March 30, 2020

Dear Perkins Alumni/ae,

On behalf of your alma mater, thank you for all the ways you are 'being church' in the midst of profound uncertainty. Our faculty and students are beginning week two of online courses, our staff is carrying on faithfully as we work from home, and our recruitment and admissions team has pivoted quickly to continue the important work of reaching out to prospective students virtually.

Even as you are implementing ways to maintain connection and community wherever you are, many of our alums are asking "How can I help Perkins?" as we all navigate this new normal.

As part of the tightly knit community that is Perkins, here are some ways you can help now:

  1. Please keep our students, our faculty and our staff in your prayers. Each day brings new challenges, particularly for Perkins students, and your prayerful presence is welcome.
  2. Consider providing financial support to assist our students in need. There are two ways to do this: via the SMU Fund for Perkins (First drop-down choice), administered by Dean Craig C. Hill and restricted for use at Perkins; and the SMU Student Support Fund, which provides funds university-wide.
  3. Give your time to speak with prospective students about Perkins, your experience, and the value of a Perkins education. This crisis has increased the demand for faithful leaders who can step into the breach to minister to grieving families, isolated individuals, and frightened children. God continues to call persons into ministry and Perkins is committed to preparing women and men to lead. If you are interested in talking with prospects via phone or online chat, or if you can submit via email a few sentences that could be used as alum 'testimonials' with prospective students, please contact me at The next opportunity is our Inside Perkins webinar on April 16.
  4. Share your stories. If you've done something in your ministry during the COVID-19 crisis that 'works' or if you've seen 'signs of hope,' please share those stories with us on Facebook at @PerkinsTheologySMU or via our online resource submission form.  
Thank you for considering these simple ways you can help now. The landscape is changing daily and regular updates from Perkins and from SMU can be found here.

May God continue to sustain and guide you—and all of us at Perkins—and give you strength.


Rev. Connie L. Nelson
Executive Director
Office of Public Affairs and Alumni/ae Relations
Perkins School of Theology - SMU


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