Welcome to Pastor Matt's Research Journal Page

This journal page (i.e. blog) is intended to be used as a venue of communication for Pastor Matt's Major Applied Research Project.  The Major Applied Research Project is a doctoral level project / thesis for Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.  

The title/theme of the research project is: Becoming Lutheran: Exploring the Journey of American Evangelicals Into Confessional Lutheran Thought

This journal will publicize Pastor Matt's progress, research and findings.  Each posting below will document the research and writing journey.  

The comprehensive Major Applied Research Project document will be periodically updated at the following link:  "Becoming Lutheran" Current Manuscript

Grace and Peace

view:  full / summary

The Final Draft Has Been Approved

Posted on October 31, 2013 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (15178)

I received word from Dr. Kolb yesterday that the final draft of the "Becoming Lutheran" research project has been approved.  

Currently the manuscript is being bound into a research book, copyrighted, and published to RIM (i.e., Research in Ministry) and to TREN (i.e., Theological Research Exchange Network).  

Passed Oral Examination

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (1)

I am happy to report that I passed the Oral Examination for the "Becoming Lutheran" Research Project.  The oral examination was the last step of Major Applied Research Project where I had to defend the research and findings of the study in front of several esteemed Concordia Seminary Professors. 

The Rough Draft Is Complete

Posted on August 27, 2013 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (244)

Last week I finished the rough draft of the "Becoming Lutheran" manuscript.  The rough draft can be found here.

The document ended up being a bit shy of 200 pages.  

The next steps are:

-Get feedback from my adivors and readers

-Adjust the rough draft.

-Submit rough draft to my proof reader

-Develop the semi-draft

-Submit semi-draft to the oral examination board

-Conduct oral examination of the Major Applied Research Project

-Finalize semi-draft and publish the final draft.

Grace and Peace

Becoming Lutheran Research Discussed On WEtv (Part 2)

Posted on May 17, 2013 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

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Research Results From 2nd Qualitative Survey

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Comprehensive Qualitative Survey Results:


Research Results From 1st Quantitative Survey

Posted on February 11, 2013 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Comprehensive Quantitative Survey Results



Overview of Quantitative Survey Results in a Facebook Format



Raw Quantitative Survey Data


Becoming Lutheran Research Discussed On WEtv

Posted on February 6, 2013 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (1)

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WEtv Live Video Feed Of The Becoming Lutheran Research Results

Posted on February 2, 2013 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

The live video feed from WEtv will be coming to this page HERE on Wednesday February 6th at 3:30 PM Central/2:30 PM Mountain time. It will also be saved to this page for future viewing. The interview will be discussing the recent research result from the 'Becoming Lutheran Research Project.

Research Results To Be Discussed On WEtv

Posted on February 1, 2013 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (494)

Next week on Wednesday February 6th at 3:30 PM Central/2:30 PM Mountain time I will be on a live broadcast of Worldview Everlasting TV. On WEtv I will be discussing with Pastor Jonathan Fisk and Peter Slayton the research results from the first quantitative survey of the Becoming Lutheran Research Project. This interview will be the first presentation of the findings from the research project that I am working on at Concordia Seminary. So, mark your calendars for this broadcast!


Worldview Everlasting Information:


P.S. If you are not able to tune in live, it will be recorded and published to Youtube.

The Quantitative Survey Results Have Been Compiled

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (0)

The results are in for the "Becoming Lutheran Major Applied Project Quantitative Survey!"

I am thankful to report that the survey had a total of 339 responses.  From the 339 responses:

  • 6 participants were disqualified due to their answer on a screen question.  
  • 14 participant surveys were discarded due to the surveys being very incomplete (i.e., only 15-20% complete).
  • 13 participant surveys were removed from the final calculations for not meeting the criteria of the study (i.e. from foreign country, not having an evangelical background, etc...)
Thus, the survey contains feedback from 306 participants.  Thanks to everyone who participated!

Assuming a population of 100,000 individuals who have journeyed from American Evangelicalism, 306 participant responses gives this survey the following statistical confidence:
  • A Confidence Level of 95%
  • A Confidence Interval of 5.59%
To learn more on what these confidence numbers mean, CLICK HERE.

You can examine the comprehensive results for the quantitative survey at the following link:

A special thank you to the following people and organizations for helping me obtain research participants:


  • Steadfast Lutherans
  • White Horse Inn
  • KFUO Radio
  • Paul McCain at Cyberbrethren
  • Purpose Drivel
  • Chris Rosebrough from Fighting for the Faith
  • And the many Facebook Friends!


Finally, over the next couple of months I will be analyzing the survey results for patterns and insights.  After the results have been analyzed, I will be developing a more qualitative survey that will consist of interviewing a focus group of individuals in order to glean more specific information.

