2015 Archives

Unique degree offering takes shape at SMU Perkins

Doctor of Pastoral Music designed to answer the challenges facing music ministers

September 4, 2015

DALLAS (SMU) – Perkins School of Theology has announced a first-of-its-kind degree program – the Doctor of Pastoral Music (DPM) – designed to answer the challenges facing music ministers today.

keyboardApplications for the DPM program, accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, are being accepted through March 15, 2016. The incoming class of five students will begin coursework in June 2016, and an additional cohort of five will follow in 2017.

“We have witnessed many changes in music ministry in such a short period of time,” said Dr. C. Michael Hawn, University Distinguished Professor of Church Music and director of Church Music Programs. “This program will allow those in the profession to broaden their understandings of church music and the role it plays in a social context as well as identify opportunities to expand music ministry into the community.”

The DPM program’s structure – intense, nine-day sessions in the summer and January – is such that it will allow participants to continue work in their own congregations. About one-half of the required 39 semester hours will be taken alongside pastoral candidates in the Doctor of Ministry (D. Min.) program, which will allow candidates to grow the skills needed to emphasize the pastoral aspects of music ministry in their home parishes.

The program is intended to complement and build upon the Master of Sacred Music degree – a rich, 55-year history of collaboration between Perkins School of Theology and the music division of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. Courses for the DPM will be taught by faculty members of both schools.

Requirements for admission include a Master of Sacred Music degree or its equivalent as well as a minimum of five years of full-time experience in a church leadership setting.

For more information and to apply, visit the DPM degree program website or contact Dr. Hawn at mhawn@smu.edu.


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 Arts in Ministry, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Pastoral Music (June 2016) 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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