Perkins School of Theology

Called to serve. Empowered to lead.

Perkins School of Theology

Exciting faith

Perkins School of Theology educates and prepares dedicated spiritual leaders for 21st-century ministry. Our culturally and theologically diverse faculty prepare students in both graduate and certificate programs to follow their calling. The Perkins Intern Program immerses students in real-world ministries, providing valuable practical experience. Public programs welcome the wider community for enrichment experiences.

SMU Fund for Perkins

Your gift to the SMU Fund for Perkins ignites new opportunities for Perkins School students and faculty. Supporting this fund provides flexible resources allocated at the dean’s discretion for faculty research grants, community outreach, scholarships and new initiatives as the needs arise.


Scholarships enable Perkins to attract, support and retain gifted students called to become leaders in both church settings and nonprofit fields.

Your gifts can ignite:

Perkins Scholars Fund

A three-year commitment of $7,000 per year empowers Master of Divinity students to complete their studies while lessening the burden of educational debt. The sponsor of a Perkins Scholar has a unique opportunity to walk beside candidates as they pursue their education.

Master of Sacred Music program

In conjunction with Meadows School of the Arts, these scholarships encourage “the best of the best” to undertake an outstanding program through a two-year commitment of $10,000 per year.

Graduate Program in Religious Studies

Gifts of $10,000 or more will provide a promising Ph.D. student the resources needed to study at the highest level – preparing them for future research, teaching and ministry opportunities.

Endowed scholarships

Endowments offset the rising cost of higher education by providing a dependable source of income and minimizing the need for tuition increases. A gift of $100,000 or more provides funds in perpetuity for Perkins students and can be named in memory of or in honor of a loved one or organization.

Perkins areas of engagement

Your participation is essential to Perkins’ growth. Your gift increases our impact in the Dallas community and beyond. Initiatives targeting specific areas include:

  • Perkins Center for Preaching Excellence
    Improves mastery of preaching skills among students, alumni and other external participants.
  • Black/Africana Church Studies Program
    Provides an educational experience centered on the Black church as well as scholarship support and community building.
  • Hispanic/Latin@ Ministries Program
    Provides pastors and laity short-term, intensive training programs through the bilingual (English/Spanish) Course of Study School, the United Methodist Local Pastors Licensing School and other continuing education events, symposia and lectures.

Global Theological Education

Join Perkins and our theological partners across the globe to make a difference. We are creating course content to be delivered digitally and contextually in culturally relevant ways. Global Theological Education’s cross-cultural immersive experiences are vital to theological education in the 21st century. Our goal to fund our innovative outreach efforts is $100,000 per year. We look forward to talking with you about how your vision aligns with our desire to provide quality, dynamic theological education.

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As the premier private university in North Texas, SMU exists to shape future leaders who transform communities and organizations through ingenuity and thoughtful problem-solving. Building on our history of excellence, we have launched SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow – our multiyear, $1.5 billion campaign to attract and support outstanding students and faculty, to explore new fields and cutting-edge technologies, and to positively impact Dallas and the world beyond. We invite you to join us and empower the bold, the curious and the creative to better their professions and their communities.

Fuel a brighter future
John A. Martin
Director of Development
Perkins School of Theology or 214-768-2026