LCMS President Rev. Matthew C. Harrison has received two honorary doctorates:
- a Doctor of Laws from Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich., during the university’s May 7 commencement ceremony.
- a Doctor of Divinity during the May 20 commencement at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.
“Rev. Harrison is a true visionary for the church and embodies the motto of Concordia, ‘That in all things Christ may have the pre-eminence,'” said Dr. Russell Nichols, interim CEO of Concordia, Ann Arbor. “His servant leadership within the church will, with God’s blessing, only strengthen the mission to continue on in Christ’s work.”
Before becoming Synod president last fall, Harrison served as executive director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care for nine years. During that time, the Synod’s mercy and disaster relief ministry coordinated the $14 million LCMS response to Hurricane Katrina, and the multi-million-dollar responses to the tsunami in Asia and the earthquake in Haiti.
Harrison served for more than a decade as a parish pastor at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Westgate, Iowa, and Zion Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Ind. During his pastorate at Zion in Fort Wayne, his parish embarked on a now nationally recognized neighborhood revitalization effort.
Prior to joining LCMS World Relief and Human Care, Harrison served on the LCMS Board for Mission Services from 1998 to 2001. He and his wife, Kathy, also spent a year as missionaries in a remote Canadian Cree Indian village. Harrison currently serves on the boards of Lutheran World Relief and Lutheran Services in America, both based in Baltimore.
Harrison graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 1989 from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. He earned his Master of Sacred Theology degree from the same institution in 1991 and later pursued additional graduate study at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
His academic pursuits have continued in the authoring, editing and translating of several articles and books, including two volumes titled The Lonely Way: Selected Essays and Letters, by Hermann Sasse (Concordia Publishing House). He also is the editor of At Home in the House of My Fathers, a collection of translated works by some of the founders of the LCMS, and the author of A Little Book on Joy, a devotional-style book about finding delight in living a Christ-centered life in today’s society.
Harrison and his wife are members of Village Lutheran Church in Ladue, Mo., where he also serves as assistant pastor. They have two sons.
Posted May 19, 2011/Updated May 26, 2011