At historic Gettysburg, the nation’s future was determined when ordinary citizens became adaptive, courageous leaders.  The Gettysburg Group is a consulting collaborative dedicated to helping individuals and organizations confront today’s challenges, resolve conflicts, overcome problems, and plan for tomorrow.

Our nationwide network of consultants offers a rich array of expertise in the following areas:

  • Strategic planning and visioning

  • Public relations and marketing

  • Executive coaching and staff training

  • Conflict resolution and dispute mediation

  • Organizational and leadership development

  • Project management, including mergers

  • Crisis intervention and communication

  • Accreditation and regulatory compliance

  • Proposal development and grant seeking

As our consultant biographies reveal, the Gettysburg Group offers a broad range of experience and expertise in organizational leadership, strategic planning (including finance and budget forecasting), conflict management and mediation, board and staff development and evaluation, academic accreditation, communication and marketing, and executive coaching and assessment.  


Frequently a business, non-profit organization or academic institution engages consultants who focus on one area, when the actual need is for a more comprehensive approach.  Leaders often have the gnawing sense that “something isn’t quite right,” or “we aren’t reaching our potential and need some outside perspectives that might help us expand our reach.”  Our approach is to partner with leaders “on the scene” in identifying areas where we can be of most assistance.  Like a good family physician, our diagnoses and recommendations take into account and seek to enhance the well-being of the “whole person” (or in this case, the entire organization).  


Following an initial conversation with key leaders in the business or organization (typically by the President), a consulting proposal will be developed with services tailored to identified needs and consultant(s) assigned by areas of expertise.  


The initial needs-identification consultation is provided on an expenses-only (i.e. no consultant remuneration) basis, following which fees for ongoing services are projected in the consulting proposal.  The Group’s approach is typically on a “project basis” (versus per diem rate), which guarantees clients a predetermined fixed cost and eliminates any concerns that consultants may be tempted to prolong work to gain higher fees.  


Please contact us to discuss further or to arrange an initial consultation.



MICHAEL COOPER-WHITE, President and Managing Partner

Michael Cooper-White is an ordained Lutheran minister with 45 years of experience working with local, regional and national organizations in leadership development and oversight.  For nearly half that time he was the president of Gettysburg Seminary during an era of transformative change in which the school consolidated with another institution and developed the internationally acclaimed Seminary Ridge Museum.  He is the author or coauthor of four books and an extensive list of articles on leadership, administration, and conflict resolution.  He is a news reporter and columnist for The Gettysburg Times daily newspaper, and adjunct professor of organizational leadership for Eastern Mennonite University. Michael holds a certificate in dispute mediation from the Good Samaritan Center in Philadelphia, and is a member of the Pennsylvania Mediation Association.  He is also a licensed commercial pilot and FAA-certified flight instructor, and a member of the Federal Aviation Agency’s FAAST team dedicated to promoting safety and developing pilot judgment and crew teamwork.


Melissa Ramirez Cooper is a strategic communication executive with more than 20 years’ experience in nonprofit. An award-winning writer and editor, Melissa’s areas of expertise includes media and public relations, crisis communication planning and reputation management, thought leadership, media training and messaging, social media and more. Currently she is director of communication at a private higher education institution and was associate director for public relations and publications at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She also worked in development at WTTW (PBS) Chicago. Melissa earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in organizational communication and journalism at Loyola University Chicago and earned a master’s degree in business administration at Dominican University.


Aaron Cooper is a marketing professional and writer-editor with over 20 years of experience in nonprofit and higher education work. He currently serves as Manager for Communications and Advancement with Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. In his current and prior positions, Aaron has developed specialties in project management, writing, editing, and website content management. 

Previously, he worked for Loyola University and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s World Hunger Appeal and Program as a writer, editor, web content manager, and event planner. At the ELCA, he was a certified AchieveGlobal leadership trainer and facilitated staff trainings. He has received several awards for his writing and a staff Commitment to Excellence Award from Loyola. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an M.A. in Writing from DePaul University.


With 45 years of experience as an ordained Lutheran minister and communication professional, Eric C. Shafer brings to the Gettysburg Group expertise in leadership, communication and networking.  His communication background includes crisis communication and management, communication planning and auditing, and people networking.  During his nearly 15 years as Communication Director for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, he managed a national advertising campaign that grew the recognition of the word “Lutheran” by 5% (15,000,000) of the US population.  He has served as an Advisor for the Lutheran World Federation and co-led an audit of their communication materials and activities.  Service on the boards of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and the National Interfaith Cable Coalition are examples of his wide background in ecumenical and interfaith work.  Named “Communicator of the Year” in 2012, he has executive produced three CBS Christmas Eve television specials and numerous video and film projects. Eric hosts "Hope Matters" regular interviews with leaders in religious communities, a series broadcast on a YouTube channel.  


Macrina Dieffenbach is a User Experience Researcher on the Central Integrity team at Meta (formerly, Facebook) where she studies misinformation. Before working at Meta, she worked for 2 years as a Research Scientist at OpenMind, a non-profit organization that builds tools to equip people to engage in constructive dialogue. In 2021, she received her doctorate in social psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her dissertation focused on using neuroimaging and machine learning to evaluate the efficacy of an intervention to help people become more open-minded toward opposing viewpoints. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, she received her B.A. in Cognitive Science from Yale University and worked as a science editor at The Huffington Post. 


Adam Cooper is an Internal Auditor at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. Audit experience includes financial objectives to include determining if internal controls pertaining to the authorization, recording, and reporting of financial activities, and the safeguarding of assets, are adequate and working in the manner intended. Also his main focus is the operational piece of determining whether operational standards are present and working to promote efficient and effective use of organizational resources. Having spent four years in the public accounting sector, Adam worked as an auditor ensuring the reliability and accuracy of financial statements and their underlying support. Adam earned Bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Criminal Justice and is a Certified Fraud Examiner.

PAMELA COOPER-WHITE, MDiv, PhD, Research Advisor

Pamela Cooper-White is the Academic Dean/Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychology and Religion at Union Theological Seminary, New York.  She was the 2013-14 Fulbright-Freud Scholar of Psychoanalysis at the Sigmund Freud Museum and the University of Vienna, Austria. She has published nine books, including The Psychology of Christian Nationalism: Why People Are Drawn In, and How to Talk across the Divide (2022).  She has lectured frequently across the U.S and Europe, and is a sought-after consultant and trainer re: professional ethics and healthy organizations. Dr. Cooper-White holds 2 PhDs, from Harvard University, and the Chicago Institute for Clinical Social Work, and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and an ordained Episcopal priest.  Her recent video on “the unconscious” can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rmTmyvSW5c.