Meet PAT

Restoring trust and
collaboration within
the LCMS

Pat is a thoughtful, trusted leader with a proven history of high-level problem solving and consensus building, inspiring more people to walk together for the sake of the Gospel.

Patrick Ferry in his officePatrick Ferry in his office


Lutheran formation
Pat Ferry was not a Christian when he went to college at St. John’s College to study and play basketball. The Christ-centered,Gospel-focused interactions with the faculty (including his spiritual mentor and future father-in-law, John Saleska) and Christian students helped lead Pat, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to the waters of Baptism and the beginning of his own Christian journey. A journey that then led him to seminary and from there to a PhD in Confessional Lutheran History.
Presidential experience
Pat has faithfully served the LCMS for 35 years. He is most known for guiding Concordia Wisconsin and Concordia Ann Arbor as president. He served as university president for 24 years. During a time when three other Concordias closed their doors, he rallied people together to save Concordia Ann Arbor from the same fate. Pat’s ability to inspire others with a vision, cultivate consensus, and build extraordinary leadership teams is demonstrated in the fact that nine years later, the CUWAA partnership thrives. Being a college president is not merely about buildings, budgets, and numbers. For Pat, it is the same as other church worker vocations: The objective is to bring the Gospel to the people in pews and classrooms and to equip them to live out their vocations. Pat was deeply committed to ensuring that Concordia was a Christ-centered, Gospel-focused campus. This strong witness encouraged students in their faith and also guided many unchurched students to Christ. Over the years the Concordia community celebrated scores of student baptisms. This, of course, meant so much to Pat because it relates so closely to his own story.
LCMS leadership
Pat Ferry has shared words of wisdom, truth, and encouragement over the last three decades, addressing District and Synodical conventions, pastor and teacher conferences, and graduations for LCMS high schools, colleges, and seminaries. Most recently, he received an honorary doctorate from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and gave their 2022 commencement address (watch here). For the third time he will have the privilege of providing a keynote address at the Best Practices for Ministry conference in February. In addition to being a pastor and leader, he is a published theologian and author, contributing to the ongoing work and legacy of the Lutheran church.
Pat Ferry’s long and successful track record of executive leadership running a complex organization, forging numerous international partnerships, overseeing dozens of operational units and work functions, maintaining (and growing) a large budget, and dramatically increasing a university’s endowment speaks for itself. But such accomplishments are not his most important legacy nor were they his primary motivation. His own LCMS college experience was singularly formative. Pat’s successful tenure as a Lutheran university president is a testimony to the powerful, transformational experience of our Lutheran tradition. Pat is a thoughtful, trusted leader with a proven history of high-level problem solving and consensus building, inspiring more people to walk together for the sake of the Gospel.
Read Pat's Vision

35 years of service

2022, DDiv: Concordia Seminary—Saint Louis, MO
2021–2022, Member: Redeemer Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
2014–2022, President: Concordia University Ann Arbor
1997–2022, President: Concordia University Wisconsin
1997–2022, Professor of History, Concordia University Wisconsin
July 1997, Instructor, Concordia International University, Tallinn, Estonia
1991–1997, Assistant Professor of History, Concordia University Wisconsin 
1991–2021, Member, Regular Preacher and Bible Class Teacher, and twice a Vacancy Assistant: Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, WI
1996, PhD, History, University of Colorado—Boulder, CO Dissertation: Preachers of Grace and Confessionalization in the Later Lutheran Reformation
1991–1993, Pastoral Assistant (part-time): Grace Lutheran Church,Menomonee Falls, WI
M.Div., Concordia Theological Seminary – Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1987
Pat PreachingPat Preaching
Pat Ferry becoming PresidentPat Ferry becoming President