Biography

This is Dr. Steve Smith … thanks for visiting ‘TheGodWhoSpeaks’! I can’t wait to share a little about this exciting project. First, here’s a little about me:

I’m currently Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD (near Gettysburg, PA). ‘The Mount’ is one of the oldest, largest and most respected Catholic graduate seminaries in the United States. It’s amazing teaching Scripture at ‘The Mount’; we prepare men for holy orders and in dioceses from across the United States. "It is an incredible privilege – responsibility.

In 2008, I earned my Ph.D. from Loyola University of Chicago, where I graduated Summa Cum Laude. There, I studied in New Testament and Early Christianity, became proficient in biblical languages (Hebrew and Greek), and also studied ancient Judaism.

Technically, my “specialty” is the Gospel of John: my doctoral thesis focused on John’s unique Christology. Yet, as I like to say, I love every page of the OT and NT, including Tobit (actually, especially Tobit, which is one cool book)!

My wife Elizabeth and I are "re-verts," having been raised Catholic, then spending some years in a Protestant mega-church before returning home to the Catholic Church in 2000. Here’s the scoop on that:

Like far too many Catholics, as I grew up, my own faith was not as deeply rooted inside me as it should have been. So, in my late teens and early 20’s … well, you know the rest of the story.

But by the grace of God, I re-encountered biblical Christianity and made my way to Willow Creek, one of the nations most influential Evangelical churches. From humble roots in the 1970s, ‘Willow’ was booming in the 1990s, with over 20,000 people attending their ‘seeker-friendly’ services. A ‘theater-style’ auditorium replaced the magnificent Catholic sanctuary of my youth. There was no crucifix, no Stations of the Cross, no priest, alter, or Eucharist. Definitely no incense.

What it did have was a passionate pastor, with a compelling personality who preached from the Bible, summoned us to become “fully devoted followers of Christ,” and urged us to evangelize our family and friends. Little did I know that about 70% of Willow Creekers were “ex-Catholic," one of whom later became my wife – Elizabeth Serritella. Like me, Elizabeth was drawn to Willow’s dynamic approach to church.

Elizabeth and I met as leaders in young adult ministry (18-late 20s)– and something we are still very passionate today about is reaching out to people in this age group.

At Willow, I became enamored with the Acts of the Apostles, and like many of my friends, considered our modern mega-church to be the “living manifestation” of the biblical church of the New Testament (see: Acts 2:42-47).

At that time, I felt God was calling me into full-time pastoral ministry, and pursued my Masters degree in Theology at nearby Wheaton College (home of Billy Graham). Wheaton is considered the leading evangelical university in the U.S., and some call it the “evangelical Harvard.” Its an incredible place – and if you’re near Chicago, be sure to visit Wheaton’s “Wade Center,” a permanent exhibit which celebrates the life and literary achievements of C.S. Lewis, as well as J.R.R. Tolkein and G. K. Chesteron, among others. (Nice!)

Ironically, it was at Wheaton where my heart began to be re-directed home to the Catholic Church. It was especially from reading the early Church fathers—figures like Irenaeus, Augustine and Athanasius (among dozens of others)—that helped the scales to fall from my eyes. In particular, the writing of Justin Martyr blew my mind. Already in the early second century, Justin was describing the early Mass: on “the Lord’s Day” (Sunday) the presbyter (priest) read aloud the “memoirs of the Apostles” and they partook of the Eucharist.

At Wheaton, discovered that for 1,000 years, not a single figure disputed that the Eucharistic meal was truly the body and blood of Christ. The liturgy, confession, infant baptism – and the blessed Virgin Mary—all re-emerged out of the shadows of my very modern (and two-dimensional) practice of mega-church Christianity. I came to see that my favorite “Acts 2 – Part 2” church was just that, part 2 of the whole story (and just a small part of the whole of Christianity). I came to see that what St. John Henry Newman said was spot-on: “to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.”

Both Elizabeth and I returned to the Catholic Church in 2000 and have never looked back. Still, we gained a lot of riches from our excellent journey through evangelicalism: a love for Scripture, an experience of a very dynamic local parish, and a tremendous passion for the New Evangelization … sharing Christ – especially with ‘cradle Catholics’ such as us. We truly fell in love all over again with the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of our youth – and since returning, have invested all of our time and energy into building up the Body of Christ.

Mostly, that’s through our family—we’re very invested in our parish, and homeschool our girls, as members of a vibrant Catholic homeschooling network in Frederick, Maryland. For Elizabeth, among other things, its through being a wife and mother. Yet, Elizabeth is a powerful speaker in her own right. And in addition to homeschooling, is certified in Natural Family Planning.

