Contact: Roberta Cox, 214/768-2335

June 10, 2004

Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, announces the following faculty and staff transitions effective June 1, 2004.

Dr. Edwin E. Sylvest, associate professor of history of Christianity, assumes additional duties in addition to teaching as director of extension learning with responsibility for the academic administration of the Perkins Houston-Galveston and the San Antonio programs. In this capacity, Sylvest will be part of an academic services team, along with the director of advanced studies and the associate dean for academic affairs, to coordinate Perkins’ academic programs in Dallas with those at the extension sites. Sylvest will also provide leadership in exploring possible future extension.

Dr. Edwin David Aponte, associate professor of Christianity and culture, is assuming the role of director of advanced studies in addition to teaching and will be responsible for providing a comprehensive vision and coordinated plan for advanced studies at Perkins. Aponte will manage and further develop the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program, as well as the Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) program.

Dr. George M. Atkinson has been named associate director of global theological education. Atkinson will have responsibilities for helping Perkins develop initiatives in global awareness, cross-cultural immersion, and international relations as part of a comprehensive educational experience for its students. Atkinson previously served as director of the Houston-Galveston extension program and will continue to be based in Houston.

Roberta S. Cox is assuming the position of director of public affairs and will have responsibility for communications with external audiences through public media. This will include various print media along with marketing and advertising responsibilities. Cox will continue as editor of Perspective, Perkins’ alum magazine.


Perkins School of Theology is one of five University-related official schools of theology of The United Methodist Church. The school was founded in 1911 by the Methodist Episcopal Church South, now The United Methodist Church. Degree programs include the Master of Church Ministry, Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Music, Master of Theological Studies, and Doctor of Ministry degree, as well as the Ph.D. in cooperation with SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.