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The Rev. Peter W. Marty

The Rev. Peter Marty is senior pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Davenport, IA. He is the publisher of The Christian Century magazine.

Member of:

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Representative of:

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Davenport, IA

The Rev. Peter Marty

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Davenport, IA

Peter W. Marty serves as senior pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, a 3500-member congregation in Davenport, Iowa. He is a frequent preacher and speaker at colleges, churches, and conferences across the country. Author of more than 100 articles on leadership, preaching, and parish renewal in America, Marty is also the author of The Anatomy of Grace (Augsburg Fortress, 2008). From 2004-2009, he served as host of the national radio broadcast, Grace Mattersspeaking to more than a million listeners through the program's weekly airing. In 2015 he was named the publisher of The Christian Century magazine.   

In 2010, the Academy of Parish Clergy named him "Parish Pastor of the Year," an award recognizing leadership excellence and faithfulness in congregational development.

Peter has preached in some of America's most notable pulpits including Washington National Cathedral, Duke Chapel, and Yale University. 

Pastor Marty has served on various hospital, college, foundation, and community boards. He serves on the board of trustees for Augustana College, Rock Island, IL. Other writings of his include contributions to several multi-volume works on preaching, and chapters in different books on congregational life and theology. He has served as narrator for different faith broadcast documentaries on the Hallmark channel.

Marty is a one-time fellow of the Fund for Theological Education, and has served as a partner on pastoral leadership for the Fund. He has been a member of the Louisville Institute's Pastor's Working Group, and a past participant in the Duke Project for the Study of Ministry. In 2009, he was named the visiting Hoskins Fellow at Yale Divinity School.

Prior to his arrival in Davenport in 1996, he served an eight-year pastorate in Kansas City, Missouri and a two-year pastorate in River Forest, Illinois. He graduated with honors from both The Colorado College and Yale Divinity School. He was the 1979 recipient of an honors fellowship in history for study at Oxford University. Prior to studies at Yale, Marty lived in Cameroun, West Africa for one and a half years, serving as the director of construction for a mission outpost of the Lutheran Church.

Peter W. Marty has piloted interfaith dialogue events, led Lutheran-Episcopal seminars, and served on different ecumenical ministry boards. In the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, he has served as chair of the Senior Pastors' Conference, and twice as a Colleague Program Leader mentoring new pastors. Presently at St. Paul, he leads a pastoral residency program funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc. This program, designed for fostering pastoral excellence, is one of only two in the country situated in a Lutheran Church setting.

He is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from St. Ambrose University (Doctor of Humanities).

Peter is married to Susan and they have two adult children - Jacob (program director for the 5Point Film Festival, Carbondale, CO) and Rachel (a student at Colorado State University). He enjoys family travel, woodworking, tennis, French horn, reading, and the adventure of waking up to a new day every day.

 


Latest Content by The Rev. Peter W. Marty

The Rev. Peter W. Marty

Two of the Sweetest Words Ever Spoken

Acts 9:1-20

Third Sunday of Easter - Year C

April 10, 2016

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

 

The main road leading south out of Damascus is a dangerous thoroughfare these days. We know enough about the Syrian war to not want to be anywhere near that road. Well, it just so happens that the same road was dangerous in a different way a long time ago to the man we meet in the New Testament named Saul of Tarsus. In one of the most well-known of biblical stories, Saul was stricken by a light from heaven while traveling on that road. The light knocked him to the ground and blinded him.

Read full transcript...
The Rev. Peter W. Marty

Believing Is Seeing

John 20:19-31

2nd Sunday of Easter - Year C

April 03, 2016

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

 

Certain calls that come into my cellphone automatically get clicked into voicemail. The dentist's office would be one of those. I pretty much expect a call from the dentist every six months. After a few weeks of repeat calls, the courteous thing to do seems to be to pick up the call and actually bother to schedule an appointment. So I do.

Read full transcript...

