May 9, 2018
DALLAS (SMU) - Rev. Dr. William J. Abraham, Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies at Perkins School of Theology, is the recipient of the 2018 SMU Faculty Career Achievement Award for his extensive work and dedication to Perkins and Southern Methodist University. A reception, hosted by SMU Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs Steven C. Currall and President R. Gerald Turner, was held May 7 on the SMU campus.
Each year, the SMU Faculty Career Achievement Award recognizes one individual for remarkable contributions across the scope of a career by a tenured SMU faculty member who has contributed to the teaching, scholarship, and service missions of the University.
“Billy Abraham’s dedication, focus, and energy are the stuff of legend. Even more, I am impressed by his ability to transcend stereotype. He is a scholar of firm conviction, yet he is eager to engage constructively with persons of opposing viewpoints. His insistence on academic rigor and clarity is joined to a warm and hospitable spirit,” said Craig C. Hill, Dean of Perkins School of Theology.
Dr. Abraham is the Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies at Perkins and serves on the General Commission on Unity and Interreligious Concerns of the United Methodist Church. He is an ordained elder of the United Methodist Church and author of numerous books including his most recent, “Among the Ashes: On Death, Grief, and Hope.”
Reflecting on Dr. Abraham’s academic life, Provost Currall said, “Professor Billy Abraham is a person of enormous academic accomplishment who has published more than 20 books and has written more than 100 articles. As a Christian theologian, he has given lectures throughout the world and has taught the Christian faith to individuals who have never seen the inside of a university lecture hall.”
“As one colleague stated, ‘Billy Abraham has always been to me an astonishing force of nature. In an academic career of over 40 years, his energy never seems to have flagged, and his infectious enthusiasm for the life of scholar and teacher continues undiminished,’” Currall said.
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.
In recognition of Dr. Abraham’s contributions and as a recipient of the Faculty Career Achievement Award, an SMU-funded scholarship will be named in his honor. To learn about Dr. Abraham, visit his faculty page on the Perkins website.