Amarillo Lay School 2014

Schedule and Courses


The Amarillo Lay School of Theology is sponsored by SMU’s Perkins School of Theology. The school meets each year on Palm Sunday weekend, offering an opportunity for laity and others to explore issues of spirituality, theology, religion and church leadership with faculty and leaders from Perkins.

Schedule and topics are subject to change. 

Program Schedule 

Friday, April 11      Free Program Friday Night 
7:00 pm    Check-in/Welcome  
7:00 - 9:00    Opening Conversation with Dr. Ted Campbell 

Why Manischewitz® is the Perfect Wine for Methodists
with Dr. Ted Campbell

Join church historian Ted Campbell as he discusses what it means to be a “heartcore” Methodist, the challenges facing the church, why ecumenical dialogue matters, and the story about how United Methodists came to drink Welch’s Grape Juice® for communion. The conversation will be moderated by Rev. Gary MacDonald of Perkins’ Office of Advanced Ministerial Studies.

During the evening we will also honor Dr. Ted Nicklaus, a founder and champion of the Lay School of Theology at Amarillo, for his longtime work and support of quality theological education for the region.

Saturday, April 12    
8:15 am    Communion 
9:00 - 11:45            Class Session I
11:45 - 12:45 p.m. Lunch
12:45 - 3:30 Class Session II
3:30     Lay School Concludes 


Joerg Rieger, Wendland-Cook Endowed Professor of Constructive Theology, Perkins School of Theology, SMUMain Line Decline:
Dealing with Rumors of Our Death
Ted A. Campbell

Associate Professor of Church History

It’s a bummer to wake up in the morning and realize you’re dead, but that’s the way it’s felt in the United States for the last four decades with folks in “mainline” Protestant churches. This workshop will re-examine persistent claims about the decline of mainline religion in the USA, will consider the extent of truth in these claims, and will also consider some of the less-well-recognized strengths of old-line Christian groups in the USA.

Suggested Reading: MainlineDecline, Decline-Talk, and Decline-ism by Martin Marty, download here

Ted Campbell joined the faculty at Southern Methodist University in 2006 after serving as visiting professor of the History of Christianity at Claremont School of Theology in California, and as president of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He has also taught at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Duke Divinity School, and Wesley Theological Seminary, and has served as pastor of United Methodist congregations. His works include John Wesley and Christian Antiquity, The Religion of the Heart, Christian Confessions, Christian Mysteries, Methodist Doctrine, and Wesleyan Essentials in a Multicultural Society. He is an avid blogger at