Perkins School of Theology - Admission
Perkins offers a variety of degree programs. Education for church leadership is
provided through the Master of Divinity program, intended primarily, although
not exclusively, for persons seeking ordination. The Master of Church Ministries
program has as its main objective the preparation of people for specialized church
ministry. The Master of Sacred Music program is offered in cooperation with the
SMU Meadows School of the Arts for the education of leaders in church music. A
student seeking ordination as deacon within the United Methodist Church may
pursue required courses within any of the above degree programs. The Master of
Theological Studies program is primarily for people who wish to engage in serious
theological study, especially for those considering a doctoral degree. The Doctor
of Ministry degree program provides advanced education for church leadership
and is available for students who hold the M.Div. or an equivalent degree.
Perkins also cooperates in the Graduate Program in Religious Studies of Dedman
College, which offers the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. These degree programs are
intended chiefly for those interested in college and university teaching and scholarship
in religious studies. Further information concerning them can be obtained from
the office of the director of the Graduate Program in Religious Studies.
Students who are admitted to study for the M.Div., C.M.M. or M.T.S. degrees may
enroll in classes held at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Houston and Moody
Memorial First United Methodist Church in Galveston. Under this program, students
may earn a significant portion of their degree requirements in weekend and evening
classes. A typical class will be offered on alternate Monday evenings, with two full
Saturdays during the term. Thus, students who can devote every Monday evening
and four Saturdays may be able to complete two courses per term.
Most courses in the Houston/Galveston program are taught by full-time Perkins
faculty. All classes earn degree credit and meet the same requirements as comparable
courses taught in Dallas. The Bridwell Library provides a reserve shelf for
required and recommended texts. Computer links to the Bridwell catalog are
available, and most research materials can be delivered to students in Houston or
Galveston within a few days. Other libraries in the Houston area also have extended
privileges to Perkins students. Community life is enhanced through regular worship
and social events.
Students applying to the Houston/Galveston program must meet the requirements
for admission to their respective degree programs as detailed in this catalog.
Nondegree applications are also accepted.
Students must complete at least 24 hours of study on campus in Dallas. Students
in all degree programs may need to take more than the minimum number of hours
in Dallas in order to complete certain required courses in a timely fashion. Prospective
students are encouraged to consult with the Office of Admissions and
Financial Aid at 1-888-THEOLOG or 214-768-2293 or firstname.lastname@example.org,
course offerings and degree requirements.
Requirements for admission to each of the Perkins degree programs are outlined
in the more detailed descriptions of each program found in the next section of this
catalog. People seeking admission should contact the Office of Admissions and
Financial Aid well in advance of the term in which they wish to matriculate, since
the process of admission takes some time.
Application forms for the M.Div., C.M.M., M.S.M. and M.T.S. programs are
available from the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid and should be completed
and returned to that office, with the necessary supporting materials, by May 1 for
fall admission and November 1 for spring admission. Deadlines for the extension
program are July 1 and December 1. Although it is possible to begin coursework
in the spring term, students are strongly advised to enter in the fall term in order
to benefit from the financial aid resources offered at that time, as well as to begin
coursework in the proper sequence.
Information and application forms for the D.Min. program may be obtained
from the Doctor of Ministry Office.
Admission by Transfer
The procedures and standards for admission for students who wish to transfer
from other theological schools are the same as for all new students. In such a case,
the student’s academic record in seminary as well as in undergraduate study or
other graduate programs will be considered. A transcript of academic credits and
a letter of good standing will be required from the theological school of record.
The design of the Perkins M.Div. curriculum is such that transfer into that program
after more than a year of study elsewhere is ordinarily not encouraged.
A student may apply for transfer credit from schools accredited by the Association
of Theological Schools. The work must have been completed within the past
seven years and earned a grade of 2.0 or better. The registrar will determine, in
each case, the number of credit hours that a student may transfer to a Perkins degree
program and their allocation to the requirements of the program. Thirty term hours
is ordinarily the maximum number of hours that will transfer toward the M.Div.
degree and, for the C.M.M. and M.T.S. degrees, the maximum number is 24.
