David Woods

History & Theology

David was born in Orange County but grew up in New England, where he endured icy winters and humid summers but enjoyed the crisp springs and golden falls more than words can express. He returned West to attend college. There, as an undergraduate, he attempted to write the Great American Novel. It was not great, but it was good enough to earn him a scholarship to Ireland where he traveled and spoke as an Ambassadorial Scholar and wrote more of the novel, earning a Master’s in Writing at the National University of Ireland along the way. Returning to California, he discerned the Lord’s call to ordained ministry and attended Fuller Theological Seminary, where he earned his Master’s in Theology. For the past twelve years, he has served as co-pastor of Zoe Church in San Juan Capistrano. During this time, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine, completing his dissertation, “After Tragedy: The Romance of the Lowly God” in the field of Medieval & Renaissance Literature.

David taught ancient, medieval, and renaissance literature, religious studies, and writing at the University of California, Irvine for eight years. While there, he trained university instructors and helped develop new courses in the Humanities, including UCI’s first-ever course on the Bible. For seventeen years, David has tutored students of virtually every age in every subject, including spending ten years as an SAT/ACT test prep instructor.

David is committed to living a life of radical discipleship and passing on the historic Christian faith to the next generation.  In 2019, David was named a Senior Fellow of The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute. He has a passion for preaching the Word of God and pastoring God’s people.  What he values most about teaching at Pacifica is the opportunity to combine his teaching and pastoral vocations in one place, communicating the richest ideas of the past for the purposes of deep spiritual and intellectual formation in the present.

David lives in San Juan Capistrano with his wife, Lisa, a children’s book illustrator, and their three young children, John, Violet, and Haddon. He loves reading to his kids, missing Ireland, and watching the English Premier League bright and early on Saturday mornings. Someday, he hopes to publish a Pretty Decent American Novel.

In 2020, he founded the media company and podcast, From Babylon, With Love.


B.A. – English, UCI
M.A. – Writing, University of Ireland
M.A. – English, UCI
M.A. – Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary
Ph.D. – English, UCI

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