For my part, its of course my teaching seminarians at The Mount. But part of my teaching ministry—and this is where you come in!—is through my teaching beyond the classroom.

When not in the classroom or at home with the family, I travel across the country, speaking at numerous events, both small and large. I just love seeing people's eyes light up when something clicks, and they “get it”—understanding something new about God and / or the Bible.

In 2012, I released my first book, The Word of the Lord: 7 Essential Principles for Catholic Scripture Study. I'm just so thrilled that the book is now available - it's been a labor of love getting it out there! In the book, I try to explain, simply and clearly, the key “principles” that all Catholics need for reading, studying, and praying Scripture more fully. These are the nuts 'n' bolts of bible study -- things that we all need to be on the right track. All seven principles are rooted in the Church's teachings: inspiration, Scripture and Tradition, OT & NT, the canon, etc. I believe Word of the Lord does a pretty good job, all in one place, of giving Catholics the tools necessary for growing in biblical faith.

I'm a huge fan of Pope Benedict, so there are tons of quotes and insights from his biblical work. I'm grateful for its reception - having Scott Hahn write the Forward means a lot. And I'm appreciative of Francis Cardinal George's kind words.

Finally, I now have a number of full-length bible studies for Catholics—available for purchase on professional quality CDs. I am so proud of each of my studies! I’m still struck, for example, at the success of my series one The Biblical Mysteries of the Rosary. In the 18-CD series, I explain the history of the Holy Rosary – which goes all the way back to the liturgy of the OT. I explain I detail each of the 20 mysteries—including the Luminous ones. The entire series is over 20-hours of dynamic Catholic bible study.

By the way, you can order the Rosary series, as well as my series’ on The Gospel of Johnthe Resurrection of Jesus, and others here. I even have a 5-CD companion series to The Word of the Lord, called “The God Who Speaks.” And that’s the name of this website. In his Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini (“The Word of the Lord”) Pope Emeritus Benedict Xvi wrote, “"The Word of God draws each of us into a conversation with the Lord: the God who speaks teaches us how to speak to Him."

The God Who Speaks – that’s our God!

I’m happy you’re here! Look around … and may God bless your and your family. All the best,

Steve


CV

STEVEN C. SMITH, PH.D.
WWW.THEGODWHOSPEAKS.COM


PROFESSIONAL TEACHING POSITION
Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture
MOUNT ST. MARY’S SEMINARY, EMMITSBURG, MD
2008-PRESENT

PROFESSIONAL SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
(CONFERENCES, PARISH EVENTS, ETC.)

www.TheGodWhoSpeaks.com

Dr. Smith is represented by: CATHOLIC PRODUCTIONS
6485 Jefferson Highway
Harahan, LA 70123
Phone: (504) 305-1938


DOCTORAL EDUCATION
 PH.D., MAY 2008
NT & Early Christianity
LOYOLA UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Summa Cum Laude (3.93 / 4.0)
 
DOCTORAL DISSERTATION:
The Determination of Criteria as Verification and Falsification Controls in the Analysis of Textual Parallels from the Jewish Wisdom Tradition and the Fourth Gospel

SUPERVISOR: URBAN VON WAHLDE, PH.D.
LOYOLA UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
ORAL DEFENSE: AUGUST 20, 2007 (PASS)

* A full chronology of Dr. Smith’s educational history is available elsewhere on Dr. Smith’s ‘Exhaustive CV.’


BOOKS
The Word of the Lord: 7 Essential Principles for Catholic Scripture Study
Seven Principles for Studying, Praying and Proclaiming the Word of God

(OUR SUNDAY VISITOR PRESS, 2012 )

(UNTITLED – BOOK ON ADAM & EVE, JESUS & MARY)
FORTHCOMING



COURSES TAUGHT
Note: Dr. Smith’s teaching experience is extensive. The following are only examples of present and past courses (at Mount. St. Mary’s and in other university settings). While Dr. Smith teaches at the graduate level (seminary and university), his style is adaptable for various needs (conferences, parish groups, etc.) 

* An complete chronology of all courses taught is available elsewhere on Dr. Smith’s ‘Exhaustive CV.’

