Nominations Accepted through Dec. 1 for 2021 Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Perkins School of Theology Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award and will be accepted through December 1, 2020.

DALLAS (SMU) – Nominations are now open for the 2021 Perkins School of Theology Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award and will be accepted through December 1, 2020.

The annual award is presented to a layperson in the United States who exemplifies an exceptional commitment of service to Christ through faith and action in the church, community and world. Awarded first in 1993, the award has been presented to more than 50 distinguished laypersons throughout the years.

The Seals Award receives support from the Howard-Holbert Endowment Fund, and honors Judge Woodrow B. Seals (1917-1990), a distinguished layperson whose interest and energy were instrumental in establishing the Perkins Theological School for the Laity.

The 2020 Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award recipient was Mary White, a faithful United Methodist, church leader, volunteer and retired educator. After joining St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in El Paso, Texas in 1983, she served as principal, then director of St. Mark’s School, and continues to support the school as a volunteer. Over the years, White has been active in a wide range of mission efforts, including ten mission trips in Eastern Europe, Mexico and the U.S.- Mexico borderlands.

The 2019 recipient was John M. Esquivel, a faithful United Methodist, a community leader, a philanthropist and an advocate for civil rights. In 2018, there were three recipients: Dr. Lydia Bean, founder and Executive Director of Faith in Texas; Dr. Kathryn S. Stream, retired Senior Vice President of the Texas Medical Center collaboration in Houston and Dr. Beverly E. White, a hospitalist at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. In 2016, the recipient was Dr. Mauro Ferrari, the Executive Vice President of Houston Methodist and the President and CEO of the Houston Methodist Research Institute. (No award was given in 2017.) Other previous recipients include Kay Prothro Yeager (2015), Bliss Dodd (2014), Linda Marr, Dr. Kenneth and Lila Foree (2013), William E. "Bill" Turner (2012) and Jackie A. Strange (2011). See a complete list of past recipients here.

Presentation of the 2020 and 2021 Seals Laity Awards will take place during the worship service for the Perkins Summit for Faith and Learning, which will be held virtually on Friday, March 19, 2021, beginning at 4:45 p.m.

Nominations must include:

*A one- to four-page document including a biographical narrative and examples of nominee’s activities showing commitment to Christian service in the church, community and world
*Three letters of recommendation from clergy and lay leadership of nominee’s congregation and/or denomination, as well as supplemental letters of support from officials in other church or community organizations
*Contact information for the primary sponsor who will serve as the contact for Perkins School of Theology.

The sponsor should compile all nomination materials and mail or email as one package.

Selection is made by a committee of the Perkins Lay Advisory Board. Nominations remain active for three years including the year of submission.

Nominations should be submitted by December 1, 2020 to:

The Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award Committee
c/o Associate Dean for External Programs
Perkins School of Theology
PO Box 750133
Dallas, TX 75275-0133

Or by email to:

View Additional Information about the Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award