Deacon Severus Mikhail was born in Cairo, Egypt.

He received his formal education in Southern Californian schools, including a Masters in History and a Ph.D. in the History of the Near and Middle East at the University of California, Los Angeles. His dissertation was Egypt from Late Antiquity to Early Islam: Copts, Melkites, and Muslims Shaping a New Society, which won Honorable Mention for the Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Award conferred by the Middle East Studies Association.