The Second Annual
Common Ground on Seminary Ridge
at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg

61 Seminary Ridge, Gettysburg PA 17325

August 2nd and 3rd, 2013



11:00 AM - 10:30 PM

Registration & Check-In: 11 AM - 1:00 PM
        Keynote Address: 1:15 - 1:45 PM
    Workshop Session I: 2:00 - 3:15 PM
  Workshop Session 2:  3:30 - 4:45 PM
                Dinner Break: 5:00 - 7:00 PM

Music Gettysburg! Concert: 7:00 - 8:45 PM
      Civil War Era Dance: 9:00 - 10:30 PM


9:00 AM - 9:15 PM
    Workshop Session I: 9:00 - 10:15 AM
  Workshop Session 2: 10:30 - 11:45 AM
               Lunch in the Refectory: 12:00 - 1:00 PM
(NOTE: Lunch will not be provided to those students who do not pre-register online for classes)
Workshop Session 3: 1:15 - 2:30 PM
  Workshop Session 4: 2:45 - 4:00 PM 

Gospel Choir and Student-Faculty Concert: 4:30 - 5:30 PM
Dinner Break: 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Songs & Stories of a Civil War Hospital: 7:30 - 9:15 PM


Registration/Admission Fee for Entire Event: $150.00

Online registration is now closed. Students may complete walk-in registrations on Friday August 2, 11am-1pm.

Dance admission: $10.00 at the door if only attending the dance.
Common Ground on Seminary Ridge registrants will receive a ticket to the dance with their registration.

Click here to see courses listed by day and period.


Keynote Address: "On This Ridge"
An overview of Common Ground on Seminary Ridge, illuminating the
curriculum and instructors as well as the new Seminary Ridge Museum in historic Schmucker Hall.  Walt Michael, Executive Director and Founder of Common Ground on the Hill, and  Rev. Dr. John Spangler of the Theological Seminary at Gettsyburg.


(75-minute class periods)


The Blue and Gray in Black and White
More music came out of the Civil War than any other war in history.  In this class, Sparky and Rhonda will lead songs and tell stories, some sad and some humorous, that reflect the personal insights from the colorful personalities who participated in the war.  They will give the history from the perspectives of both the North and South and also include the participation of the African American soldiers. Participants are encouraged to sing, play along, or just listen.  This will be a great class in which to enlarge your repertoire. 
Period 1, Friday; Period 3, Saturday ~ Sparky & Rhonda Rucker





Getting Religion at Gettysburg: The Civil War and a New Birth of Freedom at a Seminary
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg holds the dubious distinction of having had more persons shot and killed on its grounds than any other theological institution in the United States.  The borough of Gettysburg, itself, hosts millions of visitors a year and, over the year, has had visits from the Ku Klux Klan and been blessed by the enduring presence of the NAACP.  How does one teach religion in this place of death, hatred, hope and a new birth of Freedom?

Period 2, Friday ~ Rev. Dr. Leonard M. Hummel





Anti-War Activism and the Civil War
Many Americans of the mid-19th Century opposed the Civil War, although they didn't all speak with one voice or agree with each other on all the issues. Their motives for being anti-war ranged from the deeply moral to the merely convenient. Some politicians split with Lincoln over his willingness to go to war. A peace flag was substituted for the Stars & Stripes by war protesters. The underground railroad continued to undermine slavery by stealth rather than force of arms. People protesting the Northern draft were drawn into a riot in New York.  Secessionists in parts of Appalachia sought to break away from both North and South. In this workshop we will focus on these and other anti-war stories and voices from before and during the War. Their legacy can be seen in our own time, in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 20th and 21st Centuries. This course repeats on Saturday.
Period 1, Friday; Period 4, Saturday ~ Dr. Charles Collyer and Dr. Pam Zappardino


Where Your Treasure Is: Gettysburg and Civil War Veterans
In the 1880s, 43 percent of the Federal Budget was allocated for Civil War Veteran Pensions.  During this same period, the governments of Southern States directed a quarter of their monies toward support for disabled veterans.  In both circumstances, veterans were honored not necessarily for their services during War but for their political capital afterwards.  How may we make sense of the justice/injustice of these histories?  And how may we evidence increased devotion for justice for those who have served our nation then and now?
Period 1, Saturday ~ Rev. Dr. Leonard M. Hummel




