Retired Faculty
2009 - Present

William B. Lawrence 
Perkins School of Theology  2018

William B. Lawrence joined SMU's Perkins School of Theology in 2002 as Dean and Professor of American Church History. In 2016, he retired as dean and resumed teaching after a sabbatical. He received a B.A. degree from Duke University, a M.Div. degree from Union Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. degree from Drew University. Under the guidance of Dr. Lawrence, Perkins School added programs and centers, increased its faculty and student diversity, expanded outreach to under-served communities and saw 60-percent growth in the number of endowed faculty. Prior to SMU, he was associate dean for development and church relations at Emory University's Candler School of Theology, and taught at Duke Divinity School and at Wesley Theological Seminary. He is the author and editor of several books and numerous articles. An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, Dr. Lawrence has held several pastoral assignments. He was a member of the United Methodist Church's Judicial Council and served a term as its president. He retires as Professor Emeritus of American Church History.