Assistant Dean, College of Theology
Anna Faith Smith, a native of Fort Worth, TX, has lived in Phoenix most of her life. She has been Associate Dean of the College of Theology since it was established in 2012. Her passion is cross-cultural communication and ministry. She has been married to Kenneth since 1984 and has two married children and four grandchildren.
Who am I and how did God lead me here?
I am blessed beyond all reason. I was brought up in a Christian home filled with music (piano, organ, horns, woodwinds, guitars and voice), books, math, sports, laughter, three brothers and a sister, love, structure, freedom and kindness. As my siblings and I reflect on our upbringing, we are amazed and baffled at how our parents modeled and instilled in our lives the things that honor God. We have not been perfect, but we know God loves us and we know what He expects of us. We have all married and had children. Most of us moved away from Phoenix for a time during our adult lives, but we now live close together and share family time often.
My parents served in inner-city Spanish-language ministry for over 60 years, involving the whole family in cross-cultural relationships. This background contributed in significant ways to who I am today. I heard the Gospel in both languages from birth and knew that I needed a Savior from an early age. I gave my life to Jesus as a five year-old and started down the road of spiritual growth from that time until today. Being bilingual and bicultural was such a part of my upbringing that I adjust very quickly to cross-cultural situations and become “at home” in new settings. This has made me compassionate toward people who feel marginalized. For several years, my work at GCU focused on international students as well as domestic students who wanted to study and/or minister abroad. The passions that emerged from my experience gave me unique preparation for that job.
I graduated from Grand Canyon College (before it became a university) and went to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX, because I felt that God wanted to prepare me for cross-cultural ministry. As He would have it, I have been in a teaching, mentoring and leading ministry at GCU since 1990. I have taught Spanish, English as a second language, cross-cultural communication and ministry, as well as Bible over the years. Currently I serve as Associate Dean of the College of Theology, working with faculty, curriculum and university committees. My new area of focus is leadership of the undergraduate programs.
What do I enjoy most at GCU?
Having experienced all the transitions at GCU from the 1970s to the present, I have watched God open many doors of opportunity. I have learned to thrive in change and to trust God to do good things at all times.
What advice do I have for theology students?
If you are in the College of Theology, preparing for ministry, I would encourage you to study faithfully, submit yourself to a mentor who will encourage and challenge you and serve God well with the gifts he has given you. Don’t wait until you have all the answers before you start to serve. God will give you clarity, wisdom and discernment as you seek Him. I would also encourage you to ask God to open your eyes to opportunities to share your faith with people on your path each day because the world is hungering for the truth and hope He offers.