Summer 2020

Satellite Schools: Perkins Course of Study

Even as education grows increasingly virtual, place still matters.   That’s why Perkins’s Course of Study program continues to play a vital role in preparing local pastors at three Satellite Schools: for Spanish-speaking pastors in the Western Jurisdiction, at McMurry University and at the Oklahoma Indian Mission Conference (OIMC).   “What remains important is the cultural context of our satellite schools, particularly for the OIMC satellite for indigenous pastors, and Western Jurisdiction satellite for Spanish-speaking pastors,” said Paul Barton, Director of the United Methodist Regional Course of Study School at Perkins. “Even in a pandemic, the ministry realities don’t change. When these students come together, virtually or in-person, they are sharing their experiences [...]

2020-09-01T14:13:29+00:00 September 1, 2020|

Office of Enrollment Management: Fall 2020 Update

Much continues to be uncertain these days. For the Office of Enrollment Management, adaptability and innovative thinking are key. We are pleased to report continued success from our new approach to recruitment events and virtual student engagement. This summer, we hosted eight virtual events.  Events were tailored to meet the needs of different student populations and focused on various topics. A favorite of our prospective students was the “Experience the SMU Perkins Culture” program, featuring Dean Craig Hill. Students [...]

2020-08-18T14:25:51+00:00 August 16, 2020|

Development Update: The New Normal?

I recently read an article which argued that “normal” has not worked for many people, so why should we now seek a “new normal”?  The article reminded me of a survey taken many years ago at a theological institution at which I served.  The survey was designed to find the pattern of student attitudes about the curriculum.  The results?  We found that only 17 percent of students were in what we called the “normal” program.  There had been a [...]

2020-08-18T14:27:28+00:00 August 16, 2020|

Fall Course Delivery

Many students and faculty will return to campus this fall, but life at Perkins will look quite different. Like most educational institutions, Perkins School of Theology has adjusted its schedule and programming this fall in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The Perkins faculty and administration have worked tremendously hard over the summer to come up with a plan that we believe will be hospitable and attentive of the health concerns of students and faculty while allowing students to continue [...]

2020-08-18T14:43:10+00:00 August 16, 2020|

Breath of Life

Barbara Taylor didn’t know the woman, only that her name was Carolyn. But it was Carolyn, a passerby who spontaneously joined and then summed up the “Breath of Life” gathering, just as Taylor had envisioned. “This is what love is supposed to feel like,” Carolyn said. “Breath of Life” took place on June 28, a day of prayer for healing from social injustice, racism, racial profiling and stereotyping.  Taylor (M.Div. ’22) was one of about 50 members of the [...]

2020-08-17T20:47:13+00:00 August 16, 2020|

Student Spotlight: Victoria Ayala

A dwindling number of young people are connecting with church, and many are turning to other avenues for spiritual expression. To some, those trends may sound discouraging. For Victoria Ayala (M. Div. ’21), they pose fascinating questions. “The question is, what can we do to mend that gap?” she said. “What is the church going to look like 10 years from now? What can we do to make ministry more than a church or a building? What can we [...]

2020-08-18T14:44:08+00:00 August 16, 2020|

Faculty Profile: Marcell Silva Steuernagel

If there’s one Bible verse that summarizes how Marcell Steuernagel embraces his multi-faceted, multicultural life, it’s Isaiah 30:21:  “Whether you turn to the right or you turn to the left, your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” “That’s kind of been my motto for over 20 years now, because it emphasizes the unpredictability of life,” he said. “One of the temptations of the Christian journey is to posture as if [...]

2020-08-17T20:48:45+00:00 August 16, 2020|

Bishop D. Max Whitfield Retirement

Bishop D. Max Whitfield began his career at Perkins, and soon, he will wrap it up at Perkins. Bishop Whitfield (M. Div. ’69) officially retires on August 31 as Perkins’s Bishop in Residence and Director of the Center for Religious Leadership. He returned to Perkins in 2012 to serve as Bishop in Residence after 12 years as Bishop of the New Mexico and Northwest Texas Conferences of The United Methodist Church. Prior to his election to the episcopacy, Bishop [...]

2020-08-17T20:50:18+00:00 August 16, 2020|

Student News

Masking with Love Masks have sparked much political debate, but Amber Benson, an M.T.S. student and faculty member at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, sees a theological issue to consider. In a blog post, she compares mask-wearing to the Christian tradition of the kiss of peace. “It is an act of Christian solidarity that signals to the culture at large that there is value in every human created in the image of God,” she writes. “It declares [...]

2020-08-17T01:32:12+00:00 August 16, 2020|

Faculty Update

Bill Lawrence Webinar Check out this webinar from the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), "Methodism and the Academy in the 2020s and Beyond"? You can view the full recording here and learn what Dr. Bill Lawrence, professor of American Church History and former dean of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, had to say about the future of United Methodist-related higher education.   Adult Bible Studies Fall 2020 Student Dr. Charles Aaron, Co-Director of the Intern Program [...]

2020-08-18T14:48:03+00:00 August 16, 2020|
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