Reporters may contact: Janet Ragland
SMU News and Information
(214) 768-7650

January 4, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University will host its 28th annual Laity Week on March 1-4 with programs on timely topics, recognition of outstanding laity and keynote lecture by Marcus Borg, a leading Jesus scholar.

More than 200 laypersons from across the country representing various denominations are expected to attend this year's Laity Week workshops and discussions that focus on the Bible, theology and social issues as they relate to lay ministry.

Borg, author of the national bestseller Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time and The God We Never Knew, will speak on "The Battle for the Bible Today" at the opening banquet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 1, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

The Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award will be presented at 12:30 p.m. March 2. The award is presented annually to persons who have exhibited a Christian faith and commitment exemplified by the late Judge Seals, a senior U.S. district court judge whose interest and energy were instrumental in establishing Laity Week at SMU.

A dinner and panel discussion Friday evening on empowering the laity will feature independent Christian newsletter publisher Barbara Wendland, Claremont School of Theology Dean Marjorie-Hewitt Suchocki and Perkins Professor of Christian Worship Mark W. Stamm.

Laity Week workshops and speakers include:

  • "Sunday in America," SMU Assistant Professor of History Alexis McCrossen, author of Holy Day, Holiday.
  • "How We Got Our Bible," Perkins Professor of Supervised Ministry Virgil Howard.
  • "Recovering the Practice of Discernment," Perkins Director of Spiritual Life and Formation Frederick W. Schmidt Jr.
  • "Beyond Boundaries: Evangelicals and Liberals in American Protestantism," Perkins Assistant Professor of Hispanic Christianity and Culture Edwin D. Aponte.
  • "The Church and Spirituality," Perkins Associate Professor of History of Christianity Edwin E. Sylvest Jr.
  • "Women in the Pauline Epistles," Perkins Professor of New Testament Jouette M. Bassler.
  • "How Do We Worship? Trends in Christian Worship in the United States," Perkins Associate Professor of Church Music C. Michael Hawn.
  • "Wisdom for Living 101: The School of Hard Knocks and the Bible's Wise Life," Perkins Assistant Professor of Homiletics Alyce M. McKenzie.

Laity Week is part of Perkins' commitment to meet the educational needs of laity. In addition, Perkins reaches out to laity through programs in Amarillo, Houston and Anchorage.

Perkins School of Theology was founded in 1915 by the Methodist Episcopal Church South, now the United Methodist Church, as one of the original schools of Southern Methodist University. Offering a variety of degree programs, it remains one of the few university-related theological schools in the nation. For more information, call 1-888-THEOLOGY, ext. 4, or (214) 768-3515.