Bishop Michael McKee will become dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology ad interim effective Jan. 1, 2023, following Dean Craig C. Hill’s planned retirement on Dec. 31, 2022. The announcement was made Aug. 10 by Elizabeth G. Loboa, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs for Southern Methodist University. (Read the announcement here.)

Bishop McKee (M.Th. ’78) will serve until a permanent dean has been named. His appointment was informed by meetings this summer with the Perkins Executive Board, faculty, staff and students, according to Provost Loboa.

Bishop McKee has served as episcopal leader of the North Texas Annual Conference since his election by the South Central Jurisdiction in 2012, and he will retire from that position on January 1, 2023. He also will step down as a member of SMU’s Board of Trustees during his interim deanship.

Bishop McKee was appointed to serve Perkins as Bishop in Residence beginning in 2023 – participating fully in the life of the school but focused heavily on leadership development with students and alums and providing a pastoral presence to the entire Perkins community. As interim dean, he will have the opportunity to provide similar leadership and will further strengthen SMU’s ties with donors, congregations and institutions within the North Texas region as well as nationally, Provost Loboa wrote in an announcement distributed to Perkins faculty, staff and students.

“I am honored to return to Perkins as interim dean, and I thank Provost Loboa for the opportunity to serve in this capacity,” Bishop McKee said.

“Because of the strong commitment to excellence exhibited by the school’s faculty and staff, students and alumni, Perkins is well-positioned to continue making a significant impact in churches, communities and the Academy,” he added. “I look forward to building upon the foundation that Dean Craig Hill has created in his time at Perkins and wish him well in retirement.”