Kim Schave

Last fall the Haab School of Business welcomed Deaconess Kimberly Schave Ph.D., CPA, as a professor in the Accounting program. Dr. Schave is a CPA with experience in multiple areas: public accounting, private industry, higher education, and work in the non-profit sector. On top of all the awesome experience Dr. Schave brings to Concordia, she is also an LCMS Deaconess. Keep reading to find out more about Deaconess Kimberly Schave Ph.D., CPA.

Tell us about your professional and educational background.

While my husband was attending seminary, I enrolled in a Deaconess program to learn more about the Lutheran faith and obtain a Master’s degree. In need of a source of part-time income, I began teaching courses at a business college adjacent to the seminary. Through this work, I developed a love for teaching and continued as an adjunct through the years in addition to being a practitioner of accounting and serving as a volunteer deaconess in various roles. 

I have a strong interest in serving the marginalized but also enjoy working in the business field. My doctoral research focused on Fortune 500 companies partnering with non-profit organizations to improve under-served urban communities. Companies that focus on more than just profit (my accounting role) and also emphasize investments in people (my deaconess role) and the planet (God’s creation for us to manage) –known as The Triple Bottom Line—often experience financial and operational benefits. 

It’s my hope to continue to inspire future business professionals to not only be successful in their careers but also lead lives of service to create positive and lasting social impact.

What brought you to Concordia University Ann Arbor?

Ultimately, God led me to CUWAA.  My husband is a pastor and serves an organization with an office north of Detroit.  We are both from the Toledo, Ohio, area and desired to be closer to our parents. 

I noticed a position opening for an accounting professor at the Ann Arbor campus and decided to submit an application/ I left it in God’s hands as to whether we should relocate here. I wasn’t completely sure at the time that I was ready to enter academia as an instructor full-time, but I’m so glad I did.

What is your favorite course to teach? Favorite course project?

My favorite course is Forensic Accounting/Fraud Management. It’s a nice break from the number crunching required in other accounting courses. This allows me to draw upon my background as both a CPA and a former military police officer.

Accounting projects aren’t all that fun, let’s be honest. But I do enjoy the business analysis projects that students conduct in which they compare the results of the operations of competing companies. They learn how to utilize online search tools such as the FASB Accounting Standards Codification and the SEC’s EDGAR system to research accounting rules and corporate SEC filings, respectively. It provides them with helpful tools to research companies they may have a personal interest in either investing in or working with down the line.  

What do you like best about mentoring students?

I cannot say enough about the amazing students at CUAA. They are the most respectful and courteous group of students I have ever been privileged to work with. Being a Buckeye from Ohio, I was quite leery of what it would be like to live and work in Ann Arbor, but I have been wonderfully surprised. 

I appreciate that I am able to draw upon my experience in the accounting field as well as my role as a deaconess in the LCMS. Assisting students in both their academic and personal pursuits is quite rewarding.

What’s your favorite quote or Bible verse?

1 Peter 3:15 – But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. 

I didn’t come to faith in the traditional way, but a little later in life. Those who practiced this approach to sharing God’s love with me influenced my understanding of Him the most. It’s a practice I try to uphold, as well.  We have a much better opportunity to help others understand God’s unconditional love for us when we speak to them gently and respectfully, not with a judgmental or condescending attitude.

What was your favorite place you’ve visited? Why?

That is a toss-up between two deployments to Germany when I served in the Army National Guard and three mission trips to Africa. I was able to visit numerous historic sites in Germany and France when we had downtime in the military. 

My trips to Africa opened my eyes to suffering that we’re simply not familiar with here in the U.S. I was left pleasantly surprised and contemplative over how much joy exists in these communities despite not having the trappings of modern conveniences that we take for granted here. These trips also inspired me to seek out opportunities closer to home to engage in mission and outreach to those in need.

What’s the most helpful advice you’ve received?

Because I am enjoying my role at CUWAA so much, the piece of advice that stands out most is from a former Dean advising me to go vertical with obtaining a Ph.D. rather than horizontal with a business-related master’s degree. I thoroughly enjoyed my Ph.D. program and learned so much from the dissertation process. It also provided me with the qualifications needed for my current position in Ann Arbor. 

Do you want to know more?

If learning about Deaconess Kimberly Schave Ph.D., CPA has inspired you, visit us here to learn more about our accounting program at CUAA.