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Matthew H. Russell

Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the Fuller Institute for Recovery Ministry

BS, Texas Tech University
MDiv, Fuller Theological Seminary
PhD, Texas Tech University

Courses Taught

EV532: Recovery Ministry in the Local Church

FS500: Family Dynamics of Addiction

FS510: Human Development in Context

CN732: Foundations for Recovery Ministry (DMin Course)

Campus Affiliations

Areas of Expertise

Adult identity development, addiction, recovery, trauma, abuse, contextual theology, redemptive narratives, women’s studies, narrative studies, practical theology

”As a pastor I reached out to people with addictions, and as I realized how similar our stories were, I wept. I started going to meetings, but was terrified I would see someone I knew. Over time, I realized that facade needed to fade. It took some rigorous honesty, but I learned I wasn’t called first to be a pastor—I was called to be a fully alive and vulnerable person. I wouldn’t have learned that without these folks knowing my secrets and allowing me the space to fulfill my calling as a human being.”


Dr. Russell, sharing his own experience of recovery with a variety of voices from the Fuller community, available here.


Matt Russell, who teaches primarily at the Fuller Texas campus, joined Fuller’s regular faculty in 2016 after serving for several years as an adjunct professor. He is currently on staff at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston as senior associate pastor and is also the executive director of projectCURATE, a grassroots educational and social enterprise incubator.

Dr. Russell previously served at Duke Divinity School as professor of practical theology and community development. In 2011–2013 he was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge’s Psychology and Religion Research Group, where he explored redemptive narratives and models of the church’s ministry of reconciliation in cities.

He received his MDiv from Fuller Seminary and PhD from Texas Tech University, where his dissertation explored how women construct alternative narratives of redemption from years of sustained trauma and abuse. While at Texas Tech, Russell was associate director of the Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery and managed a grant from the Department of Education, overseeing the replication model that helped establish collegiate recovery communities in campuses across the United States.

From 1996 to 2008 Russell was associate pastor of Houston’s Chapelwood United Methodist Church, planting a church within Chapelwood called Mercy Street. The Mercy Street community grew to over 900 people and included 30 community volunteer teams.

Download Dr. Russell’s CV, which includes a list of his current publications, here.