David W. Preus joined the Luther Seminary faculty as director of the Global Mission Institute and distinguished visiting professor in 1988, the same year he was named bishop emeritus of The American Lutheran Church (ALC). He retired from his positions at Luther Seminary in 1994.

Preus had served the ALC as vice president in 1968-73 and as president and presiding bishop in 1973-87. Ordained in 1950, Preus served pastorates in Brookings, S.D. (1950-51), Vermillion, S.D. (1952-57), and Minneapolis (1957-73). He was a vice president of the Lutheran World Federation and a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches.

A graduate of Luther College, Decorah, Iowa (1943) and Luther Seminary (1950), Preus has studied at the University of Minnesota Law School, the University of Edinburgh and Union Seminary.

He has been recognized with the Commander’s Cross, the royal Norwegian Order of St. Olaf, the St. George’s Medal from the Orthodox Church Georgia, the Anti-Defamation League’s Torch of Liberty, the Minnesota Religious Hall of fame Award from Temple Israel, St. Thomas Aquinas Medal from St. Thomas University, the Pax Christi Award from St. John’s University, and honorary doctorates and distinguished service awards from nine colleges and universities. 

Watch "A Towel and Basin Man," a video portrait of the life and ministry of David W. Preus.