Dr. Jeri Parris Perkins


The Rev. Dr. Jeri Parris Perkins

Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life
Director of the Cornelson Center for the Exploration of Christian Practice
Office Location: Springs 1st Floor
Office Phone: 864.833.7000

B.A., Presbyterian College
M.Div., Columbia Theological Seminary
D.Min., McCormick Theological Seminary

Graduated from PC in 1981
Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Religion and Philosophy in 1999
Member of the Board of Trustees in 2006
Joined PC in 2010
Courses Taught: Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, Out of Africa Maymester, and Stephen Ministry Certification

Professional Interests: Ecclesiology, Archeology, Southern Church History, Pastoral Care and Counseling, Church Revitalization, Israeli/Palestinian Relations, and Servant Leadership Development.

I grew up under the influence of a spitfire of a grandmother nicknamed “Scoots” who taught me to multi-task before the term was ever coined. I married one of the most “real” people God ever created, Phil (PC Class of 1982). We adopted a fifteen-year-old, Kelley (PC Class of 1994 and Quattlebaum Scholar), who is now 41, and married to a terrific son-in-law, Trey AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, the mother of our two gorgeous grandchildren, Jeri Catherine (Katie) age 7 and Carly Elizabeth (Carly) age 4. Kelley is an attorney in the Second Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office in Aiken. We also adopted an infant who has become a terrific 18-year-old and a freshman at PC right before our eyes, Catherine Carlisle. The newest addition to our family is another daughter, Jenn Paden, a senior at our beloved alma mater.

I served in Youth Ministry during my PC years at the First Presbyterian Church of Laurens, SC and upon graduation I became their Director of Christian Education.  I was then called to attend seminary at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA and later, at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL.

I served as a Pastoral Intern at the First Presbyterian Church in Covington, GA, Meadowbrook United Church in Jamaica and Grand Cayman, and The Martyrs’ Parish Church in Glasgow, Scotland. During 1987-1988, I became the Associate Pastor and Professor of Bible/Ethics at Thornwell Home and School for Children, Clinton, SC. I accepted a call as Pastor of Owings Presbyterian Church in Owings, SC from 1988-1992. During 1993-1998, I served as the Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Aiken, SC.

I was the Chaplain of Presbyterian Home and Frampton Hall in Clinton from 1998-2001. In May of 2001, I became the Pastor and Head of Staff of First Presbyterian Church, Hartsville, S.C. and served until August of 2010 when I returned to Presbyterian College.

I love being involved in this community and in church-wide leadership programs. I have served as a member of the Rotary Club of Hartsville and of the Aiken, Clinton, and Hartsville Kiwanis Clubs. I was the S.C. representative for the Fund for Theological Education of the Lilly Foundation for many years. I recently
concluded service on the Mission/Vision Task Force and currently serve on the Alumni Council at Columbia Theological Seminary. I have served as the Moderator of the Committee on Preparation for Ministry in Trinity Presbytery and the Presbytery of New Harmony and the Moderator of the Committee on Ministry of the Presbytery of New Harmony. I have served as Moderator of Trinity Presbytery and Presbytery Council, and the Moderator of numerous Administrative Commissions. I was a member of the Strategic Planning Task Force for Coker College. I have been the chair of the Darlington County Habitat for Humanity.

I have loved being back at Presbyterian College with my family. I am so glad to be teaching again and am thankful for the mission and service opportunities PC has provided, most significantly a Maymester to Kenya in the summer of 2013.  Currently, I am looking forward to being a member of the Presbyterian Peace
Fellowship’s Middle East Witness Delegation and will travel to Israel/Palestine in January and represent the delegation at the 221st General Assembly in Detroit this summer.