Perkins School of Theology - Special Programs and Services in Continuing Education
The Mexican American Program was founded in 1974 so that Perkins School of Theology could become a center for preparing church leaders with the knowledge and skills for effective ministry in Spanish-speaking contexts and cultures. From its beginning, the Mexican American Program has had a commitment to the ongoing work of recruiting, preparing and providing continuing education of people for ministry with Latinos. It continues to enable Perkins School of Theology to be a center of Hispanic theological thought and writing and to advocate before the general church with and in behalf of Hispanic congregations and ministries.
The Mexican American Program provides short-term intensive training programs on and off the Perkins campus in Dallas for pastors and laity through the Course of Study School, Licensing School in Spanish, the Lay Missioner and Pastor-Mentor Training Program for Developing Hispanic Ministries and continuing education events, symposia, consultations and lectures. It publishes Apuntes, Theological Reflections from the Hispano-Latino Context.
In an effort to identify and assist high-school and college-age Latinas and Latinos to consider and prepare for vocations in ministry with the Latino community, the Mexican American Program began the Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy. H.Y.L.A. is a pilot program that provides an intensive and long-term mentoring experience around the topic of calling and an annual summer academy to consider issues such as Christian discipleship, vocational discernment, leadership training, development of academic skills, the doctrine and polity of the United Methodist
Church, how to apply for admission to college/university or seminary, how to find support on campus and Hispanic history and culture.
H.Y.L.A. is open to high school and undergraduate college students. For information about the program, contact the office of the Mexican American Program at 214-768-2265 or Hyla@smu.edu.
Ministers Week, generally held annually the first Monday through Wednesday in
February, includes endowed lectureships and a variety of worship services, workshops,
luncheons, symposia and informal social events. Ministers and their spouses from
all over the nation attend each year. It is a major unifying event in United Methodism
in the South Central Jurisdiction and a significant means of communication between
Perkins School of Theology and the leadership of the church.
The five endowed lectureships are as follows:
The Barton Lecture.
The Roy D. Barton Lectureship on Hispanic Ministry was
established to honor Dr. Barton for his distinguished service to the seminary and
his equally distinguished service to the Hispanic United Methodist Church. Dr.
Barton served as the first director of the Mexican American Program and associate
professor of Practical Theology in Perkins School of Theology from 1974 to 1995.
The general theme of the lecture regards ministry in a Hispanic/Latino perspective
The Fondren Lectures.
In 1919, Ella Florence and Walter W. Fondren of Houston,
Texas, made a gift to the University for the purpose of bringing to the campus each
year an outstanding religious leader for a series of addresses on Christian missions
or related themes. Ella made a substantial increase in the endowment of the lectureship
The Peyton Lectures.
A lectureship on preaching was established in 1944 through
a gift by Mrs. C.W. Hall of Austin, in memory of her late husband, George L. Peyton
of Mexia, Texas. In 1959, Mrs. Hall generously augmented the resources of the
lectureship. Peyton was for a number of years a member of the Board of Trustees of
the University and an outstanding church leader.
The Jackson Lectures.
In 1945, Sam J. Jackson, Robert L. Jackson, Ben D. Jackson,
Mims J. Jackson, Margaret Sue Jackson Hodges and Lizzie Jackson Davenport
established a lectureship in memory of their parents, Robert Malone Jackson and
Ella Jemison Jackson, who were long-time members of the Methodist church at
Tennessee Colony and Palestine, Texas. The general theme of the lectures is the
The Martin Lectures.
The Paul Elliott and Mildred Fryar Martin Lectureship in
Practical Theology was established by Bishop and Mrs. Martin in 1974, just prior
to Bishop Martinís death in February 1975. Bishop Martin was one of the 706
students who registered at SMU when it first opened its doors in 1915 and was
associated with it in many ways for the remainder of his life. For the final seven
years of his life, he served as bishop-in-residence at Perkins and was special adviser
to Perkins Dean Joseph D. Quillian, Jr.
Perkins Theological School for the Laity
Theological School for the Laity, formerly known as Laity Week, is
generally held each year during the first Thursday through Sunday in March.
Seminars and other activities provide opportunities for laity from the region to
engage together in study, worship, reflection and fellowship. Members of the Perkins
faculty provide principal leadership for the week.
