The Reverend Deborah K. Hutterer was ordained in 2004. She earned a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Augsburg University. She is a life-long Lutheran brought to the denomination by default and stayed by choice. Growing up one mile from her church in St. Paul, Minnesota, she would often take the bus to church, and spend as much time there as she could. It was there that she experienced Christian community. This is where she heard Jesus’ call to ministry, but was told women couldn’t be pastors. Later in life that call was rekindled, which led her to congregational service, Lutheran college, seminary and ordination to the public ministry.
Prior to her ordination, Hutterer created and launched two businesses, worked in the insurance industry, and held many positions at Augsburg College, including Peace Prize Forum Coordinator, collaborating with the Midwest Lutheran colleges Midwest Lutheran colleges to promote peace education and collaboration with the Nobel Institute in Oslo, Nobel Peace Laureates and college students.
Hutterer has served in several ministry settings. She served as pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Pontiac, Ill, from 2004 to 2007. She was executive director of Faith in the City in Minneapolis from 2008 to 2012. She was Chief Development Officer of Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest (LSS-SW) from 2012 to 2018.
As Chief Development Officer at LSS-SW, she traveled extensively throughout Arizona preaching, presiding, or presenting at many congregations and ministry groups on topics such as refugee resettlement, child abuse prevention, and aging.
Her leadership experience in faith-based nonprofits and higher education broadened her awareness and appreciation for God’s multi-faceted ministry working with colleagues, congregations, ecumenical and interfaith partners.
Personal and professional challenges have caused Hutterer to grow and constantly pushed her to trust the promise of death, resurrection, and new life. As she enters this new call as bishop, she trusts God’s leadership, guidance, and presence, and calls you to join her, using all of the gifts each of us has to be Jesus in the world today.
In 2011 she lost her husband Gary Erickson to ALS. She has two adult children, Mitch Hutterer and Marissa Machado, who reside in Minnesota with her five grandchildren. Her parents Jerry and Evelyn Spiess live in Sun City West, Arizona.