Southern Methodist University created the Center for Faith and Learning to promote greater integration of intellectual and spiritual life, both on campus and in society more broadly. Rooted in and inspired by the University’s Christian heritage and United Methodist affiliation, the Center seeks to help SMU students, faculty, and staff discern and develop connections between their religious convictions and their academic and professional work. In addition, the Center seeks to highlight and to promote dialogue surrounding the relevance of faith-based perspectives to fundamental questions in every area of intellectual inquiry and public life.

Our programs foster intellectual and spiritual development of undergraduate and graduate SMU students. Promoting greater integration of religious faith with academic study, these programs help students discern a sense of vocation across a broad range of intellectual inquiry and professional work.

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.

Faith and Learning Scholars

The Faith & Learning Scholars program gives students the opportunity to integrate their faith with their academic work and career vocations. The program enriches and deepens students' intellectual and spiritual lives through:

  • Small group interaction with faculty mentors
  • Individual reading and reflection

Over 60 students will participate as Scholars for the 2023-24 academic year. Nearly 200 students have successfully completed or are currently engaged in the Faith and Learning Scholars program since its inception in 2016.

Applications for 2024-2025 have closed.


Symposium and Events

Annual Spring Symposium




Fireside Chat with Dr. Elisabeth Rain Kincaid , Ph.D. 2012 interviewing Paul Ryan - March 26, 2024

What is the goal of Christian public life? How should Christians engage in societies, political systems, and cultures that are, in some cases, antagonistic to the core principles of our faith? Do we set ourselves apart? Do we assimilate? Do we actively engage and seek to transform?

Lecture Forum

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.

Meet the leadership and staff for the Center