Professor Stephen Smith

Dean and Chief Executive Officer, Office of the Dean
PhD (SYD), DMgt (SCU), MBL (SCU), MBA (WSU), DipCouns (AIPC), DipBib (MSBS), CertIVTAE, GAICD, FALARA.

Prof Stephen Smith is the interim Dean of the Sydney College of Divinity.

He is a Partner at The Colloquium Group, and a Director of The Centre for Leadership Development.

Stephen has doctorates in management and health science, holds masters degrees in law and business, with other qualifications in theology and counselling. He is an experienced researcher and consultant specialising in leadership, not-for-profit governance, learning systems, and organisational development.

He has been the SCD Discipline Coordinator for pastoral theology, spirituality, counselling,  and missions for the past 8 years and, aside from his broad commercial consulting work, his previous roles include church planting, Director of Ministry Health for Churches of Christ in NSW, Director of CareWorks NSW, CEO and Principal of the Australian College of Ministries, and CEO of Bedford College. He has served on numerous not-for-profit boards and led significant organisational change management projects in three countries.

With extensive board experience, he is also skilled in internal audits for the purpose of governance; academic and quality systems analysis; and business turnarounds – particularly in not-for-profit organisations.

Areas of Interest

  • Curiosity-based learning
  • Factors influencing ministry longevity
  • Savouring Life – a construct for leadership well-being

Research Strengths

  • Action research approaches
  • Applications of complexity theory in organisations
  • Health and well-being of leaders
  • Knowledge management approaches
  • Organisational change
  • Work-integrated learning and research

Currently working on

• Theology of aged care and compassion
• Wounded leaders, and wounding leaders



2021 Embracing Life and Gathering Wisdom: Theological, Pastoral and Clinical Insights
with Blair, E., and Kleemann, C. (Editors). Sydney, SCD Press.
2016 Reflections on Leading the People of God
with Meredith, N., and Deburge, Y. (Editors) Sydney, ACOM Press.

Book Chapters and Refereed Articles

2021 Curiosity-based Learning: Stretching Fearlessly into the Unknown
(with Kleemann, C., and Bingham, M.) in Bolt, P., and Laughlin, P. (Editors) God’s Exemplary Graduates. Eugene, Pickwick.
2020 Moving from Instruction to Inquiry: How Complexity Theory Informs Work Integrated Learning
in Harrison, J., and Bolt, P. Research Led Learning and Teaching in Theological Education. Sydney, SCD Press.
2019 New Every Morning: Spiritual Care in the Context of Memory Loss
(with Kleemann, C.) in Harrison, J., Cronshaw, D., and Costache, D. Justice, Mercy and Social Wellbeing: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Eugene, Pickwick.
2017 The Dance of Wounded Souls: An Action Research Study on the Well-being of Christian Leaders and the Communities They Serve
In Harrison, J., Cronshaw, D., and Costache, D. Well-being, Personal Wholeness and the Social Fabric. Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Press.
2017 Reflections for Postgraduate Students on Writing an Action Research Thesis
in Action Learning Action Research Journal, 23(1).
2017 On the Frontiers of Change: Designing bespoke learning architecture
in Deburge, Y., and Harrison, J. (eds). Teaching Theology in a Technological Age. Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Press.
2015 Responding to Complexity: Moving from Competence to Capability
In Ball, L., and Harrison, J. (eds). Learning and Teaching Theology: Some ways ahead. Northcote, Morning Star.
2014 Savouring Life: The Leader’s Journey to Health, Resilience and Effectiveness
In Dowson, M., Miner, M., and Devenish, S. Beyond Well-Being: Spirituality and Human Flourishing. Scottsdale, Information Age Press.

Only a limited number of publications are listed here.

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