Ted Smith

Ted A. Smith

Associate Dean of Faculty; Charles Howard Candler Professor of Divinity


PhD, Emory University, 2004
MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1995
MA, Oxford University, 1992
BA, Duke University, 1990


(404) 727-4231


The Rev. Dr. Ted A. Smith works at the intersections of practical and political theology. At Candler, Smith teaches especially in the areas of preaching and ethics. He also serves as director of Theological Education between the Times, a project that gathers diverse groups of people to think together about the meanings and purposes of theological education. With Dr. Joanne Solis-Walker, he is co-principal investigator of Candler’s innovative Pathways for Tomorrow initiatives.

Smith is the author of three books: The End of Theological Education (Eerdmans, 2023), Weird John Brown (Stanford, 2015), and The New Measures (Cambridge, 2007). Together these books try to think theologically about core American Protestant institutions, practices, values, and rhetoric in a time when they are unraveling. Smith has also edited books on sexuality and ordinationcontemporary issues in preaching, and economic inequality, along with a series of books on theological education.

Beyond Candler, Smith teaches in the ethics and practical theology courses of study in Emory’s PhD program in religion and serves as a senior fellow with the University of Virginia’s project on Religion and Its Publics and as affiliated faculty with Emory Law School’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion. He also serves on the editorial boards for Political Theology, Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, and Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology.

Ordained to ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Smith served as pastor to two small-membership churches in rural New York prior to his doctoral studies.


The End of Theological Education, Theological Education between the TimesWm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2023

Weird John Brown: Divine Violence and the Limits of EthicsStanford University Press, 2014

The New Measures: A Theological History of Democratic Practice Cambridge University Press, 2007

Co-editor, Spirit and Capital in an Age of InequalityRoutledge, 2018

Co-editor, Questions Preachers Ask: Essays in Honor of Thomas G. LongWestminster John Knox Press, 2016


“The Education of Authenticity,” The Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, 42:1 (Fall/Winter 2022), 289-306

“On Pardon, Reparations, and a Politics of Penitence,” Journal of Lutheran Ethics, April 2022

“Learning from Teología En Conjunto,” Perspectivas, HTI 25th Anniversary Issue, 2021

“The Time of Revelation,” in Narrative Mode and Theological Claim in Johannine Literature: Essays in Honor of Gail R. O’Day, ed. Huber, Hylen, and Wright, (SBL, 2021)

View a collection of Smith’s articles in Christian Century

“On Covenant, Irony, Providence, and the Stance of the Prophet: Thoughts in Light of Cathleen Kaveny’s Prophecy without Contempt,” in Journal of Law and Religion, vol. 34, no. 3, 2019

“The Mark of Cain: Sovereign Negation and the Politics of God,” Modern Theology, October 31, 2019

“‘Knowing Who,’ A Sermon on Proverbs 8:1-21,” Cross Current, June 27, 2019

Co-editor of special issue of Theological Education, vol. 51, no. 2, January 01, 2018

“Political Theology through a History of Preaching: A Study in the Authority of Celebrity,” Homiletics, vol. 42, no. 1, July 07, 2017

“Eschatological Memories of Everyday Life,” in Lived Theology: New Perspectives on Method, Style and Pedagogy in Theological and Religious StudiesOxford University Press, January 01, 2016

“On the State of Political Theology Today,” Political Theology Today, September 16, 2016

“From Silkworms to Songbirds: Why We No Longer Preach Like Jonathan Edwards,” Commonweal, September 28, 2015

“Putting Flesh on Truthful Prayers of Confession,” Marginalia Review of Books and Political Theology Today, March 02, 2015

“Politics in the Wake of Divine Violence,” Studies in Christian Ethics, vol. 25, no. 4, November 21, 2014

“Reasoning about Exceptions,” Political Theology, vol. 15, no. 5, September 01, 2014

Co-Principal Investigator, “Pathways for Tomorrow” (Lilly Endowment), Phase 1: 2021; Phase 2: 2021-2023; Phase 3: 2021-2026

Weird John Brown a finalist for AAR Excellence in the Study of Religion Award (Constructive-Reflective Studies), 2015

Senior Fellow, Religion and Its Publics, University of Virginia

Principle Investigator, “Theological Education between the Times,” funded by the Lilly Endowment, Phase I: 2013, Phase II: 2016, Phase III: 2019

Research Scholar Fellowship, Office of the Provost, Vanderbilt University

Faculty Travel Grant, Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender and Sexuality, Vanderbilt University

Woodruff Fellowship, Emory University, 1999-2004

Bandy Fellowship in Preaching, Emory University, 1999-2002

Elias Boudinot Award for excellence in small church ministry, 1997

Roberts Scholarship in Preaching, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1994

Wailes Memorial Prize in New Testament, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1994

Rhodes Scholarship, Missouri and Jesus, 1990

Critical Theory and Religion

Preaching in a Secular Age

Preaching Politics

Introduction to Preaching

Introduction to the Study of Religious Practices

Research and Methods in the Study of Religion

In the media

October 20, 2023

What’s the Matter with Theological Education?

July 14, 2023

Ted Smith: The End of Theological Education

January 10, 2023

2023 Spring Convocation

August 25, 2021

The Theological Dripline: The Future of Theological Education

July 6, 2021

Theological Education between the Times

May 4, 2021

No Longer Shall They Teach One Another: The End of Theological Education

February 18, 2021

Service of Word

October 13, 2020

Finding a faithful way forward for theological education

June 15, 2020

Theological Education Between The Times – A Project: Ted Smith

February 19, 2019

Reckless Love: On Living for Things that Die - Rev. Dr. Ted Smith

November 9, 2016

Theological Education Between the Times

August 1, 2016

Weird John Brown Symposium

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