Matthew Miller, Ph.D.

Matthew Miller, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of History & Related Fields
Chair, Department of World Languages
Professor of History
Instructor of Russian Language

Ph.D. from University of Minnesota

M.A. from Wheaton College

B.A. from Miami University

Russian language program, Moscow State University



Dr. Miller joined the University of Northwestern faculty in 2008 after teaching for several years in Moscow. He teaches a wide range of courses in European and Russian history, offers a full year of Russian language instruction, and leads student research trips to Moscow.

As a specialist in the cultural history of late imperial and Soviet Russia, his research explores two primary themes: Russian-American and Orthodox-Protestant connections. Matt and his wife Terri are active members of their congregation and volunteer in teaching ministries. Twin daughters Claire and Amelia share their love of conversation, reading, and travel.

Specialty Areas

  • History of Russia
  • History of Modern Europe
  • History of Christianity

The parts of the discipline of history that most intrigue and fascinate me are…
Connections among people of different cultures and relationships among believers of different confessions.

One of the things I enjoy most in the classroom is…
Helping students understand complex issues from a variety of perspectives.

Currently, I am working on…
Writing a biography of Paul B. Anderson (1894-1985), an outstanding American Christian leader in service among Russians. As a leading western specialist on Orthodox Christianity in the USSR he spoke out on the persecution of believers and human rights abuses in the Soviet Union.

Some interesting things I have done in the past include…
In 1990 and 1991 I lived in Leningrad for ten months and experienced the last days of the Soviet Union. From 1997 to 2008 I worked along with my family in Moscow; we served with the Russian-American Christian University and the Evangelical Free Church.

Advice I would give to college students:

  • Read widely.
  • Travel off the beaten path.
  • Develop friendships with people whose opinions and backgrounds stretch you!



Selected Articles/Chapters

Russian Language Articles

Selected Reviews

  • Harald Fischer-Tine, Stefan Huebner, and Ian Tyrrell, eds., Spreading Protestant Modernity: Global Perspectives on the Social Work of the YMCA and YWCA, 1889-1970 (2021), Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture 90:3 (2021): 724-725.
  • Julie deGraffenried and Zoe Knox, eds., Voices of the Voiceless: Religion, Communism, and the Keston Archive (2019), Journal of Church and State 62:3 (Summer 2020): 563-565.
  • Sergei I. Zhuk, Soviet Americana: The Cultural History of Russian and Ukrainian Americanists (2018), The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review 47:2 (July 2020): 223-227.
  • Dominic Erdozain, ed., The Dangerous God: Christianity and the Soviet Experiment (2017), East-West Church Report 27:4 (2019): 15-16.
  • Paul Mojzes, ed., North American Churches and the Cold War (2018), East-West Church Report 27:3 (2019): 15-16.
  • Erin Elizabeth Redihan, The Olympics and the Cold War, 1948-1968: Sport as Battleground in the U.S.-Soviet Rivalry (2017), Journal of Russian-American Studies, 2:2 (November 2018): 140-142.
  • Bryn Geffert and Theofanis G. Stavrou, Eastern Orthodox Christianity: The Essential Texts (2016), Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 32/33 (2016/2017): 407-409.
  • D. Oliver Herbel, Turning to Tradition: Converts and the Making of an American Orthodox Church (2014), Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 30/31 (2014/2015): 517-521.
  • Johannes Miroslav Oravecz, God as Love: The Concept and Spiritual Aspects of Agapē in Modern Russian Religious Thought (2014), Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 30/31 (2014/2015): 521-525.
  • Christopher Birchall, Embassy, Emigrants, and Englishmen: The Three Hundred Year History of a Russian Orthodox Church in London (2014), Russian Review 74:3 (July 2015): 513-514.
  • Michael Hughes, Beyond Holy Russia: The Life and Times of Stephen Graham (2014), Russian Review 74:2 (April 2015): 333-334.
  • James Cracraft, Two Shining Souls: Jane Addams, Leo Tolstoy, and the Quest for Global Peace (2012), Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 28/29 (2012/2013): 379-382.
  • Ilya Vinkovetsky, Russian America: An Overseas Colony of a Continental Empire, 1804–1867 (2011) Russian Review 71:1 (January 2012): 155–156.
  • Barbara Skinner, The Western Front of the Eastern Church: Uniate and Orthodox Conflict in 18th-century Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia (2009), Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 26/27 (2010/2011): 365-368.
  • Bryn Geffert, Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans: Diplomacy, Theology, and the Politics of Interwar Ecumenism(2010), Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 26/27 (2010/2011): 382-385.
  • Andrey P. Puzynin, The Tradition of the Gospel Christians: A Study of Their Identity and Theology during the Russian, Soviet, and Post-Soviet Periods (2010), East-West Church and Ministry Report 19:3 (Summer 2011): 15–16.
  • Zoe Knox, Russian Society and the Orthodox Church: Religion in Russia after Communism (2005), East-West Church and Ministry Report 15:2 (Spring 2007): 15.
  • Donald Fairbairn, Eastern Orthodoxy through Western Eyes (2002) and Nikolas K. Gvosdev, Emperors and Elections: Reconciling the Orthodox Tradition with Modern Politics (2000), Modern Greek Studies Yearbook18/19 (2002/2003): 395–398.


  • Excellence in Scholarship Award, University of Northwestern, 2016.
  • Travel Grant, Kennan Institute, for conference on “Americans in Revolutionary Petrograd,” European University at St. Petersburg, Russia, 2017.
  • Travel Grant, National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, “America’s Russian-Speaking Immigrants & Refugees: 20th Century Migration and Memory,” Columbia University, New York City, 2013.
  • Travel Grant, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Russia Abroad Library, Moscow, Russia, for conference on “The YMCA Press in the History of Russian Publishing Abroad,” 2012.
  • Travel Grant, National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, “America Engages Russia, 1880–1930: Studies in Cultural Interaction,” New York Public Library, New York City, 2009.


  • Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
  • Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture

Courses Taught

  • History of Russia
  • History of Renaissance and Reformation Europe
  • History of 18th and 19th-Century Europe
  • History of 20th-Century Europe
  • Historical Perspectives on Culture, Belief, and Civilization
  • Introduction to Historical Studies
  • Russian Language and Culture