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Matthew Hisrich named Vice President of Earlham and Dean of Earlham School of Religion

March 07, 2019

Matthew Hisrich, D.M., has been named Vice President of Earlham and Dean of the Earlham School of Religion.Matthew Hisrich, D.M., has been named Vice President of Earlham and Dean of the Earlham School of Religion (ESR) by Interim President Avis Stewart. The appointment of Hisrich, who has been serving as Interim Vice President and Dean since July 1, 2018, is effective immediately.

“Matt has done a tremendous job of working with faculty to complete the School's strategic planning process during this academic year,” says Stewart. “My sense is that Matt is passionate about ESR and he has done an exceptional job in this interim role at a time that has been challenging for ESR and the College.” 

Hisrich, an ESR graduate, has been instrumental in a variety of recent efforts to meet the needs of contemporary students. These include a revision of its requirements for the Master of Divinity degree, the introduction of a bivocational ministry certificate program, the launch of a new Master of Arts degree program (offered in partnership with Bethany Seminary) in writing and theopoetics, and the hiring of a new Director of Student and Alumni Engagement.

He was hired as interim dean following a search that attracted several strong candidates. Input was sought from students, faculty and alumni of ESR.

“I am absolutely delighted to take on leadership of an institution that has shaped me and that plays a unique and important role in the world of theological education,” notes Hisrich. “I look forward to continuing my work with the faculty, staff and students of ESR as we seek new opportunities to serve and thrive.”

Prior to his service as Acting Dean, Hisrich was Director of Recruitment and Admissions at ESR since 2012. He earned his Master of Divinity at ESR in 2008. From 2008-2012, he directed Indiana Yearly Meeting’s Ministerial Excellence Initiative, a Lilly Endowment-supported program to assist pastors and meetings with questions of compensation and vitality. His professional background also includes work as a policy analyst for state-based, non-profit public policy organizations in Indiana, Kansas and Ohio. Hisrich’s wife, Heidi, teaches Biomedical Science at Richmond High School, and he and his family, are all members of First Friends Meeting in Richmond. Hisrich is also a Recorded Minister in the New Association of Friends. He has been involved in the Richmond community, having served on the editorial board of the Palladium-Item. In addition to his M.Div. from ESR, Hisrich earned a B.A. in Political Economy from Hillsdale College and a Doctorate in Management from the University of Maryland University College.

Founded in 1960, ESR is a Christian seminary affiliated with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) but attracts students from various faith backgrounds and takes an ecumenical approach to theological education. The school offers courses both at its Richmond, Indiana campus and online.


Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at 765-983-1256 and


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