Perspective Online, Perkins School of Theology SMU
Welcome to Perkins Perspective Online, our monthly e-magazine with updates and information on the Perkins community! 
More than two dozen students, faculty and staff ventured out during the January break for immersion trips in Waco, Texas, and Israel and Palestine; meanwhile, some 200 youth ministers and others converged on campus for the Perkins School for Youth Ministry. We’ve got reports from both. We also hear how members of the Perkins staff are working to make seminary education affordable for all students. Plus, student and faculty profiles, faculty and alumni/ae news and much more. 

We hope you’ll enjoy. Let us know if you have news you’d like to share.  
Dean Letter on Financial Aid

A Message from Dean Hill

In the secular realm, it seems like money makes the world go 'round. But in the New Testament, the love of money gets some bad press. With this issue's focus on financial aid, Dean Craig Hill's letter takes a deeper look at money. He proposes that money is a tool: one resource among many that may be employed in God's service.  Money is no substitute for human presence and caring, he writes, but it can under some circumstances make that human presence and caring possible.

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Monthly Updates
Office of Enrollment Management: We’re Counting Our Blessings
Office of Development: The Perkins Executive Board & Its Impact
Financial Impact

Perkins: An Affordable Choice

A dedicated team is making Perkins affordable for incoming students.

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Bonhoeffer Conference

While most portrayals focus on his defiance of the Nazis, this conference will focus on the importance of everyday life in Bonhoeffer’s theology and ethics.

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Faculty Profile

Balancing the life of the mind with the life of a mother.

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Faculty Update

Wes Allen on the radio, Jack Levison at Brite and Dean Hill at Martin Methodist College.

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Alumni/ae Update

A new venture in church music, a dual role and a farewell to a Perkins graduate in Arkansas. 

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January Immersion Trips

Immersion Trips

Reports from January Immersion Trips to Waco and Israel/Palestine.

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Perkins Youth Ministry Conference

Perkins School of
Youth Ministry

Youth Ministry Conference helps church youth staff explore and implement new ideas.

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Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight

After a sabbatical for cancer treatment, Carrie Teller returns to her seminary studies.

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Staff Update

Staff News

A new hobby keeps Laura Figura on the run.

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Connect with Us

Looking to stay up-to-date with all things Perkins? Check out our social channels!

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Upcoming Events

February 5
Perkins Scholarship Luncheon

Perkins Scholarship Luncheon 2020

New York Times columnist and best-selling author David Brooks will speak at the Perkins Scholarship Luncheon on February 5 in The Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom at SMU. 

February 5 and 12
Community Worship Services for
Black History Month 

Black History Month Worship

A Black History Month Kick-off Service is planned for 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 5, in Perkins Chapel, with the Rev. Dr. Dominique A. Robinson, Dean of Chapel at Wiley College, preaching. Another Black History Month Service will follow on Wednesday, February 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in Perkins Chapel, with preaching by the Rev. Virzola Law, Senior Minister at Northway Christian Church.  

February 13
Discussion on Wesley, Faith and Politics

Dr. Ryan Danker will present "Faith and Politics: Being a Wesleyan in the Public Square," on Thursday, February 13, at 6 p.m. on the campus of SMU. Danker, Associate Professor of Church History and Methodist Studies at Wesley Theological Seminary, will discuss the impact of the early Wesleyan movement upon the social, economic, and political conditions of 18th century England and Colonial North America. Dr. Ted Campbell, Professor of Church History, Southern Methodist University, will respond. Presented by The Center For Faith and Learning, the program is free and open to the public. However, registration is required; please register online at The program takes place in Room 120 of the Collins Executive Education Center, 3150 Binkley Ave, Dallas, TX 75275.

February 13-14
Bonhoeffer Conference

Bonhoeffer Conference

On February 13-14, 2020, Perkins School of Theology will sponsor a short conference, “In the Face of Barbarism: Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Culture, Humanity and the Importance of Ordinary Life.” Most scholarly and popular portrayals of Bonhoeffer focus on the exceptional circumstances in which he found himself. The conference, by contrast, is focused on the importance of everyday life in Bonhoeffer’s theology and ethics. Lecturers Victoria Barnett, Michael DeJonge and Natalie Carnes will help attendees to position the intersection of art and theology as related to everyday life. The conference will conclude with a one-person play on the legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer as adapted and performed by Al Staggs.

