Mary Schaller is president of Q Place, a ministry that empowers Christians to engage in meaningful conversations about God with people who believe differently. An entrepreneurial marketer and founder of three technology-related business ventures in Silicon Valley and the Boston high-tech corridor for twenty-two years, Mary turned her attention to ministry in 1999 when she was invited to join the executive staff of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California, to co-lead its small group ministry with her husband, Paul.
Mary had trained and supported hundreds of leaders to start small groups when she discovered the unique effectiveness of forming small groups for people who were spiritually curious but unwilling to attend a church service. She is passionate about engaging people outside the church in ongoing spiritual conversations, and giving people of different faith backgrounds an opportunity in a small group setting to question, discover, and grow in their relationship with God.
In 2006, Mary graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with a master's of divinity. Throughout graduate school, she hosted a small group for spiritual seekers in her San Francisco Bay Area home to discuss and explore what they believed about God and the Bible. It became clear that, in a post-Christian culture, Christians can best serve their friends, neighbors, and coworkers in their search for God by creating a safe place in community for them to explore what they believe.
Shortly after finishing seminary, Mary was asked to lead Neighborhood Bible Studies (renamed Q Place in 2008), an organization started in 1960 to help people examine for themselves, in a small group setting, what the Bible says and determine its application for their lives. She is the author of How to Start a Q Place, and the coauthor of Q Place's inductive curriculum series for small groups, The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations. Mary has been married to Paul Schaller for forty-one years. They live in the Chicago area part of the year, and the remaining months in Sandpoint, Idaho. They have three adult children and four grandchildren.