Rev. David Smith, Catholic Priest and retired professor of theology, was founding director of the Justice and Peace Studies program at the University of St. Thomas. He first visited Israel in 1968 when he was a graduate student in Rome, and studied in Jerusalem at the Ecole Biblique for two years in the mid 1970s. He was a member of a Michigan Peace Team of third-party nonviolent peacemakers in Gaza in the summer of 2005 and in the West Bank for three months in the fall of 2007. He is co-author of the book Understanding World Religions: A Road Map for Justice and Peace (2nd Ed: Rowman and Littlefield, 2015) which studies the ways various world religions interact to support or interfere with justice and peace, with Israel-Palestine as a case study. He has traveled extensively worldwide to study poverty, justice, and peace.