Hannibal-LaGrange University has named Robert J. Matz as its 18th president. Matz was appointed by the full board of trustees at the fall meeting on Oct. 14.
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. … 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.”
Matz noted, “Over the last 164 years God has shown Himself to be incredibly faithful to Hannibal-LaGrange University. Jessica and 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.”
Gratitude toward Missouri Baptists
Acknowledging the support of Missouri Baptists during recent financial challenges at the university, Anderson expressed his gratitude for them and the leadership of transitional president Rodney Harrison.
“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 [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.”
Harrison noted, 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.”
Education and experience
Since July 2021, 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 Rodney Harrison was named transitional president.
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 writing and editing contributions include “Better Together: You, Your Church, and the Cooperative Program,” “Divine Impassability: Four Views of God’s Emotions and Suffering,” as well as chapter contributions and articles for academic journals. Forthcoming books include Kerux Commentaries: Jonah, Micah, Nahum, and Habakkuk; and “Deep and Wide: The Role of Baptism in Child Discipleship.”
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, Matz has served as pastor of churches in Texas, Virginia and Missouri and led in the revitalization of Blue Hills Baptist Church in Independence, Missouri, the oldest Baptist church in the Kansas City metro area.
Prior to coming to HLGU, Matz served at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for 10 years both in administration and as a faculty member.
Matz is married to Jessica and they have three children. They are members of Immanuel Baptist Church in Hannibal.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by and originally published by Missouri’s the Pathway.