Great Momentum Leading into a New Academic Year
The Perkins Office of Enrollment Management is pleased that the size of the incoming Fall 2022 class represents an increase over last year! Despite denominational, national and global challenges, new students are responding to their calls to ministry and moving forward in faith.
The geographic scope of our new class is the largest we’ve seen in years. At our Dallas campus, we’ve welcomed new students from as far away as Alabama, South Dakota, New Jersey, and Kenya, as well as many Texans. The Houston-Galveston Extension program, representing 37% of our incoming students, witnessed its furthest geographic reach since transitioning into a hybrid program five years ago. New students enrolled from all over Texas as well as Missouri, Florida, Ohio and two from California! We continue to attract new students who find the accessibility of the hybrid program to be the best model for their busy lives. In August, classes returned seamlessly to Houston Methodist Hospital. We enjoy great support from the HMH community and its leaders.
Perkins also continues to attract a diverse student body in terms of ethnicity, denomination and age. For instance, 21% of our incoming students are African American, and we have new students coming to us — many of them second career — from the Baptist, Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and other Christian traditions.
In the months leading up to the Fall 2022 semester, the Rev. Dr. Margot Perez-Greene and Dr. Stephen Bagby met with each incoming new student via Zoom to address any questions or concerns. Seminary brings with it many life changes and new challenges, and the OEM staff at Perkins is committed to walking with our students through these transitions. We commend our new students for their faith in responding to their calls to ministry during these uncertain times. It is no easy task. But Perkins is a welcoming community, and our students feel loved as soon as they walk in the door even if they have had to leave their families, quit their jobs or cope with feelings of inadequacy in pursuing theological education.
Shifting focus to the next class of students, we have been looking forward to the 2022-23 recruitment season since May 2022. Recruitment is a year-round enterprise, and we are excited to be launching into the new season by implementing many of the same initiatives and unveiling new ones.
Just like last year, OEM will be hosting several virtual event opportunities for prospective students to learn about the school, garner a sense for the Perkins ethos and to ultimately discern where God is calling students in their various ministry contexts. We have found that almost 60% of our enrolled students have attended at least one virtual event, so these events are proving vital to our connection with future church leaders.
Additionally, we’ve continued to increase our partnerships with several of the programs here at Perkins, like the Baptist House of Studies and the Black/Africana Church Studies Program. Our goal is to increase the visibility and accessibility of these programs to ensure prospective students are able to envision themselves at the school and can see a clear path for themselves in seminary.
In addition to these ongoing Inside Perkins events and individual campus visits, we are now offering a “Lunch & Lecture” and “Dinner & Lecture” series. It’s not always possible for students to step away from their responsibilities to spend a full day with us. However, we have found that many prospective students are interested in a lunch break where they can hear a lecture from one of our world-class faculty. The first “Lunch & Lecture” in September with Dr. Roy Heller was a success, and we look forward to featuring Dr. Ted Campbell at a “Dinner & Lecture” in early December.
We continue to appreciate all your support and ask for your prayers. Thank you.
Stephen Bagby, Director of Admission Operations
Caleb Palmer, Associate Director of Ministry Discernment & Communications