Meet the Team

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 and the Mississippi Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. 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

As the Assistant Chaplain, Kaleb provides pastoral care and spiritual growth to the SMU community. He helps to support the variety of Religious Life groups that meet on campus and supervises the Spiritual Life Mentors. Kaleb also coordinates Christian community practices for the Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life. Kaleb hopes to journey alongside students as they grow in their spiritual and intellectual lives.

Kaleb is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, but has been living in Texas since 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Samford University and a Master of Divinity from George W. Truett Theological Seminary. Prior to coming to SMU in 2021, Kaleb worked in the Spiritual Life and Housing Offices at Baylor University. Outside of work, Kaleb loves spending time with his two dogs, playing strategy boardgames, and cheering on his favorite sports teams.

Rabbi Heidi Coretz

Assistant Chaplain for Jewish Life

Serving the campus of SMU since 2004, Rabbi Heidi Coretz is the Assistant Chaplain for Jewish Life and Director of Hillel at SMU. Rabbi Coretz enjoys one-on-one meetings with students, and getting to know them, whether they are seeking spiritual and personal guidance or just enjoying chatting about life over a cup of coffee. In addition to working to build a robust Jewish community on campus, celebrating Shabbat and Jewish holidays together with our students, and cultivating student leaders, she has been active in the broader SMU community, working on many interfaith endeavors and partnering with organizations across lines of difference.

A graduate of the University of Florida, Rabbi Coretz received her M.A.H.L. in 1994, Rabbinic Ordination in 1995 and D.D. (honoris causa) in 2020 from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. She has served congregations in Tulsa, OK, Lubbock, Longview and Frisco, TX.

Dr. Bilal Sert

Assistant Chaplain for Muslim Life

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.

Dr. Matthew Wilson

Director of the Center for Faith and Learning and Associate Professor of Political Science

Matthew Wilson is a senior fellow of the John Tower Center for Public Policy and International Affairs and of the Italian Institute for International Political Studies.  He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Louisiana State University in political science and history, and holds a Ph.D. in political science from Duke 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, including Understanding American Politics and Politics and Religion in the United States, and dozens of articles and essays.  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, and in 2017 he received SMU’s President’s Associates Outstanding Faculty Award.  He routinely serves as a commentator on political affairs for local, national, and international media outlets.

Dr. Wilson’s wife, Carole, works as a researcher and statistician for the Latin American Public Opinion Project at Vanderbilt University and his son, Michael, is a student at SMU.  Dr. Wilson is an active parishioner at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Richardson, where he is a Knight of Columbus.