Perkins, Southwestern University Establish 'Preferred Consideration' Agreement

DALLAS (SMU) – Representatives of Perkins School of Theology and United Methodist-related Southwestern University entered into a formal ‘preferred consideration’ agreement during a signing ceremony held Oct. 24 in Georgetown. Perkins Dean Craig C. Hill was joined by Southwestern University President Edward Burger, Dean of the Faculty Dr. Alisa Gaunder, and Director of Spiritual and Religious Life and Chaplain Rev. Megan Danner during the event.

The agreement provides a pathway for preferred consideration of Southwestern University’s undergraduate students in the pursuit of ministerial vocations at the graduate level. Qualified graduating Southwestern University students, completing the requisite forms for admissions, will receive preferred consideration and an early admissions decision for acceptance in the following year’s matriculating class at Perkins School of Theology. In addition, early consideration will be given to the awarding of scholarships and other forms of financial aid.

It also strengthens the relationship between Southwestern University and Perkins School of Theology by encouraging new opportunities such as special courses for undergraduates, faculty enrichment and cross-institution engagement, and enhancement of the spiritual life of both schools.

“We welcome this deepening of the partnership between Perkins and Southwestern,” said Dean Hill. “It is our hope that this new pathway will expose the outstanding undergraduates at Southwestern to the many varieties of Christian service, and that Perkins will become the clear ‘next step’ for those who have heard God’s call to ministry.”

This is the second such agreement between Perkins and a United Methodist-related undergraduate institution. A similar memorandum of understanding was signed Sept. 22 with Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana.


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 as well as the Ph.D., in cooperation with The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU's Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.