Mark hanson

Mark S. Hanson, Third Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, speaking at the inauguration of Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow on Oct. 20 2006. (Credit: Caleb Williams, Augsburg College Echo newspaper)

Mark S. Hanson (December 2, 1946 - ) is the third, and current, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The Rev. Mark S. Hanson was born in Minneapolis Minnesota on 2 December 1946. He was raised in a Lutheran family in Minnesota. His father was a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church . Hanson graduated from Minnehaha Academy in 1964, and earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from Augsburg College in 1968. He was a Rockefeller Fellow at Union Theological Seminary from 1968 to 1969, where he received a Master of Divinity degree in 1972, and attended Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, from 1973 to 1974. He was a Merrill Fellow at Harvard University Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1979.

Following his ordination in 1974, Hanson served as pastor at Prince of Glory Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1973 to 1979; Edina Community Lutheran Church, Edina, Minnesota, from 1979 to 1988; and University Lutheran Church of Hope, Minneapolis, from 1988 to 1995. He was elected Bishop of the Saint Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 1995, and had been reelected to a second term prior to his election as Presiding Bishop of the ELCA in 2001.

In 2003, Hanson was elected President of the Lutheran World Federation, a role which he serves concurrently with his role as ELCA Presiding Bishop. He serves on the executive council on the executive board of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Hanson is author of Faithful Yet Changing: The Church in Challenging Times (Augsburg Fortress, Minneapolis: 2002). In 2007 Hanson was reelected on the second ballot, thus will become during this term the longest-serving Presiding Bishop in the ELCA's history. (The ELCA's first Presiding Bishop, Herbert W. Chilstrom, served two 4-year terms.)

In 2005, he mourned the death of Pope John Paul II, especially for his contributions to the ecumenical movement. [1]

He is married to Ione (Agrimson) Hanson from Hettinger, ND. Before the Hansons moved to Chicago, she was director of social work at Minneapolis and St. Paul Children's Hospitals. The Hansons are the parents of Aaron, Alyssa, Rachel, Ezra, Isaac and Elizabeth, and grandparents to Naomi and Kingston.[2]


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Preceded by
Lowell Erdahl
Bishop of the Saint Paul Area Synod
Succeeded by
Paul Werger
Preceded by
H. George Anderson
Presiding Bishop of the ELCA
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Christian Krause
Lutheran World Federation President
Succeeded by