Other Recent Content by The Rev. Peter W. Marty

The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

July 26, 2013

Peter Marty: Letting Go

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

Our lives tighten up around things over which we don't want to lose control. Yet freedom in Christ will only be ours where we find ways to stop clinging to our possessions, bodies and egos.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

February 08, 2013

Peter Marty: Elements of the Lord's Day: Loving Others on Our Knees

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

In his column for The Lutheran magazine, Peter Marty writes, I don't know if you consider the public prayers in your congregation to be rich or anemic. Only you can know if those prayers are talking to the center of God, or if they are busier talking to and at yourselves.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

January 04, 2013

Peter Marty: Elements of the Lord's Day: The Offering Experience

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

The offering moment in Christian worship is undergoing a rapid sea change. The advent of online giving, cash and credit card giving kiosks in some churches, less frequent worship attendance than a generation ago, and widespread ignorance about stewardship among newer Christians means some stark new realities. One can be sitting in the 10th row of a full church and see a nearly empty offering plate go by.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

November 09, 2012

Dr. Peter Marty: Elements of the Lord's Day: The Sermon

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

In his column for the November issue of The Lutheran magazine, Peter Marty continues his series on the Elements of the Lord's Day, focusing on the sermon: Often the sermon is just an earful of talk about God; folks want encounter with God.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

October 26, 2012

Peter Marty: Elements of the Lord's Day: Into Our Ears

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

In his latest column for The Lutheran magazine, Peter Marty writes: Week in and week out, Christians tie their lives to the testimony of some long-ago-people who felt the pulse of God beating in their hearts. Just when we're ready to dismiss those ancients as irrelevant to our lives, a lightbulb often goes on in our heads.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

October 12, 2012

Peter Marty: Elements of the Lord's Day: Moved to Sing

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

Maybe singing in worship isn't all about you, or about any one person for that matter. Maybe it is about what we do together — a "living together in harmony," to borrow words from the Apostle Paul.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

August 10, 2012

Dr. Peter Marty: Elements of the Lord's Day: Getting Situated

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

Entering a church for the umpteenth time, one knows the routine. Familiar faces abound. Navigating the space is as easy as walking around your own kitchen. Even the smell of the entryway lends its own cozy hello. Entering a church for the first time is a different story.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

July 13, 2012

Peter Marty: The Windup: Deciding to Get Up and Go to Church

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

Part 1 of a new series on Elements of the Lord's Day: What a peculiar idea that Christians would have to deliberate, in a weekly way, whether or not to go to church. We don't wrestle each morning with whether or not we should brush our teeth or get dressed.
The Rev. Chris Yaw Article

June 12, 2012

Chris Yaw Interviews Peter Marty: Morale and Trust Are Keys to Healthy Congregations

The Rev. Chris Yaw (TEC)

The pastor of the fastest growing urban congregation in the Lutheran Church (ELCA) says what draws people to join St. Paul’s is the energy and vibrancy that hits them the first minute they come through the door. Peter Marty says things were not that way 16 years ago when he arrived to pastor a church that was deeply divided and faced a mountain of debt.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

June 08, 2012

Peter Marty: Emmaus: Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

It could be that Emmaus serves as that symbolic place for our lives of faith. It is where we go when the wind empties from our sail. It's the place where we head when grief makes our compass bearings go haywire. When confused and distraught, we often stick out our thumb and hitchhike to Emmaus. Read Peter Marty's column from The Lutheran magazine.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

May 11, 2012

Dr. Peter Marty: Jonah: Changing Course

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

In the latest in his Bible Stories That Breathe Life series, Dr. Peter Marty considers Jonah 3: Somewhere along the way we Christians picked up the notion that to change one's mind is a spiritual weakness. How much better, we reason, to stay absolutely consistent and to convince ourselves that we know perfect truth.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

April 13, 2012

Dr. Peter Marty: An Incognito Lord

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

In his latest column for The Lutheran magazine, Peter Marty writes, "It's amazing that the most affluent country in the history of the world is still trying to find the basic resolve and ingenuity to care for, and feed, all of her people. How can we in this nation, which is more professedly Christian than all of its counterparts in the developed world, still be struggling to practice fundamental Christian behavior?"
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

