News Perspective Magazine Perspective Magazine: Summer 2018

Students Reflect on their Perkins Experience

“Perkins strives to assist students in discovering and empowering their voices as they define and refine their theology and understanding of their roles as faith leaders and pastors. Perkins empowers its students to lead by giving them a safe space to explore and fail and learn as they discover their voice — their identity as faith leaders and pastors through worship, course work, internship and student organizations.”

Amber Oxley (M.Div. ’18)


“Perkins is unique because it truly does provide a welcoming space for non-United Methodists. This can be seen throughout the diversity of faculty, staff and students. Perkins is shaping my call to service by providing tools that constantly remind me of…the One who called me and those to whom I am called. Perkins’ diversity, inclusivity and accessibility are embodied in the passion with which the faculty and staff serve. Simply put, Perkins is showing me how to lead by empowering rather than simply providing ‘right’ answers.”

Donte Ford (M.S.M. ’16, M.Div. ’18)


By choosing Perkins, which is both affordable and accessible, I receive an excellent (part-time) theology education while continuing my full-time job in Dallas. The fact that 50 percent of Perkins students are women and more than 30 percent are ethnic minorities was also important. Perkins is shaping my call to service by allowing me, an older female student, to attend, study and grow into my calling at my own pace. Studying and interacting with diverse students and excellent faculty supports me as I grow into my own faith leadership. I am so glad to have chosen Perkins!”

Claudia Stephens, Associate Professor, Division of Theatre, Southern Methodist University (M.A.M. ’20)


I visited seven seminaries, and out of them all, Perkins had the most welcoming community. I felt like I was a welcomed student before I even applied. Through Perkins connections, I have been able to work as a classroom leader in a nonprofit after-school program. This experience invites me to connect my theological education with a ministry in West Dallas. I feel led to start a nontraditional church in my home conference, and my classes at Perkins have provided a space of open discernment for what that could look like.”

Kristina Roth (M.Div. ’20)


“Classes aren’t just lectures and notes; they are holistic experiences. Being challenged by professors who dedicate themselves to the growth of theologically and critically minded ministers, while examining various aspects of our sacred texts and voices contributing to the evolution of Christianity and society, is empowering. They foster communal engagement and care that extends throughout our campus. Since my first week of classes, I maintain that just as ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, it takes a community to get through seminary. And, I have been and will be continuously blessed by relationships cultivated through Perkins. Classmates, professors and administrators whose mere presence encourage me to be a better man and minister, to keep loving, learning and fighting for justice, and to stay grounded in prayer.”

Christian Watkins (M.Div. ’19)


“I knew Perkins School of Theology was the place for me when I felt the strong sense of community among the students, faculty and staff. The quality of education and encouragement of faculty to help students find our authentic voices was an important factor. The diverse faculty and genuine relationships with them, access to resources and opportunities to develop leadership skills have made Perkins unique for me. These things and more have helped me discern my call to service and have empowered me to lead in ministry. Individuals considering Perkins should prepare to be challenged academically and uplifted spiritually.”

Robin Murray (M.Div. ’18)


“I was thrown into the wilderness when I moved to the USA as a single mother with an urgent need of a closer relationship with God. In the midst of these circumstances — a new language, new culture, a sojourner in a land that was not mine — I heard God calling. ‘Where do I go?’ I asked, and God’s response was ‘Go to Perkins!’ During my time here, I have witnessed the grace of God in all aspects of my life. Perkins is equipping me well and I feel secure, confident, embraced, acknowledged, empowered and part of a loving Christian community. Certainly, God is guiding me to the promised land.”

Flor Granillo (M. Div. ’19)


“Perkins is unique for me because I am not a number or a face — I am a member of the family. The wide variety of perspectives is exactly what I need. Perkins is truly a place where academia weds spirituality — it’s real. Each lecture proves itself to be a profoundly spiritual experience, pushing me both forward into my ministry and deeper into my relationship with God. I finally understand just how deep, wide, immense ministry can be. Now that my own future is coming into focus, I’m grateful for having the freedom to explore what that looks like through conversations and through practice.”

Phillip Clay (M.Div. ’19)