Fr Michael Smith SJ

Michael Smith is originally from New Zealand. He joined the Australian Province of the Society of Jesus in 1976 and was ordained a priest in 1984.

Academic Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science majoring in Zoology and Physiology (University of Otago).
  • Postgraduate Diploma of Science in Marine Biology (University of Otago).
  • Graduate Diploma of Education (University of Melbourne).
  • Bachelor of Theology (United Faculty of Theology).
  • Master of Arts (Pastoral Counselling) from Loyola University, Chicago. His internship during
    the MAPC was in child and family therapy.
  • Doctor of Education in Counselling and Human Services from La Trobe University.
    His dissertation was on the personal spirituality of men at mid-life.


Michael is Dean of the Sentir Graduate School of Spiritual Formation of the MCD University of Divinity. The Institute offers courses in spirituality, spiritual direction and pastoral formation for ministry.


He has written a book, based on his Masters thesis, entitled Between Fathers and Sons (Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1997) which focuses on the relationship between adolescent boys and their fathers, and the importance of that relationship in helping sons grow into spiritually and psychologically mature men.

Pastoral Experience

From 1986-1989, Michael was the vocations promoter for the Australian Province of the Society of Jesus. In 1990 he taught at Saint Ignatius College, Riverview, before going to the United States in 1991 for further studies. He did his Tertianship in Northern Ireland in 1993-94. From 1994 to 2005 he was the Director of Campion Centre of Ignatian Spirituality where he gave retreats, and worked as a pastoral counsellor and spiritual director.  He took up this role again in 2012.

Other Interests

His hobbies include:

  • painting portraits,
  • playing the guitar,
  • listening to the Beatles, and
  • barracking for the All Blacks.