Schmitt, David

  • 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); and “Devotion and Discipleship in a Discontented Age,” Concordia Journal (Fall 2020). 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: The Pilgrimage of Preaching, a homiletics text on the art of preaching; and Preaching in an Age of Distraction, a literary study on late 17th century faith and literary culture. He also is editor of a series of preaching texts, “Conversations in Preaching” (Concordia Seminary Press).

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 podcasts on, regularly writes for “Craft of Preaching,” and is a board member and contributor to the Preach the Word project for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

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


Faith and literary culture
Spiritual autobiography
Devotional life


Ph D Washington University St. Louis, Missouri English
MA University of Illinois Urbana, Illinois English
MDIV Concordia Seminary St. Louis, Missouri
BA Concordia College Ann Arbor, Michigan English/Biblical Languages