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Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

Community Life

Financial Aid

Spiritual Formation


 
 

Admissions

 

What are the admissions deadlines?

Dallas Campus

Fall Semester:        May 1*

Spring Semester:    November 1

Houston-Galveston Extension Program

Fall Semester:        July 1*

Spring Semester:    November 1

International Students

                           December 15

*Please note that for full financial aid consideration, you should endeavor to be accepted by February 1 (for merit scholarships) and March 1 for a Perkins Tuition Grant (with FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov).

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Are there facilities on-campus for those students with learning disabilities?

Yes, please visit the website below for information regarding services and facilities.

http://smu.edu/studentlife/SSD/

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Can I take classes online at Perkins through distance learning opportunities?

Perkins does not offer any internet or distance learning courses at this time. All of the course offerings require on-campus participation at our Dallas or Houston-Galveston programs.

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Do you have information on jobs at SMU and/or the Dallas area?

Yes, please visit the websites below.

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Do I need to take the GRE?

You do not need to take the GRE for admission. In some cases, however, applicants may be asked to demonstrate their preparation for theological study by adequate performance on either the GRE or the Miller Analogies Test.

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Is student health insurance available or required?

Yes, students may purchase student health insurance. Policy and enrollment information can be found at http://smu.edu/healthcenter/medical/med_insurance.asp.

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What type of housing is available at Perkins?

SMU Residence Life and Student Housing

Martin Hall – Located in the theology quad, offers easy access to Bridwell Library, the chapel, classes, and community events. These efficiency apartments accommodate graduate students and married students. Each apartment is furnished with a wall-mounted Murphy bed, sofa, desk, and dresser. Each apartment has a bathroom and a kitchenette area with stove, sink, and refrigerator. Average square footage is 280.

Hawk Hall – These one-bedroom furnished apartments are students who are married and students with children. These apartments also house our Theology Commuter apartment community. Located in the theology quad, the family atmosphere is complemented by the easy access to classes. SMU day care is also located in this building. Average square footage is 425.

SMU Residence Halls Common Features:

  • Carpeted Rooms
  • Local Phone Service with Voicemail
  • Computer Connections via Ethernet
  • Air Conditioned
  • 24 Hour Security Card Access System
  • Co-ed Residence Halls
  • Laundry Rooms with Washers & Dryers
  • Vending Machines
  • Microwave Ovens Available in the Hall
  • Smoke-free: Smoking is NOT permitted in any University building
  • Resident Assistant and Hall Director residence life staff

Campus housing applications are sent at the time of acceptance to those who indicate an interest in campus housing. You can have questions answered about SMU Residential Life & Student Housing by contacting housing@smu.edu or 214.768.2407. Also visit their website at http://smu.edu/housing.

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I will be commuting to Perkins from outside the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. Is there housing available two or three nights a week?

Commuter Apartments – Limited space is available for commuter students, on a contract basis by semester, in Hawk Hall. Four students share a one-bedroom apartment with four single beds for $800.00 per semester. The rooms are designed with the goal of staying 2-3 nights a week. Due to the limited space these are available on a first come basis. For more details contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, at Perkins School of Theology at theology@smu.edu or 1.888.THEOLOGY or 214.768.2293.

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Do you accept international students?

Yes, Perkins accepts international students each fall semester into the M.T.S., M.S.M. or C.M.M. programs.

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I have a cumulative GPA that is below a 2.75. Is there a possibility I can be admitted?

All applications submitted to the admission office will be considered for admission. If you do not have a 2.75, we encourage you to submit a written explanation of why your GPA is lower than you would like for it to be and why you think you are adequately prepared for graduate theological coursework. On rare occasions, students may be admitted with a GPA lower than the minimum 2.75.

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Do I have to be a United Methodist to attend Perkins?

No. Although Perkins is one of the thirteen United Methodist theological schools, we are ecumenical in scope.

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What are the admission requirements?

M.Div., C.M.M. and M.T.S. applicants:

Applicants for the above degree programs must have completed an undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Arts or equivalent) from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum G.P.A. of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) in a well-balanced pre-theological curriculum. Other considerations include seriousness of purpose, potential for growth in the preparation for the profession of ministry (M.Div., C.M.M, and M.S.M.), emotional stability, and likelihood of satisfactory performance in the degree program.

