Biography

This is Dr. Steven 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 am Professor of Biblical Exegesis at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake (Mundelein, IL). Previously, I taught Scripture at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary (Emmitsburg, MD).

In 2008, I earned my Ph.D. from Loyola University of Chicago, where I graduated Summa Cum Laude. My doctoral thesis focused on John’s unique Christology.

From Catholic to Willow Creek — and BAck to Catholic

My wife Elizabeth and I were raised Catholic, then spent some years in a Protestant mega-church before returning 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, 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. Like me, Elizabeth was drawn to this dynamic approach to church.

Elizabeth and I met as leaders in young adult ministry at the church. And something we are still very passionate today about is reaching out to people in their 20s and 30s.

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.” It’s an incredible place – and if you’re near Chicago, be sure to visit its 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.

Strangely, it was at Wheaton that my heart began to be re-directed home to the Catholic Church. It was especially from reading the early Church fathers—figures like Saints Irenaeus, Augustine and Athanasius (among dozens of others)—that helped the scales to fall from my eyes.

The writing of Justin Martyr blew my mind. In the early second century, Justin was describing the early Mass: on “the Lord’s Day,” the presbyter read aloud the “memoirs of the Apostles” and all 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 modern mega-church.

I came to see that what Saint John Henry Newman said was spot-on: “to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.”

My wife and I returned to the Catholic Church in 2000, and 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. Yet, 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.

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 love seeing people's eyes light up when something clicks, and they “get it,” discovering something exciting about our Faith.

In addition to my teaching and writing, I have a number of full-length CDs / MP3s. I’m still struck, for example, at the success of my series on The Biblical Mysteries of the Rosary. In the series, I explain the history of the Rosary – which goes all the way back to the Psalter. I unpack each of the 20 mysteries. The entire series is over 20-hours of dynamic Catholic bible study.

You can order the Rosary series, as well as my series’ on The Gospel of Johnthe Resurrection of Jesus, on the Inklings, and others here.

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


curriculum vitae

 

 PROFESSIONAL ACADEMIC POSITIONS

  • Associate Professor of Biblical Exegesis (2019-Present) University of Saint Mary of the Lake (Mundelein, IL)

  • Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture (2015—2018) Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD

  • Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture (2008—2015) Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD

  • Adjunct Professor of Theology (2005—08) Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ

 EDUCATION / DEGREES

 Ph.D. Loyola University of Chicago (Chicago, IL 2008) Concentration: New Testament &  Early Christianity (Summa Cum Laude)

  • Doctoral Dissertation: “The Determination of Criteria as Verification and Falsification Controls in the Analysis of Textual Parallels from the Jewish Wisdom Tradition in the Fourth Gospel”

 M.A. Wheaton College Graduate School (Wheaton, IL 2000), Concentration: Theology (Summa Cum Laude)

 B.A. Northeastern University (Chicago, IL 1988)

AWARDS AND HONORS

  • Alpha Sigma Nu (National Jesuit Honor Society)

  • Inducted, Loyola University of Chicago (February, 2006)

 COURSES TAUGHT

  • Introduction to Biblical Studies

  • The Four Gospels

  • Psalms and Wisdom Literature

  • Pentateuch and Historical Books

  • The Prophets

  • Johannine Literature

  • Biblical Hebrew

  • The Biblical Worldview of the Inklings

  • Biblical Christology

  • The Biblical Mysteries of the Rosary

  • The Holy Land and the Seminarian

  • The House of the Lord: A Biblical Theology of the Temple in the Old and New Testaments

  • Death and Resurrection in the Old and New Testaments

  • The Sacrament of Marriage / Pastoral Care of the Family

  • Belief in Today’s World

  • Encountering Christ

  • Christ and the Church

MEMBERSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL AND SCHOLARLY SOCIETIES

  •  Catholic Biblical Association, Member, 2008—Present

  •  Society of Biblical Literature, Member, 2005—Present

  •  Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, Member, 2008—Present

  •  Saint Paul Center for Biblical Theology, Senior Fellow, 2011—Present

ACADEMIC PUBLICATIONS

Books:

  • The Face of the Lord: Contemplating the Divine Son Through the Four Senses of Scripture, Franciscan University Press / Catholic University of America Press (2020—forthcoming)

