M.Div. Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelpia 2000
Ph.D. Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelpia 2014
Joined the faculty in 2016.
An ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) for 17 years, Leah earned both her MDiv and PhD degrees from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (now United Lutheran Seminary). She completed her dissertation focusing on homiletics (preaching) and ecological theology (caring for God’s creation). Her book Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit (Chalice Press, 2015) is available at https://www.creationcrisispreaching.com/.
Prior to coming to Lexington Theological Seminary, Leah served as the pastor of three different churches: Reformation Lutheran Church in Media, PA (2000 – 2009), Spirit and Truth Worship Center in Yeadon, PA, (2009 – 2011); and United in Christ Lutheran Church in rural Lewisburg, PA (2011 – 2016). She has also served as an adjunct religion and philosophy instructor at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA, and Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA, teaching courses on ethics, religion, gender and ecology.
Her current research and book project is called Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red/Blue Divide. Her new method of sermon-dialogue-sermon preaching is designed to help clergy and congregations engage on issues of public concern in productive, healthy ways. Her method involves preaching in tandem with a type of civil discourse called “deliberative dialogue” in order to enter the “Purple Zone” within the perceived red-state-blue-state divide. The goal is to emerge with new insights and stronger relationships not only within the church, but for civic and public discourse in our communities and country. Key to her work is a research questionnaire she designed entitled “Preaching About Controversial Justice Issues” which gathered responses from 1200 mainline Protestant preachers. Visit https://www.thepurplezone.net/ to learn more.
Leah writes a blog entitled “EcoPreacher” for Patheos that explores religion, politics, ecological justice, women’s issues, LGBTQI and gender issues, race, and culture: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/ecopreacher/.
Leah is also a professional harpist and her CD, Shall We Gather, is available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ldschade. She and her husband Jim (a jazz drummer and percussionist) live in Lexington with their children Rachel (age 14) and Benjamin (age 11).