M.S.M. applicants:

Applicants for the M.S.M. degree program must have completed a Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Music Education degree, or its equivalent, from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative G.P.A. of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Applicants are expected to bring to the program performance capabilities in organ, voice, or conducting which must be demonstrated by a personal audition (for organists) or an audition tape (for choral conductors).

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I am a United Methodist Student interested in a student pastor appointment while in school. What assistance may I receive in finding an appointment?

The role of Perkins School of Theology in the student appointment process is that of a facilitator of communications. We work to serve both the prospective students and the conference leaders involved in the student appointment process by offering information and support. All appointments are made independently by each conference through their cabinets.

If you are a student interested in securing a student appointment we encourage you to make direct contact with district superintendents with student charges in their districts. As a preliminary to any interview scheduled during a visit or by phone, it is recommended that you write and introduce yourself to area district superintendents. Send a completed copy of the attached form and a resume. Other types of contact may then be scheduled.

  1. Attend an Inside Perkins event in the spring when some area district superintendents will be present to interview students seeking appointments.
  2. Arrange for an individual visit to Perkins and contact area district superintendent(s) for individual interviews during your visit -- it is best for this to be done prior to April 1 of the year an appointment is sought.
  3. Follow up your letter by calling some of the area district superintendents and visiting with them by phone. Also have your present district superintendent or a pastor in your conference who knows you well to recommend you for an appointment.

In order to be eligible for a student appointment, a student must be a member of the United Methodist Church and a certified candidate for ministry. If you have not yet begun the candidacy program, see your pastor about this first step into ordained ministry.

It is recommended that those seeking student appointments which would begin in June should submit their applications for admission to Perkins no later than March 1 each year.

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Can credits be transferred to Perkins from another seminary or graduate program?

A student may apply for transfer credit from schools accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. The work must have been completed within the past seven years and earned a grade of 2.0 or better. The Registrar will determine, in each case, the number of credit hours which a student may transfer to a Perkins degree program, and their allocation to the requirements of the program. Thirty term hours is ordinarily the maximum number of hours that will transfer toward an M.Div. degree; for the C.M.M. and M.T.S., the maximum number is 24. Transfer credit earned through online courses offered by other ATS schools will be limited to three term hours.

Given the special character of the D.Min. program, normally no transfer credit is allowable toward its requirements. Transfer credit may be allowed in exceptional cases. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will determine, in each such case, the number of hours that may transfer. The maximum number of hours that can be transferred will be 12, and the work shall have been completed within seven years prior to admission.

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When can I visit the Perkins/SMU campus?

You can visit the campus during one of our Inside Perkins events in Dallas or in Houston-Galveston. You may also make an appointment to attend one of pre-scheduled one-day visits during the academic year. Please register online today.

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Is a visit or interview required before a student can be admitted?

Although we highly encourage you to visit the campus during the application process, it is not a requirement for admission.

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Are there services available for students who want to improve their writing skills?

Yes.  Renee Mitchell, reneeom@verizon.net, is available in Dallas to help students on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm in Selecman Hall #213.  Alissa Bouler, alissa.bouler@gmail.com, is available in Houston.  Please contact Susan Buchanan at 713-621-5059 or susan@smu.edu before contacting Alissa.

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Community Life

 

What opportunities do students have to get together outside of class?

There are several events and opportunities sponsored by the Office of Community Life which encourage students to socialize outside of class, such as the various worship services, CHAP (Community Hour at Perkins), community lunch, fall and spring banquets, and various student interest group opportunities. In addition to the events which are sponsored by the Perkins Community, there are student-organized opportunities such as study groups, prayer and support groups, musical praise groups, and topic discussion groups available.

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What is CHAP?

CHAP is short for "Community Hour at Perkins" and is offered each Tuesday at 11:30 am. It is an informal time for students, faculty, and staff to come together as a community to discuss topics important to theological education and ministry. Often a speaker gives a presentation and there is always time for dialogue and discussion. Watch for flyers and information in the on-line newsletter regarding the various programs.

