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Dr. Patrick Smith

  • Associate Professor of Philosophical Theology and Ethics

First Year at Gordon-Conwell:



  • B.S. Auburn University
  • M.Div. Trinity International University
  • M.A. Wayne State University
  • Ph.D. Wayne State University


  • “Pulling the Sheet Back Down: A Response to Battin on the Practice of Terminal Sedation,” (with James S. Boal, M.D.), Ethics & Medicine: An International Journal of Bioethics, Volume 25:2, Summer 2009
  • “The Enduring Challenge of Religious Skepticism: An Evaluation of a Recent Model,” Philosophia Christi, Volume 12, Number 2, 2010
  • “Some Ministerial Musings of an Aspiring Christian Philosopher,” The Africanus Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, 2010
  • “Toward a Common Grace Christian Bioethics: A Reformed Protestant Engagement with H. Tristram Engelhardt” (with Fabrice Jotterand, Ph.D.),Christian Bioethics: Non-Ecumenical Studies in Medical Morality, Volume 20, Number 2, August 2014, Oxford University Press.
  • “The ‘Patient-Family Dyad’ as Interdependent Unit of Hospice Care: Toward An Ethical Justification,” Hospice Ethics: Policy and Practice in Palliative Care, edited by Timothy W. Kirk and Bruce Jennings (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • “Whose Role? Oncology Practitioners’ Perceptions of Their Role in Providing Spiritual Care to Advanced Cancer Patients,” (Danielle Rodin, Michael Balboni, Christine Mitchell, Patrick T. Smith, Tyler J. VanderWeele, Tracy A. Balboni), Supportive Care in Cancer, Springer Journals, 2015
  • “Distinguishing Terminal Sedation from Euthanasia: A Philosophical Critique of Torbjorn Tannsjo’s Model,” The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Volume 15, Issue, 2, Summer 2015
  • “Clergy Views on a Good Versus Poor Death: Ministry to the Terminally Ill” – (Lead Author: Virginia T. LeBaron, with: Amanda Cooke, Jonathan Resmini, Alexander Garinther, Vinca Chow, Rebecca Quinones, Andrew Baccari, Patrick T. Smith, John Peteet, Michael Balboni), The Journal of Palliative Medicine
  • “How Community Clergy Provide Spiritual Care: Toward a Conceptual Framework for Clergy End of Life Education” – (Lead Author: Virginia T. LeBaron, with Patrick T. Smith, Rebecca Quiñones, Callie Nibecker, Rev. Gloria White-Hammond, Justin Sanders, Richard Timms, Alexandra Shields, Tracy A. Balboni, Michael J. Balboni), The Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 2015.
  • “Dissatisfied with Being Human: Transhumanism and Human Significance,” Why People Matter: Theological Reflections on Human Significance, edited by John Kilner (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic Press, 2017).


Bioethics, Social Ethics, Raith and Reason, Hospice and End-of-Life Care


Patrick was named a 2016 -2017 Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology. He has specific academic interests in the areas of philosophical theology, bioethics, social ethics, religious epistemology, and hospice/palliative care and its interface with philosophical ethics, theology, religion, and spirituality. He enjoys listening to classic jazz and watching baseball and college football. He enjoys, even more, spending time with his wife and two children.

In addition to his primary teaching responsibilities as Associate Professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Patrick is a Lecturer at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. He serves as core faculty for the Master of Bioethics program offered through Harvard's Center for Bioethics. He also is a principal faculty member for the "Initiative on Health, Religion, and Spirituality," an interfaculty initiative across Harvard University which aims to be a research catalyst for an integrated model of spirituality, public health, and patient care in dialogue with spiritual communities.

Patrick worked professionally for eight years as the Ethics Coordinator for Angela Hospice Care Center in Livonia, MI. During some of that time he served on the Ethics Advisory Council for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and as a board member for the Hospice Palliative Care Association of Michigan. He also has served on the Boston Children's Hospital Ethics Advisory Committee and the Community Ethics Committee affiliated with Harvard's Center for Bioethics.

He has given numerous seminars and professional presentations on a wide range of topics at professional meetings and conferences in various health care organizations, churches, on radio, and college and university campuses. Along with regional commitments, he is dedicated to global education having taught courses and given talks to pastors, medical professionals, educators and community leaders in Kitwe, Zambia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; and various regions in the West Indies.