The Singing and Praying Bands: 19th, 20th & 21st Century African American Worship
The Singing and Praying Bands grew out of the tidewater regions of Maryland two centuries ago, merging traditional African worship pracices with those of the Methodist Church, resulting in a hybrid of spiritual and musical devotion. In this class, students will be guided into a deeper understanding of Singing and Praying Bands of Maryland and Delaware through an examination of the tradition bearers’ historical and cultural context. Participants in the class will first be led through one service, verse by verse, song by song, until we understand the unique way service unfolds. Then we will focus on the performance context, the religious camp meetings and prayer meetings, at which the bands held their services, so that we understand these groups’ social context. Then we will examine the society that was the larger context of these camp meetings, so that we can better understand what the bands were attempting to accomplish in their performances. Finally, we will explore the bands’ history, so that we will better understand why it was so important that generations of band members have been determined to keep this tradition alive. The late Rev. Edward Johnson, band captain of Ezion United Methodist Church on Kent Island, once said that when the band began singing, “they would either get the sinners to convert or make them get out of there, one or the other.” After attending this course, participants should understand why these groups’ singing had such spiritual power. Period 3, Saturday ~ The Rev. Samuel Jerry Colbert and Dr. Jonathan C. David.



Photography: the Modern Chronicler of History
The Civil War ushered in the new tool of photography as a recorder of history. Learn the techniques needs to master the digital camera to record today's scenes, people and events for posterity. Students will learn by using the backdrop of Seminary Ridge and its environs to demystify the technology of modern digital photography by connecting to the same photographic challenges that Mathew Brady faced with his wet-plate camera. Students are asked to come equipped with their own camera, and if you have one, a tripod.
Periods 1 & 2, Friday; Periods 1, 2, & 3 Saturday ~ Walter Calahan






Whose Bible?: How the Scriptures were used to attack and defend slavery in 19th Century America. 
Both advocates and opponents of slavery defended their opinions from Scripture.  This presentation will describe how three people related to Seminary Ridge used the same Bible to defend very different positions. 
Period 2, Friday ~  Rev. Dr. Mark Oldenburg


Voices of History ~ Duty and Devotion; The Making of the Seminary Ridge Museum
This class will present the fascinating finds, the iconic stories and the creative efforts that are making the Seminary Ridge Museum. Schmucker Hall, the original classroom building of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, is under rehabilitation, to be completed by July 2013 for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. This iconic building is widely considered to be the most important Civil War structure not in the public trust.  John Spangler will present the many ways that the "walls are talking" as the museum opens on Seminary Ridge. 
Period 4, Saturday ~ Rev. Dr. John Spangler





Fiddle Tunes of the Civil War Era (for all stringed instruments )
In the Revolutionary War, the fiddle tunes (reels) Soldier's Joy and Liberty can be found in fife tune books of both the British and Continental Armies.  We can be certain that both the Union and Confederate forces enjoyed these tunes and many others during the Civil War.  This class will learn a handful of dance tunes of the era with the goal of playing them ensemble in an enjoyable session.  Fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, cello and bass, other stringed instruments, and players of all levels are welcome. 
Period 1, Friday and Period 1, Saturday ~  Walt Michael, Tom Lather, Alexander Mitchell & Ralph Gordon.






Daniel Alexander Payne
This class is timely in that the instructor's long awaited biography of Daniel Alexander Payne was published in September of 2012. This detailed biography gives a portrait of the life of Payne, highlighting his life as educator, pastor, abolitionist, poet, historiographer, hymn writer, ecumenist, and bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Throughout the 19th century, pro-slavery arguments hinged on the idea that African-Americans lacked the capacity to be fully equal American citizens. A free Black man, Payne was the first African American to receive a formal theological education at a Lutheran seminary in America and one of the first African Americans to receive a higher education. Following study with seminary founder Samuel S. Schmucker from 1835 to 1837, he was ordained by the progressive Franckian (Lutheran) Synod and then became a leader and a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), and president of Wilberforce University.
❖ Period 2, Saturday ~ Dr. Nelson T. Strobert






