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Michael J. Svigel

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Michael J. Svigel

Church history, freelance writing, Bob Dylan, classical piano, and the combination of creativity and analytical thinking. All are passions of Dr. Mike Svigel, Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at DTS.

Svigel earned an undergraduate degree from Philadelphia Biblical University in pre-seminary Bible and completed his Th.M. in 2001, while most recently earning his Ph.D. in theological studies with a concentration in historical theology from DTS.

When Svigel entered DTS as a Th.M. student, he came with a drive to perform and succeed in his academic and New Testament studies. As with many first-year students, the internal drive to compete and compare was something he grappled with in light of his desire for ministry work. During this time, his wife Stephanie had their first child. As a result, learning to balance his family life with his studies helped Mike see that his life was ultimately for other people, not necessarily his academic success.

“I realized my life was to be spent pouring into others, not necessarily spending all my time pouring over books,” says Svigel. “When I came to this conclusion, it freed God up to direct my path in ways that I did not actively seek, but instead opportunities came my way through God’s leading.”

One of those opportunities was working at Insight for Living, first as a writer and then as director of the creative ministries department. He oversaw the production processes of publications and ministry resources and also did much of the writing himself. He still writes for them occasionally.

How did Svigel know he wanted to teach?

“I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was studying for my Th.M. at DTS. During those years, and even previously in Bible college, I noticed a trend in my preaching that my sermons were content heavy and likely more suitable for the academic environment,” he says. “I received a lot of encouragement about my teaching ability, and the more I taught, the more I realized it was a natural fit for me. Actually going out and doing it was the best way for me to learn that.”

As a result of his life experiences and education, Svigel thoroughly enjoys teaching systematic theology and more specifically, church history.

“I enjoy the freedom we (faculty) are given here at DTS to be creative in our class lectures,” he says. “Since I think both analytically and creatively, I incorporate aspects of both into class discussions in order to help students also see the value of using creativity to explore issues in theology and our faith in general.” Svigel teaches required and elective courses in both systematic and historical theology in the Theological Studies department.