, and what you are willing to do to create something better.” To sign up, click here:

In addition to Perkins, co-sponsors of the event include the Interdenominational Theological Center; Dallas Black Clergy; Lone Star Justice Alliance; Faith Commons; DC Corrections; Abundant Life A.M.E.; and The Christian Recorder.

Praise for Something in the Water

“Waters delivers a blistering critique of white supremacy and racial injustice in this trenchant collection of sermons, poems, and commentaries. This concise, incisive work should be a wake-up call to Americans in general and the church in particular.”–Publishers Weekly

“Michael Waters reminds us that America’s original sin of racism is insidious and ever-present and must be boldly confronted and thoroughly dismantled if we are ever to move forward as a true multi-racial democracy. This is a compelling and transforming book that is coming out at exactly the right time, and I would especially urge all Christians to read it–and be inspired to both speak and act.” –Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners and New York Times bestselling author of Christ in Crisis

January 2021 News Perspective Online

Bolin Family Scholarship Evening

David Brooks of The New York Times will return to Perkins School of Theology, with his thoughts from this momentous year, for the Bolin Family Scholarship Evening. This year’s virtual event, normally held as a luncheon on the SMU campus, will benefit Perkins School of Theology’s Scholarship Fund. Every dollar of each donation will be channeled to the Scholarship Fund and will be tax deductible.  Read more here:  Scholarship Luncheon| Perkins School of Theology – SMU Perkins School of Theology

January 2021 News Perspective Online

Alumni/ae Updates

Keeping Christmas Despite COVID-19

How did United Methodist pastors and congregations cope with pandemic fatigue during the holiday season? The Rev. Sheron C. Patterson (MTS ’83, MDiv ’89, DMin ’96) was one of several pastors quoted in this UMNS story on the topic.

“It’s very challenging,” said Patterson, who is senior pastor at Hamilton Park United Methodist Church in Dallas. “People are fatigued with Zoom and webinars. Getting people in the Christmas spirit with the COVID is challenging.” Patterson worked to ensure that members of her predominately elderly congregation had access to technology. Sermons were available to hear via phone.  To help address some of the mental health challenges of the pandemic, the church also offered two Zoom seminars on “Beating the Holiday Blues,” featuring mental health experts teaching about grieving.

Connecting with College Students

While the COVID-19 pandemic forced Memphis Wesley Foundation to transition most of its ministries online, the pandemic the campus ministry is managing to reach even more students. Thanks to a new strategic initiative, Memphis Wesley has become a multi-campus student organization. The student leadership internship program at Memphis Wesley has continued to expand through a scholarship fund thanks to financial support from individuals and local churches throughout the Memphis Conference and beyond. Read an update from Morgan Stafford (MDiv ’18), Executive Director of Memphis Wesley Foundation, at the Memphis Annual Conference website, here.

New book by Roseborough

Cheryl Roseborough (M.A.M., ’20) has published a new book, The Gospel of Truth, a 7-week Bible study that addresses seven spiritual truths from the book of Luke. “This has been a true labor of love,” Roseborough said. “There were layers of healing that I had to walk through as well for this baby to be birthed. COVID allowed me the opportunity to make this happen.” For more information or to purchase, click here.


Obituary: The Rev. Brian McCarthy

The Rev. Brian McCarthy (Master of Sacred Theology ’76) died on November 17 at the age of 94 due to COVID-19. Born in Ireland, McCarthy entered the Dominican Order in 1946. He studied philosophy and theology in Rome and at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, where he earned his degree in 1954. A passionate supporter of the reforms of Vatican II, McCarthy was deeply disappointed when those reforms were slowed or reversed. After arriving in the U.S. in 1973, and earning his degree at Perkins, McCarthy was ordained as an Elder by the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1979. He served United Methodist and UCC congregations in New England and Wisconsin. Always politically vocal, McCarthy became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in 1994 and lived to cast his ballot in the 2020 presidential election. Read his obituary here.

Obituary: The Rev. Sullins Marlin Lamb

The Rev. Sullins Marlin Lamb (BDiv ’55), a longtime United Methodist pastor and teacher, died on December 5.  He taught and preached more than 40 years as a member of the Holston Conference. While at Perkins, he met the love of his life, Susan Smyser. He began his pastoral career at Magnolia Avenue UMC in Knoxville then led and grew churches in Virginia and Tennessee. He is survived by five children, four granddaughters and a great granddaughter. A graveside celebration was held on December 11. Read his obituary here.