About Perkins

Dean's Greeting

Perkins School of Theology

Welcome to Perkins!

As one of the leading theological schools in North America, Perkins School of Theology engages the major issues in the world through the lens of the Christian vision for the world. As one of the thirteen theological schools of The United Methodist Church, Perkins School of Theology is called to a mission of preparing women and men for faithful leadership in Christian ministry. As one of the founding schools of Southern Methodist University, Perkins is committed to academic excellence in forming persons for ministry. 

At Perkins, we embrace the Wesleyan vision of reforming the continent and spreading scriptural holiness over the land. In that spirit, we are an ecumenical community, with a multi-denominational presence, and a Wesleyan ethos, in every aspect of our life.

Given our place at Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology is uniquely positioned to provide vocational preparation for church pastors, missionaries, educators, musicians, scholars, chaplains, and others who are committed to lay ministries and called to ordained ministries, through our variety of degree and community programs. At SMU we live, teach, and learn in a culturally diverse and intellectually stimulating environment. We interact with various academic disciplines, such as business, law, arts, engineering, education, and science, to model the encounters and the contexts in which church leaders minister today in order to be prepared for the issues that the church and its leaders will face tomorrow.

We believe that this is a time for the most serious engagement of heart, mind, and soul with the deep issues of this generation, for that is the only way to prepare persons to be leaders for the next generations. 

Our faculty is a reflection of our regional, national, and global diversity. We are diverse in ethnicity, gender, theological perspective, and denominational affiliation. We are a blend of well-established leaders in theological scholarship and new professors who continue Perkins' tradition of creativity for the preparation of Christian leaders. Moreover, we feature strong programs, such as our unique and pioneering Intern Program, our solidly established Mexican American and Latino/a Church Ministry Program, our Global Theological Education initiatives, and our newly established Faith Calls program for youth and young adults. We welcome persons preparing for ordained ministry and persons who feel called to lead as laity.

Theological education at Perkins is based in Dallas, so we live in a gateway to the global community. Perkins faculty also teach in our Houston/Galveston extension program, with classes at three Medical Center venues (St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Houston Methodist Hospital, and St. John’s Downtown United Methodist Church) and at Moody Memorial United Methodist Church in Galveston.

Those who study and learn at Perkins benefit from a theological library that is without peer. Bridwell Library offers outstanding resources built out of a visionary collection policy and housed in a remarkable facility uniquely designed for learning and scholarship.

At the center of our theology campus is Perkins Chapel, recognized as one of the most beautiful worship spaces on any campus in the country. This extraordinary chapel houses daily and weekly worship for the school of theology and the University community. The Chapel also offers a venue for the training and preparation of preachers and worship leaders, as well as for rehearsal and performance by students of sacred music.

Thank you for your interest in Perkins School of Theology. Please browse our site and feel free to contact us if we can be assistance to you.

We are delighted to offer you a joyous welcome to Perkins!

Dr. William B. Lawrence, Dean
Professor of American Church History

More about Dean Lawrence