Thank you for your support and I covet your continual prayers.


Pastor Matt Richard


First Survey Is Complete And Being Analyzed

Posted on January 7, 2013 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (94)

Today I officially closed the first quantitative survey to the "Becoming Lutheran" research project.  Over the next week I will be analyzing the participant feedback and will be releasing a comprehensive report in the following week.  

For the time being, I want to share one of the responses from participant #54.  This is such a great insight.


Question: In your own words, what has been the best thing about this journey?


Answer: "Seeing that we Christians are not to 'outdo' Christ, but to trust in the work of Christ as we live out our common daily lives, and that if we are nourished by the word and sacrament, that we have a 'spiritual well' by which we have something to share with others."

Take The "Becoming Lutheran" Survey Here!

Posted on December 15, 2012 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (196)



The moment that we have been waiting for is here. The survey is complete, online, and has been field tested. Therefore, it is ready for you to take!


Simply click on the following link and you will be redirected to the "Becoming Lutheran" Survey. It takes about 10-20 minutes to fill out.


Survey Link:

Click here to take survey


One final thought. Currently we have 219 participants in this study. From what I have studied on statistics, the magic number of participants needed for a study such as this is 377. Therefore, please continue to get the word out about needed participants. The following link would be the one that you can share with your friends:


Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns and/or comments. Thank you so much again for your participation and help in this manner! You are appreciated.


Rev. Matt Richard

Obtaining New Research Participants

Posted on December 6, 2012 at 2:10 AM Comments comments (163)

Before we begin this research process by sending out surveys, I felt that it was necessary to try and obtain more research participants.  Last week this project had around 88 participants.  As of now I am happy to report that we have 198 people signed up.  

The additional participants came through the helpful efforts of the following communication venues:

Statistically speaking I am learning that an appropriate sample size for a study such as this would be around 377 participants.  Therefore, I hope to still acquire research participants until the end of December.  What this means for timing then, is that we will officially begin our research at the beginning of January with the release of the 1st Survey.   

If you know of anybody that is interested in participating in this study, please direct them to this link HERE.  

Grace and Peace,

-pastor matt

"Becoming Lutheran" Study Featured On White Horse Inn Blog

Posted on December 3, 2012 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (450)

I am so very thankful to Eric Landry for posting information on the "Becoming Lutheran" study on the White Horse Inn Blog.  CLICK HERE to view Eric's post.  

At this point, 120 research participants have expressed interest in helping with this study. 

And We Are Off!

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (171)

And we are off!  I just received the following news from Dr. Peter.  Therefore, I will be waiting to hear from Dr. Kolb on the adjustments and then the next step would be to get the research underway!



Good News! Your MAP proposal was approved by the DMin Committee yesterday. They were pleased with the direction you are going in, but there were some recommendations for further revision. You should now proceed to work on your MAP in collaboration with your advisor, Dr. Kolb, who will identify what the revisions are.

In order to register for DM-996 Major Applied Project, you will need to fill out and submit the “Application for Major Applied Project Topic” form, which is attached. Send it to your advisor, Dr. Kolb, then have him bring the signed copy to me for my signature. I’ll take care of the process from there.

Blessings as you finish the race for your DMin program!


David J. Peter, M.Div., D.Min.

Associate Professor of Practical Theology

Chairman of the Department of Practical Theology

Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program

MAP Proposal To Be Assessed On November 29th

Posted on November 14, 2012 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (175)

The Major Applied Research Proposal Document is finished and has been sent off to St. Louis (see the email below). The MAP Committee will be meeting on November 29th to review the proposal. Following the committee meeting I will be given guidance/feedback on the direction of the project and then be hopefully cleared to pursue the research.


Dr. Peter and Dr. Kolb,


At the following link you will find a PDF copy of my Major Applied Project Proposal. I believe it is ready to be submitted to the committee for evaluation.


Dr. Kolb, as suggested by our prior conversation, I did the following:

I added the the category of worldview as one of the four main areas of struggle for Evangelicals journeying into Lutheran thought.

I expanded and expounded on the definition of Evangelicalism to not just include the influences of Pelagianism, but also Pietism, and the impacts of nineteenth-and twentieth-century pneumatology. Thus I defined Evangelicalism as the current national-cultural form of American Christianity.

I added a survey to the appendix in order to help the committee visualize the survey process.

Dr. Peter, I realize that this proposal is a little longer than the proposal format suggestion. It is longer because it includes a detailed example of the quantitative survey for the committee (9 pages) and it also has the entire bibliography included (6 pages). Please let me know if there are any concerns with this.


