Dr. Robert J. Matz named next president of Hannibal-LaGrange University

The Hannibal-LaGrange University Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Robert J. Matz as the 18th President of Hannibal-LaGrange University. Dr. Matz was appointed by the full Board of Trustees at the fall meeting on October 14, 2022.

HLGU Trustee Chairman, Mark Anderson remarked, “I am grateful for each member of the Search Team and the full Board of Trustees for their support of the search process. We have earnestly sought the Lord and desired to follow His will above all else. I am also grateful Dr. Matz has accepted our invitation to lead HLGU during this strategic season. Dr. Matz has a secure calling by God and his passion for Christ and the University, his unique giftedness, godly character, and inspiring vision will help lead the University in the years to come.”

“The people of God cried out to the Lord and He heard their cry. For months, people who love HLGU asked the Lord for a leader and provision to rescue the university,” said Dr. John L. Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention. “The presidential search team believe they have found, with Dr. Robert Matz, HLGU’s next president.”

On learning of his appointment, Dr. Matz remarked, “Over the last 164 years God has shown Himself to be incredibly faithful to Hannibal-LaGrange University. Jessica & I are humbled to be entrusted with the opportunity to steward this great University. We are fully committed to seeing God transform lives and communities in the days ahead.”

Mark Anderson also expressed his gratitude to others who have supported the University, “I especially want to thank all Missouri Baptists and friends of HLGU for their prayers and support. It is also important for us to thank Dr. Rodney Harrison for his excellent and sacrificial leadership as our Transitional President for the past nine months. We have truly witnessed a miracle at HLGU and give God all the glory.”

Dr. Harrison added his support of the decision of the Board of Trustees, “Dr. Matz brings years of relevant experience related to the inner-workings of Christian Higher Education to HLGU. His experience with accreditation, compliance, budgets and quality curriculum are coupled with a tangible commitment to Christ, family, HLGU and his church. I believe Robert and Jessica will be stellar additions to the University and the community.”

“I know I join with a host of Missouri Baptists congratulating Dr. Matz and applauding the presidential search team. With much prayer, diligence, and the leadership of Dr. Matz, HLGU has a great hope and a future,” added Dr. John Yeats.

Since July 2021, Dr. Matz has served HLGU as Vice President of Academic Administration, Dean of the Faculty, and Professor of Theology and Preaching. In March 2022 Matz was named the Acting Executive Vice President as Dr. Rodney Harrison was named Transitional President.

Dr. Matz is a graduate of Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Engineering (2005). He earned a Master’s of Divinity with a concentration in systematic theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2009) and a Ph.D. in theology and apologetics from Liberty University (2015). His publications include Better Together: You, Your Church, and the Cooperative ProgramDivine Impassability: Four Views of God’s Emotions and Suffering, as well as chapter contributions and articles for academic journalsForthcoming books include Kerux Commentaries: Jonah, Micah, Nahum, and Habakkuk; and Deep and Wide: The Role of Baptism in Child Discipleship. Dr. Matz is a member of and regular presenter at the Evangelical Theological Society. He was appointed to and served on the Southern Baptist Convention’s special task force on evangelism in 2017-2018.

Alongside his academic efforts, Dr. Matz is a committed Southern Baptist churchman. He has pastored churches in Texas, Virginia, and Missouri and led in the revitalization of Blue Hills Baptist Church in Independence, MO, the oldest Baptist church in the Kansas City metro area. Prior to coming to HLGU, Dr. Matz served at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for 10 years both in administration and as a faculty member.

Dr. Matz is married to Jessica and they have three children, Andrew, Katie, and Jonathan. They are active members of Immanuel Baptist Church in Hannibal. Dr. Matz regularly travels to speak and preach in churches throughout the region and is available by contacting his office at 573-629-3252.

Hannibal-LaGrange University is a four-year Christian university fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The institution prides itself in its traditional and nontraditional educational experience in a distinctively Christian environment.

Share this article on your social media accounts!