Faculty Profile

Matthew L. Becker, Associate Professor of Theology

College of Arts and Sciences - Room 314
(219) 464-6695

Curriculum Vitae


Before coming to Valparaiso in 2004 I taught at Concordia University, Portland (1994-2004). My academic interest is modern Christian theology, although I teach courses that attempt to engage the Christian tradition in its breadth and scope (especially the history of Lutheran theology).

I have published a book-length treatment of one of the most important Protestant theologians of the 19th century, Johannes von Hofmann, The Self-Giving God and Salvation History (T&T Clark, 2004). In addition I have written monographs on several important 19th- & 20th-century theologians, have contributed articles on Lutheran theology to The New Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology (forthcoming) and the Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (forthcoming), and wrote two chapters for the book, Twentieth-Century Lutheran Theologians (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013).

My most recent book, Fundamental Theology: A Protestant Perspective, will be published in 2014 by T & T Clark. I am also editing a book on the most important theologians of the nineteenth century. This is a joint project between Lutheran Quarterly and the publisher Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

The epigraph to the published edition of the Jefferson Lecture by the most famous person to have taught at Valparaiso University, Jaroslav Pelikan's Vindication of Tradition, is a quote from Goethe's Faust (here translated): "What you have inherited from your fathers, acquire it in order to make it your own." Following Pelikan's own example, I have tried to make this aphorism the motto of my work as a teacher and scholar.

Personal Interests

My wife, our 14-year-old son, and I enjoy traveling. The photo (below) of my son and me was taken in the summer of 2013 on the Neckar River in Tübingen, Germany. I also enjoy cooking, riding my bicycle, and updating my blog ("Transverse Markings").



B.A. - Concordia University, Portland 1984
M.Div. - Concordia Seminary 1988
M.A.; Ph.D. - University of Chicago 1990; 2001

Courses Taught

Theology 200: The Christian Tradition
Theology 328: Christians in Nazi Germany
Theology 328: Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogues
Theology 330: Problems in Modern Christian Theology
Theology 348: Creation
Theology 348: Luther and Bach