  • The House of the Lord: A Catholic Biblical Theology of God’s Temple Presence in the Old and New Testaments, Franciscan University Press / Catholic University of America Press (2017)

  • The Word of the Lord: Seven Essential Principles for Catholic Scripture Study, OSV Press (2012)

 Journals & Book Reviews

  • “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Catholic Faith: The Role of the Seminary Professor of Sacred Scripture,” (chapter in monograph; forthcoming, 2020)

  • “Jesus and the Last Supper,” by B. Pitre, Book Review, in: Nova et Vetera (forthcoming, Fall 2020—)  

  • “James, First, Second, and Third John (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture),” Book Review, in: Nova et Vetera (Fall 2019)  

  • “At the Axis of Holiness: Biblical Insights on the Levites and Diaconal Ministry Today”in: Josephinum Diaconal Review (Fall 2017)

  • “Scripture and the Role of the Seminary Professor in Forming Priests for the New Evangelization” in: Catholic Theological Formation Series—Jerome Quinn Conference Proceedings, Eerdmans (Forthcoming)

  •  “The Children’s Bread: Christ-Centered Evangelical Biblical Preaching in the Era of Pope Francis” in: Catholic Theological Formation Series—Jerome Quinn Conference Proceedings, Eerdmans (Forthcoming)

  •  “Biblical Software for Catholics” in: First Things (September, 2011)

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

  •  “Building Bridges: Reflections from Vatican II on Priesthood and Family”in: Familia Amor Est (November, 2009)

 ACADEMIC LECTURES AND PRESENTATIONS

  • “The Kingdom of God: A Study of the Gospel of Luke” Institute for Catholic Culture, Annadale, VA (February, 2017)

  •  “The Resurrection of Jesus: Fact or Fiction?” Institute for Priestly Formation Omaha, NE (Mar. 2016)

  •  “Embracing the Merciful Heart of Jesus”—Diaconal Convocation Keynote Address, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ (Nov. 2016)

  •  “A Great Cloud of Witnesses: The Letter to the Hebrews,” Institute of Catholic Culture, Annadale, VA (March, 2015)

  •  “Scripture and the Role of the Seminary Professor in Forming Priests for the New Evangelization” Monsignor Jerome D. Quinn Institute of Biblical Studies, St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, St. Paul MN (June 12-14, 2015)

  • “St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians,” Institute of Catholic Culture, Annadale, VA (May, 2014)

  • “Lead Us Not into Temptation: Christ in the Wilderness,” Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ (February 22, 2013)

  •  “The God Who Speaks to Us: Fifty Years After Dei Verbum,” Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, MD (March 4, 2013)

  •  “The Children’s Bread: Christ-Centered Evangelical Biblical Preaching in the Era of Pope Francis,” Monsignor Jerome D. Quinn Institute of Biblical Studies, St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, St. Paul, MN (June 9-11, 2013)

  •  “The Pilgrimage of Faith and Love of Mary and Joseph,” Catholic Center for Family Spirituality, Seton Hall University, South orange, NJ (April 2, 2011)

  • “The God Who Speaks: Verbum Domini as a Means of Renewal in Seminary Formation,” Monsignor Jerome D. Quinn Institute of Biblical Studies, St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, St. Paul, MN (June 9-11, 2011)

  •  “Source Criticism and the Gospel of John,” Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ (July, 2010)

  • “The Dating of the Gospel of John: Challenging the Consensus,” Catholic Biblical Association Annual Regional Meeting, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. (February 2009)

  •  “An Early Date of the Gospel of John? A Fresh Look at the Evidence,” Institute of Applied Biblical Studies, Franciscan University, Steubenville, OH (July, 2009)

  •  “John’s Gospel: Apostolic Witness, Historic Foundations, Jewish Context,” De Sales University, Center Valley, PA (January 2008)

  • “The Challenge of Marital Chastity: Reflections on Humanae Vitae,” Symposium on Humanae Vitae: Forty Years Later, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary (September 2008)

  •  “The Pool of Siloam and the Historicity of the Gospel of John,” Newman Theological College, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (February 2007)

  •  “Dating the Gospel of John: A Fresh Look at the Evidence,” St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynebrook, PA (April 2007)

  •  “The Word of God in Flesh: Jesus and the Eucharist in the Gospel of John,” Keynote Address, Archdiocesan Conference, Edmonton, Canada (Sept. 2007)

