Matthew H. Russell

Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the Fuller Institute for Recovery MinistrySchool of Theology

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

Biographical Information

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 Master of Divinity from Fuller 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.

Classes Taught

  • FS510: Human Development in Context
  • EV532: Recovery Ministry in the Local Church
  • CN732: Foundations for Recovery Ministry (DMin Course)
  • FS500: Family Dynamics of Addiction

Areas of Expertise, Research and Writing

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


  • Russell, M. H. (2017). Belonging, Recovery and Community. Catalyst Journal.
  • Russell, M. H. (2016). Redeeming narratives in Christian community. In R. R. Manning (Ed.), Faithful enrichment of psychology, theology and religion: Essays at the interface of psychology, theology, and religion. Ashgate Science and Religion Series. London: Taylor & Francis.
  • Russell, M. H., Cleveland, H. H., Wiebe, R. P. (2010). Facilitating identity development in collegiate recovery: An Eriksonian perspective. In H. H. Cleveland, K. S. Harris, & R. P. Wiebe (Eds.), Substance abuse recovery in college: Community supported abstinence (pp. 23–35). New York: Springer.
  • Bell, N. J., Kerksiek, K. A., Kanitkar, K., Watson, W., Das, A., Kostina-Ritchey, E., Russell, M. H., & Harris, K. (2009). University students in recovery: Implications of different types of recovery identities, and common challenges. Alcohol Treatment Quarterly, 27, 426–41.
  • Bell, N. J., Kanitkar, K., Kerksiek, K. A., Watson, W., Das, A., Kostina-Ritchey, E., Russell, M. H., & Harris, K. (2009). “It has made college possible for me”: Feedback on the impact of a university-based center for students in recovery. Journal of American College Health, 57, 650–58.
  • Russell, M. H., with Ward, A. (2009). Can your church handle the truth? Leadership 30 (2), 42–46. Second place, “General Article: Long,” Evangelical Press Association 2009.
  • Russell, M. H. (2007). How a Jewish drunk challenged my idea of church. STEPS magazine.


Dr. Russell's CV

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