Contact: Jenni Smith
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650


October 22, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- Nominations are currently being sought for the 2002 Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award, recognizing laypersons for outstanding commitment to Christ, sponsored by the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Nominations are due by Nov. 30, 2001. The award will be presented March 8, 2002 during the annual Laity Week program at Perkins School of Theology, offered March 7-10, on the SMU campus.

The award is presented annually to a layperson who embodies the Christian faith and commitment of service to Christ as exemplified by the late Woodrow B. Seals. Named a U.S. District Court judge in the mid-1960s, Seals served his congregation at St. Stephen United Methodist Church in Houston as chair of evangelism before his death in 1990. He reached out to his local community, brought in many new members and started a program to support the needy, which later became known as the Society of St. Stephen. He founded a Peace Advocate program that received national recognition and support from the United Methodist Church. Seals is credited with helping establish Laity Week at Perkins School of Theology in May 1974.

The Seals Award is open to any layperson in the United States who exhibits an exceptional commitment of service to Christ in church, community and the world through faith and action. Nominations must include documentation of the nominee’s Christian stewardship, witness and service, as well as a biographical sketch, letters of recommendation from clergy and lay leadership of the nominee’s church and/or community organizations.

For more information, call 1-888-THEOLOGY or visit the website at