The Rev. Dan Hanson
The Rev. Dan Hanson ’12
Mason City, Iowa

The path ahead for the student known as “Pastor Dan” seemed clear to those around him, so it was no surprise when Dan Hanson graduated Wartburg College and went to Luther Seminary.

“He had such a warm and respectful presence about himself that made it so clear to others he was destined to be a pastor,” wrote nominator David Nuetzman ’11.

While an undergraduate, Hanson was a noted faith leader among students, welcoming new people into campus ministry. He spent his summer breaks at three different Lutheran Bible camps and completed numerous service trips during his four years at Wartburg.

From 2016 to 2022, he was the pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hampton, Iowa, while also providing leadership and ministry to nearby rural churches. He not only served his parishioners but “provides a ministry of presence by being visible and available to those outside his congregation,” wrote the Rev. Dr. Brian Beckstrom, one of Hanson’s nominators.

A Hampton resident may have spotted Hanson at Hampton’s Ministerial, a cross-faith community service organization, where he served as president; at the Rotary Club, where he also served as president; volunteering for La Luz Centro Cultural, which promotes cultural awareness and provides supportive services; feeding the hungry at Community Meal; participating in an ecumenical study group he co-founded; or giving of his time at local events and festivals.

In 2017, Hanson participated in a two-week international ethics program in Germany and Poland through the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics. He has also participated in the Moses Project, which provides professional development for rural pastors.

Hanson now serves as pastor of spiritual growth at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mason City, Iowa, and looks forward to becoming involved in that community.

For the ways in which he lives out his kind and gentle faith through everyday service to his community, the Wartburg College Alumni Board is pleased to present a 2023 Young Alumni Award to the Rev. Dan Hanson.