Dr. John A. Martin Appointed to Perkins

Dr. John A. Martin to direct Office of Development for Perkins School of Theology

 Dr. John A. Martin
Director of Development

John A. Martin, a two-time college president with Dallas roots, began July 1 as Director of Development for Perkins School of Theology. 

Dr. Martin served as president of Roberts Wesleyan College, in Rochester, N.Y., for 12 years. He earlier was president of Central College in McPherson, Kansas.

“His experience as a higher education president means that he will bring exceptional skills in major gift fund-raising, said the Rev. Dr. William B. Lawrence, Perkins’ Dean and Professor of American Church History.

The new Director of Development earned a doctorate from Dallas Theological Seminary, in Hebrew and Semitic languages, and another from the University of North Texas, in higher education administration.

“I am so pleased to be back in Dallas after many years of academic administration,” Dr. Martin said. “The opportunity to serve at Perkins School of Theology is a real gift.  The mission of Perkins and Southern Methodist University dovetails nicely with my own career-long passion for theological education on the highest level.”

As Perkins’ Director of Development, Dr. Martin will be a member of the Development and External Affairs division of SMU, with direct reporting to the Executive Director for Principal Gifts, Robin Maness, and dotted line reporting to Dean Lawrence.

“John’s accomplishments and background will be an asset to SMU and the development team at the Perkins School,” Ms. Maness said.

Dr. Martin was born in Oak Park, Illinois, grew up in Wheaton, Illinois, and did his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College, majoring in history. He’s married to Kathryn Smith Martin of Dallas. They have four grown sons: Christopher, Cameron, Colin and Kyle.

Dr. Martin taught at Dallas Theological Seminary for 13 years, serving as Dean of Faculty, before beginning his presidency of Central College in 1990. He served there through 1996, when he moved to Roberts Wesleyan, first as Provost, then as Senior Executive Vice President/Provost, and finally as president, from 2002 to 2014.

In his two presidencies, Dr. Martin oversaw three capital campaigns. They include Roberts Wesleyan’s current $42 million comprehensive “Legacy 150” campaign, recognizing the schools 150th anniversary. The campaign is about 80 percent funded.

During his time at Roberts Wesleyan, most major campus buildings were constructed or remodeled. The school broke ground in March on a $26 million science and nursing facility.

Dr. Martin served as president of the Kansas Independent College Association and College Fund, and as an executive committee member of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities of New York. He’s a member of the Association of Theological Schools Commission on Accreditation, and began as an ATS board member this summer.

A few weeks into his work at SMU and Perkins, Dr. Martin was feeling at home.
“I have found a welcoming community on this campus not only from my coworkers at Perkins but in the other schools,” he said. “I sense that we are pulling together toward a common goal—to be a preeminent University which is exceptional in everything we do.  I know that is the case at Perkins and I see it in my other colleagues as well.”