Skip to main content

Rev. Dr. David R. Schmitt

Professor of Practical Theology, Practical Theology

Chairman of the Department of Practical Theology, Practical Theology

Gregg H. Benidt Memorial Professor of Homiletics and Literature, Practical Theology

Dr. David R. Schmitt is the Gregg H. Benidt Memorial Professor of Homiletics and Literature at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

A faculty member since 1995, he is professor of Practical Theology and chairman of the homiletics instructors group.

His interests and areas of expertise include preaching, the intersections of faith and culture, particularly literary culture, spiritual autobiography and the devotional life.

He received his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in English at Washington University in St. Louis (2005); his Master of Arts (M.A.) in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1990); and Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Concordia Seminary (1988). He holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from Concordia College in Ann Arbor, Mich. (now Concordia University, Ann Arbor) (1984).

Schmitt served as pastor at Saint John the Divine Lutheran Church in Chicago, Ill., from 1990-1995.

His published works include “Richard Caemmerer’s Goal, Malady, Means: A Retrospective Glance” Concordia Theological Quarterly (2010); “The Tapestry of Preaching” Concordia Journal 37.2 (2011); “Law and Gospel in Sermon and Service,” in Preaching Is Worship: The Sermon in Context (Concordia Publishing House, 2011); “Heroic Deeds of Conscience: Milton’s Stand against Religious Conformity in Paradise Regained,” Huntington Library Quarterly 76.1 (Spring 2013); “Devotion and Community: Thresholds of Faith,” in Inviting Community (Concordia Seminary Press, 2013); “Devotion and Discipleship in a Discontented Age,” Concordia Journal (Fall 2020); and “Holy Wonder: The Experience of Beauty and Credal Contemplation,” Concordia Journal (Summer 2022). He also has written several small devotional booklets, including “Blessed for Life” (2009); “Strong in the Lord” (2010); “Man of God: Strong to Serve” (2013); and “Justice, Kindness, Humility” (2015); and several devotional hymn of the day studies for Word in Song (The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, 2017).

Forthcoming work includes two book projects: Beholding the Sacred: Using Images in Preaching to be published by CPH and The Pilgrimage of Preaching, a homiletics text on the art of preaching. He also is editor of a series of preaching texts, “Conversations in Preaching” (Concordia Seminary Press), which includes Dr. Dean Nadasdy’s The Beautiful Sermon and Dr. David Peter’s Opening the Scriptures.

In addition to his Seminary work, he is a contributor to “Sermon Structures” on, serves on the Concordia Pulpit Resources advisory board, hosts “Preacher’s Studio” video interviews on, regularly writes for the “Craft of Preaching” blog posts for 1517 and is a board member and contributor to the Preach the Word project for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. He and Dr. Peter Nafzger also host the Seminary’s weekly podcast “Lectionary Kick-start.”

Apart from his Seminary work, he enjoys racquetball and exercise.


Faith and literary culture
Spiritual autobiography
Devotional life