In the Last Stretch of Recruitment…
Our team is acutely aware of its own call: to recruit students for the transformation of the world. We realize that when God places a call on one’s life, it is nothing to take lightly. Thus, we respond swiftly to those prospective students who are inquiring as well as those admitted to Perkins. We recognize the decision to attend Perkins often turns the newly admitted student’s world upside down. Nurturing our admitted students is vital, through the last days of enrollment and until the students arrive at their first classes. We are sensitive to the added responsibilities that many face as they prepare to come to Perkins: relocating their homes, rearranging their work schedules, arranging and paying for childcare, handling the financial challenges of graduate education, and somehow balancing school with family and work. We often speak about the complexity of the call to ministry, decision-making and discernment stress, and uncertainty about where this road may lead. These are emotionally charged issues all prospective students face. And we regularly remind ourselves that most of the time we are not recruiting immature students. These folks are being set apart for ministry.
When we allow ourselves to sit back and reflect upon the work we get to do, the reminder of the “who” we are recruiting and “what” we are recruiting for is a hefty and worthwhile challenge. The church of Jesus Christ, more than ever, needs courageous, adaptable, flexible, faithful leaders who can take the reins wherever they are, pick up and move forward. Ministry has never been easy work. It is now even more difficult. But we realize this is the church of Jesus Christ. The rock we stand upon will not fail. It may change or morph into a new look, a different feel and shape, but it will not end. Not now. And so, we are encouraging anyone who will listen that now is the time to be prepared and equipped for when the opportunity presents itself. And it will. Have you noticed the number of retirements in your annual conference?
Throughout this summer, our team will carefully nurture our admitted students. “Summer melt” is a common phenomenon that affects all graduate education institutions. A certain number of students inevitably fall away or back out during the summer. To ensure that no student leaves for lack of support, we will personally interview each student before their arrival in the fall of 2022. We will do all we can to provide the care they need as they take on the journey ahead. And we will continue to look under every rock, follow-up on every lead and host prospective students on campus. With your help, all of us — faculty, staff, administrators and current students — will embrace and welcome the new life, culture, and perspectives the new students will bring this fall to the rich diverse culture we know as Perkins.
For the past four years, we’ve experienced a surge of applications in the summer months. While we do not expect the surge to be as strong as in past years, we can continue to attract prospective students this summer with your help. And we have scholarships! So pick-up your phones or send an email to someone you know who might just view this time as the right time to begin the journey. Connect them to us (see emails below). Let them know we have resources that might make seminary possible for them.
We’re in the last stretch, but it is not the final stretch. Please join us in inviting individuals who will dedicate themselves to answering their call and becoming empowered to lead the church and our faith-based communities, agencies and hospitals toward a brighter future.
Grace and peace,
The Perkins Office of Enrollment Management Team