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Assistant Professor of History
Dr. Miller joined the Northwestern College faculty in 2008 after teaching for several years in Moscow. As a specialist in the cultural history of late imperial and Soviet Russia, his research explores two primary themes: Russian-American and Orthodox-Protestant relations. In 2013 he published The American YMCA and Russian Culture: The Preservation and Expansion of Orthodox Christianity, 1900-1940 (Lexington Books).
He teaches a wide range of courses in European and Russian history, offers a full year of Russian language instruction, and regularly leads student research trips to Moscow. Matt and his wife Terri are active members of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, where they volunteer in teaching ministries. Their twin daughters Claire and Amelia keep life full of energy and surprises.
- Ph.D. University of Minnesota
- M.A. Wheaton College
- B.A. Miami University
- Russian language program, Moscow State University
- History of Russia
- History of Modern Europe
- History of Christianity
- The American YMCA and Russian Culture: The Preservation and Expansion of Orthodox Christianity, 1900-1940 (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2013).
- Review of Ilya Vinkovetsky, Russian America: An Overseas Colony of a Continental Empire, 1804–1867 (2011) in Russian Review 71:1 (January 2012): 155–156.
- Review of Barbara Skinner, The Western Front of the Eastern Church: Uniate and Orthodox Conflict in 18th-century Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia (2009), in Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 26/27 (2010/2011): 365-368.
- Review of Bryn Geffert, Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans: Diplomacy, Theology, and the Politics of Interwar Ecumenism (2010), in Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 26/27 (2010/2011): 382-385.
- Review of Andrey P. Puzynin, The Tradition of the Gospel Christians: A Study of Their Identity and Theology during the Russian, Soviet, and Post-Soviet Periods (2010), East-West Church and Ministry Report 19:3 (Summer 2011): 15–16.
- “A Hunger for Reading: The American YMCA Press and Russian Readers” (Russian language) in The Russian Heritage in the Countries of Eastern and Central Europe, 58–62. Bryansk, Russia: Bryansk State University, 2010.
- “A Hunger for Books: The American YMCA Press and Russian Readers,” Religion, State and Society 38:1 (March 2010): 53–73.
- “The Russian YMCA Press: Preserver and Patron of Russian Orthodox Culture,” East-West Church and Ministry Report 15:3 (Summer 2007): 2–4 and 15:4 (Fall 2007): 9–11.
- Review of Zoe Knox, Russian Society and the Orthodox Church: Religion in Russia after Communism (2005), East-West Church and Ministry Report 15:2 (Spring 2007): 15.
- Review of Walter W. Sawatsky and Peter F. Penner, eds., Mission in the Former Soviet Union (2005), East-West Church and Ministry Report 14:2 (Spring 2006): 12–13.
- “New Light on a Pivotal Orthodox Theologian,” East-West Church and Ministry Report, 14:1 (Winter 2006): 15–16.
- Review of Donald Fairbairn, Eastern Orthodoxy through Western Eyes (2002) and Nikolas K. Gvosdev, Emperors and Elections: Reconciling the Orthodox Tradition with Modern Politics (2000), in Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 18/19 (2002/2003): 395–398.
- “The American YMCA and the Russian YMCA Press, 1914-1940,” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Russia Abroad Library, Moscow, Russia, November 17, 2012.
- “American YMCA Critics of Russian Orthodoxy: Sherwood Eddy, Julius Hecker, and Jerome Davis,” Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, national convention, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 15, 2012.
- “Paul B. Anderson, the American YMCA, and the Russian Orthodox Church, 1900-1940,” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Russia Abroad Library, Moscow, Russia, June 14, 2012.
- “The Extraordinary Adventures of Paul B. Anderson in the Land of the Bolsheviks,” Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, national convention, Washington, DC, November 17, 2011.
- “Sustaining the Orthodox Commonwealth: The American YMCA in the Balkans, 1892–1940,” Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture, national conference, Columbus, Ohio, October 7, 2011.
