Sep 21, 2023  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Perkins School of Theology: Admission


Degrees Offered

Perkins offers a variety of degree programs. Education for church leadership is provided through the Master of Divinity program, intended primarily, although not exclusively, for persons seeking ordination. The Master of Arts in Ministry program has as its main objective the preparation of people for specialized church ministry. The Master of Sacred Music program is offered in cooperation with the SMU Meadows School of the Arts for the education of leaders in church music. A student seeking ordination as a deacon within the United Methodist Church may pursue required courses within any of the above degree programs. The Master of Theological Studies program is primarily for people who wish to engage in serious theological study, especially for those considering a doctoral degree. The Master of Theology program is designed for students to fulfill one or more of three goals: enhancing the practice of ministry through advanced study of a particular theological or pastoral discipline, examining a specific aspect of the Christian religion/traditions or function of Christian ministry, and preparing for more advanced study at the doctoral level. The Doctor of Ministry degree program provides advanced education for church leadership and is available for students who hold the M.Div. or an equivalent degree. The Doctor of Pastoral Music degree is intended to provide an environment for the vocational renew of practicing and experienced church musicians, and equip them for changes in the profession of church music in the areas of liturgy, cultural diversity, theological perspectives, congregational song, contextual musical analysis, and additional skills related to the performance of music in worship.

Perkins also cooperates in the Graduate Program in Religious Studies of Dedman College, which offers the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. These degree programs are intended chiefly for those interested in college and university teaching and scholarship in religious studies. Further information concerning them can be obtained from the director of the Graduate Program in Religious Studies.

Perkins School of Theology offers the graduate degrees listed below.

Transcript   Degree or Diploma
School Major Area Master Doctor
Perkins Ministry M.A.M.
Perkins Sacred Music M.S.M. D.P.M.
Perkins Theological Studies M.T.S.  
Perkins Theology Th.M. D.Min.
Dedman College Religious Studies M.A. Ph.D.
Multiple Women’s and Gender Studies Certificate

Houston-Galveston Extension Program

Students who are admitted to study for the M.Div., M.A.M., or M.T.S. degrees may enroll in classes held at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston and Moody Memorial First United Methodist Church in Galveston. Under this program, students may earn a significant portion of their degree requirements in weekend and evening classes. A typical class will be offered in a four-week module on Thursday evenings, alternate Friday evenings and alternate Saturdays. Thus, students may be able to complete a minimum of two courses per term.

Most courses in the Houston-Galveston program are taught by full-time Perkins faculty. All classes earn degree credit and meet the same requirements as comparable courses taught in Dallas. The Bridwell Library provides a reserve shelf for required and recommended texts. Computer links to the Bridwell catalog are available, and most research materials can be delivered to students in Houston or Galveston within a few days. Other libraries in the Houston area also have extended privileges to Perkins students. Community life is enhanced through regular worship and social events.

Students applying to begin their studies in the Houston-Galveston program must meet the requirements for admission to their respective degree programs as detailed in this catalog. Non-degree seeking applicants are also accepted.

Students must complete at least 24 hours of study on campus in Dallas. Students in all degree programs may need to take more than the minimum number of hours in Dallas in order to complete certain required courses in a timely fashion. Prospective students are encouraged to consult with the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at 1-888-THEOLOG (843-6564) or 214-768-2293 or, regarding course offerings and degree requirements.

The Admission Process

Requirements for admission to each of the Perkins degree programs are outlined in the more detailed descriptions of each program found in the next section of this catalog. Persons seeking admission should contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid well in advance of the term in which they wish to matriculate, since the process of admission takes some time.

Applications for the M.Div., M.A.M., M.S.M., M.T.S. and Th.M. programs are available from the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid and should be completed and returned to that office, with the necessary supporting materials, by May 1 for fall admission and November 1 for spring admission. Deadlines for the extension program are July 1 and December 1.

Information and applications for the D.Min. and D.P.M. programs may be obtained from the program director.

Admission by Transfer

The procedures and standards for admission for students who wish to transfer from other theological schools are the same as for all new students. In such a case, the student’s academic record in seminary as well as in undergraduate study or other graduate programs will be considered. A transcript of academic credits and a letter of good standing will be required from the theological school of record. The design of the Perkins M.Div. curriculum is such that transfer into that program after more than a year of study elsewhere is ordinarily not encouraged.

