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,