About the President

Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison   •   The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod


The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison has served as president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) since 2010. As president, he is the chief ecclesiastical supervisor of the Synod and is responsible for the national program ministries of the LCMS, including the Office of International Mission, which calls and employs some 150 missionaries globally.

Before becoming president, Harrison served for nine years as executive director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care. During that time, LCMS World Relief and Human Care coordinated the $14 million LCMS response to Hurricane Katrina and the multimillion-dollar responses to the tsunami in Asia and the earthquake in Haiti; managed relationships with some 120 LCMS Recognized Service Organizations and other inter-Lutheran social ministry organizations; worked in consultation with LCMS partner/sister churches to build capacity during numerous mercy outreach efforts; and managed LCMS pro-life efforts.

A native of Sioux City, Iowa, Harrison holds a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, and M.Div. and S.T.M. degrees from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. Harrison has pursued additional graduate study at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and has received honorary doctorates from Concordia University Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Mich., and the seminary in Fort Wayne.

Harrison has written, translated and edited a number of books, including Christ Have Mercy, A Little Book on Joy, At Home in the House of My Fathers, The Church and the Office of the Ministry by LCMS founder C.F.W. Walther, and five volumes of essays and letters of Lutheran theologian Hermann Sasse, including The Lonely Way and Letters to Lutheran Pastors.

Harrison also serves as chairman of the board of the International Lutheran Society of Wittenberg (Old Latin School), which hosts some 40 students and church planters from the European Union and beyond who are studying to become ordained pastors. In addition, Harrison chairs the board of the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty and serves on the executive committee of the International Lutheran Council.

Harrison is active in the pro-life movement and frequently speaks at such events. He was one of a select group of pro-life leaders asked to take part in the D.C. March for Life during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Harrison and his wife, Kathy, live in Ballwin, Mo., and are members of Village Lutheran Church in Ladue, Mo., where he also serves as assistant pastor. They have two married sons and one granddaughter. Harrison is an avid bluegrass banjo player and builder of guitars, banjos and mandolins, as well as a vintage Jeep enthusiast.

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