A student may apply for transfer credit from schools accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. The work must have been completed within the past seven years and earned a grade of 2.000 or better. The registrar in consultation with the associate dean of academic affairs will determine, in each case, the number of credit hours that a student may transfer to a Perkins degree program and their allocation to the requirements of the program. The maximum number of hours that will ordinarily transfer toward a degree is as follows: 30 credit hours for the M.Div., 24 credit hours for the M.A.M. and 21 credit hours for the M.T.S. By action of the University Senate of the United Methodist Church, only online courses offered by an official United Methodist seminary or Asbury Theological Seminary may count toward a degree for a candidate seeking ordination in the United Methodist Church. Transfer credit toward the M.S.M. degree is discussed under the requirements for admission to that program in the next section of this catalog.

Courses in United Methodist studies, including history, doctrine, polity and evangelism, required for United Methodist ordination are transferable only from theological schools approved by the United Methodist University Senate.

Admission With Advanced Standing

Students who wish to enter Perkins following the completion of a graduate theological degree at another school accredited by the Association of Theological Schools may be eligible for advanced standing. Advanced standing reduces the number of hours required for completion of a Perkins degree. In each case, a transcript of academic credits is required. The transcript must show the awarding of a degree in the last seven years with a grade of 2.000 or better. No more than half of the credits required for the degree already completed and no more than half of the credits required for the Perkins degree may be granted on the basis of advanced standing. A student interested in the possibility of advanced standing should notify the registrar prior to the beginning of coursework.

Admission With Advanced Placement Without Credit

A student who, by means of coursework prior to entering Perkins, has achieved competence in a given field equivalent to that normally gained through one or more of the required courses in an academic division may seek advanced placement in the work of that division. Advanced placement is granted without credit, and it does not reduce the amount of credit that must be earned in the division or in the degree program as a whole, but it enables the student to use his or her time to better advantage. A transcript of academic credits is required and, in some cases, an oral or written assessment of competence may be required. Students interested in the possibility of advanced placement should notify the associate dean for academic affairs in writing as early as possible and no later than the beginning of their first term at Perkins. Courses taken by advanced placement to satisfy the general requirements in a division may not be counted toward the hours of elective work required in the M.Div. degree program.

Withdrawal, Re-entry and Readmission

A student who withdraws from school for any reason for part or all of a regular academic year and who has been away from the University for less than three years must apply in writing to the associate dean for academic affairs for re-entry. A student who withdraws from school for any reason for part or all of a regular academic year and who has been away from the University for three years or more must re-apply through the office of admissions for readmission. For the re-entry and readmission of a previously enrolled student, the Committee on Student Development may be consulted. The committee may require information about the student beyond that which was furnished at the time of admission.

The faculty may, at any time, require the withdrawal of any student whose conduct is, in the judgment of the faculty, inconsistent with the standards of the school and the University or with the objectives of the degree program in which the student is enrolled.

Change of Degree Program

A student who is currently enrolled in the M.Div., M.A.M., M.S.M. or M.T.S. program and who wants to transfer to another of these programs must formally put forward a Request for Change of Degree form through the Office of the Registrar for admission to the new degree program. The Registrar should be consulted regarding the appropriate procedure. The transfer of credit hours is subject to the direction and approval of the registrar and the associate dean for academic affairs. Ordinarily, credit is fully transferable between programs. A current student wanting to change degrees to the Th.M. degree program must formally apply for admission to the new degree program, meeting the requirements for the Th.M. degree program.

Combined Degree Programs

One may pursue two Perkins professional master’s degrees concurrently in any of several combinations. A student considering such an option should consult with the director of student services.

Admission of Non-degree seeking Students and Auditors

People who have a B.A. or equivalent degree and who wish to take courses for credit but who do not wish to enter a degree program may seek admission to Perkins as a non-degree seeking student. The student must submit a completed application (available from the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid) along with official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate academic work, two letters of reference and an explanation of the proposed plan of study indicating the courses desired.

Admission as a non-degree seeking student is for one year (two terms) only. A student desiring to continue beyond the one-year limit must formally ask the director of student services to continue beyond the two terms. Admission as a non-degree seeking student does not guarantee, nor does it preclude, later admission to any degree program offered by Perkins. Non-degree seeking students are not eligible for any form of financial assistance from the school.

Students enrolled in other degree programs at Southern Methodist University may be permitted to register for Perkins courses upon the approval of their respective deans. They must have at least junior class status and an average GPA of 3.000 or higher and should contact the registrar for specific information about the process.

People desiring to audit a course must secure permission from the registrar and the course instructor, and must pay an audit fee before completing registration.

Other Programs of Study

In addition to its degree programs, Perkins offers various other programs of study, formal and informal. Some of these may be pursued in conjunction with a degree program, while others are independent. Some lead to ordination while others are simply opportunities for continuing education. All are described in the following sections of this catalog: Special Programs for Academic Credit, Areas of Concentration and Services in Continuing Education.