D. Max Whitfield, Bishop of the New Mexico and Northwest Texas Conferences of The United Methodist Church, has accepted an invitation to serve as Bishop-in-Residence at Perkins School of Theology, effective Sept. 1, 2012.
In announcing the appointment, William B. Lawrence, Dean of Perkins School of Theology, lauded Bishop Whitfield’s passion for helping develop future leaders and his legacy of pastoral concern. “Bishop Whitfield’s considerable experience and longstanding interest in leadership will enhance the work of the recently established Center for Religious Leadership here at Perkins,” Lawrence said. “We also look forward to Bishop Whitfield’s prominent role with students, faculty and staff in the area of pastoral care.”
Bishop Whitfield expresses enthusiasm about his upcoming responsibilities as Bishop-in-Residence, praising the leadership program at Perkins as making “a significant contribution to the church.” Bishop Whitfield added, “This will allow me to be a small influence in the shaping of future leaders of the church.”
Upon learning that Bishop Whitfield had agreed to come to Perkins, Bishop Lowry welcomed and celebrated "a treasured colleague" to this appointment. "I expect that Bishop Whitfiled will do great things as the Bishop-in-Residence at Perkins and welcome to the DFMetroplex."
Bishop Whitfield has served as bishop of the New Mexico and Northwest Texas Conferences for 12 years. Prior to being elected to the episcopacy, he served as superintendent of the Batesville and Fayetteville Districts in the Arkansas Conference, after serving as senior pastor in various United Methodist congregations in Arkansas for more than 30 years. Bishop Whitfield’s distinguished ministry with the church and the larger community also includes serving on the Board of Trustees, Hendrix College; Conference Board of Ordained Ministry; Board of Directors, General Board of Global Ministries; Board of Directors, General Commission on Religion and Race; and numerous other positions. He served as a General Conference delegate for three quadrennia and a South Central Jurisdictional delegate for four quadrennia.
Whitfield was ordained deacon (1967) and elder (1970) in the North Arkansas Conference. An alumnus of Perkins, he earned the B.S.A. from Arkansas State University (1966), M.Div. from Perkins School of Theology (1969), and D. Min. from Princeton Theological Seminary (1983).