Perkins Forges Agreement with National Nonprofit Project Transformation

Dallas (SMU) — Perkins School of Theology has established a partnership with the nonprofit Project Transformation National to provide a preferred pathway for Project Transformation interns and alumni considering a graduate theological education at Perkins. Craig C. Hill, Dean of Perkins, and Eric Lindh, CEO of Project Transformation National, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Wednesday, September 18 at Perkins.

Project Transformation National’s flagship program is a summer intensive for college students, who live in Christian community, lead summer day camp programs for children and youth held at urban United Methodist churches, and explore vocations in ministry and service. About 400 students are accepted as PT interns each summer; to date more than 2,000 alumni have completed the program. Most interns are undergraduate students who are interested in putting their faith into action and discerning God’s call on their life.

“The young people who emerge from Project Transformation’s intensive summer experience possess a heightened awareness of their unique gifts for ministry and a clearer understanding of what ministry requires,” said Hill. “They are exactly the kind of potential applicants Perkins looks to attract.”

The new agreement provides preferred consideration and early decision for admission to alumni of the Project Transformation program who have completed all the prerequisites for admission to SMU, giving qualified students early consideration for scholarships and other financial aid at Perkins. In addition, Perkins will provide “Friday Experiences” — enrichment opportunities for Project Transformation chapters in the North Texas area to discuss seminary, ministry and ordination paths.

“This agreement capitalizes on the goals that Perkins and Project Transformation share, which is recruiting and equipping more young people for ministry and Christian leadership,” said Lindh. Project Transformation began in Dallas more than 20 years ago; in 2015 the program expanded nationally, with Project Transformation National headquartered in Dallas. Currently there are eight chapters, affiliated with nine United Methodist Annual Conferences around the U.S., including North Texas and Central Texas.

“Early decision and scholarship consideration at Perkins are really attractive features for the young adults in our program,” said Lindh. “Our hope is that this is something that attracts even more young people to Project Transformation and helps more alumni consider Perkins once they come through the summer experience.”

The Perkins/Project Transformation MOU is in addition to the MOUs that Perkins established with nine church-related colleges and universities in the region during the past two years. Three other such agreements are in the works. Memoranda of Understanding to date have been made with Austin College, in Sherman, Texas; Centenary College, Shreveport, La.; Hendrix College, Conway, Ark.; Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas; McMurry University, Abilene, Texas; Philander Smith College, Little Rock, Ark.; Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas; Wylie College, Marshall, Texas; and Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth. Read more about those here.

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Perkins School of Theology, founded in 1911, is one of five official University-related schools of theology of The United Methodist Church. Degree programs include the Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Music, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Ministry, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Pastoral Music as well as the Ph.D., in cooperation with The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Founded in 1998, Project Transformation is a national, United Methodist-affiliated nonprofit organization that operates through a network of eight affiliated Project Transformation chapters across the country. Approximately 400 college-age young adults are recruited annually to invest in the lives of over 3,200 children and youth from marginalized communities, while exploring a call to ministry and service. To learn more, visit www.projecttransformation.org.

Global Mission Fellows Accepts Applications from Young Adults Who Feel Called to See Differently and Serve Differently

ATLANTA (Sept. 27, 2019) – The Global Mission Fellows Program is accepting applications through Jan. 7, 2020. This two year program is a wonderful way for young adults, ages of 20 through 30 to engage with local communities outside of their home context, connect the church in mission and grow in personal and social holiness. All who fall within the age range and who are passionate about putting their faith into action while addressing the root causes of injustice are encouraged to apply.

The Global Mission Fellowship offers placement opportunities within the United States and internationally. Once accepted, candidates are matched with partner organizations which support community development and they enter into the faith life of the local community to form lasting relationships. Each fellow becomes a part of a cohort of other Global Mission Fellows and the group trains and regroups with the same young adults throughout their two years of service. This provides a framework of support and community for each Global Mission Fellow as they share in their individual journey.

For more information or to apply go to umcmission.org/gmf or contact gmfellows@umcmission.org.

Donations to support the Global Mission Fellows program are being accepted at https://advance.umcmission.org/p-1806-global-mission-fellows.aspx.

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About Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church
Global Ministries is the worldwide mission and development agency of The United Methodist Church. Founded in New York City in 1819, Global Ministries today supports more than 300 missionaries in 60 countries, including the United States. It has personnel, projects and partners in 136 countries. Learn more about Global Ministries by visiting umcmission.org or by following facebook.com/GlobalMinistries and Twitter.com/UMCmission.

