The Graduate Program in Religious Studies (GPRS) at Southern Methodist University offers six fields of study to pursue the Ph.D. In support of those six fields (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, New Testament, the Christian Tradition, Systematic Theology, Religious/Christian Ethics, Religion and Culture), the GPRS combines the resources of faculty members from Perkins School of Theology at SMU, the Department of Religious Studies in the University's Dedman College, and two distinguished University Professors of Ethics.
In 2007, Perkins School of Theology at SMU became one of the founding membership institutions in the Hispanic Theological Initiative Consortium (HTIC). The consortium was established to extend the achievements of the Hispanic Theological Initiative, which had been providing financial support to Latino and Latina doctoral students for a decade, drawing upon grants and philanthropic assistance from a number of organizations. The Hispanic Theological Initiative Consortium (HTIC) is an association of Ph.D. granting institutions who are committed to expanding the number of Latino and Latina scholars. Students who are admitted to doctoral studies at one of the member schools may receive support from HTIC. As one of the founders of HTIC, Perkins School of Theology at SMU is dedicated to the four major goals of the HTI mission:
- To help identify and prepare highly trained educators and leaders who can articulate, model, and help teach values and ideas that will inform and make an impact in our Latino faith communities and communities in general.
- To increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of Latina/o Ph.D. students across the nation by uniting and leveraging institutional resources (human, financial, and infrastructural).
- To increase the presence of Latina/o faculty – especially tenured faculty – in seminaries, schools of theology and universities.
- To provide a forum for exchange of information, ideas, and best practices to address the needs of Latina/o faculty and students.
Hispanic Theological Initiative - Creating and nurturing a community of Latina and Latino scholars through the combined efforts of the Consortium member schools.
Mexican American and Hispanic-Latino/a Church Ministries Program - Enables Perkins School of Theology to be a center of Hispanic theological thought and writing and to advocate before the general church with and on behalf of Hispanic congregations and ministries.
Center for the Study of Latino/a Christianity and Religions - The central mission of the Center for the Study of Latino/a Christianity and Religions at Perkins School of Theology is to promote a deeper understanding of the varieties of religious life and expression within the Latino/a communities in the United States and in Latin America.
Graduate Program in Religious Studies - Faculty members from Perkins School of Theology and from the Department of Religious Studies in Dedman College constitute the faculty of the program.