2010 Archives

SMU Promotes Professor Bruce Marshall to Lehman Chair in Christian Doctrine

Professor Bruce Marshall of SMU's Perkins School of Theology
Bruce Marshall

October 18, 2010

Dallas, Texas – Southern Methodist University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Paul Ludden, has announced that Professor Bruce Marshall, an internationally known faculty member at the University will be promoted to an endowed faculty position in the coming year.

Dr. Marshall, who is currently Professor of Historical Theology in Perkins School of Theology at SMU, will be appointed to the Edward and Emma Lehman Chair in Christian Doctrine at Perkins. The appointment will become effective in June 2011, following the retirement of the current Lehman Chair holder, Professor Charles M. Wood.

In announcing the forthcoming appointment to the Lehman Chair, Provost Ludden said, “Naming a faculty member at SMU to an endowed position is recognition that the professor has achieved the highest levels of accomplishment in academic life. Bruce Marshall is an outstanding member of the SMU faculty. His work exemplifies the excellence of the University, and he is a most worthy recipient of this distinctive promotion.”

The Dean of Perkins School of Theology, William B. Lawrence, expressed gratitude to Provost Ludden for the appointment of Professor Marshall to the Lehman Chair. “Bruce epitomizes everything that we affirm in our mission statement as a school to prepare women and men for faithful leadership in Christian ministry. He is a superb and challenging teacher. He is a globally respected scholar. And he contributes great leadership in the education of our Master’s and doctoral students.”

Professor Marshall has been a member of the SMU faculty since 2001. A scholar of the history of Christian theology and doctrine, he is renowned for his work on the doctrine of the Trinity and is an expert on the theology of Thomas Aquinas. He has lectured widely throughout the United States and abroad on topics ranging from Trinitarian theology to Christology to the relationships between Judaism and Christianity.

A graduate of Northwestern University, where he earned his baccalaureate degree in religious studies, Professor Marshall holds three Master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from Yale. He is a member of several distinguished academic guilds, and recently completed a term as President of the Academy of Catholic Theology. He has also served on the boards of five scholarly journals: Nova et Vetera, Modern Theology, Pro Ecclesia, Ecclesiology, and the International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church.

His teaching responsibilities include courses in Christian heritage, the history of Christian doctrine, and Christian thought in the middle ages. In the summer of 2010, Dr. Marshall added an important administrative responsibility to his teaching at Southern Methodist University, when he became director of the Graduate Program in Religious Studies, which combines the resources of Perkins School of Theology and the department of religious studies in Dedman College, for students who pursue the Ph.D. in religious study at SMU.

Professor Marshall will be the fourth person in the history of the University to hold the Edward and Emma Lehman Chair in Christian Doctrine. Established in 1927 with an initial gift from the estate of Emma Lehman, and supplemented with funds provided by the University’s Board of Trustees, the chair was occupied by William Daniel Bradford until 1936 when economic circumstances during the Great Depression forced the chair to remain vacant. Re-established with support from the South Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church, the Lehman Chair in Christian Doctrine was subsequently held by the late Professor John Deschner, followed by Professor Charles Wood.

Perkins School of Theology, founded in 1911, is one of five official University-related schools of theology of The United Methodist Church. Degree programs include the Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Music, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Church Ministries, and Doctor of Ministry, as well as the Ph.D., in cooperation with The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.



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