David Smith has been a wonderful asset to our institute. His ability to take potentially controversial topics and turn them into learning opportunities has thrilled members in our program. Our UW Institute has an academic focus for our short courses and David brings not only quality to the course but a fabulous ability to listen to people and integrate their experience and insight into the interaction. He has offered a variety of courses to our members and received the highest evaluations from a very diverse audience. I hope you get the chance to be a part of the experience that he has to offer.
Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Washington
My wife and I have taken three courses from David. He is a terrific instructor! Many of his students hold strong and diverse opinions and prejudices regarding the subject matter. David has a real skill of dealing up-front with sensitive issues, but without confrontation and without anyone (as far as we could see) being turned off during these discussions. He includes his own personal experiences and induces students to relate their experiences. His classes are thought-provoking and he makes one comfortable to participate in the discussion. He never seems to be stumped by a question or flummoxed by someone’s unusual statement—another important skill. David has a good sense of humor as well. Time goes fast in his lectures.
After taking David’s courses through Bellevue College, I was so impressed that I recommended him to the University of Washington Osher program. He was accepted and set the record for the most attended (60 students) Osher course. I also teach Osher courses and many people have mentioned that David’s courses were “great” or “the best” Osher courses they have taken. I highly recommend his seminars and courses.
Winston J. Brill, Ph.D.
Retired Professor of Microbiology, University of Wisconsin
Retired, President, Winston J. Brill & Associates
Visiting Professor of Microbiology, University of Washington
Member, National Academy of Sciences
It is rare that a person can be both an expert and a great communicator. Dr. Smith brings his education in comparative religion and philosophy of religion, his experience as an urban law enforcement officer, his passion for ethics, and his experience in the university classroom together in presentations that bring clarity to these confusing and controversial issues in today’s changing world. Few people are able to make the complex simple and the confusing understandable. His presentations will leave you wanting more.
Jonathan E. Barr
Life Coach, Professional Training Coordinator, and Director of the Cultural Exchange, Moscow, Russia
David Smith gives popular lectures on comparative religion, philosophy of religion, and ethics to intelligent and curious learners at Horizon House and other retirement communities. His knowledge and insights about religious theory and ethics invite dialogue and increase understanding. Smith knows his field and he knows how to respect and challenge an audience.
Executive Director, Northwest Center for Creative Aging
I met with David Smith to discuss strategies for entering into a discussion about Scripture with some of my adult family who regard the Bible as the literal word for word truth, while I take a more contextual/historical approach. I am concerned about the ramifications of their view for a variety of reasons. With his background, David was able to give me many ideas about how to approach them without challenging their beliefs directly. I have taken preliminary steps in this direction and was pleased to find an openness on their part to talk about it, without causing any alienation in our relationship. I plan to continue this conversation with my family in the future as opportunities present themselves. For anyone facing a similar challenge in some area of religion or ethics, I highly recommend a consultation with David.
Maggie Harris, M.R.E., M.A.