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Rev. Dr. Daniel Smith

I was born in 1973 in the Los Angeles area and spent the first four years of my life in Iowa, where my father attended seminary. The son of a pastor, I grew up in Oakland and then Davis, attending Davis High School (class of 1991). I majored in Biochemistry/Cell Biology at the University of California San Diego (class of 1995) and then studied at the University of Hamburg, Germany during the 1996-97 academic year, where I became fluent in German. While I was there I became engaged to my wife, Nele, a native of Germany. We were married in May, 1998, and were thrilled by the births of our two sons, Jakob (2002) and Lukas (2004).


Feeling a call to the ordained ministry, I entered Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary where I earned Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Systematic Theology degrees in 2000, writing my thesis on the theology of the cross in the writings of Martin Luther and Søren Kierkegaard. I was ordained in 2000, and my first call was to King of Glory Lutheran Church in Orange County, CA (2000-2004), where I was Associate Pastor for Discipling Ministry, responsible for adult education and small groups. After that, I accepted a call from Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in San Carlos, CA in 2004 where I served until 2010 before beginning my ministry at Lutheran Church of the Incarnation in February of 2010.


In addition to pastoral ministry, I am also an academic theologian. I completed a Ph.D. in Systematic and Philosophical Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA in 2013, writing a dissertation entitled: Toward a Lutheran Theology of Nature: An Ecological Ethics of the Cross. One of my great concerns and passions is helping the church go green and move toward a more sustainable way of living with the planet. I am also a lover of jazz, an avid reader, jogger, a guitar player and a sports nut. I love children, especially my two boys.

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