Historical Hymns: This class is a participatory hymn-sing featuring hymns from the Revival, Spiritual, Shape-Note and Mainline traditions, all known and some written during the American Civil War.  Take a step back in time and enjoy hymns venerated by your ancestors. Period 1, Saturday ~ Stephen and Beth Folkemer












Songs of the Period Sing and play songs popular with the folks at home, including songs by Foster, Root, Tucker and Work as well as some set to traditional tunes.  We'll work from period editions, so guitarists may want to bring their capos, but we'll teach vocal melodies and some harmonies by ear as well. Period 2, Friday and Period 4, Saturday ~ Dearest Home










The Veterans Initiative
This is the second year of the Common Ground on the Hill Veterans Initiative, which we now bring to Seminary Ridge. In this class, in a trusting and supportive environment, military veteran scholarship recipients as well as other students and instructors will share and check in with one another, reflecting on the issues that affect their lives and the role that the arts can play in nurturing veterans and society as a whole. As well, the class will explore how we may work together to build the Initiative into a national year-round arts program. The class will include song and film. Come to this class prepared to learn and grow.
Period 2, Friday and Period 2, Saturday ~  Josh Hisle, Dan Collins, Tim Scully and Walt Michael, Facilitators


Common Ground Interracial Spiritual and Gospel Choir
This joyous class will learn songs from both the great Spiritual tradition and the resultant Gospel tradition pioneered by Thomas Dorsey.  Director Shelley Ensor will ready this afternoon class for a performance at Christ Lutheran Church as part of the evening program.  All are welcome to join this class ..... everyone is a singer!  Period 2, Friday,
Period 2, Saturday and 4:30 - 5:30 Saturday, concert ~ Shelley Ensor~Director, Alice Dorsey~Pianist.







Student Options:  On Saturday, periods 1 - 4, students are encouraged to visit the Seminary Ridge Museum (tickets are included with paid tuition) and the Gettysburg Battlefield.




Presents in Concert

The Singing and Praying Bands of Maryland and Delaware



Sparky and Rhonda Rucker

in the chapel at
Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg

7 - 8:30 PM
Free to the Public

Music, Gettysburg! is a premier concert series featuring international, regional and local musical artists for the greater southern Pennsylvania region.


Civil War Era Dance
The Friday evening concert will be followed by a Civil War era dance at 9 PM in the Refectory. 
Dr. Briant Bohleke and Dr. Karin J. Bohleke with music provided by Dearest Home



Saturday Evening Program
Songs and Stories of a Civil War Hospital
7:30 - 9:15 PM

Songs and Stories of A Civil War Hospital
Songs and Stories of A Civil War Hospital seeks to tell the authentic history of a Civil War Hospital in its original setting: Christ Lutheran Church
(30 Chambersburg Street  Gettysburg, PA 17325). The Candlelight evening begins at 7:30 PM with music on the church steps followed by the main program in the church nave at 8:00 PM.  The main program includes: a violin prelude, welcoming comments, a brief church history, accounts of Chaplain Howell's death and a local citizen's escape into the church bell tower, first-hand accounts of the Christ Church hospital as told by a wounded soldier and a care-giving nurse, Civil War poetry by Walt Whitman, passages from Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, and music by local musicians.    Dearest Home


Registration/Admission Fee for Entire Event: $150.00

* Registration includes entrance into all 6 periods and fees cannot be broken down to accomodate fewer than 6 periods.  You are not required to take all 6 periods, but registration for all 6 is included in the registration fee.

* Photography class runs through all 6 periods and will include visits to the Museum and the Battlefield at the discretion of the instructor.

*  Lunch on Saturday is included in the registration fee.  All other meals and lodging are NOT included.  There are many local options for dining and lodging in Gettysburg.

* Registration includes a ticket to the Seminary Ridge Museum  You will receive an admission ticket with your registration confirmation at check-in.  The Museum is open from 10 AM - 5 PM every day.


Registration will be available online until Thursday afternoon and then will be available in-person Friday starting at 11 AM at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg