Information about faculty members and staff

Em Cole

Em Cole

Executive Director of Voices of History and President, Gettysburg Seminary Endowment Foundation
Phone: 717.338.3015

Biography: After 35 years of law practice, Em Cole joined the staff of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg as Vice President of Seminary Advancement on June 1, 2005 in 2010 became Executive Director of the Voices of History project and President of the Gettysburg Seminary Endowment Foundation. During his legal career, Mr. Cole served as Vice President Law and Risk Management of an operating division of CSX Transportation, Inc. and as a partner in the Baltimore office of Venable, LLP.

Mr. Cole’s volunteer service to the Church includes more than twenty years of increasing involvement in Lutheran social ministry including leading merger and other consolidation initiatives and culminating as Board Chair of Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries, a provider of senior living and family and community services to more than 80,000 people in need annually in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. He chaired the Board of Trustees of the Board of Pensions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America which provides wellness, health and other insurance and retirement benefits to more than 50,000 members and their families. He is a director of Lutheran World Relief (effective January, 2010), Diakon (DLSM’s parent), Lutheran Volunteer Corps and Lutheran Deaconess Association and serves on the Program Committee of the ELCA’s Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Ministry Unit. He recently retired as counsel to the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the ELCA but continues to provide occasional legal and other advice to numerous institutions and expressions of the Church. He is active in congregational life, serving in several capacities at First English and Amazing Grace (associate member) Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Baltimore, where he resides. Prior to employment at Gettysburg Seminary, Mr. Cole served on its Board of Directors.

Mr. Cole holds degrees from Emory University (B.A., High Honors in History) and Harvard University (J.D.). He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in legal issues and professional ethics as an adjunct faculty member at Johns Hopkins University and Gettysburg Seminary and was chair of the Board of Advisors of the Graduate Business Division of the Johns Hopkins School of Professional Studies in Business and Education prior to its recent reorganization.

He serves on the boards of directors of the Institute for Family Education, the Gettysburg Adams County Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Gettysburg.


B.A., Emory University
J.D., Harvard University Law School