Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

July 5, 2005

Whitworth to Present Honorary Doctorate July 11
to Social-Justice Leader John Perkins

Recognizing four decades of visionary leadership in Christian community development, Whitworth College will present an honorary doctorate of humane letters to John M. Perkins on Monday, July 11,at 7 p.m. in Seeley G. Mudd Chapel on campus. The presentation will be part of the opening worship service for the 30th annual Whitworth Institute of Ministry for which Perkins will be preaching. Members of the public are invited to attend.

"John Perkins' life and legacy have had a profound impact on the mission of the church in serving the poor," says Terry McGonigal, dean of the chapel at Whitworth. "He has been connected to Whitworth for many years and has inspired the college's growing outreach ministry in the West Central Neighborhood. By awarding John Perkins an honorary doctorate, Whitworth College recognizes the tremendous impact of his ministry and we renew our commitment to carry on his work."

Perkins founded the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation and Development in Mendenhall, Miss., in 1960 and is credited with providing the early vision for the Christian community development movement dedicated to holistic, church-based, grass-roots expression of Christ's love to people in need.

He and his wife, Vera Mae, also established Voice of Calvary Ministries and Harambee Christian Family Center in Jackson, Miss. In 1992, he joined his son, Spencer, and Chris Rice in publishing Urban Family and Reconcilers magazines. Perkins has been awarded seven honorary doctorates, recognizing his outstanding leadership in racial reconciliation and Christian community development. He has also written and co-authored several books, including A Quiet Revolution, Let Justice Roll Down, Restoring At-Risk Communities and He's My Brother.

In addition to preaching for the opening worship service of the Whitworth Institute of Ministry at 7 p.m. on July 11, Perkins will present workshops on how to develop justice leaders for the 21st century. The workshops will take place at 3:30 p.m. on July 11 and at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on July 12. Focusing on the theme "My Peace I Give to You: Embracing the Ministry of Shalom," the July 11-15 institute also will include workshops led by noted authors and theologians Raymond J. Bakke, Jin S. Kim, John Huffman and Amy Sherman.

The Whitworth Institute of Ministry serves pastors, music and worship directors, lay church leaders and their families through worship, theological reflection, Bible study, prayer and small-group interaction.

Space is still available for the entire institute or for partial registrations that include a series of three workshops as well as Bible study and worship. For more information or to register, please contact the Whitworth Institute of Ministry program coordinator at (509) 777-4345 or register online at www.whitworth.edu/wim.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,400 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


Terry McGonigal, dean of the chapel, (509) 777-4547 or tmcgonigal@whitworth.edu.

Greg Orwig, director of communications, (509) 777-4580 or gorwig@whitworth.edu.

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