I'm Stuart D. "Stu" Smith. I graduated from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1988 with an MDiv. From 1989
to 1996, I was an outreach minister at The Night Ministry. In that position, I walked the streets of
Chicago at night working with persons underserved by traditional churches and secular social service agencies. I served primarily in the Lakeview neighborhood
In 1995, I founded Café Pride a coffee house/drop-in center for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. I served as the director
of the Café until 2008. It continued as an outreach ministry of Lake View Presbyterian
Church. until 2016.
While I was finishing my doctorate, I served at McCormick Theological Seminary as Director of Public Relations and Communications. In that position I
maintained the Seminary's website and supervised or designed the institution's print materials.
In much of my professional life I have been involved in the use of computers (My first computer science class was in the Fortran language in 1972.)
Soon after I founded Café Pride, a couple of the young men who had become regulars at the coffee house challenged me to "get serious" about
promoting Café Pride and build the ministry a website. By the end of 1996, we had a presence on the web. I quickly recognized that the internet
held great potential for all sorts of religious outreach.
My doctoral project was the development of a web-based educational environment for teens using
music, art, and literature resources already available on the internet. You may examine the current edition of the website I built to demonstrate my
In 2001, I began serving as the Stated Supply pastor at St. James Presbyterian Church in the West Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. I served there
for over ten years
Online Religious Education
In addition to my paid ministry, I produce religious education materials and offer them on the web.
These websites were initially built to hold my notes for my own teaching, and now I offer them to anyone of any religious tradition who finds them
useful. None of these websites should be used to replace the face-to-face interaction and personal relationships that characterize a worshiping community.
They were designed to fill in the background, to whet the appetite, and sometimes to push students beyond what anyone would be expected to master. Some
of this material is obviously only for more adventurous students.
If you use these materials as a religious educator and have the time, I'd love to hear how you've been able to use this material. Additionally, if you
find errors in the coding or in the text, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.