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St. Olaf names new college pastor

By David Gonnerman '90
April 27, 2012

St. Olaf President David R. Anderson '74 has announced that Matthew Marohl has been called to serve as college pastor. When Marohl assumes his new duties July 2, he will succeed W. Bruce Benson, who retired last spring after 30 years at St. Olaf, and interim pastor Ann Svennungsen, who recently was elected bishop of the Minneapolis synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

"The college pastor plays a central role in fostering our college's faith life, our students' vocational discernment, and our identity as a college of the church," Anderson says. "Pastor Marohl is a gifted preacher, an inquiring intellect who welcomes the diversity of religious expression, and an experienced spiritual guide. And he knows how to have fun with college-age students.

"We are eager to welcome him to St. Olaf."

Since 2009 Marohl has been associate pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa. He previously served as associate pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in La Grange, Illinois, and was visiting assistant professor at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, where his courses included Christian Origins: Then and Now, Early Christian Controversies, and Jesus of Nazareth. He also was youth director at Prairie Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and assistant program director at Upper Missouri Ministries Bible Camp in North Dakota.   

Marohl has spoken at numerous ELCA synod and conference events and served on the ELCA Committee on the Book of Faith Initiative. His three books include, most recently, Unexpected New Life: Reading the Gospel of Matthew. He graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, before earning an M.Div. from Luther Seminary in St. Paul. He also holds an M.Th. from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and a Ph.D. in biblical studies from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Contact David Gonnerman at 507-786-3315 or