Kirk Smith

VII Arizona

As a recently retired bishop and former academic (Cornell Ph.D), I am particularly interested in how the church educates both clergy and lay leaders for the future.  In 2019, I had the privilege of being a visiting professor of church history at General Seminary and at Yale Divinity School in the Spring of 2021.  It was exciting to be in places which do traditional academic formation so well, with strong engagement with the urban environment.  However, as a bishop, I am also concerned that the church provide opportunities to train and support those who cannot do a three year residential program.  The Diocese of Arizona created such a successful program for non-stipendiary local priests. I am also concerned that ministry candidates engage intellectually with challenges from the scientific and psychological communities, and that we respond effectively to the current immigration crisis.  Overall, our formation process needs to give more attention to Hispanic Ministry, Youth, LGBT folks and other groups historically neglected by the church.