Perkins Fall Convocation

Workshop Descriptions* 




“International Missionaries - Leaving Home and Finding Home. Stories from the Archives”
with Tim Binkley

Drawn from the archival resources of Bridwell Library Special Collections, this workshop presentation will recount the stories of couples and individuals who traveled abroad on behalf of North American Christian mission boards. These women and men were transplanted, often long-term, into other cultures. There they invested their lives in the wellbeing of others, building deep bonds of respect, understanding, and love.

Bio | Historian, minister, and Certified Archivist, Rev. Timothy Binkley is a graduate of The Defiance College, Bethany Theological Seminary, and Wright State University. Since 2009 he has served SMU’s Bridwell Library as an archivist. Previously Binkley has worked as an archivist at United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio; as pastor of the Onekama Church of the Brethren, Onekama, Michigan; and on the staff of The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. His goal as an archivist is to build bridges of understanding across generations and cultures through contact with historical records.



“How Ethnodoxology (Local Arts & Worship) Can Make Your Mission Flourish”
with Robin Harris

Engagement with local arts can enliven any ministry, whether that ministry is church-based or mission-based, cross-cultural or cross-generational, and whether or not you are an artist yourself. In this session, you will learn how to encourage artistic expression in your ministry for powerful and memorable communication with God and others, and through the arts, bringing healing and joy to your ministry community and their life of worship.

Bio | Robin Harris, Ph.D., is president of the International Council of Ethnodoxologists (ICE) and director of the Center for Excellence in World Arts at Dallas International University. She served for many years in cross-cultural service—including ten years in northern Russia—and now focuses on training people to use arts for community development. Her publications include co-editing the award-winning Worship and Mission for the Global Church: An Ethnodoxology Handbook (William Carey Library, 2013) and Storytelling in Siberia: The Olonkho Epic in a Changing World (University of Illinois Press, 2017), a monograph based on her fieldwork in Russia.



"Cultural Intelligence"
with Robert Hunt

Cultural intelligence consists of four basic attitudes and practices that can be identified, measured, and cultivated by both individuals and groups. Contemporary Christians live in a world of increasing cultural diversity, whether in their own neighborhoods, their workplaces, or as they reach out in mission near and far. As cross-cultural and intercultural interactions become a constant feature of daily life, cultural intelligence is becoming the basis for both satisfaction and success. This workshop will introduce the four basic aspects of cultural intelligence, how they relate to daily life and ministry, and some of the basic practices to increase cultural intelligence.

Bio | Robert Hunt, Ph.D., has more than 20 years of experiencing living outside of the United States in the diverse cultures of Asia and Europe. He is a certified cultural intelligence trainer. As the Director of Global Theological Education, he has decades of experience leading individuals and groups in cross-cultural and intercultural immersion experiences both locally and world-wide. He teaches courses in Perkins School of Theology and the SMU Graduate Liberal Studies Program. He is also a Fellow of the Hunt Institute for Engineering and the Humanities as well as the Journal of Interreligious Dialogue. 



"The Power of Pilgrimage: History vs. Memory"
with Ray Jordan

There is an African Proverb that states, "Until the lion has its own historian, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter." How is history written? Who gets the privilege of writing it? Is history of an event(s) different from how we collectively remember it? How can the sensory acts of touch, taste, sight, and sound move us to deeper empathy and passion? How does the experiential learning of travel open our minds and hearts to different ways of knowing and the work of the Holy Spirit? Based on the experiences of SMU's Civil Rights Pilgrimage, this workshop will address these questions and lift the "power of pilgrimage".

Bio | Rev. Ray Jordan is currently the Senior Pastor of Central Congregational UCC in Dallas, TX. Ray has worked as a public school teacher, university professor, non-profit administrator, corporate trainer, clergyperson and consultant. Ray is a sought-after preacher, speaker, workshop leader and facilitator in the areas of difference (race, class, gender, sexuality, etc.) and cultural competency. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Education, a Master of Arts in Teaching, a Master of Theological Studies from Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology and is completing his Ph.D. (ABD) from Union Institute and University, with an emphasis in public policy and social change. Currently, Ray can also be found teaching in the Center for African American Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington and the Graduate Liberal Studies program at Southern Methodist University when not spending time with his three children, Trey and Alley and Joshua Caleb.

“Reconciliation as the Mission of God”
with Célestin Musekura

The Church’s ministry of reconciliation flows from its divine call to be a reconciled community by engaging intentionally and vigorously in the process of healing broken relationships between humanity and God and the whole creation. In this workshop, participants will learn about God’s heart for reconciliation and will acquire theological resources and skills in guiding individuals and groups through the process of healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation. The leader will share his personal journey of forgiveness and reconciliation after his family and neighbors were massacred in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide in his home country of Rwanda.

Bio | Rev. Dr. Celestin Musekura, a Rwandan from the Hutu tribe, founded ALARM (African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries) in the midst of unspeakable loss and devastation following the 100-day genocide in 1994. ALARM supports more than 50 full-time African staff members who travel the region, training pastors and Christian civic leaders, both men and women. The staff members also teach seminars on forgiveness and reconciliation and provide vocational training so that Christians in poor communities can support themselves and their families.

“Reaching Refugees, Changing Lives”
with Samira Izadi Page

We live amidst the greatest mass migration in history! What is God doing our midst? How does God want the Church to respond? Is the church equipped practically, emotionally, and spiritually to meet this new mission field among refugees and immigrants? Join us for an exciting discussion about how you/your church can join God’s transforming work among refugees through the simplest acts of love from God’s people. Be ready to see your neighbors and neighborhoods in a whole new light!

Bio | Born a Shiite Muslim, Rev. Dr. Samira Izadi Page, founder and executive director of Gateway of Grace, a ministry to refugees, became a refugee when she and her family had to flee Iran immediately and empty-handed in 1989. Once settled in Dallas, she became a Christian and earned two theological degrees at Perkins School of Theology. She founded Gateway of Grace to mobilize churches (currently more than 50) to adopt refugee families and provide them with job readiness, language, and other training.

“Engaging The Questions: The Importance of Post-Mission Trip Reflection Sessions”
with Lisa Beth White

Mission trips are considered an opportunity to be Christ’s love in action. But what do you do with the difficult questions that linger even after the best mission trip? In this session, you will learn why a post-mission trip reflection session is important and helpful to volunteers, explore models that can deepen your understanding of mission, and encourage your church’s participation in future mission projects.

Bio | Rev. Lisa Beth White is the founder of Sister of Hope Ministries, a pastor, and a scholar. Sister of Hope Ministries provides consultations, training, and retreats for volunteers in short-term mission work. Her doctoral research is focused on contemporary practices of mission in the United Methodist Church. Her other research interests include analyzing the work of non-governmental organizations and faith-based organizations. Lisa Beth has over 18 years’ experience teaching and leading short-term mission projects with people of all ages – from elementary school students to retirees.


*Full conference participants choose one morning and one afternoon workshop when registering. Each workshop will be offered twice on Tuesday, November 12, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Workshops can accommodate up to 40 registrants.


Questions about the event? Call (214) 768-3664.


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