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

Feb. 7, 2003


DALLAS (SMU) -- The wisdom of Jesus and the theme of "hope" in hip-hop music are among the topics at the 30th annual Laity Week at SMU's Perkins School of Theology, March 6-8. The event will include recognition of outstanding laity and a keynote lecture by renowned ethicist William F. May, who will address "The Shift in Political Anxieties."

May, who is recognized as one of America's leading scholars and teachers in the field of ethics, and has been appointed to advisory panels for both the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush White House administrations, will give the keynote lecture at 5:30 p.m. on March 8 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, 3140 Dyer St. May is SMU's Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics emeritus and recently published Beleaguered Rulers: The Public Obligation of the Professional. May will offer a workshop at 9 a.m. Saturday on his book.

Persons may register for courses by visiting the website or may call 1-888-THEOLOGY, ext. 4.

Laity Week workshops will be offered in three formats: Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon, Friday evening through Saturday afternoon, and Saturday morning through afternoon. Workshops presented by members of Perkins School of Theology faculty include:

  • "Hearing the Wisdom of Jesus," presented by Alyce McKenzie, assistant professor of homiletics.
  • "Singing Hope in the Key of Wisdom: From Gospel to Hip-Hop," presented by Evelyn Parker, assistant professor of Christian education.
  • "Fundamentalism: New Dogs, New Tricks," presented by John Holbert, the Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics.
  • "The Doctrine of the Trinity Today," presented by Bruce Marshall, professor of historical theology.
  • "Death and Afterlife. New Testament Options," presented by Jaime Clark-Soles, assistant professor of New Testament.
  • "Planning for Hispanic Ministries," presented by Jeannie Treviño-Teddlie, director of the Mexican-American Program.

William B. Lawrence, who became dean of Perkins School of Theology in August 2002, will deliver the opening lecture Thursday evening on "The Vocation of the Laity in the Call to Ordained Ministry."

The Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award will be presented at a noon luncheon Saturday, March 8, at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. The annual award is presented to people 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.

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, Wichita 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.