Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life

Our Staff




Stephen RankinRev. Dr. Stephen Rankin
Chaplain and Minister to the University
Chaplain's TedxSMU Talk

The Reverend Dr. Stephen Rankin has been involved in higher education for more than 20 years, as a professor, and a campus minister at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, and now, as Chaplain to the SMU Community. Prior to this work, he served as pastor in three United Methodist congregations. He and his wife, Joni, provided leadership for an expatriate congregation in Rome, Italy.

A graduate of Kansas State University, Steve received his Master of Divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology, a Master of Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a Ph.D. from the Joint Program in Religious Studies at Northwestern University and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He is an Elder in the North Texas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.

As Chaplain, Steve's passion is helping students, professors and campus ministers engage in thoughtful practices that integrate faith and learning. He regularly blogs at

He is the author of Aiming at Maturity: the Goal of the Christian Life (Wipf and Stock).

Steve and Joni have four grown children and four grandchildren.


Rev. Dr. Veronica Davis
Associate Chaplain

The Reverend Dr. Veronica (Roni) Davis received both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from SMU. She completed her B.A. in Political Science and her B.B.A in Business Management in 2010 and received her M.Div. from Perkins School of Theology in 2015. She recently finished her Ph.D in Educational Leadership and Policy Development from the University of Texas Arlington in the summer of 2019. Veronica has been an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God, USA since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys walking her dogs, having coffee with friends, and coloring in her adult coloring books. 


Tyler Kim   Sungman (Tyler) Kim, M.Ed
  Program Coordinator

  Sungman (Tyler) Kim, received his M.Ed in Higher Education Policy and Leadership in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human    Development in the summer of 2018 and is excited to be able to continue to work in the lovely campus of SMU! Tyler grew up as a missionary kid living    in the Philippines for over 18 years and went back to his home country South Korea to get his bachelors degree in political science from Sogang                 University. Personally, Tyler identifies as a, 'Third Culture Kid,' and is passionate about reaching out to other TCKs.


 Imam Dr. Bilal Sert

 Muslim Chaplain

 Imam Dr. Bilal Sert received his doctoral degree from Texas Woman's University in Sociology. His research interests include race, ethnicity, international   migration, Muslims in the West, immigrant communities of the US, and identity issues for Muslim youth in the US. Parts of his academic work resulted in   a book entitled Turkish Immigrants in the Mainstream of American Life: Theories of International Migration” that he published in 2018. He has also   authored several book chapters and peer-reviewed articles on international migration, migrant’s adaptation, and sociology of terrorism. Dr. Sert has an   extensive experience in teaching at various institutions and colleges and presented at conferences and seminars. He taught sociology courses at Texas   Woman’s University, The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, and Prairie View A&M University.


 Rabbi Heidi Coretz 

 Jewish Chaplain

 Rabbi Heidi Coretz grew up in South Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with a major in Jewish Studies.  During her college years, she   was an active leader in Hillel and was inspired to pursue the rabbinate.  Upon graduation, she began her studies at the Reform Rabbinic Seminary, Hebrew   Union College and was ordained as a rabbi in 1995. Heidi has served congregations in Tulsa, Lubbock, Arlington, Longview and Frisco. Since 2004, she   has been the Director of Hillel, the Jewish campus ministry at SMU.  Along with her work building Jewish life, she has been active in the broader SMU   community, working on many interfaith endeavors and partnering with organizations across lines of difference. Heidi, her husband, Alan, and   their daughter,  Hannah, enjoy travel, the arts, as well as working to build sacred community and make a difference.