As Director of Ministry Programs and the Partnership for Excellence of the Fund for Theological Education, Melissa Wiginton has listened to the lives of hundreds of young people who are discerning their vocations and helped create programs and interventions that have been important in many young leaders hearing a call to ministry. Ms. Wiginton holds a M.Div. degree from Candler School of Theology and a B.A. and J.D. from the University of Texas. She and her daughter co-wrote the chapter "Truth" in Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens and she is currently working on a book with young pastors about hearing and responding to the call to ministry.
Ann Svennungsen followed Dr. James Waits as the eighth President of The Fund for Theological Education in Atlanta, GA. Prior to her election to this position, she was Senior Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, a 3,700-member congregation in Moorhead, MN. During her seven years at Trinity, Svennungsen served the largest ELCA congregation to be led by a woman senior pastor. Her twenty-two years of ministry also included pastorates in Iowa City, IA and Minneapolis, MN. Often invited to speak and write, Svennungsen has also served as a mentor to younger pastors and was the principal grant writer and administrator of her congregation's "Transition into Ministry Pastoral Residency Program," funded by a $750,000 Lilly Endowment grant. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Mathematics from Concordia College in Minnesota, and received her Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in 1981. She is married to Dr. William Russell and is the mother of three children.