Our programs highlight the contributions of faith-based perspectives to understanding and addressing fundamental questions in the arts, physical sciences, humanities, social sciences, and professions for the entire University community—and beyond.
We encourage all members of the University community to consider the relationship between SMU’s religious identity and heritage, and its mission of teaching, research, and service. We also foster dialogue about what it means to be simultaneously grounded in a Christian faith tradition and open to people and ideas of all religious and secular perspectives.
Dr. Matthew Wilson
Matthew Wilson is Director of the Center for Faith and Learning and Associate Professor of political science at Southern Methodist University. His research focuses on public opinion, elections, representation, and the role of race and religion in politics, both in the United States and abroad. He is the author, co-author, or editor of three books and several dozen articles and essays, including Understanding American Politics and Politics and Religion in the United States. He has received research grants from the American Political Science Association, the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies, and the Sam Taylor Foundation of the United Methodist Church, and his teaching has been honored with awards from the SMU Department of Residence Life and the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. He routinely serves as a commentator on political affairs for local, national, and international media outlets.
The Rev. Dr. Stephen Rankin
The Reverend Dr. Stephen Rankin has been involved in higher education for nearly 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.
Phil Carlson, M.Div.
Phil Carlson is the Coordinator for the Center for Faith and Learning. He has two degrees from SMU; a Bachelor of Arts from Dedman College, and a Master of Divinity from the Perkins School of Theology. He is currently a student in the Doctor of Theology program at Evangelical Theological Seminary of Myerstown, PA. His wife, Christy, is also an SMU graduate twice over, having recently completed her M.A. in biology in December of 2019. Together they cofounded and direct Worth Love Ministries, a Dallas-based non-profit organization.
3rd Floor of Hughes-Trigg Student Center, Suite 316
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
CFL on Social Media
Hughes-Trigg Student Center
3140 Dyer Street, 1st floor, Ballroooms
Dallas, TX 75205
The Center for Faith and Learning
SMU PO Box 750282
Dallas, TX 75275
Faith and Learning Scholars
Faith & Learning Scholars gives qualified students the opportunity to integrate their studies with their faith.
You will enrich and deepen your faith and your purpose as you move into the future through:
Weekly service activity,
Small group interaction with faculty mentors
Individual reading and reflection
85 students have successfully completed or are currently engaged in the Faith and Learning Scholars program in the last four years
To apply, open the application and submit in one of the ways listed below.
Faith & Learning Scholars 2019-2020 Application
2020-2021 Application due date will be announced in March, 2020.
Office of the Chaplain, HTSC Ballroom
Faith and Learning Scholars
Office of the Chaplain
PO Box 750282
Dallas, TX 75275
Lectures hosted by the Center for Faith and Learning allow faculty and visiting scholars who are leaders in their fields to share the impact of Christian theological resources on their research and teaching. These lectures offer insight and different perspectives, creating an open environment for future conversations between students and faculty regarding related topics.
The Center for Faith and Learning presents: "Faith and Politics: Being a Wesleyan in the Public Square."
This event began with a presentation by Ryan Danker of Wesley Theological Seminary on the impact of the early Wesleyan movement upon the social, economic, and political conditions of 18th century England and Colonial North America. Ted Campbell of SMU's Perkins School of Theology responded to the presentation afterwards, and the event concluded with a Q&A period between the audience and the speakers. This took place Thursday, February 13th, 2020 at 6pm in room 120 of the Collins Executive Education Center on SMU's Dallas campus. This event is free and open to the public, but attendance requires registration online at http://cflfaithandpolitics.eventbrite.com
SMU’s Center for Faith and Learning, along with the Perkins School of Theology, the Tower Center’s Sun and Star Program on Japan and East Asia, and the Embrey Human Rights Program, presents a panel discussion on the current situation in Hong Kong on Tuesday, Oct. 22 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Great Hall of Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall.
Hong Kong Protests: A Messianic Movement?
SMU's Center for Faith and Learning helped to present this special event taking place the evening of October 22nd from 6:30 to 8p.m. The featured speaker was Dr. Lap Yan Kung, Professor of Theology, The Divinity School, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He spoke on “A Secular/Theological Messianic Exegesis of the Anti-Extradition Bill in Hong Kong.”
Panelists included Dr. Hiroki Takeuchi, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director, Tower Center Sun & Star Program on Japan and East Asia, and Dr. Matthew Wilson, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director, SMU Center for Faith and Learning.
Dr. Sze-kar Wan, Professor of New Testament, Perkins School of Theology, chaired the discussion.
To view the video of this event click here: Hong Kong Protests: A Messianic Movement?
The Center for Faith and Learning presents “God, Mind, and Machine”
This panel event explores the ethical and theological dimensions of artificial intelligence, touching on its implications for free will, the nature of the human person, the idea of creation, and the rights and moral status of a self-aware, non-human intelligence. The panel will take place Thursday, February 28th at 6:00 pm in the Crum Auditorium of the Collins Center, and will be moderated by Eric Barnes of the Philosophy Department.
To view the video of this event click here: God, Mind, and Machine
For all events before 2019, CLICK HERE