Perkins offers a variety of degree programs. Education for church leadership is provided through the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program, intended primarily, although not exclusively, for persons seeking ordination. The Master of Church Ministries (C.M.M.) program has as its main objective the preparation of people for specialized church ministry. The Master of Sacred Music (M.S.M.) program is offered in cooperation with the 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 (M.T.S.) program is primarily for people who wish to engage in serious theological study, especially for those considering a doctoral degree. The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree program provides advanced education for church leadership and is available for people 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 Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (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/Galveston within a few days. Other libraries in the Houston area have also 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, 1-888-THEOLOG, 214-768-2293 or email@example.com, regarding 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.
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 (ATS). 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 an 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 ATS 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.
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.
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 Divisions I, II and/or III or the three hours of elective work required in Division IV.
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 re-admission. 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.
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.
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.
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 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 a B average. 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 Hispanic Studies Program) 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 and Services in Continuing Education” and “Special Programs for Academic Credit” sections of this catalog.