Mark S. Hanson ( born December 2, 1946 in Minneapolis, Minnesota) is an American theologian. He was from 2001 to 2013 presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ( ELCA ) and 2003-2010 President of the Lutheran World Federation.
Hanson grew up in Minnesota in a Lutheran family. He finished his schooling at the Minnehaha Academy in 1964 and became in 1968 a degree in Bachelors in Sociology from Augsburg College.
Hanson was in 1968/69 Rockefeller Fellow at Union Theological seminary. In 1972 he made here his Master of Divinity. In 1973/74 he attended Luther Seminary in Saint Paul ( Minnesota). In 1979 he received a scholarship as Merrill Fellow at the Faculty of Theology at Harvard University in Cambridge (Massachusetts ).
After his ordination in 1974, Hanson served from 1973 to 1979 Hanson as a pastor at Prince of Glory Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. From 1979 to 1988 he was pastor at the Community Lutheran Church in Edina (Minnesota ), and from 1988 to 1995 Hanson was pastor at the Lutheran University Church in Minneapolis.
In 1995 he was elected bishop of the Regional Synod of Saint Paul of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ( ELCA ). 2001 Hanson was re-elected.
From 1988 to 2000 Hanson served as President of the Council of Christian Churches in Minnesota and was vice chairman of the ELCA Conference of Bishops. The total Synod ( Church Wide Assembly) of the ELCA elected him in 2001 for full-time presiding bishop; his seat is at the Church Office of the ELCA in Chicago.
2003 Hanson was elected as the successor to Christian Krause as president of the Lutheran World Federation, a position he held until the end of the LWF Assembly in Stuttgart in 2010 in addition to his duties as presiding bishop of the ELCA.
Hanson is a member of the senior management of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA 2007 Hanson was elected for another six years in office. 2013 Elizabeth A. Eaton was elected as his successor ( Appointed 1 November ).
Hanson is married to Ione, born Agrimson who has worked as a social worker. They have six children (the four oldest adopted): Aaron, Alyssa, Rachel, Ezra, Isaac and Elizabeth.