To my understanding, this proposal will be submitted to a committee for review. If there is anything further that I need to do with this, please don't hesitate to let me know.


I will eagerly await your feedback and/or the committee's feedback!


Thank you gentlemen. Grace and peace to you,


~matt richard

Welcome To New Research Participants

Posted on October 31, 2012 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (150)

Several weeks ago Chris Rosebrough from the radio program Fighting for the Faith shared a post from my blog that highlighted my need for research participants. As a result, my email box became flooded with willing and excited participants.

So, at this point I have around 75 research participants that fit the criteria of being former evangelicals who have or are journeying into Lutheran thought.

From these willing and eager participants I have received the question, "So what is next? What are we going to do?" Well, to answer that question let me share a brief tentative timeline and also describe what is needed of participants.



Currently the Major Applied Research Project is a mere proposal. However, the idea has been formatted into a proposal document which has been reviewed by my advisor, Dr. Robert Kolb. Currently the document is being reviewed by my proof-reader and editor, Janelle. Once the proposal document is finalized I will be submitting it to Dr. Kolb and he will be bringing it to a committee at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO. Once the committee reviews the proposal document they will either make suggested changes or confirm the project as a whole. After the committee approves the Major Applied Research Project, we are off!

Following approval, the project then enters into its research and writing stages. In other words, after the proposal is approved I will be working diligently with Survey Monkey in preparing online surveys for all the research participants. The surveys will be sent out hopefully by January and I will then use the data to begin the research process.

Research Participants

I will need a couple of things from the research participants:

First, I am requesting that all current research participants contact any friends, relatives, and so forth that might also make a valuable contribution to this study. Due to the ability of technology, I can survey literally hundreds of people without a lot of additional work. Furthermore, the more research participants that we have for this study, the more accurate the research findings may be.  They can reach me at my email ( [email protected] )

Secondly, I will be sending out the surveys hopefully by January. Once the surveys are out, I will then need the participants to fill them out to the best of their abilities. I believe the surveys will take 15-25 minutes to fill out. Following the survey there will be a portion for all participants to enter their name and phone number if they wish to be contacted over the phone for more research.

Well, that is it for now.  If you want to learn more and keep informed, visit this research journal from time to time.  Also, I encourage you to check out my blog PM Notes and/or you can join in the conversation on Facebook by CLICKING HERE.


Candidacy Application Has Been Approved!

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (161)

Happy Day! I just received the following email:


Dear Pastor Richard,


Greetings in the name of the Lamb of God! I write to inform you that your application for candidacy to Concordia Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program was approved yesterday by the D.Min. Committee. Congratulations! I look forward to your continued involvement in these doctoral studies.


Please let me know if you have any questions, or if I can be of assistance. Again, congratulations for being approved for candidacy in the Doctor of Ministry program at Concordia Seminary!



David Peter

Individuals Are Volunteering For The Qualitative and Quantitative Research Group

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (46)

Lord willing I will be received into candidicy status at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis next month. Once I am received, I will then be eligible to submit my Project Proposal and begin the research project this late fall or early winter.   

While I wait for the process, I have been very humbled by the positive responses that I have received thus far.  This project has been blessed to have 13 people already volunteer for the quantitative and qualitative research portion of the research.  In other words, they have agreed to be interviewed in order to share their experiences and insights.

Slowly, I am attempting to get the word out and build a group of people who will provide vital feedback for this study.  I am hoping for a research group of 50 former evangelicals who have or are journeying into Lutheran thought.  

If you are new to Lutheranism and have a background in evangelicalism, you might be a a great person to be interviewed for this study.  To learn more, examine the rough draft of the Major Applied Project Proposal by CLICKING HERE.

You can also email me at the following address: [email protected]

Grace and Peace, 

Pastor Matt

A Special Thank You

Posted on August 6, 2012 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (105)

Taking classes for the Doctorate of Ministry program at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis is by no means a cheap endeavor.  The total cost of lodging, books, transportation and tuition is around $8,000 per year, or approximately $25,000 for the whole program.

Frankly, it would be virtually impossible for me to take classes in St. Louis, financially speaking, if it were not for the help of family and friends.  Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people for their financial support and love.

  • Leon and Carol Richard
  • Lauri Richard
  • Ron and Gene Torgerson
  • Kirby and Julie Dasinger
  • Gordon and Yvonne Torgerson
  • Rev. Patrick and Karla Thurmer
  • Dr. Stanley Lindblom
Because of your generosity over the last two years, I have been able to apply your combined gifts of $6,000 towards a large portion of my tuition costs.  

Thank you!  You all are great!  I love and appreciate you all.

~pastor matt