Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Early Admission Fall Semester/Regular Admission Spring Semester: November 1.
Priority Admission Fall Semester: February 1.
Regular Admission Fall Semester: May 1.
International Students November 1.
*For full financial aid consideration (including Merit Scholarships and Perkins Tuition Grants), you should endeavor to be accepted by February 1 (a FAFSA online at is required). 

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

Perkins does not offer any full internet or distance learning courses at this time. However, our Houston-Galveston offers a hybrid option which requires only 20 hours of face-to-face classroom presence per class, per semester

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.

Yes, students may purchase student health insurance. Policy and enrollment information can be found at

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 or 214.768.2407. Also visit their website at

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 or 1.888.THEOLOGY or 214.768.3411.

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

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.

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

M.Div., M.A.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).

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.

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 M.A.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.

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.

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

Yes. Renee Mitchell,, 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,, is available in Houston. Please contact Susan Buchanan at 713-621-5059 or before contacting Alissa.


Community Life

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.

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.

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 on our webpage under Student Organizations. 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.

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.


Financial Aid

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Visit our outside scholarship database at 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.

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.

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.


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.

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

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

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

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.

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