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Rev. Dr. Samuel Deressa

Associate Professor of Theology and the Global South, Fiechtner Chair for Christian Outreach, Director of DCO Program

Dr. Samuel Deressa began teaching part-time at Concordia in 2016 and joined the faculty full-time in 2018. Previously, he was a member of the Faculty of Theology (Gudina Tumsa Chair for Justice), 2008-2011, at the Mekane Yesus Seminary, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Deressa teaches courses on Global Christianity, Scripture and its Interpretation, Christian Vocation, and Christianity and the Media.

Deressa’s published works include Forming Leaders for the Public Church: Vocation in 21st -Century Societies (London: Fortress Academic Press, 2023), which he co-edited with Mary Sue Dreier; Leadership Formation in the African Context: Missional Leadership Revisited (Eugene, Origen: Wipf and Stock, 2022); A Church for the World: A Church’s Role in Fostering Democracy and Sustainable Development (London: Fortress Academic Press, 2020), which he co-edited with Josh de Keijzer; The Life, Works, and Witness of Tsehay Tolessa and Gudina Tumsa, the Ethiopian Bonhoeffer (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2017), which he co-edited with Sarah Wilson; and is the editor of Christian Theology in African Context: Essential Writings of Esthetu Abate (Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2015). He has written numerous articles for books and journals on Christianity in the Global South. He is a member of American Society of Missiology, International Association for Mission Studies, African Society of Evangelical Theology, and Lutheran Society of Missiology.

Deressa enjoys strong Ethiopian coffee, spending time with his three children, dabbling in video creation and traveling.

Academic Focus 

Theology of Mission; World Christianity; Christian Leadership; Christian-Muslim relations; and development studies.


Research Gate

Professional Experience

  • Faculty, Concordia University, St, Paul, MN (2016-present)
  • Lecturer and Gudina Tumsa Chair for Justice, Mekane Yesus Seminary, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Academic Credentials

  • Ph.D., Congregational Mission and Leadership, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN (2017)
  • M.Div., concentration in Missiology, Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2010)
  • B.Th., with a Concentration on Christian-Muslim Relations, Mekane Yesus Seminary, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2007)


Office: AD 328

Phone: 651-641-8205

Email: [email protected]