David R. Schmitt

DR. DAVID R. SCHMITT is the Gregg H. Benidt Memorial Professor of Homiletics and Literature.

A Concordia Seminary, St. Louis faculty member since 1995, he is professor of practical theology.

He received his Doctor of English at Washington University, St. Louis (2005), Master’s in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1990) and Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary (1988). He holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Mich., (1984).

Schmitt has long explored the intersections of faith and culture, particularly literary culture. His numerous published works include “Devotion and Community: Thresholds of Faith” in Inviting Community (Concordia Seminary Press) and “Law and Gospel in Sermon and Service” in Preaching Is Worship: The Sermon in Context (Concordia Publishing House, CPH). Journal contributions include his most recent, “Telling God’s Story” in Concordia Journal. He is the author of homiletical studies and sermon series, including the Lenten series “Places of the Passion” (CPH) to be published in 2016 and devotional booklets such as Man of God (Christian Tools of Affirmation). Forthcoming work includes hymn studies for Lutheran Service Book hymn companions and two book projects: The Pilgrimage of Preaching, a homiletics text on the art of preaching, and Restoration Spiritualities, a literary study on late 17th century faith and literary culture.

A grant recipient for “Integrating Technology and Theological Learning” from the Wabash Center (2000), Schmitt has developed and taught courses in nonresidential education programs. He has served on numerous Seminary committees and is chairman of the Homiletics Instructors Group.

In addition to his Seminary work, he serves on the Concordia Pulpit Resources advisory board and as a board member and contributor to the Preach the Word project for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). He previously served on the LCMS Commission for Doctrinal Review.

Prior to his Seminary career, Schmitt served as pastor at Saint John the Divine Lutheran Church, Chicago, Ill.


  • The Gregg H. Benidt Memorial Endowed Chair in Homiletics and Literature
  • Professor of Practical Theology


  • B.A., Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • M.Div, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo.
  • M.A., University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Ill.
  • M.A., Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.

Contact Information:

Concordia Seminary
801 Seminary Pl.
St. Louis, MO 63105
Office phone:  314-505-7137
Email:  schmittd@csl.edu


Conference Topics

  • “Sharpening the Sword of the Spirit: Strengthening Your Preaching through Analysis and Technique”
  • “Sermon Structures”
  • “Beholding the Sacred: Using Images in Preaching”
  • “Narrative Preaching”
  • “Contemporary Trends in Preaching”
  • “Preaching the Songs of Zion: Integrating Hymnody into Preaching”

Congregational Workshops:

  • “Having Ears to Hear: A Congregational Workshop on Preaching”
  • “Living with the Living God: Conversations about Devotional Life and Practice”


  • “The Tapestry of Preaching.” Concordia Journal 37.2 (Spring 2011).
  • “Richard Caemmerer’s Goal, Malady, Means: A Retrospective Glance.” Concordia Theological Quarterly 74.1-2 (2010): 3-18.
  • “The Use of Scripture in Recent Study Bibles” at the 2010 Theological Symposium, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Co-authored with Dr. Mark Hoehner and Pastor Matt Hoehner.
  • “American Mystic Spirituality,” in The American Mind Meets the Mind of Christ. Ed. Robert Kolb. St. Louis: Concordia Seminary Press, 2010.
  • “Appraising Polity: Theological Lenses for Evaluating Structural and Governance Proposals.” Concordia Journal 35.1 (2009): 35-53. Co-authored with Erik Herrmann.
  • “Law and Gospel in Sermon and Service,” in Liturgical Preaching. Eds. Paul Grime and Dean Nadasdy. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2001. 25-49.
  • “Sermon Structures: An Overview,” Concordia Pulpit Resources 11.3 (2001): 5-7.
  • “Sermon Structures: The Question-Answered Design,” Concordia Pulpit Resources 11.4 (2001): 5-11.
  • “Sermon Structures: The Proverbial Design,” Concordia Pulpit Resources 12.2 (2002): 5-10.
  • “Sermon Structures: The Image-based Design,” Concordia Pulpit Resources 12.1 (2001): 5-9.
  • “Freedom of Form: Law/Gospel and Sermon Structure in Contemporary Lutheran Homiletics,” Concordia Journal 25.1 (1999): 42-55.
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