Dear Perkins Friends,

We are coming to the end of the first full year of the public phase of SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow, SMU’s $1.5 billion capital campaign.  As the Development Director for Perkins, I am pleased with our progress in this effort.

I am especially gratified that the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation has graced us with a three-year $2.7 million grant, funding Perkins’ Baptist House of Studies.  This is the third grant which Perkins has received from this generous foundation, totaling more than $3 million.  The new grant will allow us to fully fund 11 students in various Perkins degree programs.  The stipulation for funding is that the prospective student must be headed to Baptist ministry, involved in a Baptist church and be recognized for both academic and ministerial abilities.  Advice to all prospective students who fit these criteria: Get your application in early!

The Bolin Family Perkins Scholarship Luncheon, held on March 17, was a great success.  The luncheon honored revered pastor and educator, the Rev. Dr. Zan Holmes, who watched the proceedings from his home in California.  (Watch the video honoring him here.) Luncheon Videos

The Rev. Richie Butler, SMU Trustee, Perkins Executive Board member and Pastor of St. Luke “Community” UMC, was the featured speaker.  The proceeds all went to the Black/Africana Church Studies Program scholarship fund.

Financial aid is essential as we seek to educate persons called to ministry.  It is hardly surprising that financial aid is the key.  Many prospective students explain that, after accruing a large amount of debt in undergraduate studies, the prospect of significantly adding to that debt-load in order to go into ministry (not a lucrative career!) feels extremely daunting.  One recent prospective student with a very high grade-point-average (GPA) was reluctant to apply to Perkins due to the stress and difficulties he endured because of accumulated undergraduate debt.  Financial stress is keeping extremely qualified people out of ministry!  We want to remedy that problem.

Caleb Palmer, one of our admissions officers, noted: “From my experience connecting with students, the primary concern and number one question is: ‘How will I pay for theological education?’ Contemplating the call to ministry is challenging enough for undergrads to grasp, and the financial comparisons for degrees like engineering or business can cause trepidation for anyone. Prospective students are not looking to accumulate wealth, but the least they hope for is to avoid taking on debt in pursuing a ministry calling.”

Every dollar helps!  We need your support for “Perkins School Student Financial Aid.”  Please, right now, take a minute and click on https://giving.smu.edu/schools-areas/perkins/ to make sure that qualified students can come to Perkins and complete their studies.  A gift of any amount is important!

As always, gifts can be made online or sent by check.  If by mail, the address is:

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

Finally, I want to introduce you to Perkins’ new Advancement Associate, Mrs. Rose Burns.  Rose joined me several weeks ago and has “hit the ground running.”  Her email address is maburns@smu.edu and her phone number is 214-768-3688.  She and I look forward to serving you as we advance the cause of Perkins School of Theology.

With a thankful heart,

John Martin
Development Director