Contact: Robert Bobo, 214/768-7650

July 21, 2004

SMU Professor And Alumni Elected UMC Bishops

Dallas (SMU) – A professor and alumnus of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, Dr. Scott J. Jones, as well as five other alumni of the University and a current doctoral student, were elected to the episcopacy of The United Methodist Church at the various quadrennial Jurisdictional Conferences conducted across the nation July 14-17. An alumna from the school was also elected to the episcopacy of the African Methodist Episcopal Church earlier this month.

Bishop Jones, elected at the South Central Jurisdictional Conference (SCJC), which met in Corpus Christi, Texas, is the McCreless Associate Professor of Evangelism at Perkins School of Theology and is also the 14th alumnus of the theological school to be elected to the episcopacy in the South Central Jurisdiction. He has been appointed to lead the Kansas East and Kansas West (regional) Annual Conferences.

Also elected during the SCJC were Robert Hayes Jr., of Houston, Texas, who will lead the Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Annual Conferences; Robert C. Schnase of McAllen, Texas, who will lead the Missouri Annual Conference; and Charles N. Crutchfield of Albuquerque, NM, will lead the Arkansas Annual Conference. Both Bishops Hayes and Schnase earned Masters of Theology degrees from Perkins, and Bishop Crutchfield earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at SMU.

Other Perkins alumni elected as bishops were Sudarshana Devadhar of Baldwinsville, NY, in the Northeastern Jurisdiction, where he will lead the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference; and Minerva G. Carcaño of Portland, OR, in the Western Jurisdiction, where she will lead the Desert Southwest Annual Conference, which includes Arizona, parts of Nevada and California, and the Korean Mission of the church’s Phoenix Area. Both Bishops Devadhar and Carcaño earned their Masters of Theology degree at Perkins. In addition to being an alumna, Bishop Carcaño is a former faculty member of Perkins, where she directed the school’s Mexican-American Program and the Spanish-language Course of Study School, which provides an alternative route for persons called to pastoral ministry in The United Methodist Church.

James E. Swanson, Sr., of Columbus, GA, a current student studying for the Doctor of Ministry degree at Perkins, was elected to the episcopacy in the Southeastern Jurisdiction. He will serve the Holston Annual Conference, which comprises parts of Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia.

Earlier this month, at the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, IN, Sarah Frances Davis of San Antonio, Texas, was elected a bishop for the denomination. Bishop Davis earned a Doctor of Ministry degree at Perkins. She will lead the church’s 18th District that includes the nations of Botswana, Lesotho and Mozambique.

Bishop Jones will leave the Perkins faculty to lead the Kansas Area of the denomination effective September 1. While at Perkins he has taught courses in Evangelism, United Methodism and Wesley Studies. He has served as director of the Center for the Advanced Study and Practice of Evangelism at SMU and has been on the faculty since 1997.

He has lectured in Great Britain, Nigeria and Vietnam, as well as across the United States. His most recent books are United Methodist Doctrine: The Extreme Center (2002) and The Evangelistic Love of God and Neighbor: A Theology of Discipleship and Witness (2003), both from Abingdon Press. Previous books include John Wesley’s Conception and Use of Scripture and Gathered Into One: The World Methodist Conference Speaks. He was co-author of Wesley and the Quadrilateral: Renewing the Conversation. He has been named associate editor of volumes 5 and 6 in the Bicentennial Edition of The Works of John Wesley, the scholarly edition of Wesley’s Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament.

Scott Jameson Jones was born in 1954 in Nashville, Tennessee and raised in Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana and Colorado. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver, Colorado, the University of Kansas (B.A. in philosophy, with highest honors and departmental honors, Phi Beta Kappa), and Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University (Master of Theology, with high honors). In May of 1992 he received a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Southern Methodist University. His dissertation research was focused on Wesley Studies and the History of Biblical Interpretation.

Bishop Jones was ordained deacon in the Kansas East Conference of The United Methodist Church in 1978 and ordained elder in 1987 in the North Texas Annual Conference where he was a member at the time of his election.

From 1986 to 1997 he served as pastor of three congregations: the United Methodist churches in Prosper, Howe and Commerce, Texas. For more than two months in 2003-2004 he served as interim pastor at Stonebridge UMC in McKinney, Texas.

In 1996, 2000 and 2004 he was a delegate to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences of The United Methodist Church. For four years he chaired the Equipping Disciples Team for the North Texas Annual Conference where he participated in the development of Bring a Friend Sunday and Home for Christmas. Since 1996 he has served as a member of the International Joint International Commission for Dialogue Between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Methodist Council. Since 1997 he has served on the Board of Directors of the SMU Wesley Foundation, being vice-chair for the last 5 years. Since 2001 he has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the World Methodist Council, and since 2003 he has served as president of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education.

Jones has a strong background in the university field as a professional educator who is a widely published, tenured professor. He has extensive experience in both the ordained and academic worlds. This is not unnatural for Jones, as his father Jameson Jones was also ordained clergy and an academician who was at one time president of Iliff Theological School and later dean of the Divinity School at Duke University. Jones’ brother, Greg, is the current dean of the Duke Divinity School. And both Jones and his son, Arthur, were delegates to the 2004 General Conference.

Scott is married to Mary Lou Reece, president of Reece Construction Company. They have three children. Jameson was born in 1981; twins Arthur and Marynell were born in 1984. Jameson attends Stanford University Law School. Arthur and Marynell attend the University of Kansas. The family belongs to Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church in Flower Mound, Texas.


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 Ministries, 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.