Perkins School of Theology has been part of Southern Methodist University since the university’s founding, growing out of the work of a commission led by Bishop James Atkins of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South to establish a theological school west of the Mississippi River. Dr. E.D. Mouzon, dean of the Theological Department of Southwestern University and later bishop, became the first dean in 1914. With the opening of the university in the following year, the school of theology began its work as the church’s official theological school for the western half of the United States. When ownership of the University was vested in the South Central Jurisdiction of The Methodist Church at the Uniting Conference of 1939, the school of theology became the official theological school of that jurisdiction.