For more information and to register, visit

February 14
Inside Perkins

Inside Perkins

The next Inside Perkins takes place Friday, February 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Dallas campus. The events give prospective students the opportunity to visit classes, meet faculty and current students and experience the warmth of the Perkins community. Additional information and registration are available here.

Additional Spring 2020 Inside Perkins events will take place on the following dates:

  • Thursday, March 26
  • Thursday, April 16

February 22
Houston Lay School of Theology

Houston Lay School

Dean Craig C. Hill will lead a daylong course, "Servant of All: Status, Ambition and the Way of Jesus," at the Houston Lay School of Theology from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on February 22, 2020, at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Houston. The course will examine the tension between the biblical view of servant leadership and the status that Christians today often desire and pursue. The church is located at 5501 Main Street. Online registration is now open. All those registering by February 14 will receive a free copy of Dean Hill's book Servant of All: Status, Ambition and the Way of Jesus.

March 5
Shurden Lectures

Shurden Lectures

Eboo Patel is the featured speaker for the 2020 Walter B. and Kay W. Shurden Lectures, which take place March 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. on the campus of SMU. The event is hosted by the Baptist House of Studies at Perkins School of Theology at SMU and co-sponsored by Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, a national organization dedicated to preserving faith freedom for all.  

The 2020 Shurden Lectures will place in the Great Hall in Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall, 5901 Bishop Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75205. The program kick offs at 11:30 a.m. with Patel speaking on “Religious Freedom and a Theology of Interfaith Cooperation.” A lunch will follow at 12 p.m. with a conversation between Patel and George Mason, pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church. (There is no charge for lunch, however, attendees must RSVP to receive a parking pass.)  At 2 p.m., Patel will conclude the program with a talk on “Religious Freedom and Interfaith Leadership.”

For more information, click here

March 9-11
M.S.M. 60th Anniversary Reunion

MSM Reunion

Registration for the Master of Sacred Music 60th Anniversary Reunion is now open! The event will be held at Perkins on March 9-11, 2020. Visit our website for full details, including a schedule, featured speakers and more:

March 25
From Shelf to Spotlight:
The Hidden History of Women’s Speeches

From Shelf to Spotlight

From Shelf to Spotlight: The Hidden History of Women’s Speeches, will be held Wednesday, March 25 from 12:30 - 2 p.m. in the Great Hall.

Dana Rubin, award-winning journalist and curator of the Speaking While Female Speech Bank, will share her timely, inspiring research into the hidden history of women’s public speech, highlighting stories of women past and present who used their voices for change. The event will be moderated by Dr. Alyce McKenzie.

This event—including lunch—is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. For more information and to register, click here.

March 26-28
Summit for Faith and Learning

Perkins Summit for Faith and Learning

With the theme “Boundless Learning, Bountiful Life,” the next Perkins Summit for Faith and Learning (formerly the Perkins Theological School for the Laity) takes place March 26-28, 2020. Featured speakers include William Willimon, Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry at Duke Divinity School, and several Perkins faculty members. Registration is now open. Visit our website here.

April 4
Colloquium on Spiritual Abuse 

Colloquium on Spiritual Abuse

Perkins is co-sponsoring, along with the Simmons School of Education and Human Development, a Spring 2020 Colloquium, “Spiritual and Religious Abuse: Recognizing, Preventing and Healing,” on Saturday, April 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Harold Simmons Hall Room 101A. Professors Susanne Scholz and Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner will lead a breakout session for the program on “Recognizing How Individuals Use the Old and New Testaments to Spiritually Abuse Others.” Said Stevenson-Moessner, “The mental health profession and ministerial training have focused so intensely on physical and emotional abuse; now is the time to reckon with spiritual abuse.” Register at this link and see the schedule and list of speakers here.

April 20
"Preaching And..." sponsored by
Perkins Center for Preaching Excellence

PCPE Image

The Perkins Center for Preaching Excellence is sponsoring an interdisciplinary annual workshop and book series called “Preaching And…” A homiletician collaborates with a scholar from another field in offering a workshop for clergy that becomes a book in a series edited by Dr. O. Wesley Allen. The workshop will be held April 20, 2020 at Perkins.

The topic will be “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Pulpit: Preaching and Humor.” Co-leaders are Alyce McKenzie and Owen Lynch, Associate Professor and Director of the Honors Program and SMU-in-London Internships, Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs.

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