Seminary a ‘Vital Part of the Ecosystem of the Christian Church,’ Schade Says

Photo of leaders who participated in the installation service.

The. Rev. William Gafkjen, Bishop of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA); Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean and Professor of Hebrew Bible Richard D. Weis; Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship Leah Schade; and LTS President Charisse L. Gillett.

Schade Installed as Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at LTS


CONTACT: Dr. Charisse Gillett, (859) 252-0361


Lexington, Ky. (Feb. 20, 2017) – Lexington Theological Seminary celebrates the installation of the Rev. Dr. Leah Schade as Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship. She was installed Jan. 28 during the Seminary’s chapel service, which is observed daily during a block of classes known as “intensives.” The classes take place for two-week periods in January and June.

The. Rev. William Gafkjen, Bishop of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), participated in the service, along with Seminary President Charisse L. Gillett; Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean and Professor of Hebrew Bible Richard D. Weis; Trustee William McDonald; faculty members Dr. Emily Askew, Dr. Barbara Blodgett, and Dr. Jerry Sumney; and LTS students Anthony DeLucia, M.Div. program, and the Rev. Stephanie Moon, D.Min. program. Maureen Howell provided music for the service.

“I am appreciative of the work of the LTS Board and their diligence in ensuring the solid governance of this institution. And I am indebted to President Charisse Gillett who has been a model for me of strong and prudent leadership, as well as having a pastor’s heart and mind for raising up leaders for the church,” Schade said during her installation service remarks.

“In the months since I’ve begun here at LTS, and especially this last week when I’ve had the pleasure of meeting students in person, I have been struck by the reach of this seminary across this country. I remember when I first interviewed here nearly a year ago and seeing the board right out here in the hall with the pictures of the students and where they are located on the map. Taken together, we might say that Lexington Theological Seminary is a like a vast coral reef network that might not be immediately visible if you’re just looking out over the surface of the water, but is a vital part of the ecosystem of the Christian Church.”


Schade began teaching at LTS in August. An ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America for 16 years, she earned her Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, with concentrations on theology for ministry and mission, and contemporary theology.


Dr. Schade is the author of Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit. (Chalice Press, 2015). Dr. Schade’s other publishing credits include contributions to Feasting on the Gospels, a Feasting on the Word Project, Volumes 1 and 2 (Westminster John Knox Press, 2013), several journal articles, and numerous book reviews. She maintains academic guild membership and has presented numerous papers in the Academy of Homiletics, the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Academy of Religion, the Parliament of World Religions, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.


Before joining the LTS faculty, Schade pastored United in Christ Lutheran Church in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. She previously served two other Pennsylvania congregations. She is passionate about social justice issues, including racism, gender equality and environmental issues. In 2013 she was awarded the Mark McCollough Religious Leadership Award, presented by the Central Susquehanna Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).


Dr. Schade has taught courses on ethics, religion, gender and ecology. She has also presented several workshops for lay preachers and workshops on leadership, Christian education, long-range planning, evangelism and stewardship.


Dr. Schade also is a professional harpist, and has recorded a CD, Shall We Gather. She and her husband, Jim, live in Lexington, with their children, Rachel and Benjamin.



Lexington Theological Seminary is an accredited graduate theological institution of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Consistent with the Disciples’ historic commitment to Christian unity, the Seminary is intentionally ecumenical with students, faculty, staff and trustees of various denominations. The Seminary has been preparing leaders for the church since 1865. For more information, visit