Professor of Urban Ministry and Director of the Metro-Urban Institute
Year Started at PTS: 2013

Contact Info


  • Ph.D., Yale University / Political Science
  • M.A./M.Phil., Yale University / Political Science
  • M.Div.., Yale University Divinity School Christian Ethics
  • B.S., Indiana University / Secondary Education; English

Recent Courses Taught

  • Church and Society
  • Introduction to Urban Ministry
  • Urban Contextual and Pubic Theology
  • Black Churches and Contemporary Public Life
  • Congregational and Community Issues
  • Ministry, Culture, and Contextual Analysis
  • Urban Christianity in Global Perspective
  • Global African Christianity


Church Associations

Ordination: Independent Baptist

Professional Competencies

Areas of Specialty

  • Religion and public life
  • Sociology of urban religion
  • Christianity, race, and class
  • Churches and demographic change
  • Religion and social movements
  • Christianity and U.S. foreign policy

Professional Societies

  • Society for the Study of Black Religion


  • 2022; Research Fellow, Institute for Gender Studies, University of South Africa
  • 2011-2012: Fellow and Visiting Professor, James Weldon Johnson Institute, Emory University
  • 2010-2013: Research Fellow, Department of Philosophy and Systematic Theology, University of South Africa
  • 2010: Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Fellow/Visiting Faculty, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • 2009: Fulbright Senior Specialist, Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Kumba, Cameroon
  • 2007: Faculty-in-Residence and Fellow in the SAGES Program, Case Western Reserve University
  • 2005: Fulbright Professor, School of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Selected Academic Grants/Awards

  • 2020: Principle Investigator, Grant to respond to metro-Pittsburgh digital gap and other community needs during COVD crisis, Luce Foundation
  • 2020: Co-principal investigator, Grant to examine “Gentrification, and Racial Violence: An Exploration of Theology’s Participation in the Restructuring of Space”; Luce Foundation
  • 2019; Co-principal investigator, Grant to explore “Sustaining Intergenerational Ministry and Scholarship in the Black Church,” Wabash Center
  • 2018-2019: Co-investigator, Grant to assess reconciliation practices in South Sudan and Uganda, Nagel Institute; Calvin College/Templeton Foundation, ($50,000)
  • 2012: Grant for focus groups on urban ministry innovators; Louisville Institute
  • 2011: Grant to conduct survey of churches and social responses to migrants and immigrants in Pretoria South Africa; Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
  • 2006: Grant to study Civic Service in Lesotho; Center for Social Development, Washington University-St Louis
  • 2001: Grant to study Interactions Between Faith Communities and the Urban Poor; Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • 2001: Grant for U.S. Study Tour for South African Youth Leaders and Youth Workers on Faith-Based Social Leadership Development; Ford Foundation
  • 1998: Grant for Public Influences of African-American Churches Project; The Pew Charitable Trusts

Additional Resources

  • Complete CV 
  • High res image
  • Website: Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race*
  • Doing it Different is a limited podcast partnership with Porshanality Media and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. This podcast explores the Seminary's cutting-edge Doctor of Ministry degree and its various focus areas. The new Intergenerational Black Church Studies Doctor of Ministry Focus, including its origins, hopes, and dreams, is the subject of this discussion between Drew Smith, faculty mentor, and Porsha Williams Gates. Listen to the podcast.

* This material expresses the research and opinion of Smith and is not necessarily the opinion of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary faculty, staff, or Board of Directors.