Digital Collections

Perkins School of Theology Collection



Perkins School of Theology
field laboratory automobile.
circa 1953.


Program from Epworth
League banquet.
September 22, 1915.


SMU's first graduating class.
Spring 1916.


S.M.U. Cheer Book

Frank Seay

Frank Seay (1881–1920).
circa 1910.

Transferring Books

Students transferring books
from Dallas Hall to Kirby Hall.

About the Collection

Holding library: Bridwell Library

View more collections owned by Bridwell Library

libraryThe Perkins School of Theology Collection presents a variety of documents, images, and publications produced by, on behalf of, or about the school.  Perkins School of Theology has been part of Southern Methodist University since the university’s founding, growing out of the work of a commission led by Bishop James Atkins of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, to establish a theological school west of the Mississippi River. Dr. E.D. Mouzon, dean of the Theological Department of Southwestern University and later bishop, became the first dean in 1914. With the opening of the university in the following year, the School of Theology began its work as the church’s official theological school for the western half of the United States. When ownership of the University was vested in the South Central Jurisdiction of The Methodist Church at the Uniting Conference of 1939, the school of theology became the theological school of that jurisdiction.

Dean Mouzon was followed by Deans Hoyt M. Dobbs (1916), Paul B. Kern (1920), James Kilgore (1926), Eugene B. Hawk (1933), Merrimon Cuninggim (1951), Joseph D. Quillian Jr. (1960), James E. Kirby (1981), Robin W. Lovin (1994), William B. Lawrence (2002), and Craig C. Hill (2016).

In 1945 the School of Theology at Southern Methodist University was named Perkins School of Theology in honor of benefactors Joe J. Perkins and Lois Craddock Perkins of Wichita Falls, Texas. Today Perkins School of Theology is one of the thirteen seminaries of The United Methodist Church and one of only five university-related United Methodist theological schools. The primary mission of Perkins School of Theology, as a community devoted to theological study and teaching in the service of the church of Jesus Christ, is to prepare women and men for faithful leadership in Christian ministry.

Perkins School of Theology Collection draws upon a related archival collection on the History of Perkins School of Theology and additional historical resources owned by Bridwell Library. A finding aid for the collection may be found at Texas Archival Resources Online. For more information about these holdings, please contact Bridwell Library Special Collections.


This collection may be protected by copyright law. Please cite Bridwell Library Special Collections, SMU, as the source of this collection. For more information contact