The Baugh Foundation grants $2.7 million to Perkins Baptist House of Studies


Advancing Baptist ministry training at SMU

The Baugh Foundation grants $2.7 million to Perkins Baptist House of Studies


DALLAS (SMU) – The Baptist House of Studies at the SMU Perkins School of Theology has been awarded a $2.7 million, three-year grant from the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation, a Texas-based philanthropy committed to supporting the work of faith-based, nonprofit organizations.


The contribution will fund approximately 10 full-time Baugh Scholars enrolled in Perkins master’s, Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Pastoral Music degree programs within the Baptist House of Studies. In addition to covering full tuition and fees, the grant will provide emergency aid for students enrolled in the program. The Baugh Foundation’s commitment supports the University’s $1.5 billion campaign, SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow, particularly the campaign goal to empower outstanding students.

“Programs like the Baugh Scholars grow fellowship and scholarship within the Perkins School, helping its students cultivate wisdom and personal development,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are gratified by the Baugh Foundation’s support for the academic and spiritual pursuits of our students.”


Founded in 2019, the Perkins Baptist House of Studies fosters a community for ministerial students, faculty and staff who identify with the Baptist and Free Church traditions. A program rather than a physical house, the Perkins Baptist House is a spiritual haven that supports and encourages students as they pursue their academic and ecclesial training in an ecumenical and university-based seminary.


“The Baugh Foundation is enthusiastic about the opportunity to support the development of the Baptist House of Studies at Perkins School of Theology,” said Baugh Foundation Vice President Jackie Baugh Moore. “Training the next generation of pastors, scholars and faith leaders in an ecumenical and inclusive setting matches the challenges of the culture in which Baptist and Free Church leaders will be serving. We are grateful for the visionary leadership of the school and look forward to development of those who will serve our churches and faith-based organizations in the years to come.”


The funding from the Baugh Foundation will move Perkins, one of 13 United Methodist seminaries, into a preeminent position to train Baptist clergy in a setting where they engage with peers from diverse denominations and backgrounds.   


Craig C. Hill, Leighton K. Farrell Endowed Dean of Perkins School of Theology, believes the Baugh Foundation grant is important both for the Baptist House of Studies and for all Baptist students enrolled at Perkins.


“Our Baptist House of Studies is off to an excellent start, and this funding will empower it to flourish, providing essential financial support for students while also creating an intellectual and spiritual home for a community of Baptist seminarians,” Hill said.


Through the Baptist House of Studies, Baptist students in Perkins and those from Free Church traditions (such as the United Church of Christ, the Christian Church/Disciples of Christ Mennonite and nondenominational churches) can participate in mentoring, internships and fellowships. In addition, students are offered a concentration in Baptist studies, including teaching Baptist and Free Church history, theology and polity.


The founding director of Baptist House of Studies is renowned New Testament scholar and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Jaime Clark-Soles.


“This new grant will be transformational for the Baptist House,” said Clark-Soles. “It will provide scholarship and programming funds, enabling us to compete for high-quality students from a wider geographic area. It will also allow us to dramatically intensify our outreach and the awareness of what we have to offer, elevating Perkins as a premier destination for a robust Baptist theological education.”


The Rev. George Mason, senior pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas and lead advisor of the Baptist House of Studies Board of Visitors, echoed the importance of the grant for Perkins.


“This grant will propel the Baptist program at Perkins, giving us a competitive edge in recruiting students for multiple degree plans,” said Mason. “The more students we welcome in diverse degree programs and the more we provide scholarship support, the greater the grapevine witness about Perkins. Perkins will be seen as the place to go for progressive Baptist education, and for networking within the denomination and beyond. We expect the program to gain great momentum with funds from this generous grant.”




The Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation

Based in Houston, Texas, the Baugh Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that aid those in need through financial assistance and partnerships. The foundation supports causes ranging from meeting basic human needs and aiding children to bolstering faith communities and strengthening higher education. Additionally, it supports inclusivity and arts and enrichment initiatives across the United States.


Perkins School of Theology

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.


SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow
SMU is the nationally ranked global research university in the dynamic city of Dallas. SMU’s alumni, faculty and more than 12,000 students in eight degree-granting schools demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit as they lead change in their professions, communities and the world. Building on its history of excellence, the University has launched SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow – a multiyear $1.5 billion campaign to empower outstanding students, to enrich teaching and research and to enhance our campus and community.