God Uses Everything

You mess up, are hurt for the hundredth time and experience a horrible tragedy. So how will you grow? Thinking about this question may seem crazy when you’re just trying to get through the day. But it’s possible because God uses everything for your good. Of course, God doesn’t engineer your mess-ups, pain or tragedy so you can learn needed lessons. God doesn’t act like this. It’s just that God is so purposeful about your life that God is able to use even the worst things as opportunities for you to grow in love.  

Arkansas Board of Church and Society, UMFA Hosts Faith Advocacy Training Event in Little Rock

Arkansas Board of Church and Society, UMFA Hosts Faith Advocacy Training Event in Little Rock

By Caleb Hennington

Digital Content Editor

Rebecca Cole, Director of Grassroots Organizing

United Methodists in Arkansas often seek to offer assistance and advocacy for their community, but are many times unsure where to begin or are worried that they do not have the proper resources. A new training event is looking to offer aid to Christians who wish to make real change in their local communities.

The Arkansas Conference Board of Church and Society is hosting a two-day Faith Advocacy Training seminar on Oct. 4 and 5 at First UMC in downtown Little Rock, 723 Center St. The training will focus on teaching participants how advocacy can be rooted in faith, and how they can make their voices heard on the local, state and national levels.

The Rev. Jay Clark, associate pastor at Pulaski Heights UMC and member of the Arkansas Conference Board of Church and Society, said the event came about after the advocacy team for the CBCS realized that although people in churches wanted to make changes in their community, they were ill-equipped to advocate for those changes.

“This gave us a chance to bring in some experts to talk to those interested about what it means to be a United Methodist and stand up for what we believe and work toward positive change,” Clark said.

“We want to look at cultivating change that challenges systems at the root that keep all children of God from thriving,” added the Rev. Haley Jones, deacon at First Church Little Rock. “The General Board of Church and Society is using grassroots organizing as that tool.”

The multi-day event will feature two speakers from the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church and Society, Rebecca Cole and John Hill.

Cole is the Director of Grassroots Organizing for GBCS. According to her bio, Cole “connects, trains, and equips United Methodists all over the world with the tools to organize for justice in their communities.”

She earned her Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary, and previously worked for the Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose, California, organizing for immigrant rights, and with the Interfaith Council for Economic Justice to work at improving workers’ lives.

“As we see the ongoing challenges facing God’s people and God’s planet, we are grateful that United Methodists in Arkansas are coming together to learn how to put their faith into action and engage systems and policies that create injustice,” Cole said.

John Hill, Assistant General Secretary for Advocacy and Grassroots Organizing Director of Economic and Environmental Justice for GBCS

Hill is the Assistant General Secretary for Advocacy and Grassroots Organizing Director of Economic and Environmental Justice for GBCS. His focus is on educating and leading others in ways to be better stewards of the Earth through environmental justice, and ensuring that “all God’s children have access to sufficient resources to thrive” through economic justice.

Hill is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he received a degree in international affairs. He has also served as a legislative aide in the U.S. Congress and has worked as a lobbyist in the private sector.

The training is a partnership between the Arkansas Conference’s Board of Church and Society and the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas, and Clark says UMFA has awarded them a grant to help pay for the event.

“UMFA was a huge help in underwriting this event. Most importantly, it gave us the means to offer scholarships to high school and college students,” Clark said.

Scholarships are available on a first come, first served basis and cover the full registration fee for the event.

Registration for the training is $25 and the fee covers meals, snacks, a T-shirt, and resources for the event. The training will take place from 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 4 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 5.

“We all believe in something. For most things, our faith informs what we believe. This training will give us tools we can use in our churches to make a difference in others’ lives for the better.

“Our hope is that you will leave this event with more knowledge about how you can make a difference as a United Methodist Christian,” Clark said.

To register, visit  http://bit.ly/faith-based-advocacy. For questions about the event, contact the Rev. Jay Clark at jclark@phumc.com or the Rev. Haley Jones at hjones@fumclr.org.

A Sunday Prayer

Lord,

Lots of people are hurting today. Some so painfully they don’t know if they’ll make it. It may be hunger. Political oppression. Grief. Depression. Loneliness. Addiction. Or the knowledge of just how far away from you they are.

You can bring healing in their most desperate hour. Deep, deep healing that really changes them. You can bring transformation in their most desperate hour. Profound transformation that changes them forever. You can bring hope in their most desperate hour. True hope that allows them to persevere until they find new life.

So, Lord, do it right now. today. And if You need me, I’m ready to be Your heart, hands, mouth and feet. Whenever, wherever and with whomever.

I pray this in the eternally strong name of Jesus.

Amen.