The Four Gospels

The Gospel of Matthew

Johannine Literature

The Holy Land and the Seminarian

Jesus and the Apostles

The Biblical Mysteries of the Rosary

Jesus and the Gospels in Early Christianity

Introduction to the Old Testament

Hebrew for the Non-Specialist

Pentateuch and Historical Books

Psalms and Wisdom Literature

Introduction to Biblical Studies

Biblical Christology of Pope Benedict XVI

Marriage and Family

The Trinity and the Family

The Rector’s Seminar: Priestly Celibacy

Theology of the Body

Introduction to Philosophy: God and the Medieval Mind



 OTHER PUBLICATIONS
 –JOURNAL ARTICLES, ESSAYS, REVIEWS–

“The God Who Speaks: Verbum Domini as a Means of Renewal in Seminary Formation in the Word of God” 
Letter & Spirit
(Forthcoming)

“Bible Software for Catholics” (Review of Catholic Book Library, Logos Bible Software)
First Things (“On the Square”)
http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2011/09/bible-software-for-catholics
September, 2011

“Pope Benedict and Inspiration in Verbum Domini” 
Seminary Journal
(Summer, 2010)

“Building Bridges: Reflections from Vatican II on the Catholic Priest and His Relationship to the Family”
Familia Amor Est (Catholic Center for Family Spirituality Journal)
(NOVEMBER, 2009)


ADDRESSES, LECTURES AND PRESENTATIONS
–KEYNOTE ADDRESSES –

“SCRIPTURE FEST 2007” WITH ARCHBISHOP RICHARD SMITH
ARCHDIOCESE OF EDMONTON, CANADA (SEPT. 2007)
The Bread of the Presence
Discovering the Eucharist in the Old Testament
The Word of God in Flesh: Jesus and the Eucharist in the Gospel of John



THE EUCHARIST AND THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
DIOCESE OF RED DEER, ALBERTA, CANADA (SEPT. 2007)
Scripture: Whose Words? (Dei Verbum)
Discovering the Eucharist in the Old Testament
The Word of God in Flesh: Jesus and the Eucharist in the Gospel of John



– LECTURES & ACADEMIC PRESENTATIONS –

Zechariah and Elizabeth: Instruments of God’s Mercy
THE CATHOLIC CENTER FOR FAMILY SPIRITUALITY
OUR LADY OF MERCY PARISH, JERSEY CITY, NJ
OCT 15, 2011

Navigating God’s Word Today
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER PARISH
GETTYSBURG, PA
SEPT-OCT, 2011

Always Be Prepared: Catholic Questions and Catholic Answers
OCT-NOV. 2011
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER PARISH
GETTYSBURG, PA

The Catechism (Part I)
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER PARISH
GETTYSBURG, PA
JAN 2012

The God Who Speaks: Verbum Domini as a Means of Renewal in Seminary Formation in the Word of God
THE WORD OF GOD IN THE LIFE AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH:
THE CATHOLIC SEMINARY PROFESSOR OF SACRED SCRIPTURE AND THE CLASSROOM
MONSIGNOR JEROME D. QUINN INSTITUTE OF BIBLICAL STUDIES
ST. PAUL SEMINARY SCHOOL OF DIVINITY
ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA
JUNE 9-11, 2011

Biblical Reflections on St. Joseph
THE PILGRIMAGE OF FAITH AND LOVE OF MARY AND JOSEPH
THE CATHOLIC CENTER FOR FAMILY SPIRITUALITY
SETON HALL UNIVERSITY, EAST ORANGE, NJ
APRIL 2, 2011

The Gospel of John: A Refresher Course for Pastors
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR CLERGY FORMATION
SETON HALL UNIVERSITY
SUMMER RETREAT
NORTH BRANCH, NJ
JULY, 2010

An Early Date of John’s Gospel? A Fresh Look at the Evidence
INSTITUTE OF APPLIED BIBLICAL STUDIES
SUMMER CONFERENCE
FRANCISCAN UNIVERSITY AT STEUBENVILLE
STEUBENVILLE, OH
JULY, 2009

The Dating of John: Challenging the Consensus
CATHOLIC BIBLICAL ASSOCIATION
ANNUAL REGIONAL MEETING
CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, DC
FEBRUARY 2009

St. Paul and the Mystery of Marriage
ST. FRANCIS PARISH, GETTYSBURG, PA
FEBRUARY 2009
 
The Challenge of Marital Chastity: Reflections on Humanae Vitae
AT: A SYMPOSIUM ON HUMANAE VITAE: FORTY YEARS LATER
MOUNT ST. MARY’S SEMINARY
SEPTEMBER 2008

John’s Gospel: Apostolic Witness, Historic Foundations, Jewish Context
DE SALES UNIVERSITY
CENTER VALLEY, PA
JANUARY 2008

Dating John: A Fresh Look at the Evidence
ST. CHARLES BORROMEO SEMINARY
WYNEBROOK, PA
APRIL 2007

The Pool of Siloam and the Historicity of the Fourth Gospel
NEWMAN THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE, EDMONTON, ALBERTA (CA)
FEBRUARY 2007

John Paul II’s Theology of the Body: Context and Argument
MOUNT ST. MARY COLLEGE, NEWBURGH, NY
OCTOBER 2006

