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Executive Director of Admissions (Director 2) - Perkins School of Theology

Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX

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Salary Range: 

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

About SMU

SMU’s more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and 80 countries to take advantage of the University’s small classes, hands-on research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs. The University offers a strong foundation in the humanities and sciences and undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs through eight schools.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is increasingly recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical leaders in their professions and communities. The University’s entrepreneurial spirit lives in people from every academic discipline who see opportunities to create something new in the world – and work hard to bring their innovations to life. SMU’s relationship with Dallas – the dynamic center of one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions – offers unique learning, research, social and career opportunities that provide a launch pad for our students, faculty and alumni to make a global impact. On the most beautiful college campus in the country, SMU Mustangs are energized by unbridled opportunities – from teaching, learning and research to creativity, performance and athletic endeavor.

About the Department:

Perkins School of Theology is one of the 13 seminaries of The United Methodist Church and one of only five university-related United Methodist theological schools, located in the heart of Dallas, Texas, with an extension program in Houston/Galveston. The faculty and staff of Perkins are committed to our mission of equipping persons for faithful leadership and Christian ministry in a changing church and society. Students study with a faculty, diverse both culturally and in theological perspective, in the School’s graduate degree and certificate studies programs. Perkins is Wesleyan by tradition, United Methodist by affiliation, inclusive of diverse Christian expressions, and welcoming of all. The oldest graduate professional School at Southern Methodist University, Perkins embraces its setting in the Southwestern United States while seeking to make theological education accessible, through in-person, hybrid, and distance learning, to students from the region, the nation, and around the world.

About the Position:

This role is an on-campus, in-person position.

The Director of Admissions will lead the admissions/enrollment team with a thorough understanding of best practices in admissions, strategic financial aid, and enrollment management, and must understand the nature of current trends in graduate theological education, as well as have a commitment to Perkins’s role in the University, church, and world.

Reporting directly to the Dean of Perkins, the Director will play a pivotal role in crafting a vision for Perkins’ recruitment and admissions, as well as developing strategies and implementing a comprehensive plan to identify, recruit, and enroll graduate students in the degree programs of Perkins School of Theology. In this effort, the Director will be directly involved in crafting a strategic plan to recruit students for the master’s degrees and the doctoral degrees that the school offers. The Director will develop relationships with ordained and lay church leaders who are influential in networking with prospective students.

Essential Functions:

    Leads development of Perkins’ recruitment and admissions plans, including funnel prospect strategy, prospective student communications, recruitment, campus visits/events, and admitted student yield as well as required new student orientation sessions.

    Develop a comprehensive and strategic plan for scholarships and financial aid.

    Serve in a collaborative role with the Dean and senior administrators. This will facilitate very effective communication between personnel in Academic Affairs and senior administrative leaders of the school, as well as with the office of the Dean.

    Prepare and submit reports to other units of Southern Methodist University and to the appropriate boards or agencies of The United Methodist Church and/or other ecclesial bodies that relate to student enrollment and admissions.

    Consult with church leaders about processes for identifying, enlisting, and recruiting potential candidates for degree programs. For some ecclesial bodies, this would include bishops, district superintendents, and Boards of Ordained Ministry or their equivalents.

    Maintain and ensure that admission policies established by accrediting agencies and Perkins internal policies are properly followed.

    Provide empowering leadership that encourages collaboration with the admissions staff, who are responsible for all phases of the recruitment and admission of, and the granting of financial aid to, students in degree programs at Perkins. 

    Consult, as appropriate, with peers in other academic units of the University who have similar areas of responsibility.

    Occasional evening/weekend hours may be required. 

Education and Experience:

A Master’s degree is required.

A minimum of five years of professional work experience in recruiting and/or admissions is required. Experience in graduate recruiting and admissions is preferred. Experience (minimum of five years) managing a professional staff is also required.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Demonstrated track record of excellence in full funnel recruitment strategies, admissions processes, and policies, and have a grasp of best practices in strategic financial aid.

Demonstrated experience with admissions marketing strategies and tactics including but not limited to communication plan development, email marketing, digital and social media marketing, content development, and publication creation.

The ideal candidate must demonstrate strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University, cultivate and sustain collegial relationships, and build unity around difficult issues, and serve as an active listener and able facilitator. The ability to communicate effectively in writing is required.

A strong customer service orientation is essential.

Commitment to recruit students to serve multiple Christian denominations and traditions is required.

Familiarity with practices, ministries, and polity in The United Methodist Church and/or other Wesleyan traditions is preferred.

Candidate must be an insightful, articulate, and persuasive leader with the ability to provide successful oversight of people, budget, and space; and to inspire the admissions team with energy and a dedication to clarity and accountability.

The ability to provide focus and motivation to a professional staff in a goal-driven and changing environment is essential.

Position will be called on to think collaboratively, strategically, and creatively while participating in senior-level decision making.

Demonstrated experience in leading teams/projects through collaboration and in developing effective working relationships is essential.

A proven track record of strategic planning and execution to meet or exceed enrollment goals through innovative recruitment and yield programs is essential.

Bilingual English/Spanish is preferred.

Familiarity with customer relationship management (CRM) enrollment platforms, such as Slate, is required.

Physical and Environmental Demands:

    Sit for long periods of timeStand Walk for long distances
Deadline to Apply:

Priority consideration may be given to submissions received by December 15, 2022

Deadline to apply: January 17, 2023.

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601, [email protected].


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

Primary Location: USA-TX-Dallas
Job: Administrative Managers & Professionals
Organization: Perkins School of Theology
Schedule: Full-time
Shift: Day Job
Employee Status: Regular
Job Type: Staff
Job Level: Manager with Direct Reports
Travel: Yes, 50 % of the Time
Job Posting: Nov 3, 2022, 9:27:53 AM
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