Rev. Robert O. Smith, PhD, brings a wealth of program knowledge and leadership to Briarwood as well as deep connections to the area; a Citizen of the Chickasaw Nation originally from Oklahoma, his first call was with St. John in Coryell City.
Prior to Briarwood, Pastor Smith served in the Global Mission Unit of the ELCA Churchwide Offices as Area Program Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
For the past four years, he has lived in Jerusalem, serving as Director of the University of Notre Dame’s Jerusalem Global Gateway. He has held several volunteer positions in the global church, including in the World Council of Churches and as Special Adviser to the President of the Lutheran World Federation, Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan. Pastor Smith holds an MDiv and an MA in Islamic Studies from Luther Seminary (St. Paul) and his PhD in Religion, Politics & Society from Baylor University. He has published several books and articles on a variety of topics.