Jill Schuman is CEO of Lutheran Services in America (LSA), and Mark Oldenburg is professor of liturgics at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, PA. The visit aims first to give students and faculty an opportunity to learn from the expertise Ms. Schumann brings in non-profit entrepreneurship and in church-based social services, and that Rev. Oldenburg brings from his experience as seminary professor, pastor, and church historian. Second, the visit aims to provide opportunities for them to engage students in conversations about the wide range of professional venues in which one can live out a vocation to the church. They will reflect together on how they have approached the particular choices and compromises that have arisen as they have sought to balance their marriage and their professional callings.
Ms Schumann is head of LSA, the umbrella organization coordinating all the Lutheran Social Service bodies in the country. Its services include foster care and adoption services, disaster response services, care for the elderly and other aging services, affordable housing, counseling, care for the disabled, refugee resettlement, day care, employment services, prison ministry, home health and hospice care, and many others. LSA tops The NonProfit Times' list of the United States' 100 largest nonprofit organizations (ahead of the National Council of YMCAs and the American Red Cross), with a budget of over $7.5 billion.
As CEO of LSA, Ms. Schumann has been named one of the top 50 most powerful people in the non-profit sector for two years in a row. Her special gifts for restructuring and creating new initiatives have spurred the striking growth of LSA since her appointment in 2001. Before joining LSA, Ms. Schumann helped found Kairos Health Systems, an organization that brought together senior care facilities to allow them to act collectively in negotiating shared business interests. Ms. Schumann has also worked in counseling services, including a brief tenure at Gettysburg College early in her career after leaving Rutgers University, ABD in history.
Mark Oldenburg received his M.Div from the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia, and his Ph. D. from Drew University. He spent several years in parish ministry, and has served as a synod staff member concentrating on evangelism and as an interim hospital chaplain. He joined the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 1986 as chaplain and professor of liturgics. Mark has also studied the history of American Lutheranism, especially on the east coast. He is a gifted musician who appears as a baritone soloist in the central Pennsylvania area, and he is the director of Music, Gettysburg, a concert series now in its 25th season.