Rev. Dr. Paul W. Mueller has served in elementary and university academic educational communities, church/congregational settings, and in international contexts around the United States and the world. His educational teaching background began in elementary schools, moved into young adult work, continued into Lutheran church/congregational settings in the United States and in Africa, full-time academic work in a university, and again overseas in Africa. Countries in Africa where he served and worked include Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo, Benin, S. Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Eritrea. In addition, he has traveled to Asia, Europe, and Latin America for his work.
His work on the continent of Africa for almost eight years prior to his university experience planting churches, developing pastoral leadership, and beginning a Lutheran elementary school allowed him and his family to live and work upcountry in the jungle of Liberia with a small people group. After his 12 year university experience, he once again accepted a call to return to Africa to fill the Regional Director – Africa, LCMS World Mission position, traveling extensively, managing the work of LCMS missionaries, and engaging in active, collaborative, partnership conversations with National leadership in Lutheran Churches in African countries as well as with other Lutheran partners from across the globe. He actively participated in the management and development of local and regional relief efforts in water, sanitation, education, malaria, health education, small building projects, and local leadership development and training while responsible for and monitoring a $2.5 million fiscal year budget.
After returning from Africa, Dr. Mueller served as the Administrative Pastor of a 2800 member LCMS church in Minnesota. He also served as the Associate Executive Director of LINC-Twin Cities, a Lutheran inter-city network coalition engaging congregations in the metro community to become involved with urban churches, ministries, and local and immigrant leadership. He continued to teach in the university – both graduate and undergraduate online courses – and served in vacancy support as congregations move through that transition.
During his 12 year university teaching experience at Concordia University, St. Paul, MN (CSP), he was granted full professorship and tenure. While at the university, he was also responsible for directing the Oswald Hoffmann School of Christian Outreach – OHSCO (now called The Hoffmann Institute) which offered mission workshops and seminars throughout the United States. In addition, he wrote, moved through the accreditation process, developed, managed, and taught in the Master of Arts in Christian Outreach program. While at CSP, he served on numerous mission focused boards and committees as well as on the Center for US Missions.
Presently, Dr. Mueller serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Applied Lutheran Leadership (CALL) at Concordia University, Portland in a partnership with the Northwest District of the LCMS. His role engages him with congregations as well as students in order to increase their missional connection with communities while sharing Christ and Lutheran core values. As Director of Mission Training Center, (MTC), individuals are prepared to serve in ministry roles, some being licensed as deacons who serve in Word and Sacrament ministries. He continues to collaborate with leaders in the districts of the LCMS – especially the Mission and Evangelism Executives and outreach leadership in congregations and faith communities.
Paul Mueller earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Missiology from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, (1996) focusing on leadership development and communication in cross-cultural contexts while developing reproducible, sustainable, and non-dependent models; his Master of Theology in Missiology from Fuller Theological Seminary and School of World Mission and Church Growth in Pasadena, California (1991) with an emphasis in leadership development, especially non-book adults; a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri (1983); and a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota (1977) in Elementary Education.