Mindy Coates Smith, D.Min


Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Mindy enjoyed her childhood in the warm desert sunshine. Mindy graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Elementary Education and lettered in the sport of Track & Field. After college, Mindy spent three and a half years as a Program Director at Spring Hill Camps in Michigan, one of the largest Christian youth camps in the country. Mindy met her husband RO at Spring Hill and shortly after they were married they moved to California to attend Fuller Theological Seminary. Mindy has attained a Masters of Arts in Theology and a Doctor of Ministry degree with an emphasis on Youth, Family & Culture. Mindy served as the Senior Director of Children and Youth at Bel Air Church in Los Angeles for twelve years. She is an Adjunct Professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and Point Loma Nazarene University. She currently works with children and families as Director of Early Childhood at Gillipsie School in La Jolla. Mindy feels her vocational calling is to partner with families and communities as they cultivate the changing landscape of childhood and adolescence. She has a passion for children, youth and families; she deeply cares about issues of social justice; and she is an advocate for education. Mindy lives in Point Loma with her husband, RO, their daughter Eleanor and dog Scout.


  • Doctor of Ministry in Theology, emphasis Youth, Family & Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Master of Arts in Theology, emphasis Youth, Family & Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Univeristy of Arizona

Courses Taught

  • Youth and Family Ministry - CMI 425

Experience in Field

  • Director of Early Childhood, Gillispie School
  • Senior Director of Children and Youth, Bel Air Church
  • Adjunct Professor, Point Loma Nazarene Univeristy; Northwest Nazarene University; Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Sticky Faith Coach, Fuller Youth Institute
  • Doctoral Projects Committee Member, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Area Director, Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Program Director, Spring Hill Camps

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Member, Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church
  • Member, North American Reggio Emilia Alliance
  • Member, Pact, An Adoption Alliance
  • Volunteer, Union Rescue Mission & Hope Gardens Family Center
  • "Team Beverly Hills" graduate, a community leadership program of the City of Beverly Hills, CA
  • Global Service Trip Leader, various locations

Awards and Honors

  • Student Speaker at Commencement, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Letter Winner in the Sport of Track & Field, University of Arizona

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • A Strategy for Nurture, Support and Authentic Relationships at Oaks Christian High School. Fuller Theological Seminary Thesis Series, 2010.
  • Various articles and book chapters.