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.