Wisdom Christology in John’s Gospel
BENEDICTINE COLLEGE, ATCHISON, KS
APRIL, 2006

The Judas Gospel: Examining the Evidence
SACRED HEART PARISH, LOMBARD, IL
MAY 2006

The Future of the Fourth Gospel:
Insights from Forty Years of Catholic Biblical Scholarship

KENRICK SEMINARY, ST. LOUIS, MO
MARCH 2006

Exodus 12 and the Synoptic Passion Narratives:
Reflecting on Melito of Sardis’ Peri Tou Pascha

AUGUSTINE INSTITUTE GRADUATE SCHOOL, DENVER, CO
FEBRUARY, 2006

The Prophetic Office: Lessons from 1 Samuel 12
CATHOLIC BIBLICAL SCHOOL, 
DENVER, CO
FEBRUARY 2006


 SPECIAL SKILLS, CERTIFICATIONS, EXPERIENCES
Proficient in Biblical Greek / Biblical Hebrew

FOCCUS Facilitator / Trainer (Certified)
(“FACILITATING OPEN COUPLE COMMUNICATION, UNDERSTANDING & STUDY”)
SMART MARRIAGES, DENVER, CO, 2007

Professional Communication Skills Training
(STEPHEN GIORADANO & ASSOCIATES)
NEW YORK, NY 2007-08

Theology of the Body Institute (Certified)
LANCASTER, PA, 2007

Theological Pedagogy (“In the Classroom”) Program (Certified)
LOYOLA UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, 2004


 EXPEDITIONS, PILGRIMMAGES
Jerusalem / Bethlehem / Galilee, Israel
(Dec. 2012- Jan 2013) 

Jerusalem / Bethlehem / Galilee, Israel
(Dec. 2011- Jan 2012) 

Cairo / Sinai, Egypt
(Aug. 2010)

Jerusalem / Bethlehem / Galilee, Israel
(Aug. 2010) 

Jerusalem / Bethlehem / Galilee, Israel
(Mar.-Apr. 2011) 


 APPEARANCES / BROADCASTING / INTERVIEWS
Numerous guest appearances on EWTN Television (e.g. The Journey Home) and Radio (e.g. Al Kresta Show).


 AWARDS AND HONORS
Alpha Sigma Nu (National Jesuit Honor Society)
INDUCTED, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, FEBRUARY, 2006


 PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES
St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology
Senior Fellow, 2011-Present

Society of Biblical Literature
MEMBER, 2005-PRESENT

Catholic Biblical Association
MEMBER, 2008-PRESENT

Fellowship of Catholic Scholars
MEMBER, 2008-PRESENT


 COMMITTEES, ETC. 
Formation Advisor
MOUNT ST. MARY’S SEMINARY
EMMITSBURG, MD
2008-09 / 2009-10 / 2010-11

Library Committee
MOUNT ST. MARY’S UNIVERSITY
EMMITSBURG, MD
MEMBER, 2010-11

Special Advisory Council to the President
PRESIDENT THOMAS POWELL
MOUNT. ST. MARY’S UNIVERSITY
EMMITSBURG, MD
MEMBER, 2009-10

Sacred Scripture Department Secretary
MOUNT. ST. MARY’S UNIVERSITY
EMMITSBURG, MD
2008-09 / 2009-10 / 2010-11


 OTHER APOSTOLIC WORK
Marriage Preparation - Program Coordinator
FAMILY LIFE / RESPECT LIFE OFFICE (2006-2008)
ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK
NEW YORK, NY

• In unique position, led special task-force, restructuring content and format
of marriage preparation programs for the Archdiocese of New York
• Taught Catholic marriage preparation courses to thousands of participants
• Directed leadership retreats for volunteers involved in Catholic marriage preparation
• Coordinated Natural Family Planning efforts for the Archdiocese
• Worked closely with the USCCB Natural Family Planning Office
• Helped develop “Human Fertility Awareness” programs at St. Vincent’s Medical Center (NY); worked closely with Chief of Staff of the Obstetrics / Gynecology Department
• Promoted John Paul II’s Theology of the Body to Priests & Laity
• Assisted with Papal Visit for the 2008 Apostolic Journey of Benedict XVI to the United States


 REFERENCES
Msgr. Steven Rohlfs, Rector
(c/o Mrs. Paula Q. Smaldone, Assistant to the Rector)
Mount St. Mary’s Seminary
(301) 447-5780

Fr. J. Daniel Mindling, O.F.M. Cap., Academic Dean
Mount St. Mary’s Seminary
1-301-447-5787

Ms. Dianne Traflet, Associate Dean
Immaculate Conception Seminary (at Seton Hall University)
South Orange, NJ
(973) 761-9353


More Professional / Personal References Available Upon Request