Jamie Smith

James K. A. Smith

Calvin College

James K. A. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College, where he holds the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview. Trained as a philosopher with a focus on contemporary French thought, Smith has expanded on that scholarly platform to become an engaged public intellectual and cultural critic. An award-winning author and widely-traveled speaker, he has emerged as a thought leader with a unique gift of translation, building bridges between the academy, society, and the church.

The author of a number of influential books, Smith also regularly writes for magazines and newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Slate, First Things, Christianity Today, Books & Culture, and The Hedgehog Review. He serves as editor-in-chief of Comment magazine.

He and his wife, Deanna, are elementary school (!) sweethearts with four children in college. Natives of Stratford, Ontario, they lived in Philadelphia and Los Angeles before settling in the Heritage Hill neighborhood of Grand Rapids. They are committed urban dwellers who enjoy gardening, travel, wine with friends, and curling up on the couch with their two maltipoos, Daisy and Kirby.

Silhouette of a girl sitting in meditation Spiritual Practices in Youth Ministry

Theologians, philosophers, and pastors examine the effects that habitual practices have on our lives and discuss the importance of prayer and spiritual practices as habits that orient us towards God. Various spiritual practices are explained, taught, and offered as potential ways to engage adolescents in experiential prayer.

Recruiting, Training and Supervising Youth Workers and Volunteers

Leading theologians and pastors discuss the importance of attracting, training and supervising both youth workers and volunteers to lead thriving youth groups.

Cultivating Worshipful Youth

This course explores the importance of worship for youth. Theologians and pastors explore different facets of worship, why we do these things in worship and how to best implement them in youth worship services.

Close up of a fish pendant necklace Offering Effective Pastoral Care

Theologians, philosophers, and pastors examine the importance of pastoral care to youth and their families as part of a robust youth ministry.