Core Courses

Black and white photo of Perkins Chapel pews and chancel area

Engaging Theology

This course will be offered May 2023

Course Description

In this course, students will explore theological foundations for the Christian faith and Christian ministry. Students will encounter a diverse body of theology, empowering them as theologians to engage theology both charitably and critically and equipping them to teach Christian doctrine by communicating the content and meaning of our faith and heritage to others. Students will be given the opportunity to discuss, reflect on, and apply theological doctrines to the socio-cultural and faith issues in the lives of persons in their ministry context and practice applying these skills likewise. 


Rev. Dr. Geoffrey C. Moore

black and white photo of the Joe & Lois Perkins School of Theology sign outside of Kirby Hall

Engaging the Bible

This course will be offered May 18 - 20, 2023 at our Little Rock, AR intensive weekend.

Course Description

A consideration of pedagogical methods for the church as it encounters the biblical message of the Old and New Testaments with special emphasis on understanding theological implications.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • distinguish questions of curiosity from questions for persuasion and use the former for engagement in biblical interpretation.
  • demonstrate basic knowledge of the canon and biblical genres.
  • discuss examples of readers who encounter the Bible from a variety of social locations.
  • articulate current conversations on the use of the Bible in various media.
  • develop a lesson plan that engages a biblical text appropriate for their setting in ministry.


Dr. Jack Levison

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Adaptive Leadership

This Virtual Course will be offered May 11-13, 19, 26, June 2, 2023

Course Description

The pace of change in our world is accelerating and the need for leaders who are skilled, resilient and fluid is greater than ever. This course in Adaptive Leadership will explore the fundamentals of adaptive leadership, provide a spiritual foundation to thrive and equip the student to lead in their context. This course is taught in a hybrid model with a three-day intensive and several monthly virtual sessions.

Learning Objectives

To define and understand adaptive leadership, including the place of technical competence, relational congruence and adaptive capacity.

To explore and identify the connection between the physical, emotional and spiritual health of the leader and its role in adaptive leadership.

To recognize where adaptive leadership is needed in the student’s current context and to develop and reflect on next steps for leading in their context.


Laura B. Murray

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UM Studies

This course will be offered January 2024

Course Description

The United Methodist Studies course will provide a one-stop shop introduction to Methodist history, theology and polity in a hybrid format (synchronous and asynchronous assignments) in order to deepen students’ understanding of and appreciation for Methodism today. The course may include a study of the General Rules, Social Principles, The Book of Discipline, or historical issues in UMC polity. Enrolled students will be assigned work outside of the classroom via books, articles and videos before spending three days in a classroom setting on the beautiful campus of Southern Methodist University.

Students will:
· Meet characters in the Methodist family, such as John, Charles, and Susanna Wesley, Philip Otterbein, and Phoebe Palmer.
· Investigate the basic tenets of Christianity through a Wesleyan lens.
· Discover the "hows" and "whys" for the current structure of The United Methodist Church from the local church to General Conference.

United Methodist Studies is beneficial for employees in a United Methodist local church, for teachers of United Methodist confirmation classes, and for new and longtime members in United Methodist churches. Continuing Education Unit certificates are available. a required course for all United Methodist Certification tracks and meet the standards set by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. This class is open to students seeking UM Certification in any area of specialized ministry.


Rev. Dr. Ted Campbell

Bishop Max Whitfield