In addition to Ministers Week and Perkins Theological School for the Laity, the
Perkins program of continuing education offers a variety of programs for clergy,
laity and church professionals including the Perkins School of Youth Ministry and
Childrenís Ministry; United Methodist certification programs in Youth Ministry,
Christian Education and Church Music; and traveling Lay Schools of Theology in
locations including Amarillo, Anchorage and Houston. Those who wish to be on
the regular mailing list or to receive information about any program may send their
name and address to the Office of Continuing Education, Perkins School of Theology,
PO Box 750133, Dallas, Texas 75275-0133, or call 214-768-2124. Send e-mails
In the summer of 1947, Perkins School of Theology began to offer residence
work on the Conference Course of Study for those persons answering a call to
ministry as local pastors rather than through a graduate level seminary degree
program. Perkins School of Theology is one of the eight seminary programs joining
with the Division of Ordained Ministry of the General Board of Higher Education
and Ministry of the United Methodist Church in conducting the Course of Study
School for the training of local pastors. It is also one of three seminaries offering
the Course of Study School in Spanish.
The Boards of Ministry of the various annual conferences may assist their
students with the cost of room and board, textbooks and travel. The Division of
Ordained Ministry of the United Methodist Church and Perkins pay tuition and
instructional costs, while Perkins provides facilities and administrative costs,
covered in part through nominal registration fees paid by students.
Courses in the full five-year curriculum of basic studies are offered in the summer
in English and Spanish. Please view the website at smu.edu/Perkins/PublicPrograms/ COSS.aspx
for a listing of courses offered, pre-class assignments, update notices
and other information. Students in Spanish and English seeking ordination have the
opportunity to take the 32 hours of required graduate theological study at Perkins.
They must apply through the Course of Study School office.
Questions relating to the school should be addressed to the Course of Study
School Office at email@example.com
, or call 214-768-2362.
The Perkins Youth School of Theology is a program that allows high school juniors
and seniors from underserved and unrepresented communities to explore practices
of faith formation and respond to Godís call to service and justice through meaningful
service projects, mentoring and theological reflection. Through the PYST program,
Perkins seeks to nurture young people into practical theologians with skills for critical
reflection about their faith and society to offer leadership for both churches and
communities. Through partnerships with local churches, service organizations,
parents and community volunteers, PYST fosters a support system for youth that
includes mentoring and leadership development. Youth learn to analyze and examine
social issues from Christian theological perspectives within an affirming and loving
community grounded in mutuality, respect and diversity.
The program consists of three major components:
Theological Service Learning
offers youth an opportunity to serve in individual
and/or group community projects in conjunction with their mentors, peers or the
PYST staff. Through group service, students use dialogue as a teaching tool that
links meaningful service work with theological reflection.
The Spring Youth Forum
is a one-day conference that brings high school youth,
ages 15 to 18 years old, from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex together with members
of the Perkins community for theological reflection and discussion on issues of youth
culture, church and society.
The Summer Academy
is a three-week residential program that allows youth to
engage in an integrated program of critical and constructive theological reflection
on the practice and theology of the Christian faith. Youth take basic theological
courses and participate in community building, covenant groups, worship, visual
and performing arts, recreational activities and field trips.
PYST recruits an ecumenical group of youth from within the DFW area and
accepts applications year-round. Only high school juniors are accepted into the
program. For more information, contact the program director at 214-768-1333 or
214-768-1481. Those who wish to be on the mailing list may send their name and
address to Perkins Youth School of Theology, PO Box 750133, Dallas, Texas 75275-
0133, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Global Theological Education program at Perkins has two purposes. Through
cultural immersion courses, the GTE program offers students a study of theology,
scripture, missions, ministry or inter-religious relationships in a cultural context
different from the studentsí own, usually outside the United States. These courses
give special attention to the role of theological reflection in an environment affected
by globalization in all its dimensions through a focused, on-site study in a particular
cultural environment and region of the world.
The GTE program is also tasked with facilitating missiological reflection among
laypersons engaged in cross-cultural missions and ministry. Working through Annual
Conference leadership of Volunteers in Mission/Partners in Mission programs, the
GTE program provides resources and organizes training events as they focus on the
theological and spiritual meaning of Christian mission by laypersons.
For several years, a number of seminaries in the Southwest cooperated in various
joint activities. In the summer of 1958, their cooperative work was put on a permanent
basis by the organization of the Council of Southwestern Theological
Schools, Inc. The current members of the council, in addition to Perkins, are:
Austin Graduate School of Theology, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary,
Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary, Brite Divinity School,
Dallas Theological Seminary, Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest,
George W. Truett Seminary, Houston Graduate School of Theology, The Institute
of Religion at Texas Medical Center, Oblate School of Theology, B. H. Carroll
Theological Institute, the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest, the School
of Theology of St. Thomas University at St. Maryís Seminary and Southwestern
Baptist Theological Seminary.