  •  “John Paul II’s Theology of the Body: Context and Argument, Mount St. Mary College, Newburgh, NY (October 2006)

  •  “The Future of the Fourth Gospel: Insights from Forty Years of Catholic Biblical Scholarship,” Kenrick—Glennon Seminary, St. Louis, MO (March 2006)

  • Exodus 12 and the Synoptic Passion Narratives: Melito of Sardis’s Peri Tou Pascha,” Augustine Institute Graduate School, Denver, CO (February, 2006)

  • “The Prophetic Office: Lessons from 1 Samuel 12,” Augustine Institute Graduate School, Denver, CO (February 2006)

OTHER ACADEMIC WORK

  • Masters in Theology—Graduate Thesis Direction, Catholic Distance University (2014—Present)

  • STB Degree—Examiner for Comprehensive Exams, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary (2010—2018)

  • Masters in Theology—Graduate Thesis Direction, Catholic Distance University (2014—Present)

PILGRIMAGE  / RESEARCH EXPEDITIONS

Turkey (Istanbul / Antalya / Izmir / Pamukkale)

  • March 2018

Israel / Palestine (Galilee Region/ Jericho / Bethlehem / Jerusalem)

  • Jan— March 2020

  • Jan— March 2019

  • Dec.—Jan. 2017-18

  • Dec.—Jan. 2016-17

  • Dec.—Jan. 2015-16

  • Dec.—Jan. 2014-15

  • Dec.—Jan. 2013-14

  • Dec.—Jan. 2012-13

  • Dec.—Jan. 2011-12

  • Dec.—Jan. 2010-11

Egypt (Cairo / Sinai Peninsula)

  • Aug. 2009

 ACADEMIC COLLABORATION

  •  Formation Advisor, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary (Emmitsburg, MD) 2008—18

  • Strategic Planning Committee, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary (Emmitsburg, MD), Co-Leader, 2015—16

  •  Seminary Formation Advising Committee, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary (Emmitsburg, MD), 2008—18

  • Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.), Examination Committee, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary (Emmitsburg, MD), 2010—18

  •  Master’s Degree—Concentration in Sacred Scripture, Comprehensive Examination Committee, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary (Emmitsburg, MD), 2009—18

  •  Master’s Degree—Concentration in Moral Theology, Comprehensive Examination Committee, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary (Emmitsburg, MD), 2008—18

  •  Team-Taught Courses in Sacred Scripture & Moral Theology, Mount. St. Mary’s Seminary (Emmitsburg, MD), 2009—18

  •  Department Secretary—Sacred Scripture, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary (Emmitsburg, MD), 2008—18

  •  Strategic Planning Committee, Mount St. Mary’s University (Emmitsburg, MD), 2017—18

  • Mount Council, Mount St. Mary’s University (Emmitsburg, MD), 2017—18

  • Compensation Analysis Committee, Mount St. Mary’s University (Emmitsburg, MD), Member, 2008—18

 OTHER SERVICE

  • Knights of Columbus (First Degree), Mechanicsburg, PA, 2016

 BROADCAST INTERVIEWS (TV & RADIO)

Dr. Smith has given numerous interviews pertaining to his academic publications, Catholic theology, and Catholic identity. He has appeared on programs such as the following:

  • Church and Culture with Deal Hudson

  • Kresta in the Afternoon

  • EWTN Live

  • The Journey Home

  • The Drew Mariani Show

ADMINISTRATIVE REFERENCES

  • Msgr. Andrew Baker, Rector & Vice President (c/o Mrs. Paula Q. Smaldone, Assistant to the Rector), Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, (301) 447-5780 Email: baker@msmary.edu

  • §  Fr. J. Daniel Mindling, O.F.M. Cap., Academic Dean, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, (301)447-5787 Email: mindling@msmary.edu

PROFESSIONAL AND ACADEMIC REFERENCES

  •  Michael Foley, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Patristics, Baylor University—Great Texts Program, One Bear Place, Waco, Texas 76798-7144, (254) 710-7284, Email: Michael_Foley@baylor.edu

  •  Dianne Traflet, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Immaculate Conception Seminary, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ , (973) 761-935 Email: trafledi@shu.edu

  •  Jeffrey Morrow, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Undergraduate Theology, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ, (973) 761-9575 Email: jeffrey.morrow@shu.edu