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How do I find out what events are happening at Perkins?

One of the best ways to find out what is going on within the Perkins Community is to read the weekly Perkins News. Flyers are usually posted throughout our buildings regarding various events and opportunities. Your Community Life Office is open to assist you in ways of getting involved and finding out what is going on in the community.

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How do I get involved in a student organization?

There are about ten different organizations which are governed through the Perkins Student Association. A list and description of most of the organizations are in the Student Handbook or at http://www.smu.edu/Perkins/StudentLife/Living/StudentOrgs.aspx. Many of these organizations will have representatives at orientation to provide additional information. Also, flyers are posted and notices are provided in the on-line newsletter regarding meetings and various events. We encourage all students to get involved and enjoy the opportunity to socialize and grow with the Perkins Community.

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When do students at Perkins worship?

There are a variety of times and formats for students to worship. Morning Eucharist / Morning Prayer is offered Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 – 8:20 am in the Perkins Chapel. The Perkins Community Worship is on Wednesday and Thursday from 11:30 am – 12:20 pm in the Perkins Chapel.

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Financial Aid

 

What is the approximate cost per year?

Cost summaries including tuition and fees for classes offered for our Dallas and Houston-Galveston Extension Program classes are available. All full-time students should budget at least $1,000 for textbooks.

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How do I apply for financial aid?

For new students, the application for admission is your application for a merit scholarship (with a 3.2 cumulative grade point average). Also, students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for Perkins. We recommend completing the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 but no later than March 1 to be considered for a Perkins Tuition Grant.

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What are the deadlines for applying for merit scholarships?

For full consideration for merit scholarships, applicants should be admitted to a degree program by February 1. Any applicant with at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average will be considered. There is no separate scholarship application required.

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If I am awarded a merit scholarship, is there a minimum number of classes I need to take.

Only full-time students enrolled for a minimum of 12 hours each full term are eligible to receive and maintain their merit scholarship.

Degree students on the Houston-Galveston extension program enrolled for the maximum 6 hours each full term may be eligible for the Dean’s Honor Scholarship for Extension Program students.

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What scholarships are available from the church/outside resources?

United Methodists students who are certified candidates for ministry can normally apply for assistance from their annual conference. United Methodist students are also encouraged to apply for scholarships through the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry at www.gbhem.org. Visit our outside scholarship database at http://smu.edu/theology/admissions/scholarships_outside.html to access application information for local, regional, and national awards given to students preparing for various ministry vocations. Students are encouraged to meet all application deadlines when applying for these outside scholarships.

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Are scholarships available for international students?

Two international students who are admitted to a full-time degree program may receive an international scholarship, which awards full tuition and fees, housing, insurance, and a stipend.

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What type of financial aid is available?

We offer several kinds of financial aid, from 100% tuition scholarships with stipends to need-based tuition grants. We work closely with our students to help ensure that Perkins is an affordable option for their theological education.

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Spiritual Formation

 

What is Spiritual Formation?

The spiritual formation program, a two-semester course, includes a mandatory spiritual formation orientation in the fall semester and a weekly small group session that explores issues of spirituality including the call to ministry, the formation of religious life, spiritual disciplines and the examination of a growing and changing faith.

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Do I have to enroll in Spiritual Formation?

First year students enrolled in the M.Div., M.S.M., and C.M.M. degree programs are required to enroll for spiritual formation.

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What is the nature of the weekly small groups?

Spiritual formation groups consist of no more than 10 students and are facilitated by faculty and adjunct faculty.

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Is completing the spiritual formation program a requirement?

All first year M.Div., M.S.M., and C.M.M. degree students are required to complete spiritual formation in order to graduate.

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How many credits will I get for completing spiritual formation?

One credit hour (except for M.S.M. students) is given to those who complete spiritual formation. Credit/No credit is determined on the basis of attendance and demonstrable engagement with the subject matter of the formation process.

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Who teaches spiritual formation?

All groups are facilitated by Perkins faculty and adjunct faculty and are administered by the Office of Spiritual Life and Formation

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