Signature Programs

The aim of the Cooper-McElvaney Peace & Justice Fellowship is to encourage students to do service work and/or research in the areas of peace and justice, locally and globally.  The Fellowship provides opportunities for students at SMU to pursue their passions while integrating the desire for a just and peace-filled world.

The Fellowship is a 6-week service-based learning experience (ideally over the summer) designed to allow students to work for peace and justice with a faith-based organization in their chosen field.  Each Fellow will be matched with a mentor who is involved in peace and justice work and will provide advice and model a life of peace and justice integrated with one’s career.  Fellows receive a monetary stipend and present reflection on their work at the conclusion of the Fellowship.

Undergraduate and graduate students with a minimum GPA of 3.2 are welcome to apply.  The application includes: a brief bio, project proposal, letter of support from sponsoring organization, and faculty/staff recommendation.

A Journey Into History: The Dr. Dennis Simon Civil Rights Pilgrimage

Each spring, students, faculty, and staff from Southern Methodist University journey back in time to renew respect for those who struggled to secure civil rights often taken for granted today. We will travel from Dallas in pilgrimage to those memorials of freedom across The South, meet persons who participated in and witnessed the struggle for freedom, and walk where these recent ancestors suffered at great price.

The Dr. Dennis Simon Civil Rights Pilgrimage consists of students from HRTS 4392-702 Special Topics: "American Civil Rights Movement" and limited space is available for other students, staff and community members. Guided by Pilgrimage Leader Ray Jordan, and a student leader, participants will enter the pilgrimage and gain knowledge about a part of history which preceded them and has continued to shape their horizons and futures.

For information regarding the Dr. Dennis Simon Civil Rights Pilgrimage, please contact the Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life

*The in-person Civil Rights Pilgrimage experience has been postponed until further notice due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. For Spring 2021 the OCRL will be inviting Ms. Bree Newsome to come speak with us. 



In the spring of 1990, Bruce and Dorothy Mooney of Irving, Texas established an endowment at Southern Methodist University as a living memorial to their daughter, Sheri Mooney, a student at Baylor University, who died in an automobile accident shortly after graduation. Sheri was on a mission trip to encourage Christian lifestyle evangelism when she died. Sheri’s family wished to honor Sheri and to recognize and honor students at SMU whose lives demonstrate a consistent Christian witness among their peers.

Each student, nominated by a member of the SMU community, who receives the award has shown that their lives are lived "to know Him and make Him known." They receive a monetary cash award of $700.

Our recipients for the 2010-2021 academic year:

Nia Kamau
Jackson Overton
Anna Mugerditchian

The Spiritual Life Mentor program is a joint initiative between the Office of the Chaplain & Religious Life and Residence Life & Student Housing. Spiritual Life Mentors provide a supportive and caring presence in the Residential Commons. Spiritual Life mentors work with residents to explore issues of faith and values, to cultivate a sense of well-being, to connect students with on-campus resources and to offer empathy in difficult times.

Spiritual Life Mentors are open to students of all faith backgrounds who live in the Commons. Our 2021-2022 Spiritual Life Mentors are Sayumi Mahawanniarachchi, Hunter Barnett, Diana Wright, and Stella Cho.

If you are interested in serving as a 2022-2023 Spiritual Life mentor, see the links below for further information and reach out to Assistant Chaplain Kaleb Loomis at for any questions.

Undergraduate Position Description              Graduate Position Description

Tea Connections is a weekly meeting that aims to support the student body at SMU by providing a safe space for cultural discussions that promotes spiritual, moral and ethical development.

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.


The Wilson Lecture Series hosts lectures for the SMU community about religious life. The fund brings scholars and religious leaders from across the globe to the SMU campus to share their various views about how religious life intersects with science, politics, vocation, economic systems, race and ethnic identities, and cultures.

Typically occurring in the early spring, this series aims is to expand discussion topics about religious life on campus.

The lecture series is jointly supported by the Center for Faith and Learning at SMU.