Riegel at Wittenberg's 500th TreesThe Rt. Rev. Matthew Lynn Riegel, S.T.M.
Bishop of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod

Riegel was elected 6 June 2015 by the Synod Assembly and assumed office on 1 September 2015 as the third bishop of the WV-WMD Synod, succeeding The Most Rev. Dr. Ralph Dunkin.

Riegel served as the Chaplain of the Lutheran Campus Ministry at WVU since August 2000. Prior to that, he served six years as the pastor of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Westernport, MD, and Trinity Memorial Ev. Lutheran Church, Keyser, WV. He also served interim pastorates for St. Paul Lutheran Church, Morgantown, St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Clarksburg, and St. Johannes Lutheran Church, St. Clara Community.

Riegel earned an M.Div. with honors in both Systematic Theology and Church History from the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, in 1994, and an S.T.M. in 2011. His S.T.M. thesis explored the doctrine of sanctification as articulated in classical Lutheranism. His primary research interest is the sanctification of ecclesiastical politics, and area which synthesizes theological anthropology, ecclesiology, and sanctification.

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While chaplain at the LCMWVU, Riegel served on the WVU Institutional Review Board, an ethics and compliance board overseeing research on human subjects, chairing the Blue IRB for roughly eight years. He continues to serve with the WVU IRB. He served many years as small group faculty for the Med School's Medical Ethics course. He also worked closely with the Army and Air Force ROTCs during much of his tenure.

Riegel served two terms as a synod council member and two terms as synod treasurer, a total of 14 years. He served three terms (12 years) on the Board of Directors of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, and one term on the Committee on Appeals of the ELCA. He attended three Churchwide Assemblies prior to election as bishop, once as a lay voting member and twice as a clergy voting member.

For Witness at the Crossroads, Riegel authored a chapter on John Aberly and co-authored, with The Rev. Steve Herr, on Stewart Herman. He has published articles and one book review in the Seminary Ridge Review and also a book review in Christian Century. He gave a paper titled, "On Sanctification: The End of Justification," at the 2011 Sixteenth Century Society Conference, a joint paper on Stewart Herman with The Revs. Steve Herr and Christopher Chantelau before the 2000 Lutheran Historical Conference, a paper on early Reformation Lutheran-Anglican connections before the West Virginia Shakespeare Society, and a paper on sanctification at the 2017 Lutheran Ethics Gathering that later appeared in the Journal of Lutheran Ethics under the title, "The End of the Human: Relocating Sanctification in Luther's Thought." He has presented at retreats of both the Florida and Passavant Chapters of the Holy Trinity.

Riegel is married to Tamara Riegel nee Meyer. They have two daughters, Faith (who is the first child ever baptized at a synod assembly of the ELCA) and Grace.

Riegel hails from Berks County, PA, having been born on a dairy farm but then moving to a small steel town.

He is a slightly competent tenor, a poor trombonist, and even poorer tubist. His past adult hobbies have included volunteer emergency services and Great War reenacting. He still enjoys war gaming, parliamentary law, dBASE coding, and motorcycling.

Prior to ordination, Riegel worked several seasons as a US Park Ranger, as a computer and field tech for an archeology firm, and as an EMT.

Contact the Bishop

  • Email: Bishop@WV-WMD.org
  • Synod Office Phone: 304-363-4030

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