Registration is Now Open for Perkins Fall Convocation, Nov. 15-16


DALLAS (SMU) – Author Tod Bolsinger of Fuller Theological Seminary and Grammy-award winning gospel music icon Kirk Franklin will headline the annual Perkins School of Theology Fall Convocation, “Leading into Change,” which will take place online Nov. 15-16, 2020. Register here.


The annual continuing education event usually occurs at Highland Park United Methodist Church and on the campus of SMU. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers moved to an online format. Tuition for the Virtual Conference is $75 for the full conference or $15 for Sunday night only. Early bird pricing is available through Sept. 21 at $65 for the full conference.


Kirk Franklin will kick off the event on Sunday evening, November 15, 7 - 8:30 p.m., with a presentation, “Kirk Franklin Speaks from the Heart about Leading Into Change," followed by Q&A. Franklin is a Grammy Award winning choir director, singer, songwriter and author of the New York Times bestseller The Blueprint: A Plan for Living Above Life’s Storms (Gotham/Penguin). Franklin also hosts the gospel talent show "Sunday Best," the highest-rated gospel program in BET network history now heading into its fourth season.


Tod Bolsinger will present three Plenary programs on Monday, November 16. His morning talk, from 9:30 - 11:05 a.m., will focus on "Leading in Uncharted Territory." He will also deliver a midday Plenary (11:15 a.m. - 12:50 p.m.) on "Trust, Conflict, and Transformation in Uncharted Territory" and an afternoon Plenary (2:50 - 4:30 p.m.) on "Tempered Resilience: How Leaders are Formed in the Crucible of Change." Participants will have ample opportunity to interact with Bolsinger as well as each other; each 35-minute plenary talk will be followed by breakout sessions lasting 30 minutes, then everyone will reconvene for a Q & A.


Bolsinger is the author of Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory. He serves as Vice President and Chief of Leadership Formation and Associate Professor of Leadership Formation at Fuller Theological Seminary. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1993, Bolsinger was senior pastor of San Clemente Presbyterian Church from 1997 to 2014. He has extensive experience in church and nonprofit consulting and executive coaching.


Fall Convocation attendees may also attend an online worship with global music performed by IziBongo (a highlight of last year’s fall convocation) and a Monday afternoon workshop (1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.) exploring the “Leading into Change” theme. Each participant may choose one workshop from the schedule:


“Approaching Change with Curiosity and Resilience: An Introduction to Dialogic Processes in Polarized Times.” Leader: Dr. Jill DeTemple, Chair of Religious Studies, SMU.


“Leading in the Midst of Chaos.” Leader: Lisa Hancock, Conflict Resolution Specialist, Restorative Communications.


“Not on My Watch.” Leader: Rev. Virzola Law, Pastor, Northway Christian Church


“Communicating the Why Behind the Change.” Leader: Shanterra McBride, Founder of Marvelous University, leadership development for girls and women.


“Outside Suburbia: Leading into a New Normal.” Leader: Rev. Denise Peckham (M. Div. '08), Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Sherman, Texas.


“Reimagining Faith and Community: Adaptive Ministries and Movements in Fluid Urban Times.” Leader: Drew Smith, Professor of Urban Ministry, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.


“Finding Your Footing When Things are Swirling.” Leader: Rev. John Thornburg, retired Vice President of Area Staff, TMF.


Details are available online for the full convocation schedule and the workshops.


This year’s Fall Convocation is made possible with the support of the North Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Claudia and Taylor Robinson Lectureship, the Paul Elliott and Mildred Fryar Martin Lectureship in Practical Theology, the Howard-Holbert Endowment, and the Center for Religious Leadership at Perkins School of Theology.


Continuing-education credit (.8 CEU) also is available for an additional $15. Click here for more information or to register online, or call (214) 768-3664 to register by phone with a credit card or debit card.