Information about faculty members and staff

The Rev. Michael L. Cooper-White

The Rev. Michael L. Cooper-White

Phone: 717.338.3001


The Rev. Michael L. Cooper-White, D.D. is the 12th president of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, having served in that office since 2000. As president, he is the Seminary’s chief pastoral leader, chairs the faculty, coordinates administrative team leaders, and works closely with the Board of Directors in institutional planning and oversight. He also serves on a rotating basis as Executive Director of the Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries. 

Cooper-White was born and raised in rural west central Minnesota and was graduated Summa Cum Laude from Concordia College, Moorhead. Prior to enrolling at Gettysburg Seminary, from which he received the Master of Divinity degree in 1976, he studied law at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., worked in a congressional office, and was a secondary school substitute teacher. He was a Cronhardt scholar at the seminary, participated in the Lutheran House of Studies in Washington, and completed his internship with the Lutheran Church in Chile. In 2003, President Cooper-White was awarded an honorary doctorate by Susquehanna University.
President Cooper-White came to Gettysburg with a distinguished career of service in the church. He was Executive Assistant to the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, simultaneously serving as Director of the ELCA’s Department for Synodical Relations. In the latter capacity, he was chief staff person for the Conference of Bishops, and responsible for oversight of the ELCA churchwide organization’s relationship with the church’s 65 synods. He has been a consultant to and developed resources for ELCA and ecumenical church leaders throughout the U.S. and in Latin America.   Previous ministry experience included service as an inner city parish pastor in Los Angeles, directing an urban coalition and ecumenical council in the San Francisco Bay area, and serving as assistant to two synod bishops in California. Fluent in Spanish, Pastor Cooper-White has consulted in the development of bilingual and multicultural ministries, and taught urban ministry and Lutheran polity at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. 
In addition to providing administrative oversight for the Seminary, Pr. Cooper-White teaches church administration and leadership. He is the author of the following books published by Augsburg/Fortress: On a Wing and a Prayer: Faithful Leadership in the 21st Century (2005); Church Administration: Purpose, Programs, Process (2007 with Robert Bacher); The Comeback God: A Theological Primer for a Life of Faith (2009); and of numerous articles and devotional materials.   He serves on the boards of the Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries  and Washington Theological Consortium, as well as the Gettysburg Area Recreational Authority, National Trust for Historic Gettysburg, and Battle of Gettysburg 150th Steering Committee. 
Married to the Rev. Dr. Pamela Cooper-White, an Episcopal priest who serves as Professor of Pastoral Theology and Care at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA, Pastor Cooper-White is the father of three children, Aaron, Adam and Macrina.   His avocation as a pilot and flight instructor has included serving as a chaplain with the Civil Air Patrol. He is an active member of Christ Lutheran Church of Gettysburg, PA. 


Education: B.A., Concordia College, Moorhead, 1971
Georgetown University Law Center, 1972
M.Div., Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg,1976
D.D. Susquehanna University, 2003


The Comeback God, Augsburg Publishers, 2009. 

Church Administration: Programs, Process, Purpose, Fortress Press, with Robert Bacher, 2007.

On A Wing And A Prayer: Faithful Leadership in the 21st Century, AugsburgFortress, 2003.


Other Links

Church Administration website - Resources, examples and curriculum for the book: Church Administration: Programs - Processes - Purpose