Dr. Smith came from First Church of the Nazarene in Cleveland, Oklahoma, to join Olivet's faculty in 1982. At Olivet, his major teaching assignments have included History of Christianity, the Church of the Nazarene, World Religions, Islamic Studies, and Theology for Laypersons. Currently, he teaches in the Department of Theology & Philosophy.
His educational background includes Southern Nazarene University, Nazarene Theological Seminary, and Baylor University, where he earned his doctoral degree in the history of religions with a concentration in the history of Christianity.
He has presented papers at the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Church History, and the Wesleyan Theological Society. These papers have studied American church historiography, John Wesley and world religions, the theologies of John Wesley and Jonathan Edwards and the Church of the Nazarene. In 2002, Dr. Smith participated in the Nazarene Global Theology Conference, where he presented a paper on "Nazarene Identity: Past and Present," comparing the formal statements on Nazarene identity of the past with the understanding of Nazarene identity by current Nazarene college students. He is currently studying the Church of the Nazarene during the period 1900 to 1940. In May 2012 he presented a paper entitled "Early Glimpses of Women in Ministry within early holiness organizations and the Church of the Nazarene" for the conference "Women, the Church and Ministry: Celebrating 100 Years of Women's Ordination in the UK," held at the University of Glasgow. In 2015 and 2016 he presented papers on the relationship between the Church of the Nazarene and Pentecostalism.
Outside the classroom, he enjoys running, cooking and reading. He and his wife, Marsha, have two adult married children and a grandson.