Perkins’ Office of Enrollment Management (OEM) is gearing up for a busy fall, with two on-campus recruiting events, featuring faculty members Roy Heller and Ted Campbell, as well as travel to a variety of off-campus gatherings. 

“The best news is that graduate fairs and colleges and universities are resuming their face-to-face recruitment opportunities,” said the Rev. Dr. Margot Perez-Greene, Associate Dean of Enrollment Management. “Our Ministry Discernment Associates, Caleb Palmer and Emilie Williams, are thrilled to be participating in these off-campus events.”

The OEM also announced its recruitment schedule for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Two key events on campus for prospective students are planned for this fall:

Lunch & Lecture featuring Dr. Roy Heller, Thursday, Sept. 22, Noon to 1:30 p.m.

For prospective students who may have limited time, this midday program will allow attendees to get to know Perkins better. While they enjoy lunch, the OEM staff will provide packets of information and briefly share about graduate programs at Perkins and financial aid opportunities. Next, a lecture will be presented by Dr. Heller, who is Professor of Old Testament, Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Religious Studies. Heller’s topic will be “The Place of Scripture in Our Lives: Reading ‘As If …’ ”. Heller will discuss several ways that people often read the Bible — some helpful, some not helpful — as we use it to discern who God is, who we are and what we should be doing with our lives.

“Roy Heller is known for his unique, passionate delivery of topics in his field,” Perez-Greene said. “Whenever we have prospective students on campus, we encourage them to observe his class when his schedule permits.”

At the conclusion of the lecture, attendees will also have a chance to ask questions.  An optional campus tour will follow at 1:30 p.m.

Dinner & Lecture, featuring Dr. Ted Campbell, Thursday, Dec. 1, 3:30 to 5:45 p.m.

Attendees will hear from Dr. Campbell, who is the Albert C. Outler Professor of Wesley Studies and a renowned historian in The United Methodist Church.

Campbell’s topic will be “Dead or Alive: Reassessing Mainline U.S. Protestantism.” He’ll provide some perspective to the conventional wisdom that mainline (or old-line) denominations are now eclipsed by Evangelical churches who are drawing members from mainline churches and will tackle the “rumors” that claim that assumes a “horrifying mainline meltdown is portending the death of old-line Protestant churches.” He also will offer some context to what some see as an alarming rise in the number of Americans who identify as religiously unaffiliated “nones.”

Campbell is a popular speaker on church history, doctrine and polity. He also serves as lead advisor for Perkins’ Master Author Scholar Teacher (MAST) program for students integrating the academy to the church and faith-based communities and organization. Campbell has guided numerous students in the program to produce materials in a range of media, including video, writing, film, music and podcasts.

After the lecture, OEM staff will provide general guidance for graduate degree programs and financial aid opportunities. Afterward, attendees will have the option of participating in Perkins’ annual Advent Worship Service at 6 p.m. in Perkins Chapel.

Inside Perkins

Two additional on-campus Inside Perkins events will take place this fall, on Thursday, October 20, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. An optional campus tour will follow at 1:30 p.m. on both days.

“These events will provide very up close and personal chances to meet with key individuals who can offer the information and interaction to help prospective students make informed decisions about next steps toward a commitment to theological education,” Perez-Greene said. “We encourage and welcome prospective students to mark their calendars to attend any of these events as their schedules permit.”

Other Opportunities

In addition to these two campus events, prospective students will have several opportunities to explore Perkins this fall through Virtual Visits.  Conducted via Zoom, these online meetups allow prospective students considering theological education to ask questions and hear from current students as well as Perkins faculty and staff.

Dates currently planned for this fall include:

  • Friday, Sept. 16, noon: Virtual CONNECT with OEM staff.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 27, noon: Virtual DISCERN with Rebekah Miles and a current student.
  • Thursday, Oct. 13, noon: Virtual CONNECT with OEM staff, focused on Perkins’ hybrid program.
  • Thursday, Oct. 27, noon: Virtual DISCERN with Rebekah Miles and a current Perkins student.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 9, noon: Virtual CONNECT with OEM staff and a current Perkins student.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m.: Virtual CONNECT with OEM staff and a current student, focused on Perkins’ hybrid program. Thursday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m.: Virtual DISCERN with Rebekah Miles.

OEM on the Road

Members of the OEM staff will travel to conferences, colleges, universities and other venues this fall to meet prospective students and provide information about Perkins.

Here’s a partial list of off-campus programs that Perkins representatives plan to visit this fall:

Friday, September 16: Texas Baptist Women in Ministry 2022 Annual Conference, Abilene Christian College, Fort Worth, Texas.

September 18-22: Nevertheless She Preached Conference, Austin, Texas

September 28-30: Leadership Institute 2022, Leawood, Kansas

Thursday, October 20:  Michigan Seminary Fair (Hope College, Cornerstone University, Calvin College)

November 19-22: American Academy of Religion & Society of Biblical Literature, Denver, Colorado

Individual Visits

Students may also schedule Individual Visits to the Perkins campus by calling Stephen Bagby, OEM’s Director of Admission Operations, at 214-768-2139 or sbagby@mail.smu.edu, or by registering at https://www.smu.edu/Perkins/Admission/Visit.

Check the OEM website for updates in the recruiting schedule here.

All members of the Perkins community — alumni, current students, faculty, staff and friends — are encouraged to contact the Office of Enrollment Management.

“Send us names and contact information, and we will do the rest,” Perez-Greene said. “We look forward to meeting many new prospective students and accompanying them on their journey of discernment as they explore theological education.”