The Reverend Lisa Garvin


Chaplain and Minister to the University

The Reverend Lisa Garvin is SMU's Chaplain and Minister to the University. As Chaplain, she leads religious and spiritual life on campus and serves on the Student Affairs Vice-President Leadership Team. With the staff of the Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life, and the Center for Faith and Learning, she provides ethical leadership to the SMU community, cultivates multi-religious community, and mentors students in integrating faith and learning.

Lisa is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church and connects the church to the world through ministries of justice and compassion. She seeks to create space for authenticity and exploration – where students, faculty, and staff come together for sacred encounters that nourish the soul and inspire faithful engagement in the world.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in European Studies from Millsaps College, a Master of Divinity from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, and a Juris Masters in Human Rights from Emory School of Law.

Prior to her appointment at SMU in October 2020, she served as the associate dean of the chapel and religious life at Emory University for eight years, college chaplain at Millsaps College for three years and held two appointments on the staff of the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Lisa serves on the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church and Society. She previously served on the Board of Trustees at Millsaps College, the Georgia Prison Ministry Board, and the local advisory board for AID Atlanta.

Kaleb Loomis


Assistant Chaplain to the University

Kaleb brings to SMU a pastoral heart and a passion for accompanying students as they grow in their spiritual and intellectual life. As assistant chaplain, Kaleb will provide leadership for the Campus Ministry Council, peer chaplains and Christian worship and will collaborate with campus colleagues to provide pastoral care, spiritual growth and social justice education to all students.

Kaleb is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, and a graduate of Samford University and George W. Truett Theological Seminary. He worked for five years at Baylor University as a Residential Chaplain and as a Residence Hall Director providing pastoral care and building community through educational programming, spiritual formation opportunities and creative worship experiences.

Rabbi Heidi Coretz

Jewish Chaplain to the University

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.


Dr. Bilal Sert

Muslim Chaplain to the University

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.

Southern Methodist University has a relationship with The United Methodist Church, expressed through organizational features like trustee board membership. Perkins School of Theology is recognized as one of the official schools by The United Methodist Church. The senior chaplain position in the Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life is held by a United Methodist minister. Beyond these formal features, United Methodist teachings and values support excellence in student experience, even though no one is required to agree with any particular stand that The United Methodist Church takes. 

The values of the United Methodist Church are Wholeness, Purpose, Integrity, Growth, Discipline, Faithfulness, Trust, Joy, and Love/Acceptance. All of the programming of this office expresses one of these 9 values.

For more information about these values, please click here.

Faculty/Staff Bible Study

Each semester, a group of Christian faculty and staff across campus gather to discuss different books of the Bible.
They meet every other Thursday for the study and on the alternating Fridays they gather for prayer.
For more information on how to connect, please email either Dr. Stigler (, Dr. Wilson (, or Angela Jones (

Fondren Multi-Faith Prayer Room

The Fondren Multi-Faith Prayer room is located on the 4th floor of Fondren Library (Red).
It is open to all faiths and is open as long as the library is open.
Please wait while the room is occupied and place your shoes on the foot-stand outside.

Muslim Prayer Room

The Muslim Prayer Room is located in the 2nd floor of Hughes-Trigg Student Center, near the service elevators.
Two Ablution rooms are located nearby as well.

Jummah Prayer

Jummah prayer is held in Harold Clark Simmons Hall, Room 101D at 2pm on Fridays.

Shabbat Dinners

If you are interested in attending Friday Shabbat dinners, please contact Rabbi Heidi Coretz at

Wednesday Worship

Looking for a place for reflection and a break from the busyness of campus?
Come to Wednesday Worship, a bi-monthly interdenominational service during the noon hour.
Open to all students, faculty, and staff.

Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life


2nd Floor of Hughes-Trigg Student Center, Suite 208

Office Hours



Lisa Garvin, Chaplain and Minister

Veronica Davis, Associate Chaplain

Sungman (Tyler) Kim, Program Coordinator

Heidi Coretz, Jewish Chaplain

Bilal Sert, Muslim Chaplain
214-768-4509, Main



Physical Address

Hughes-Trigg Student Center
3140 Dyer Street, Suite 208
Dallas, TX 75205

Mailing Address

Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life
SMU PO Box 750282
Dallas, TX 75275

OCRL Social Media