Feb. 19, 2007

Barbara Wendland of Temple
to receive 2007 Seals Laity Award

Barbara Wendland of Temple to receive 2007 Seals Laity AwardDallas (SMU) – Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, announces the selection of Barbara Wendland from Temple, Texas, as the 2007 Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award recipient. The award will be presented this year at a noon luncheon on March 10, 2007, during the three-day Perkins Theological School for the Laity.

The award is presented annually to a layperson who embodies the Christian faith and commitment of service to Christ as exemplified by Judge Seals, a distinguished layperson whose interest and energy were instrumental in establishing the Perkins Theological School for the Laity, supported by the Howard-Holbert Endowment Fund. The fund was established in 1986 in honor of the late Dr. Virgil P. Howard (1936-2005) and Dr. John C. Holbert, who serves as the Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics at Perkins School of Theology.

The Seals Award honors a layperson in the United States exhibiting an exceptional commitment of service to Christ in church, community, and the world through faith and action. Selection is made by a committee of the Perkins Lay Advisory Board.

The Perkins Theological School for the Laity will be conducted March 8 – 10, 2007. Registration for lectures and workshops is available at or by calling 214-768-2124.

Wendland, a speaker, author, philanthropist, and civic volunteer, grew up in Houston, Texas. She attended SMU, where she earned a B.A. degree with highest honors in mathematics, and was awarded membership in Phi Beta Kappa. Following graduation, she worked in Houston as a mathematician and computer programmer. Since marrying and moving to Temple, Texas, she has worked as a volunteer in First United Methodist Church of Temple through various programs and ministries. Wendland has also served as president of several Temple organizations, including the Cultural Activities Center, a multi-discipline arts council and arts resource center.

She returned to SMU to earn the M.T.S. degree from Perkins School of Theology in 1986. During this time, she also participated in the two-year program of the Academy for Spiritual Formation, and received the certificate in spiritual direction in 1985.

Since 1992, Wendland has written and published a monthly letter, Connections, about church-related topics. A one-person personal ministry, Connections is distributed to more than 5500 clergy and lay recipients in 12 denominations of the Christian church throughout the United States and in other countries and is available online at Wendland co-authored Spiritual Family Trees: Finding Your Faith Community’s Roots, Alban Institute, 2001, with Larry Easterling; and God’s Partners: Lay Christians at Work, Judson Press, 1993, co-authored with Stanley J. Menking. Her writing has also appeared in Zion’s Herald, Upper Room Disciplines, Circuit Rider, Christian Social Action, United Methodist Reporter, and Worship Arts.

Through the years she has served in many roles and activities in The United Methodist Church at general, regional, and local levels. In addition, since 1985, she has served as an Executive Board member and a Lay Advisory board member for Perkins School of Theology.

Wendland, with her husband, Erroll, and their daughter, Carol, serves as trustee of her family’s charitable foundation. From 1990 to the present, Wendland, through her foundation, has contributed to United Methodist institutions and programs that promote justice, learning, and spiritual growth, and provide help for people in need. During this same time, Wendland through her foundation also has contributed to numerous other non-profit institutions, organizations, and programs, for college scholarships, university professorships, public libraries, hospitals and clinics (for buildings, medical research, and care), retirement centers, community museums, literacy programs, migrant worker housing and support, opera companies and other arts organizations, humanities programs, prison ministry, children’s day-care, hurricane and tornado damage recovery, public television, and publications promoting justice.

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.

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