Rev. Dr. Richard Bliese
Rev. Dr. Richard Bliese was called to serve as the Director of Lutheran Formation at Emmanuel Academies in the fall of 2018 after serving Emmanuel Academies for two years as an educational consultant for the Kern Family Foundation from Waukesha, WI. Dr. Bliese completed his PH.D. in the life and writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in 1995, and went on to teach theology and mission at two ELCA seminaries in Chicago, IL (Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago) and St. Paul, MN (Luther Seminary). Dr. Bliese was called to lead Luther Seminary in 2003, first as Academic Dean, then as President. After ten years at Luther Seminary, Dr. Bliese worked for two foundations, for the Lilly Foundation as the President of the In Trust Center for Theological Education (a consultancy agency for theological seminaries in the United States and Canada) and for the Kern Family Foundation (WI) as a consultant/advocate within the area of “Faith, Work and Economics.” It was during his work for the Kern Family Foundation in building alternative pastoral leadership programs across the country that Dr. Bliese re-engaged with the vision and ministry of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Naples. Dr. Bliese came to Emmanuel Academies with a rich background in theological education but also with experience as a missionary for five years in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) and six years
in Germany. Dr. Bliese is married to Nina. They have two children, Aaron (lives in Philadelphia) and Stephanie (lives in Chicago). They also have two grandchildren, Bennett and James.
Rev. Dr. Clay Schmit
The Rev. Dr. Clay Schmit is an ELCA pastor and scholar. Currently, he serves as Sr. Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. His academic interests are in the areas of worship, preaching, theology and the arts, and innovative theological education. He has taught full-time at Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina, and Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, as well as part-time at numerous seminaries across the nation. He is also a pastoral musician, choral conductor, and composer. He has produced seven books on worship, preaching, and the arts, including Sent and Gathered: a Worship Manual for the Missional Church, and A Teaching Hymnal: Ecumenical and Evangelical. Dr. Schmit became involved in conversations regarding the establishment of Emmanuel Academies during his recent tenure as Provost (Head) of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina. He is delighted to be a part of the faculty of the Academies as this dream comes to fruition. Pastor Schmit is married to Carol, an attorney and entrepreneur and is father of two grown children.
Rev. Jhon Freddy Correa
The Rev. Jhon Freddy Correa is an ELCA pastor, scholar, and PhD candidate at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). Currently, he serves as Sr. Pastor at Faith Lutheran Church - Comunidad de Fe in Lehigh Acres, Florida. His academic interests are in the areas of de-colonization, leadership, history, liberation theology, creative and innovative theological education, and decolonial aesthesis. He has been a Teacher Assistant at LSTC and taught at the Academia Ecumenica de Liderazgo (ELCA). He is also the director of the Bilingual and ESL program at Faith Lutheran Church and an ELCA coach. Previously he served as Vice President of the Association of Hispanic Ministries of the ELCA.
He is joyful to be a part of the faculty of Emmanuel Academies as he walks with young minds, hearts and lives that will transform the world. Pastor Correa was born in Colombia, is married to Liliana, an accountant at Herc, and is the proud father of nine-year old Mateo!