Transfer credit earned through online courses offered by other schools accredited
by the Association of Theological Schools will be limited to three term hours.
Transfer credit toward the M.S.M. degree is discussed under the requirements for
admission to that program in the next section of this catalog.
Courses in United Methodist studies, including history, doctrine, polity and
evangelism, required for United Methodist ordination are transferable only from
theological schools approved by the United Methodist University Senate.
Admission With Advanced Standing
Students who wish to enter Perkins following the completion of a graduate
theological degree at another school accredited by the Association of Theological
Schools may be eligible for advanced standing. Advanced standing reduces the
number of hours required for completion of a Perkins degree. In each case, a
transcript of academic credits is required. The transcript must show the awarding
of a degree in the last seven years with a grade of 2.0 or better. A student interested
in the possibility of advanced standing should notify the registrar prior to the
beginning of coursework.
Admission With Advanced Placement
A student who, by means of coursework prior to entering Perkins, has achieved
competence in a given field equivalent to that normally gained through one or
more of the required courses in an academic division may seek advanced placement
in the work of that division. Advanced placement does not reduce the amount of
credit that must be earned in the division or in the degree program as a whole, but
it enables the student to use his or her time to better advantage. Students interested
in the possibility of advanced placement should notify the associate dean for
Academic Affairs in writing as early as possible and no later than the beginning of their first term at Perkins. Courses taken by advanced placement to satisfy the
general requirements in a division may not be counted toward the nine hours of
elective work required in the M.Div. program in Divisions I, II and/or III, or the
three hours of elective work required in Division IV.
Withdrawal, Re-entry and Readmission
A student who withdraws from school for any reason for part or all of a regular
academic year must apply in writing to the director of Student Services for re-entry
or readmission. For the re-entry of a previously enrolled student, the Committee
on Student Development may be consulted. The committee may require information
about the student beyond that which was furnished at the time of admission.
The faculty may, at any time, require the withdrawal of any student whose
conduct is, in the judgment of the faculty, inconsistent with the standards of the
school and the University or with the objectives of the degree program in which
the student is enrolled.
Change of Degree Program
A student who is currently enrolled in the M.Div., C.M.M., M.S.M. or M.T.S.
program and wants to transfer to another of these programs must formally apply
for admission to the new degree program. The Office of Admissions and Financial
Aid should be consulted regarding the appropriate procedure. The transfer of credit
hours is subject to the direction and approval of the registrar. Ordinarily, credit is
fully transferable between programs.
Combined Degree Programs
One may pursue two Perkins professional Master’s degrees concurrently in any
of several combinations. A student considering such an option should consult with
the director of Student Services.
Admission of Nondegree Students and Auditors
People who have a B.A. or equivalent degree and who wish to take courses for
credit but who do not wish to enter a degree program may seek admission to Perkins
as a nondegree student. The student must submit a completed application form (available
from the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid) along with official transcripts
of all undergraduate and graduate academic work, two letters of reference and an
explanation of the proposed plan of study indicating the courses desired.
Admission as a nondegree student is for one year (two terms) only. A student
desiring to continue beyond the one-year limit must formally ask the director of
Student Services to continue beyond the two terms. Admission as a nondegree
student does not guarantee, nor does it preclude, later admission to any degree
program offered by Perkins. Nondegree students are not eligible for any form of
financial assistance from the school.
Students duly enrolled in other degree programs in Southern Methodist University
may be permitted to register for Perkins courses upon the approval of their respective
deans. They must have at least junior class status and an average grade of B. That
student should contact the registrar for specific information about the process.
People desiring to audit a course must secure permission from the registrar and
the course instructor, and the audit fee must be paid before completing registration.
In addition to its degree programs, Perkins offers various other programs of
study, formal and informal. Some of these (for example, the certificate programs)
may be pursued in conjunction with a degree program, while others are independent.
Some (for example, in music and Christian education) lead to certification of some
kind, while others are simply opportunities for continuing education. All are
described in the “Special Programs for Academic Credit,” “Degree Certificate
Programs” and “Special Programs and Services in Continuing Education” sections
of this catalog.