Samuel Torvend

Director for External Relations

Office Location: Hauge Administration Building - 222 J

  • Professional
  • Biography
  • Video

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Professor Emeritus and Faculty Fellow in Humanities


  • Ph.D., Historical Theology, St. Louis University, St. Louis, 1990
  • M.A., Theology, Aquinas Institute of Theology, Dubuque, Iowa, 1980
  • M.Div., Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, 1978
  • B.A., History, Pacific Lutheran University, 1973


  • Flowing Water, Uncommon Birth: Christian Baptism in a Post-Christian Culture (Fortress Press 2014) : View Book
  • Luther and the Hungry Poor: Gathered Fragments (Fortress Press 2008) : View Book
  • Daily Bread, Holy Meal: Opening The Gifts Of Holy Communion (Augsberg Fortress 2004) : View Book
  • Through a Child's Eyes: Poems and Stories About War co-edited with Victor Klimoski (Plain View Press 2001) : View Book


  • K. T. Tang Award for Excellence in Research 2006


Samuel Torvend teaches courses in the history of early, medieval, and reformation Christianity as well as historical courses on the reform of social welfare, Christian responses to local and global hunger, Christian art and architecture, and Christian rituals. He has taught in PLU’s International Honors Program and has led student and regent study tours in Rome and central Italy. Since 2005, he has led faculty, staff, and student workshops on the liberal arts and higher education, published extensively on the origins, development, and gifts of Lutheran higher education, and represented PLU at international conferences in ritual studies and reformation studies. Dr. Torvend served as the first University Chair in Lutheran Studies from 2011-2017 and established the annual Lutheran Studies Conference at PLU. He continues to serve in the Wild Hope Center for Vocation as the Director of External Relations and as a contributor to the Office of Congregational Engagement. In addition to his work in the academy, Dr. Torvend also serves as a theological consultant to various regional and national church agencies and societies. He holds the Ph.D. from Saint Louis University, the M.A. from Aquinas Institute of Theology, the M.Div. from Wartburg Seminary, and the B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University, with study in Egypt, Israel, and Greece through the graduate School of Theology at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. He is the son of the Rev. E. Silas Torvend (PLU ’47) and Alice Kjesbu Torvend (PLU ’47).

Summer Theological Conference: Presentation Three - Dr. Samuel Torvend