March 09, 2012

Dr. Peter Marty: Host and Guest (Genesis 18)

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

What would life be like absent of all hospitality? Harsh. Difficult. Inhospitable. No wonder the Bible has such a developed theology of hospitality. God wants to give shape to lives that not only welcome the neighbor but, much more challengingly, welcome the stranger. It's the latter that receives priority attention in the Hebrew Bible.
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The Rev. Dr. Peter Marty - Day1 Conversations with Peter Wallace

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

The Rev. Peter Marty sits down with Day1 host Peter Wallace for a wide ranging discussion focused on the future of ministry, how the church is handling the media world, and how things are going in his own congregation.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

February 03, 2012

Dr. Peter Marty: Getting What We Never Deserve

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

In his latest column for The Lutheran magazine, Peter Marty says the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) is really about his dad's character and unconditional love.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

January 13, 2012

Dr. Peter Marty: A Face That Shines

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

When Moses blessed the Israelites, his words included a line that still radiates divine love: "the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you" (Numbers 6:25). It was his way of letting them know that God's glory is not contained in one face. It is mirrored in the contagious wow of every believer.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

December 09, 2011

Dr. Peter Marty: To be a guide

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

As Christian people trying to live a gospel of grace and make sense of an indiscriminately gracious God, we still have a strange love affair with boundary markers. There is something in the human spirit that causes us to want to think of ourselves as insiders, and others unlike us as outsiders.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

November 08, 2011

Dr. Peter Marty: 10 Bible stories that breathe life: Stockpiling life

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

Peter Marty on Exodus 16: "We are still trying to fully appreciate the giver behind our daily bread. Unfortunately, a myth keeps telling us that there is not enough to go around."
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

October 11, 2011

Dr. Peter Marty: Climbing Down: What Zacchaeus Can Teach Us

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

Jesus ordered Zacchaeus down from both the tree and his "high horse." This is what Jesus does best. He goes after people and doesn't wait for their initiative. He bids us with an urgency to come and follow.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

September 06, 2011

Dr. Peter Marty: A God Bent on Relationship

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

What are some of the Bible stories that are indispensable to living the Christian life well? Why are they so valuable to our journey of faith? These are the questions prompting this 10-part series. Part 1: Genesis 3:1-9.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Transcript

August 28, 2011

Trusting God to Settle Scores

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

In Paul's to-do list for Christians in community, he urges us to live peaceably. In order to do that, we must turn over our feelings of revenge to God and live in harmony.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Transcript

August 21, 2011

Do You Love Jesus?

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

Talking about Jesus as an idea is a far cry from trusting your life to Jesus, and believing in the concept of God doesn't begin to compare with actually knowing God. Peter Marty calls for a bone-rattling passion for following Christ.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

August 12, 2011

Dr. Peter Marty: The Art of Trusting

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

Of the two most common ways for us to sleep well — sheer exhaustion on the one hand, or confidence that all is OK on the other — the psalmist hints at the latter. To sleep in peace is to conclude a day in unworried fashion, confident in God's care.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Article

July 09, 2011

Dr. Peter Marty: Part Mystery, Part Mess

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

Those who give it a serious piece of their lives quickly discover that the church is often 51 percent mystery and 49 percent mess. They also find out that no matter how flawed the individuals within it may be, the church still happens to be the garden of God's grace.
The Rev. Peter W. Marty Transcript

September 17, 2006

Christ and Everything Else Thrown In

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

The Rev. Peter Marty, host of the radio program "Grace Matters," and pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa, takes a look at what it really means to follow Jesus.

The Rev. Peter W. Marty Transcript

September 10, 2006

It's Time We Open Up!

The Rev. Peter Marty (ELCA)

The Rev. Peter Marty is the host of the radio program "Grace Matters," and is pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Davenport, IA.