Deaconess Ruth McDonnell, Ph.D, M.A.


Chorus, Band, Piano Lab, and Language Lab

Deaconess Ruth McDonnell was born and raised in Wise, Virginia. She earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 1984 and a Master of Arts from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis in 2005, with a major in exegesis. She received her Deaconess certification from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in 2006. She also earned a doctorate at Concordia Seminary and her Ph.D. dissertation focused on hymnody and eschatology. In 2010, Deaconess McDonnell was called to serve as the assistant director of the Master of Arts program. She also served as metro St. Louis mission coordinator for the Missouri District of the LCMS (2008-2010). She previously served Concordia Seminary, St. Louis as a field education supervisor for the Deaconess studies program (2006-2009). She also served as guest instructor for Deaconess studies (2009).

Deaconess McDonnell is an LCMS rostered teacher and Deaconess. She and her husband, Peter, have two sons, Timothy and Eric. Her primary instrument is the flute. She sings Alto and is a proficient handbell ringer. She has taught instrumental Music and been a member of the Handbell Musicians of America since 1990. As member of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, she has served on national and area boards. Ruth was a founding member of the Magic of Bronze, a community handbell choir in Orlando, which she directed until moving to St. Louis in 2003. Deaconess McDonnell has taught handbell techniques and conducting at numerous workshops and has conducted massed ringing at festivals. 

Deaconess McDonnell joined Lutheran High School in 2020 and we are blessed to have someone with her experience join our staff.