The mission of Perkins School of Theology is to equip persons for faithful leadership and Christian ministry in a changing church and society; to educate those seeking a deeper understanding of the Christian faith; and to strengthen the church, academy, and world through service, scholarship, and advocacy.
Perkins, a community devoted to theological education and research in the service of the church of Jesus Christ, is Wesleyan by tradition, United Methodist by affiliation, inclusive of diverse Christian expressions, and welcoming of all. The oldest graduate professional school at Southern Methodist University, the School of Theology embraces its setting in the southwestern United States while seeking to make theological education accessible to students from the region, the nation and around the world.
Who We Are.
Students from all 50 states and more than 30 foreign countries have responded to their call to pursue their vocation at Perkins School of Theology. Approximately 50 percent of students are women and nearly one-third are ethnic minorities.
Only a little over half of our students are United Methodist, with 43 percent representing other denominations. More than a seminary, Perkins is a microcosm of our society and our world. We offer you many opportunities not just to observe, but to participate in the exceptional interplay between faith and cultural traditions represented in our community of faith.
Perkins has one of the nation’s top faculties, covering the range of theological and pastoral scholarship and preparation. They are committed to our mission of preparing women and men for faithful leadership in Christian ministry. As a student, you’ll study and learn from our faculty, whom are diverse both culturally and in theological perspective.
Faculty and practicing clergy also work together to offer continuing education for clergy and laity, as well as other programs such as the United Methodist Church's Course of Study school for local pastors.
Learn through practical internships integrated in classroom learning with hands-on ministry, as our intern program has become the model for effective field preparation for practical ministry.
Beginning in Fall 2024, Perkins will begin offering an immersive hybrid program that prioritizes context and will innovate online theological education.
Perkins is part of Southern Methodist University, offering you opportunities for interdisciplinary learning in schools such as SMU’s Cox School of Business, Meadows School of the Arts and Dedman School of Law.
The world-renowned Bridwell Library, housing nearly 400,000 volumes in biblical studies, theology, and church history, offers you, other students and scholars the theological resources needed to succeed.
Learn more about Perkins in A Profile of Our Community: Enrollment Facts and Statistics.