Press Release: Rev. Dr. Rich Rudowske Called as Executive Director
Concordia, Missouri — On Friday, May 6, Lutheran Bible Translators Board Chair, Marlis Norton, on behalf of the board of directors, announced that Rev. Dr. Rich Rudowske accepted the call to be the next executive director of the Bible translation organization effective January 1, 2023.
He will succeed Dr. Mike Rodewald who retires at the end of the year.
“It is with great pleasure and thanksgiving that I get to make this announcement. Rich’s resume of experience with international partners, leadership of the organization’s successful programs and passion for the mission with vision for the future set him apart for this call,” said Board Chair Marlis Norton.
Dr. Rudowske’s leadership approach draws on his experience as a Bible translation advisor in Botswana. He and his wife, Maya, partnered with the Bakgalagari community to translate and produce the Gospel of Luke in their previously unwritten language.
In 2013, Rich began serving as the Regional Director for Southern Africa, facilitating partnerships with 24 language communities and Bible translation programs. Rich and Maya – with their five children – returned to the United States in 2014 upon Rich’s assignment to serve as the Director for Program Ministries for Lutheran Bible Translators at the international offices. He has served as Chief Operating Officer since 2017. Dr. Rudowske earned the BBA from Eastern Michigan University in 1996, the MDiv from Concordia Seminary in 2005, and the PhD in Missiology from Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne in 2022.
Leading up to his appointment as executive director, Dr. Rudowske served with global Bible translation leaders for the development of best practices in field strategy with the illumiNations collective impact alliance. Rudowske’s dedication to position the organization for strategic development, to foster healthy work environments, and to engage international partnerships with a missiological framework has been paramount for the success of the organization.
“Rich’s experience with Lutheran Bible Translators – its history and its vision – will move the organization into its dynamic future. Translation work, though still ultimately taking the original Biblical text and translating it into any local dialect, has changed over the decades, and Rich’s insights and leadership qualities will wisely guide Lutheran Bible Translators into the next decades,” shared Board Executive Search Committee member Rev. Dr. Paul Mueller.