As a professor of theology at Fordham University, john denniston was known for teaching classes on eschatology and the Book of Revelation. He was also a prolific writer.
As Chairman of Shared-X, an agriculture impact company aiming to generate financial and social returns in emerging markets, Denniston delivers double impacts to smallholder farmers communities – higher family incomes by teaching them advanced sustainable farming techniques, and healthier ecosystems through the use of regenerative agriculture innovations.
Early Life and Education
John Denniston was born in Kingston, Jamaica and was educated there. He became a priest in 1979 and ordained at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York.
In his career, he served at many parishes in Long Island, New York. He was a diocesan priest and a member of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.
Father Denniston had a great love of religion and education. He entered the Brothers of the Sacred Heart at an early age and later taught at several higher educational institutions.
He was known for his ability to relate theology to students’ lives and his enthusiasm for teaching. He also encouraged a critical and light-hearted approach to questions of faith and meaning.
John Denniston worked as a lawyer, venture capitalist and entrepreneur. He is chairman of Shared-X, an innovative agriculture company that aims to close the yield gap in emerging markets by using sustainable farming practices and regenerative agriculture technology.
Previously, he was a Senior Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where he launched the firm’s green-tech investment initiative. Since then, he has invested in more than 50 companies across a wide variety of sectors.
As a professor, Denniston was known for his courses on eschatology — the study of death and final judgment — and the Book of Revelation. He also led core curriculum classes such as Faith and Critical Reason.
Achievements and Honors
John Denniston had a long and distinguished career in the dairy industry. He was a member of the dairy board of directors for a number of years and served as chairman for four. He was also a member of the New Zealand Dairy Association.
A respected teacher, he was a diocesan priest who was known to students as “Father D.” He taught at Fordham from 1996 to 2014.
Anne-Marie Sweeney, the department secretary for theology, said that Denniston’s teaching method was to instruct students on all of the world’s religious faiths while supplying them with the spiritual tools they needed to live their lives. She recalled one of her fondest memories of Denniston when he officiated her son’s wedding in 2016.
John Denniston devoted his life to his family and friends. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He also dedicated his time to teaching and working with students at Fordham University.
In addition to his work at Fordham, he was a partner in a law firm. He was a specialist in government contracts and had an extensive practice involving complex contract claims and appeals, bid protests, Federal Supply Schedule contracts, contract cost accounting and pricing issues, contract fraud investigations, suspension and debarment proceedings, patent and technical data rights, and classified contract security arrangements.
Throughout his career, he was known for his warm personality and for being an excellent teacher. He was well-respected by his peers and students at Fordham. He was a kind and thoughtful person who had an infectious sense of humor.
John Denniston is a theologian and academic who earned his PhD at Fordham University. He teaches courses on the world’s major religions and spirituality, including eschatology, which deals with death and the afterlife.
He also leads core curriculum classes such as Faith and Critical Reason. He is a professor of theology at Fordham and has taught since 1996.
His wife, Anne-Marie Sweeney, said that he was “kind and humble.” She praised him for his ability to teach and provide students with the spiritual tools they needed for life.
A former partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, John launched the firm’s greentech investment initiative. Prior to that, he was managing director and head of technology investment banking for the western United States at Salomon Smith Barney.