Students who have met him or attended one of his classes will know Professor Dan Schmidt to be quiet, vastly knowledgeable about the Bible and a staunch advocate for following proper grammar.
Before the college years, Schmidt, of course, had a childhood, as we all did. But unlike many of us, he spent most of his childhood living in the Bahamas.
Yes, you read that correctly, those classic beaches you typically see in calendars were, for a time, Schmidt’s backyard.
To Schmidt, growing up in the Bahamas did not seem so exotic or unique. “Part of it was we didn’t know what we didn’t have,” he said. Schmidt described how his family would come to the States a couple times a year to shop. “This was more of a novelty rather than ‘I wish we had these [in the Bahamas],’” Schmidt said.
Before living in the Bahamas, when Schmidt was in 4th grade his family moved to Nigeria for a year. His dad decided to take a year off and work for a mission group, moving his family with him to Africa. Before Nigeria, Schmidt lived in Pittsburgh, PA.
Sprinkled in between Pennsylvania, the Bahamas, and Africa were three years in Costa Rica. It was in this small, Central American country that Schmidt discovered his favorite food, gallo pinto (“spotted rooster” in Spanish, so-named for its look of dark brown beans against white rice).
Schmidt’s first impression of this traditional Costa Rican breakfast was, “This is terrible!” Yet he was quickly able to conquer such disgust. “After living there for three years, I started looking for it on the menu,” Schmidt said.
Though he spent three years in Central America, he only speaks “un poquito” Spanish.
Schmidt pastors at a local church, in addition to enjoying the opportunity of teaching and being on Messiah’s campus as an adjunct.
When he isn’t kayaking with his wife, teaching or pastoring, he is likely writing. Schmidt has one project about the idea of glory, which he has been working on for ten years. On top of this, he has written a children’s book, Hug in a Mug, which was illustrated by Messiah alum Morgan Boucher, ’16.
Schmidt and his wife, Sue, have three daughters, Aletheia, Kara, and Dorea.