Higher Learning. Real Experience. Vital Ministry.
students at orientation

Orientation Spring 2014

December 16, 2013

Dear Student:

On behalf of the Student Services staff, we look forward to welcoming you to the Perkins community!  I write today to give you more information on our upcoming New Student Orientation. 

Spring Orientation is Tuesday, January 21, 2014 and will begin at 8:00 a.m. in Prothro Hall.  A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.  Attendance to all parts of New Student Orientation is required of all entering students.  Please plan to park in the Meadows Museum underground parking garage noted on your campus map (#60).  You will need to enter the left driveway of the garage and utilize the attached parking pass.  From Mockingbird Lane, the entrance can be accessed by taking the first possible right (Schlegel St.) off of Bishop Blvd. and then turning left into the Meadows Museum parking garage.  Enter through the left gate at that garage.  Once you arrive on campus, you will need to check in at Prothro Hall (#27). 

Keep in mind that your Orientation will include a walking tour of Southern Methodist University’s campus.  As such, we recommend that you dress for warmth and comfort.

Transportation to Dallas for Students in the Houston-Galveston Extension Program

Students will be asked to provide their own transportation to Dallas.  Current information on Southwest Airlines can be found at www.southwest.com. 

**Prices will vary based on time of purchase.  Perkins is in no way endorsing any particular airline, but has outlined Southwest Airlines flights as only an example of the cost to travel by air to Dallas.


If you will be enrolled in the Houston-Galveston Extension Program, Perkins will provide shared accommodations for one night at the Holiday Inn-Dallas Central Park Cities.  To register for a hotel room for the evening of January 20, 2014, please visit our website at http://www.smu.edu/Perkins/Admissions/orientation/OrientationHotelRequest

and request accommodations by clicking on “orientation” and following the website directions; please do this no later than January 6, 2014.  A complimentary hotel shuttle service will be available for transportation to/from Dallas Love Field airport (by calling the hotel at 214.750.6060) and to/from the SMU campus.

This required Orientation is a time for you to gather information that will be essential to you as a Perkins student. To help you plan, we have provided links to the following for your careful review:


For your planning, spring 2014 classes begin on January 23, 2014 for the Dallas campus.  Courses offered at our extension program (Houston-Galveston) begin on January 27, 2014.  Be sure to check your individual schedules for the first meeting of your classes.  SMU will be closed December 24, 2014 -January 1, 2014. We ask that you register for your classes beginning on January 3, 2014, but no later than January 17, 2014. 

The first link above is a letter from the Perkins Registrar, Janelle Hampton, that you will need to read first in reference to registration.  We have marked the three courses available to first-year students with a bullet to the left of the course on Spring 2014 Schedule of Classes.  If you are a transfer student from another theological institution, eligibility for other courses that are not marked should be determined after consultation with the Perkins Registrar prior to New Student Orientation.  Ms. Hampton may also be contacted at jhampton@smu.edu or at 214.768.2152 on January 2, 2014.

You can register for courses on-line via http://access.smu.edu using your Login ID (SMU ID number) and password.  The SMU ITS office should have forwarded this information to you.  If you have not received such information, please call the SMU ITS Help Desk at 214.768.4357 and be sure to identify yourself as a new, incoming student for the Spring 2014. 

To register for courses in the Houston-Galveston extension program, please contact Janelle Hampton directly.  She will help you register for the courses offered in the Spring 2014 in Houston.  Please call her at 214.768.2152 beginning January 2, 2014, and she will register you for those courses. 

Normally, students meet first with their academic advisor prior to registering for courses, and the advisors approve of course selections by signing the course request form.  However, you will register on-line and then an academic advisor or the Perkins Registrar will be available to sign your course request forms during Orientation.  MTS students should note that due to the flexibility of the degree, you do not have a course planning guide, but pre-requisites still apply.  (Non-degree students should remember that their enrollment is for one-year; after this, they must seek permission of the Director of Student Services if they wish to continue taking classes as a non-degree student.)   

If you have not returned your Intent to Enroll form (or have forgotten whether you returned it), one has been attached and please fax it to us because the return of this form will be critical to your ability to register on January 3, 2014. 

Tuition and SMU Housing

If you have made (or are making) arrangements for on-campus housing, SMU residence halls and commuter rooms will be open for move-in as early as 9 a.m. on Sunday, January 12, 2014.  You will need to check-in at McElvaney Hall (#56 on your campus map) front desk to get your keys.  Please bring a picture ID with you when you check-in.

While your tuition payment will not be due until February 20, 2014, you are able to sign-up for a monthly payment plan if necessary.  If you are interested in a monthly payment plan, please e-mail Beth Mcconville at bmcconville@smu.edu (214.768. 4123) in the SMU Division of Enrollment Services.  Tuition and fees for the Fall and Spring terms are $836 per credit hour in Dallas and $732.50 per credit hour for extension courses.  For information about Federal student loans, please contact SMU Graduate Financial Aid Counselor, Barbara Waters, at bwaters@smu.edu or 214.768.2371.  If you are interested in a student loan, please complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov

Other Information

During Orientation you will be asked to pay a $15 community life fee and also have the opportunity to purchase Perkins gear (t-shirts & hoodie sweatshirts from $10-$20).  It may be a good idea to bring your checkbook to Orientation.  Also, be aware that you will have your student identification card made during Orientation, so come prepared to be photographed.  As you can see, we have many things to cover in a relatively short amount of time, so plan to be on time and to attend Orientation in its entirety.

Additionally, with your SMU ID and password information, you can now access your SMU e-mail account at https://webmail.smu.edu.  Please make it a habit to check your SMU e-mail account frequently.  This is the main way that the University will be contacting you once you enroll.

Effective October 3, 2013, Texas law requires that all new students under the age of 22 must provide documentation to the Health Center demonstrating that they have been vaccinated against Bacterial Meningitis within the past 5 years and prior to the 10th class day of their first term.  Visit the Health Center website for more information at http://smu.edu/healthcenter.     

Article for Discussion

All new students are expected to read the chapter, “‘Who do you say that I am,’ Jesús or Jesse? A Reflection on Christology and Christian Identity” from the book, Jesus in the Hispanic Community: Images of Christ from Theology to Popular Religion, Eds. Harold Recinos and Hugo Magallanes. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009. pp 105-117.  This article should read and reflected upon prior to orientation. During orientation we are planning to have small group discussions about the reading, led by Dr. Hugo Magallanes, Director, Center for the Study of Latino/a Christianity and Religions

and Associate Professor of Christianity and Cultures. The chapter is listed above, and should be brought with you to orientation.  

Please read all of your Orientation materials carefully and thoroughly.  And lastly, just in case you have any problems with downloading the attachments, all of them are available at http://www.smu.edu/Perkins/Admissions/orientation.aspx.

Let us know if you have any questions or concerns.  I look forward to having you in the Perkins community.  We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and we will see you at Orientation! 



Herbert S. Coleman, II
Director, Recruitment & Admissions
Perkins School of Theology
at Southern Methodist University

216 Kirby Hall 
PO Box 750133 
Dallas, Texas 75275
214-768-2139 office
214-768-4245 fax


A few books that might be helpful as you prepare for your first year of seminary include:

How to Think Theologically by Howard W. Stone and James O. Duke
How to Read a Book by Mortimer Jerome Adler
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
Seminary Student Writes by Deborah Core
Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms by Donald K. McKim.