There are many adjectives I could use in an effort to answer the question of who I am. Naive, idealistic, postmodern, arrogant, sarcastic, Lutheran, student, son, husband, brother, and friend are only but a few of the vast collection of words at my disposal.But, rather than use those words without context in an effort to portray myself as I want you to see me, I will simply say that my name is Matthew Borrasso.
I finished my M.Div. at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO in 2014. The path I took to get to get through seminary is in and of itself a long story. The short version is that my seminary journey began in 2008 when I graduated from Concordia University–Chicago. Although I started at Concordia Seminary in the fall of that year I ended up leaving after my second year. Returning to graduate work in early 2011 at Northern Seminary I began to understand what it means to possess a theological identity, a confession, a credo. It was there, amongst the best the church has to offer, that the Lutheran Confession was made my own, and in doing so, motivated me to finish my M.Div. in the place it began. Graduating with an M.A. in 2012 I returned in the fall of that year and, after one quarter of classes, went on a year long internship in Fredericksburg, VA. That was truly a wonderful time as it gave me the opportunity to be part of a community of faith and learn how to take what I had learned and put it into practice. In April of 2014 my wife and I were blessed to hear that we were being placed in Parkton, Maryland. Having graduated in May, ordained in June, and now installed as the pastor I am looking forward to the days ahead. This was not the path I thought I would take to get through seminary when I began years ago, but I would not trade it for anything. It has made me who I am and has shaped the person I hope to become.
During my time as a pastor I have also continued to pursue academic work. In 2018 I graduated from United Lutheran Seminary with a S.T.M. The subject of my thesis was Martin H. Franzmann. I’ve been fortunate enough to have my thesis published by Wipf & Stock in 2019 under the title The Art of Exegesis: An Analysis of the Life and Work of Martin Hans Franzmann.
In the fall of 2019 I began my journey as a distance learning Ph.D. student at the University of Birmingham in the UK. My work orbits around the question of how Lutheran hermeneutics in the United States have shaped the church’s interaction with society. My goal for that work is summed up nicely in two statements.
“Too often we attack or defend before we have genuinely understood.” – Anthony Thiselton
“No greater tragedy can befall society than the attempt to live in monologue rather than dialogue.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
In sum, I want to help foster dialog and genuine understanding within the church broadly speaking. I want to pursue academic work in order benefit to the church. The more I study theology the more I realize that, if left only to abstraction theology is a fruitless enterprise; it must give birth to something. I want to spend my time life loving those whom God has given me to serve, in the place he has put me, with the gifts an talents he has given me. Then, and only then, my confession makes a difference, not with words that I can hide behind but with ones that challenge me to live, breathe, think, act, and serve my neighbor.
I welcome and encourage any questions, comments, criticisms, and any other thoughts you might have. After all, we are all in this together.
If you’d like to continue the conversation…