And Now You Can Breathe…
These were opening words to welcome our incoming students during both the Houston-Galveston and Dallas campus orientations in August.
Thirty-two new students in Houston-Galveston Hybrid Extension Program, and 62 at the Dallas location (not including the 14 new students in the Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Pastoral Music programs) all took pleasure in fellowship, worship, meals and mingling with current students, staff and faculty.
By all indications, we are on a third-year run of increased enrollment and will release the final enrollment number on September 12. We are pleased to announce an increase of international students, as well. They are coming from South Korea, Nigeria, Liberia, Senegal, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.
Allow me to share a few new student remarks during Orientation:
“I can’t believe I’m actually here!”
“You are the best seminary among all and great hospitality.”
“I’ve been praying about this moment for months, and I’m finally starting seminary!”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
“I think I’m gonna cry.”
“In all of my higher education, I’ve never felt so welcomed!”
“I chose Perkins because, in all of my interactions, I have felt a sense of community. Nothing has changed.”
Amid the euphoria, there was also a bit of anxiety. As one student commented: “I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.” We have been in communication with this student since her arrival. Her comment was made after worship at which time we worked through a few things and encouraged her. We called her on Saturday, and she agreed to meet on Monday. Her prayer on Saturday was to hear from God. On Sunday, she heard from her mentor, who happens to be a Perkins alum. Her mentor said that she’d be in Dallas in two weeks for a visit. Answered prayer…a call from her mentor. We thank you, alums, for your mentoring, for your support, for your letters of recommendation and your encouragement of our students, even after they arrive. We are grateful. We appreciate you more than words can convey. (I’d love to send you a gift for a referral. Email me: email@example.com.)
And now we can all breathe. It’s been an outstanding start to the 2019-2020 school year, and the rich work of our hands, as staff members in the Office of Enrollment Management, begins anew. We worked hard to remain positive in the face of the decision at General Conference. It proved to us that keeping our eye on what is important results in a peace no matter the result. I am forever grateful to my extraordinary team: Stephen Bagby, John Lowery, Jean Nixon, Sandy Oswalt, Caleb Palmer and Yazmin Strauss.
Now on to the 2020 academic year!
Rev. Margot Perez-Greene, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Enrollment Management