- “Looking East: The American YMCA’s Interaction with Russian Orthodox Christians, 1900–1940,” Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, national convention, Los Angeles, California, November 19, 2010.
- “Russian/Soviet Studies in the USA and Americanistika in Russia/USSR as a Tool of National Identity Construction,” invited roundtable participant, Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, national convention, Los Angeles, California, November 18, 2010.
- “The American YMCA Press and Russian Readers,” conference on “The Russian Heritage in the Countries of Eastern and Central Europe,” Bryansk State University, Bryansk, Russia, July 6, 2010.
- “Looking East: Protestant Americans and Orthodox Russians in the 20th Century,” Faith and Thought Lecture, Northwestern College, February 23, 2010.
- “An American-Russian Venture in Philanthropy: The YMCA and the St. Petersburg Mayak, 1900–1918,” American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, national convention, Boston, Massachusetts, November 12, 2009.
- “The Russian Student Christian Movement and the American YMCA: St. Petersburg, Paris, and Beyond, 1900–1940,” Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture, national conference, Columbus, Ohio, October 3, 2009.
- “American Philanthropy among Russians: The Work of the YMCA, 1900–1940,” National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, New York Public Library, New York City, July 1, 2009.
- “The Hunger for Books: The American YMCA Press and Russian Readers, 1915–1940,” American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, national convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 23, 2008.
- “The Russian Student Christian Movement and the American YMCA: Partnership in Russia and Abroad, 1900–1940,” Conference on Faith and History, Bluffton, Ohio, September 19, 2008.
- Travel Grant, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Russia Abroad Library, Moscow, Russia, for conference on “The YMCA Press in the History of Russian Publishing Abroad,” 2012.
- Travel Grant, National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, “America Engages Russia, 1880–1930: Studies in Cultural Interaction,” 2009.
- Thomas S. Noonan Award in Russian History, University of Minnesota, 2004.
- Basil Laourdas Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 2002–2003.
- History of Russia
- History of Reformation and Renaissance Europe
- History of 18th and 19th-Century Europe
- History of 20th-Century Europe
- History of Western Civilization
- Introduction to Historical Studies
- Russian Language and Culture
- Beginning Russian Language I and II
- Introduction to Political Science
- US National Government
- World Geography
- History of Christianity in Russia
- History of Christianity
- Christianity and Education
- Survey of the Old Testament
- Survey of the New Testament
- Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
- Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture
- Conference on Faith and History
Office Location: 3062 Nazareth Hall
Office Phone: 651-286-7669
The parts of the discipline of history that most intrigue and fascinate me are...
Connections among people of different cultures and relationships among believers of different confessions.
One of the things I enjoy most in the classroom is...
Helping students understand complex issues from a variety of perspectives.
Currently, I am working on...
A research project on the recent expansion and development of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in the United States.
Some interesting things I have done in the past include...
In 1990 and 1991 I lived in Leningrad for ten months and experienced the last days of the Soviet Union. From 1997 to 2008 I worked along with my family in Moscow; we served with the Russian-American Christian University and the Evangelical Free Church. In 2003 I studied for a month in Greece and Cyprus and visited a number of sites connected with classical, biblical and modern history.
Books which have shaped who I am as a historian:
- Theofanis George Stavrou and Robert L. Nichols, eds., Russian Orthodoxy under the Old Regime
- Marc Raeff, Russia Abroad: A Cultural History of the Russian Emigration, 1919–1939
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
- Norman E. Saul, Friends or Foes? The United States and Soviet Russia, 1921-1941
- Bertrand M. Patenaude, The Big Show in Bololand: The American Relief Expedition to Soviet Russia in the Famine of 1921
- Mark A. Noll, Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind
- George M. Marsden, The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship
Advice I would give to college students:
- Read widely.
- Travel off the beaten path.
- Develop friendships with people whose opinions and backgrounds stretch you!